After years of insisting the show could go on indefinitely, AMC was finally forced to face the post-apocalyptic music last year in the wake of sharply plummeting ratings for its monster-sized flagship series, The Walking Dead. (One would think the obvious fact that no program can go on in perpetuity as the biggest thing on television would be a no-brainer, but perhaps years of traveling amongst the flesh-hungry undead had left AMC execs with precisely that amount of brains.) Prior to announcing season 11 would be a two-year affair that wrapped up the program (and just as quickly announcing yet more spin-offs), the production shutdown brought about by COVID-19 left the series attempting something new: An additional six episodes to conclude season 10, more focused on individual, character-driven stories than giant hordes of people forced into narrow spaces, for what are (hopefully) self-evident reasons.
Now, AMC has released a short teaser for the show’s return, with brief glimpses and lines from what are most likely the characters each of the six episodes will focus on. We already knew Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s real-life spouse, Hilarie Burton Morgan, would be turning up to play Negan’s beloved Lucille, in what is looking like an adaptation of Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard’s Here’s Negan comic. Beyond that, the most promising of these episodes is the one focusing on Lauren Cohan’s Maggie, back in the fold after the actor decamped for less viscera-filled pastures during the previous season. There are 10 characters referenced in the teaser, so look for a few stories to be paired together—and since the episode descriptions are already up on IMDB, you don’t have to guess; here’s a summary of each, after the clip.
10x17, “Home Sweet Home”: Maggie has returned with a story she is not ready to share, even when her past catches up to her. Negan’s safety is at stake again. Daryl and Maggie fight an unseen and unknown threat.
10x18, “Fine Me”: An adventure for Daryl and Carol turns sideways when they come across an old cabin. It takes Daryl back to the days when he left the group after Rick disappeared as he relieves the time that only the apocalypse could manifest.
10x19, “One More”: Gabriel and Aaron search for food and supplies to bring back to Alexandria. Small tragedies lead to bigger tragedies as faith is broken and optimism is fragmented when they are put to the ultimate test.
10x20, “Splinter”: Eugene, Ezekiel, Yumiko, and Princess are captured and separated. Princess struggles with memories of her traumatic past and tries to escape one way or another with the help of Ezekiel.
10x21: “Diverged”: Daryl and Carol come to a fork in the road and head their separate ways. Each going into their own type of survival mode, the easiest of challenges become much harder.
10x22: “Here’s Negan”: Carol takes Negan on a journey, hoping to minimize the increasing tension. Negan reflects on the events that led him to this point and comes to a conclusion about his future.
We sincerely hope The Walking Dead’s creative team took this opportunity to engage in some sharp left turns, stylistically speaking. We’ll know soon enough—the additional episodes will begin airing on Thursday, February 25 on AMC+, and then air on AMC Sunday, February 28.