When we last left Rick and his fellow survivors at the end of Waking Dead season 4, they were locked in a train car by the mysterious residents of Terminus. At Comic-Con, the cast and crew explained what lies in store for them there — and how their journey forward will return to the story arc of the hit comic.
The panel began with a clip Walking Dead producer Scott Gimple claimed was from the fifth episode of the season. What he actually showed was a clip of The Walking Dead reimagined as a grim sitcom; Rick and Glenn are still stuck in the train car with big bushy beards. They play poker and eat bacon made out of Carl. Then we got the real trailer and saw the truth: we're going to DC! One of the Termites is along for the ride! Beth is wearing scrubs in some mysterious location!
Gimple said that one of the themes of the coming season is seeing who the survivors are becoming as people in the wake of all the unspeakable things that they have done. But even though we won't be spending all our time in Terminus, we will learn Terminus' backstory and why the Termites do the things they do.
Walking Dead comics creator Robert Kirkman also said that while Terminus may seem like a departure, the fifth season actually brings us back toward the comics' story. He also echoed what Gimple said about the changes in our characters. All of them — and not just Rick — are ready to do whatever they need to do to survive.
Producer Gale Anne Hurd said that the show will be entering what she calls "tick, chigger, and mosquito-free settings," also known as suburbia and the cities. There may be some familiar sights from the comics, although neither comics locations like Alexandria and Hilltop, nor characters like the nefarious Negan were mentioned.
Producer Dave Alpert joked that the show has a mission to hire everyone associated with The Wire and announced that another Wire alum, Seth Gilliam, will be joining the cast as Father Gabriel Stokes.
Producer Greg Nicotero and Gimple both said that we would be seeing a greater variety of Walkers this season, such as the Walkers with the stretched out and sagging skin we see in the trailer's flooded basement.
Most of the cast talked about how their characters had changed since their first appearance, but it seems those changes will be especially important for Beth. Sadly, Emily Kinney couldn't say anything about the mysterious facility where Beth is now, but did say that she isn't an innocent teenager any more.
Chandler Riggs brought a giant can of pudding. Several people ate from it during the panel. It was a thing.
But the best moment of the panel came during the Q&A session, when a man wrapped in red-stained cloth said that he had been bitten a week earlier and wanted to know what the cast was doing to raise awareness on behalf of the infected. Lauren Cohan suggested he look into the Walking for Walkers marathon. "Please donate."