Beyond the many casting changes to expect in season 9 — Andrew Lincoln and Lauren Cohan’s departures, as well as the return of Jon Bernthal and the elevation of Norman Reedus — we actually haven’t learned much about what to expect from the season 9 storylines. Today the new showrunner, Angela Kang, gave the audience of a Kick-Ass Women of AMC panel a taste of what to expect, namely a time jump.
From Us Magazine:
“What’s really fun for me is that we’re working a season that has a really fresh look and feel. We’re playing with time in the season so we get to jump forward in the story. We come in on some pretty fun stuff. I’m really focusing a lot on the core character relationships in the show that have been long-lasting, as well as surfacing all kinds of all our series regulars.”
What’s interesting about the time jump is that there’s also a time jump after the All-Out War in the comics, which was largely necessitated in the source material by the need to age up Carl Grimes for a leadership role in the comics. Without Carl, fans weren’t as sure if the time jump would arrive, although it makes sense in the context of wanting to skip past the rebuilding stages of Alexandria and The Hilltop. That likely means that when The Walking Dead returns, Maggie, Jesus, and The Hilltop will already be poised to take on Rick and Alexandria in their brewing battle.
However, this is The Walking Dead universe, and as we’ve come to expect with Fear the Walking Dead, time jumps usually also mean jumping back and forth between the present and the past. I expect that the season may pick up with the impending showdown, but that the series will fill in the gaps with flashbacks.
It also means that — after Fear the Walking Dead jumped ahead into the same line as The Walking Dead — the parent show will jump ahead again, keeping the two timelines separate (and postponing what is likely an inevitable crossover between the two shows). What’s interesting, however, is that after Morgan’s departure from The Walking Dead was announced, Andrew Lincoln teased the possibility of a reunion between Rick and Morgan. That now seems unlikely.
Kang also suggested the women of The Walking Dead will be featured in some “really great stories” in season nine, and that includes Enid, Michonne, Maggie, and Carol. More compelling, however, is that Jadis — whose real name we now know is Anne — will get a new look this season, according to Kang. “I think we’re gonna see Anne in a way that people will be very surprised by, seeing a different aspect of her character.”
I think what viewers really want to know is when that helicopter is going to finally make a reappearance, and how it will involve Anne/Jadis. Perhaps instead of killing off Rick Grimes, that helicopter will simply transport him elsewhere.