[WARNING: The following story contains spoilers from Sunday's Season 5 finale of The Walking Dead. Read at your own risk.]
Although Rick Grimes seemed to take control in Alexandria on The Walking Dead's Season 5 finale, the battle with his new neighbors is far from over.
During a town meeting to discuss what to do about Rick (Andrew Lincoln) in the wake of his street brawl with Pete (Corey Brill), Rick decided to let his actions do the talking. He showed up — covered in zombie blood — with the corpse of a walker that had made it inside Alexandria's gate. After making his point about how much Alexandria needs Rick to survive, Pete stormed the meeting looking for revenge and accidentally slit Deanna's husband's throat, forcing Deanna (Tovah Fedlshuh) to allow Rick to carry out his brutal justice and kill Pete.
But even though it seems Rick's point of view won the day, executive producer Gale Anne Hurd isn't convinced that Rick has won everyone over. "Everything hasn't quite been hashed out yet," Hurd tells TVGuide.com. "There will always be a debate. There will always be people who want to bury their head in the sand [and say], 'We've been safe, we're going to continue to be safe. One walker entering the safe zone? We can deal with that.' But there are other threats out there that probably have them in their sights."
Indeed, the finale finally introduced a couple members of The Wolves, a twisted group of humans who use walkers to set elaborate traps for other survivors — and who now have photos of Alexandria. "There have always been sociopaths and I think in this new world, sociopaths have free rein. Whatever twisted fantasies they have, they can live them out," Hurd says of the way The Wolves seemingly make a sport of surviving the apocalypse. "But at the same time, the first thing they do is take people's stuff, as we saw when they came across Morgan [Lennie James]. So, they're always going to be very practical about that, but incredibly twisted in how they achieved their ends."
However, The Wolves aren't the only threat the group is facing. As executive producer Scott M. Gimple teased in a message on Talking Dead, the group will have to face more non-human threats than in recent seasons. "It goes back to a numbers game really," Hurd says. "If you think about it, the human population is not growing, but the walker population is. We've seen various herds that they've encountered at various points, so we know that they're out there and we began to see the trap that The Wolves set. We've seen again that you cannot underestimate the threat that a herd of walkers has, especially if you're caught up in a trap like that."
So, um, why wouldn't the people of Alexandria want Rick defending them? "He hasn't done himself a great deal of favors," Hurd says. "The big fight he had with Pete, he was waving a gun around. That image when he comes in covered in walker blood to the meeting — sometimes it's hard for people to listen to your message if your presentation is somewhat suspect."
While we wait for the next season to figure out Rick's next move, viewers can look forward to the upcoming spin-off, Fear the Walking Dead, which premieres later this summer. "It's completely different characters and it takes place at the very beginning of the walker apocalypse," Hurd teases. "We began The Walking Dead a month into it and experienced it through Rick's eyes. Now, we'll experience it through the eyes of everyday people who are, at the time that we find them, leading everyday lives. As people do with The Walking Dead, they will have characters with whom they identify. And they'll see the level of disbelief, see how our society and our various government branches deal with this through the eyes of ordinary people."
What did you think of The Walking Dead finale?