There are very good questions about what's going to happen in Season 9 of The Walking Dead, such as: Is Maggie (Lauren Cohan) going to break bad? What's the deal with that helicopter? And so on. The following questions are not in the same category. These questions are of zero consequence -- borderline absurd musings that might've occurred as one's mind went wandering during Season 8's brutal slog of a war, but necessary nonetheless. You've been warned.
Isn't Negan hot in that jacket?
Judging by the distinct orchestra of insect noises, occasionally hazy sun and the sight of people wearing light outerwear, it was probably the season of spring in Season 8. The Mid-Atlantic can get awfully muggy that time of year, which is why Negan's (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) refusal to take off that black leather moto jacket seemed so lamentable. God, that jacket must reek. That jacket has marinated Negan in his own armpit juices, and got so much walker innards spilled on it, it could probably stand up on its own. (Could that jacket be the very thing that made him snap in the first place? Just a thought.) Now that he's going to prison, will someone put that disgusting thing out to pasture?
Will the children of The Walking Dead finally go to school?
Oh, the poor children trapped in this hellscape! They've been deprived of so much in their miserable childhoods, from pizza and video games to little league and homework. While it's true that they've gained very valuable skills, like how to best use walker guts, they're at a big disadvantage if the world ever does right itself. They won't be very good at counting change, or measuring IKEA furniture. But Rick's (Andrew Lincoln) focus on a peaceful future and Georgie's (Jayne Atkinson) promise of a place where people consult books to rebuild society suggests a possible Age of Enlightenment, so maybe, just maybe, Rick's daughter Judith (Anniston Price) and that little killer Henry (Macsen Lintz) could get enrolled in Kingdom Academy or something -- where budding minds like theirs could learn reading, writing and walker wrestling in addition to ethics and medicine. Wouldn't Michonne (Danai Gurira) dropping off her carpool cargo be so adorable?
What novelty walker will they come up with next?
All walkers look pretty gnarly, but over the seasons, there's always one especially eye-popping walker that really strives to take home the crown at the pageant. In Season 8, Jadis' (Pollyanna McIntosh) inexplicable Trolley Walker sent all other contestants in the Best Walker competition packing, but in the past, standouts have been decaying in moss, burnt to a lovely chargrilled crisp or adorned with spikes. At least one walker in Season 9 will make all the other walkers jealous with an envious look; perhaps a zombie drag queen? (Or is that just something I remember from RuPaul's Drag Race?) Maybe there'll be a goth, or a walker member of Congress. Possibilities are endless, although they can't do fashion model -- that's already been done.
Is Carol finally going to get some peace and quiet?
Before all this mess started, Carol (Melissa McBride) was just fine in her little hideaway, refusing all visitors with the dogged determination of a Kardashian about to give birth. With war over, is she going to have her Calgon moment, without people knocking at her door?
Might Eugene finally lop off that mullet, to show he's a good guy now?
Probably not going to happen, since (Josh McDermitt) once told TV Guide he'd fight hard to keep Eugene's trademark tresses. But the good guy in wolf's clothing definitely needs to atone somehow. He may have saved a bunch of people with his artisanal bullets, but he spent way too much time being Negan's right hand for everyone to welcome him back into the fold without consequence. Will Tara (Alanna Masterson) and Rosita (Christian Serratos) make him their bitch for a while? That seems likely.
Georgie: Jazz, or EDM?
Georgie's seersucker suit and pearl studs indicate she's a classy, refined kind of gal who's real picky about her music. She says as much, when she barters with Maggie for phonograph records (by the way, who knew Maggie was a part-time DJ?). So while it's clear Georgie is a savvy negotiator with a fancy streak, what kind of music might Georgie be into is not. She explicitly said she doesn't care for spoken word so, no Gil Scott Heron or Lil Wayne for her. That leaves classical, jazz and maybe that uptempo, atmospheric electronica they play in trendy hotel lobbies as possible faves. Could she be seen officiating to Philip Glass's soaring scores? Creating master plans to Ravi Shankar's beautiful sitar stylings? We're dying to know.
Will there be food? Please say there will be food
Any given episode of The Walking Dead can prompt immense gratitude in having even the most questionable leftovers or freezer-burned Hot Pocket in one's crib; watching those people forage for days to find a can of beans or whatever hurts. Georgie's book of knowledge may bring some relief. It explains how to create aqueducts and refine grains, which very well could mean TWD's people are just one step closer to enjoying quesadillas and birthday cake.
Is Michonne going to find a new man?
Michonne is a 10 in The Walking Dead world; she's gorgeous, self-sufficient and appreciates being wined and dined, but won't flinch if the main course is a can of beans. And then there's Rick. He's damaged goods. She's saved his butt way more than the other way around. If Michonne had a group of girlfriends on this show, this is the point where they'd be like, "Girl, you need you a man that's going to take care of YOU for a change," and those girls would be right. A whole new civilization is opening up; surely there's some kind of OKCupid equivalent in this bustling new metropolis where she could at least see what's out there. In the comics, she gets with Ezekiel (Khary Payton). That seems a bit on the nose for the show, but it would be nice to see her at least go on a date with someone, if only to make Rick understand that if he likes it he better put a ring on it.
Isn't it time for a party?
The Walking Dead promises to be entirely new when it returns; people have put down their arms (for now), a relative peace has settled on the land, and there's hope for the future. For goodness sake, doesn't anyone want to maybe have a few beers and just chill out for a minute? DJ Maggie has some phonograph records she can throw on; Eugene can make a batch of hooch; Daryl can set up some carnival shooting games or prep some squirrel kabobs for apps. Something. These first years of The Walking Dead have been consistently bleak and brutal: it would most certainly not kill any of them to hoist up a piñata, or do a White Elephant gift exchange to celebrate a new era. Don't these people have birthdays?
The (new!) Walking Dead returns for Season 9 this fall.