'The Walking Dead' Season 4 teases: Judith's fate and Daryl's dour outlook

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"The Walking Dead" is less than a week away from its Season 4 midseason return and there are plenty of unanswered questions still to be resolved. While some of the big ones remain mysteries, here are some new teases that should shed light on the upcoming eight episode arc.

Entertainment Weekly did a series of interviews with Norman Reedus, Danai Gurira and Andrew Lincoln that discuss where Season 4 picks up in episode 9, "After." Here are some spoilery teases from the interview:

Secondary characters will come to the forefront. "I think there's a different tone to the back eight, and I think you're going to see a lot of characters that you haven't seen under the microscope as much all have their chance to shine," Lincoln says. "Because they're apart from each other you realize that without each other their family is dying. It's almost like vignettes; it's like character studies in all of the characters. The underpinning of all of this is the great hope they can find each other again."

Daryl assumes the worst. "Whether [Beth and Daryl] stay together is yet to be seen. Everything is gone. Everyone is on the run," Reedus teases. "Everything has just come crashing to a halt. He assumes everyone is dead. He's got to start over. Everyone is in a really bad place right now."

Michonne will take Hershel's death very hard. "The loss is pretty extreme. So the question is, how does she metabolize this? How does she handle it?" Gurira teases.

Some of the characters who meet up will be fun pairings. "There are some very witty pairings is what I will say," Lincoln says. "Really, really witty."

These next eight episodes are Reedus' favorite. "I will say that the back eight are in my opinion are our best eight episodes yet. The storylines, the acting, and the directing, and the writing are top of our food chain," he teases. "I'm so excited for people to see these episodes. You get an understanding of why certain characters are who they are, why they fight for what they fight for, or why they don't fight. You really get an in-depth look at characters like you've never seen before."

With the group splintered, "The Walking Dead" has a whole new tone. "We're not functioning in an ensemble-like way anymore because the group is fractured," Gurira says. "What I love about that is that looking at it from a macro-perspective it is fantastic storytelling-wise because in the little research that I've done I learned that one of the key elements of war is displacement. People are caught up in the concern of where people are and what happened to them and not having any way of finding out. That's such a rich, authentic component of what really happens in a war zone. So I think that's really thrilling that's going to be rippling through the back eight."

Baby Judith isn't coming back. "She's gone," Lincoln confirms. "I think, as you've seen in the episode, she's gone. That's it. That's the feeling for Rick and Carl."

Daryl is going to get a "big episode." "There's a big Daryl episode coming up soon," Reedus says. "It was such a grueling, hard shoot, but it came out really well. There's a couple other episodes based around other characters who do some of the best work you've seen them do. I can't wait for people to see these back eight."

Rick is at his lowest point in episode 9. "In episode nine, you'll see a man who is frightened for the first time in a long, long time. He's frightened not for himself but for his son because he's weak," Lincoln explains. "He's very, very weak and that makes him belligerent and aggressively challenging towards his son because he's scared. So he's physically weak, spiritually he's lost, mentally he doesn't quite know where to begin because he's just seeing his home demolished. He's in the worst place he's been."

"The Walking Dead" returns with its final eight episodes of Season 4 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on AMC.

Photo/Video credit: AMC