The Walking Dead lurched back onto our screens last night with a ninety-minute season premiere. Picking up where last season left off, producer Robert Kirkman and Gale Anne Hurd say they are working to hard to make sure that viewers are engaged by the second season and that they give the audience some answers to the show’s long-term questions and story arcs.
Kirkman tells the Hollywood Reporter that the show will delve into what Jenner whispered to Rick in the waning moments of season one. Kirkman won’t say whether that will be in the first episode of the season or the last, but that he promises the audience’s investment and interest will be rewarded.
“We’ll definitely tell you what that is and resolve that while you’re still wanting to know about it,” Kirkman says, adding that the issue will be resolved by season’s end.
However, if you’re looking for answers on how the zombie apocalypse occurred, Kirkman says there won’t be specific ones coming any time soon. He says there will be hints about it, but they won’t answer the big question in any detail in the near future. Kirkman says the series is more about the survivors and the new world they face than how that world came to be.
With the emphasis on characters, Kirkman says the season will delve into more of the backstory of the survivors.
“We’re going to learn a lot about Rick and Lori’s relationship from the past,” Kirkman teases. “Given the things that went on with Shane, we’ll be defining their relationships a lot more clearly moving forward.”
And he says the love triangle between Shane, Lori and Rick will continue to have a major impact on things moving forward.
What the end of the world has done is boiled things down to, ‘Are we good for each other? Do we love each other?’ ” he says. While Kirkman notes that taking a step back from the “nonsense of everyday civilized life” has been good for the couple, their revitalized relationship is going to make life increasingly harder for Shane.
“One of the big sources of dramatic tension in the piece is obviously the love triangle,” Hurd says. “Lori feels tremendous guilt and Shane is struggling with his love for her and Carl and how he fits in — does he fit in, is there a place for him in this community?”
“Everyone is seeking two things: first, a safe harbor, a sanctuary,” Hurd says. “Second, a feeling that they belong to something.”
“Shane is kind of being tortured by being around Rick and Lori, having had that relationship [with Lori] so of course he would be tempted to just kick himself out of the equation and go out on his own,” Kirkman says. “We see very early on in the second season that things aren’t necessarily easy and that the idea of going off on your own may hold less appeal than sticking it out and struggling with these people.”
The first half of season two of The Walking Dead airs Sunday nights on AMC.