(Spoilers ahead for the Nov. 4 episode of “The Walking Dead” on AMC)
It was an eventful episode of “The Walking Dead” this week, what with it being Andrew Lincoln’s supposed final episode and the big time skip at the end. But accompanying that time skip was another major development: the introduction of a new group of survivors.
We see this group tangling with a bunch of zombies before eventually being saved by a somewhat older Judith — still a child, but old enough to be good with a revolver. And old enough that we know a significant amount of time has passed since Rick was flown away on that helicopter with Jadis. This is a small but meaningful departure from the comics, in which Jesus is the one who saves them and introduces them to the greater communities in Virginia instead of Judith.
This new group of survivors are led by a woman named Magna (Nadia Hilker). Though it’s entirely possible the show will take them in a different direction from the comics, in the source material these folks are not villainous or anything — they’re just another group of good guys who integrate with Alexandria and become important members of the major protagonist group.
And they’re probably gonna be around for a while, as Magna is still alive in the comics as of the most recent issues. And with Rick and Carl out of the picture for the imminent conflict with the Whisperers, “The Walking Dead” will probably use them to fill in some big story beats.
The members of Magna’s group are Luke (Dan Fogler), Kelly (Angel Theory), Connie (Lauren Ridloff), and Yumiko (Eleanor Matsuura), who Magna eventually starts a relationship with in the comics.
It’s likely we’ll start to get a picture of how prominent they’ll be in this already pretty large ensemble in the coming weeks — there’s still three episodes before the midseason hiatus, and we expect the Whisperer War won’t really kick off until the mid-season finale or in the second half of the season.
Especially since we’ve got a lot of catching up to do on what’s happened in the years since Rick disappeared with Jadis. Speaking of which, AMC announced after the episode that Rick’s story will continue, just not on the show. He’ll be the subject of a series of films that will show what happens once that helicopter lands wherever it’s going. We’ve got a lot of thoughts about that, which you can read here.