X marks the spot? The second half of The Walking Dead season 9 promises to fill in the time jump gaps via flashbacks

The second half of The Walking Dead season 9 is almost here. Fresh off of Rick’s departure, plus a time jump that left many broken, scarred and, in Carol’s case, with a Geralt-style haircut, there’s plenty that needs explaining in the show’s next eight episodes. Thankfully, showrunner Angela Kang promises that flashbacks will play a pretty prominent role. Maybe we’ll get an answer to whatever the hell that X scar is supposed to be about?

“[Flashbacks] will be used, I will say, more than once,” reveals Kang in an interview with EW. Flashbacks, of course, have been a staple of television since, well, forever, but The Walking Dead rarely looks to the past. This time, though, with the six-year time jump, there’s ample reason for our characters to be looking back rather than forward.

“It’s a little different each time,” Kang teases of the The Walking Dead season 9 flashbacks. “It’s something that tells specific pieces of backstory that I think are useful to understanding who some of our characters are and why they’re at where they’re at.”

With a few big changes in the interim – Carol getting married and, yes, the scar that’s been seen on the backs of Michonne and Daryl – there’s clearly enough narrative fuel waiting to be burned. The X mark, especially, hints at a major moment that went down off-screen, and is intriguing enough for us to want answers sooner rather than later. It’s an interesting change of tack for the show, but one that could give it a new lease of life.

No longer are we stuck simply plodding along in the present. There have been events that have shattered long-term relationships and caused more than one physical scar; The Walking Dead season 9 might have made itself infinitely more interesting again by opting for the Lost route and using flashbacks to make the current-day cast far more fleshed out and three-dimensional.

So, we’ll probably get our fair share of The Walking Dead season 9 flashbacks, plus potentially a few answers we’re dying for on the way. Maybe Rick will return for a quick (past) hello?

Enough of the past. The future has The Walking Dead movies on the horizon to get plenty excited about.

Bradley Russell

I'm the Senior Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.