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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

GamesRadar+'s Entertainment Writer. Lover of all things Nintendo, in a tortured love/hate relationship with Crystal Palace, and also possesses an unhealthy knowledge of The Simpsons (which is of no use at parties).