Frank Ockenfels 3/AMC
October 12, 2014 01:00 PM

Trying to write a spoiler-free review of The Walking Dead is like trying to put toothpaste back in a tube – in other words, it’s nearly impossible. But I’ll do my best.

It has been six months since the Season 4 finale of the zombie-apocalypse drama, which means there have been almost 200 days for fans to come up with just as many theories of what will happen in Season 5.

So, without giving anything away, all I’ll say is: At least one theory was correct!

But while fans spent the summer fervently speculating what awaits their favorite survivors at Terminus (a supposed utopia that the group spent much of last season attempting to reach), the real questions the show’s writers remain eager to address are, “Who are these survivors?” and, more importantly, “Who are they willing to become?”

Season 5 begins moments after the previous season – a first for the AMC hit – with most of our (sometimes villainous) heroes locked away in a train car. A similar situation may have immediately defeated the group were they still the same people they were when Rick (Andrew Lincoln) first woke up from his coma in Season 1. But they are no longer those people.

The group, particularly beaten-wife-turned-zombie-killing-machine Carol (the underrated Melissa McBride), has seen and done too much to have any realistic expectations of normalcy. Still, what continues to make them so watchable is how they cling to the bits of humanity that remain within them.

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“That’s who we still are,” one character says to another in Sunday’s premiere episode. “It’s got to be.”

The Walking Dead returns Sunday at 9 p.m. ET on AMC.

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