February 08, 2013 11:19am PT by Lesley Goldberg
'Walking Dead' First Look: Where's Daryl? (Exclusive Photos)
It's Daryl vs. Merle in a fight to the death when AMC's The Walking Dead returns Sunday.
When the zombie drama returns from its winter hiatus, no time will have passed and the action will pick up with the Dixon brothers facing off in the Governor's (David Morrissey) arena after Rick and company attacked Woodbury.
Who will come out on top -- or if one or both of the brothers could survive once the walkers join the fight -- is unclear, but one thing is certain: Carol (Melissa McBride) certainly doesn't appear to be happy when Rick returns to the prison.
In three photos exclusive to The Hollywood Reporter from Sunday's "The Suicide King" episode, Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and the group return to the compound after their attack on Woodbury -- and there's no sign of Daryl or even Glenn -- as Maggie drives the car back inside the protective gates. Meanwhile, Carl (Chander Riggs) appears to have an intense question for his father as both are still adjusting to life without Lori.
"Merle (Michael Rooker) and Daryl (Norman Reedus), if you remember, are survivalists," outgoing showrunner Glen Mazzara told The Hollywood Reporter this week. "They can handle it out on their own. The question is: Does Daryl want to leave his new family behind? Does he want to fall back into that same pattern he had his whole life of being Merle's little brother and taking orders from him and letting him bully him? Also, if Daryl chooses not to put up with that, how does that force Merle to change? If their dynamics aren't the same as they've always been, what kind of personal growth is Merle going to see?"
Check out the exclusive photos, above and below, and hit the comments with your thoughts. The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on AMC.