To cleanse the palate, a sneak preview of the coming season. Actually, is the gang all here? Where are Carol and Maggie? I did see Glenn but it looks as though he’s a half-second from decapitation, a death that’s been hinted about and that would help the show shed some dead weight. But alas, it seems it’s not to be. I think he may end up as TWD’s Jesse Pinkman, the relatable character who’s destined to hang on until the bitter end even though the show would have profited from dumping him a bit earlier.

One thing I like here is the big-budget stuff. A show as successful as this one has no excuse not to stage more ambitious action scenes. More explosions, more urban warfare, more chaos with lots of extras roaming about while the machine guns pop — that’s the makings of a good payoff. (If they ever manage a sequence half as creepy/thrilling as the SWAT raid on the Philly project at the beginning of “Dawn of the Dead,” I’ll consider the dozens of hours I’ve invested in this show to have been worth it.) One thing I didn’t like is how many spoilers there are. A friend e-mailed me on Friday night complaining about that too. When last we saw them, the gang was trapped in a train car at Terminus, surrounded by guards. Looks from this like they (a) somehow blow the train door open, (b) get captured and sentenced to execution by beheading, (c) manage to talk the leader of Terminus into sparing them at the last minute and joining their mission to get to D.C. to find a cure to the zombie plague, and then (d) set off together towards Washington for yet another multi-episode arc of walking in the woods, hacking at the occasional zombie, and lots and lots and lots of talking. Right? Why do I even need to watch the series opener at this point?

Exit question: What is that blurry image that Rick sees at 17 seconds in? I assume fans of the comics know, but I don’t.