Despite the insanity that preceded this Sunday’s Mid-Season Premiere, the best Season 6 episodes might still be upon us. At least according to star Andrew Lincoln, who claims the rest of the season will be the most “shocking” and “brilliant” yet. He recently spoke with Entertainment Weekly’s Dalton Ross to reveal why he’s excited for the upcoming episodes:

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How would you describe the arc or tone of what we’re going to see in the back half of season 6?

ANDREW LINCOLN: We do realize very quickly in the returning episode that it’s almost like the end of a chapter. Something happens. Rick learns a lot about himself in this episode. What I will say is that the pace quickens a lot in the back eight. It jumps up a gear, maybe two gears, and we move very, very quickly. A lot of things happen in quick succession that propel us towards a very thrilling finale.

I will say that five of my favorite episodes in a long time — and very different episodes — are in this back eight. I loved shooting this back eight, from the moment we started with episode 9, which felt like a season premiere. The scale of it is astonishing. And [director] Greg Nicotero and our brilliant crew put their bodies and everything on the line to get it shot. It was all night. It’s absolute mayhem. I think it’s going to scare some people.


EW: What is this zombie siege going to ultimately do for the survivors? Will this still be a town divided or will those who survive band together?

Lincoln: That question is very quickly answered in the returning episode. [Showrunner Scott M. Gimple] and the writers have done a very smart thing in that they’ve thrown a lot of propositions and questions and challenges to Rick and the family and the community, and you will quickly realize they are answered in a very shocking, brilliant, terrifying, epic way. All I will say is this is our Magnificent Seven, this episode.


EW: Robert Kirkman told EW that the plan is not to leave Alexandria like they left the prison when that got overrun—that whomever survives this zombie siege is still going to try to make this place work. Why is Alexandria worth saving?

Lincoln: Because it is a functioning community and it was functioning perfectly well until we showed up, which is generally the way. It’s secure. We have the capability of growing things. And we don’t have any other options. There is that. But also, there are substantial houses that work. We have solar panels and electricity and there are certain things that are the beginnings of a civilization, so it would be strange for us to look for somewhere else because I’m not sure if there would be anything as contained and secure and environmentally sound.


Catch the rest of the story over at Entertainment Weekly!