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The Walking Dead

AMC

If you're looking for help to get yourself ready for Sunday's midseason premiere of The Walking Dead, we have some bad news for you: There is simply no preparing for the return to Alexandria.

When we last saw Rick Grimes and Co., everything had gone to hell in their once-safe haven. The walkers were within the walls, the living were impossibly outnumbered, and a plan to escape seemed doomed thanks to one of Jessie's annoying kids. Long story short: It didn't look good. And if you think things will get better in the return episode, well, you've been watching the wrong show.

Josh McDermitt, Alanna Masterson, Christian Serratos, The Walking Dead

AMC

But don't just take our word for it. Allow producer Tom Luse to explain. "I think that even if you prepare yourself for it, you're making a mistake," he told E! News during a chat with stars Josh McDermitt, Christian Serratos, and Alanna Masterson at the Savannah College of Art and Design's aTVfest television festival in Atlanta. "It's such a wild experience that you just have to experience. It's something you cannot prepare yourself for. It's one of our most intense episodes. I think there's a tremendous arc in the episode that I think will surprise people."

The episode isn't just an intense viewing experience. It also turned out to be one of the more physically draining filming experiences the cast has had, McDermitt revealed. "Usually with the show, every episode there's two or three of the actors are physically exhausted from something that they had to do while they were shooting," he said. "This episode, I feel like everyone was exhausted...The sun was coming up and we were still shooting these fight scenes. We didn't even finish it that day, we had to come back and do more." Trust us when we say that when you see the fight scenes in question, you will understand the exhaustion. You might even feel some it yourself.

If you're still finding yourself in need of something to get you ready to watch, Masterson has just one word: "Alcohol." (For those of legal age, of course.)

The Walking Dead returns Sunday, Feb. 14 at 9 p.m. on AMC.

- Reporting by Tierney Bricker