I've seen countless people saying that they think ASZ is right around the corner in season 5. But if you guys think about it, storywise, it would make a lot of sense for AMC to prolong the discovery of the safe zone until at least the sixth season.
One reason, and the most prominent, is that the group is spread out. Different storylines that are branching out can go a long way. It would be just like the style of Woodbury/The Prison cuts. Only, hopefully, every small group of characters will be equally interesting if it's done properly. Every cut away will still have you saying "Oh, I'm interested in seeing how these guys make it out of their situation as well." I think that the separated storyline can go for the rest of the season, if they wanted to. (Even though it's very likely that's not how it's going to go down.)
Another reason is the storyline of the Hunters. In the comics, they lasted one whole volume. Why? Well, Rick was pissed. Dale was dying, and they wanted revenge. But, what if AMC made the Hunters a much more sizable threat for the group than they were in the comics? What if they made the conflict last for a whole season? Some fans might think that it would get a little stale, and it might. It all depends on how they play it out. If they try to give some bullshit sappy backstory to the Hunters like they did with The Governor, it'll definitely get stale. As your old English teachers said, AMC, show us, don't tell us.
If they shrouded the Hunters in mystery as it was done in the comics, it would definitely not get boring. My only complaint with how Kirkman handled the Hunters was how Rick killed them off SO fast. The whole volume was titled "Fear The Hunters", yet they proved to be weak. Sure, they only killed smaller groups at first, and obviously never dealt with people like Rick before, but they survived for a year and a half on their own. I don't understand why they were so insignificant in Rick's ass than they could've been.
As I was saying, I think it would be smarter to extend the Hunters arc for longer than it took in the comics. From a story standpoint, if the Hunters were to break Rick more than they did in the comic series, then it would provide a nice internal conflict once Aaron (or whoever the ASZ recruiter may be) pops up. Rick had just been ruined by the Hunters. His numbers are down drastically, should he trust this shady character? But they're starving, and like I said, maybe the amount of survivors that they had lessened tremendously from the Hunters.
The final reason that I don't think we should hop into the Alexandria bandwagon too early is because the fans might get uninterested by the time we reach The Saviors in roughly season 6 or 7, Hell, we only spent one season in the prison and they were calling for its head in the season 3 finale. Imagine if we spend two or more seasons in Alexandria. Sure, it's a more interesting community, with more to see than just gray walls and cells. But hey, I can't see the future.
What do you guys think?