We left the group with Rick (Andrew Lincoln) realizing that caving to the demands of Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) isn’t going to cut it. Clearly, Negan will do as he pleases, and find a warped and psychopathic way to justify it. He killed Spencer (Austin Nichols) to help Rick since Spencer was lobbying to take over. Aaron (Ross Marquand) was beaten up because his attackers felt like it. And Olivia (Ann Mahoney), well, she was just collateral damage. But they did Rick a favor since she was obviously significantly cutting into the food supply. It took these events and a pep talk from Michonne (Danai Gurira) to finally convince Rick that enough was enough.
In the 35-second trailer, Rick has seen the light. The close-ups of teary eyes filled with fear have been replaced with his signature angry, show-no-mercy squint. He and his core group meet up to discuss the next steps, and Rick approaches the Hilltop and the Kingdom to try and convince them to join the Alexandrians in the crusade. “We all have something in common,” he says. “We all serve the Saviors.” He has a likely supporter in Kingdom soldier Richard (Karl Makinen), who expressed his desire to take down the Saviors in the last episode.
Taking down a rival group is a common theme in each season of The Walking Dead. We’ve seen it with the Governor (David Morrisey) and Woodbury, with Dawn and the Memorial Hospital, the Wolves, and Terminus, and so on. But until now, the group has been equipped to take on the challenge themselves. This is the first time Rick must look for outside support, staging a coup of sorts, teaming up with several other groups to take down a behemoth of a bully.
Will they emerge victorious? That’s what we’re betting on, but the journey to get there will undoubtedly be a riveting, action-packed one that will see some inevitable and brutal sacrifices.
The back half of Walking Dead’s seventh season will premiere on Sunday, February 12, 2017 on AMC.
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