The mid-season finale of The Walking Dead Season 7 promised a big confrontation to come, as Rick, Daryl and the rest of the group were finally reunited and seemed to come to a new resolution to no longer bow to Negan and his murderous band of Saviors. It was understandable that Rick would react this way after finding out what went down between Negan, Carl and Judith right before Negan unleashed more carnage on the people of Alexandria, while kidnapping bullet-maker Eugene.
The question isn’t whether Rick and the core group have the nerve to take on Negan and the Saviors, because we know they do; it’s whether they have the firepower and maybe more importantly, the manpower needed to pose a serious threat to Negan’s crew. It looks like Season 7.5 will at least partially revolve around Rick’s efforts to recruit more people to his cause, as indicated by at least one new teaser image from the show.
In the still shared by Entertainment Weekly, we see Rick encountering some new survivors in a previously-unseen junkyard setting. One character in particular, the woman whose back is to the camera in the shot (see below), is going to be pretty important – at least according to Walking Dead showrunner Scott M. Gimple:
“I’m just going to say that Rick is going to meet this person and/or persons pretty quickly… The answers are just around the heap. I cannot wait for people to meet this character and to see this actor. There is some formidable fun coming up.”
Whether this new character and her apparent junkyard group will join Rick and the Alexandrians in their coming battle against the Saviors is anyone’s guess. If the Saviors are going to go down, Rick will have to get The Kingdom and The Hilltop onboard at least, and maybe also try to recruit the mysterious group of women that Tara escaped from – and promised not to talk about – during her solo episode.
All we know for sure is that Alexandria is nowhere near being safe after being briefly infiltrated by Negan, who took a real shine to the place, and (most disturbingly to Rick) Carl and Judith. It was already pretty personal for Rick after Negan slaughtered Abraham and Glenn and then made Rick kneel down to him, but now it’s gotten as personal as it possibly can, with Rick’s son and adopted daughter being menaced by the Big Baddie.
Whatever does go down between Rick and his allies and Negan, you can bet it will be violent and that it will carry over well into Season 8. No way do Scott Gimple and company want to resolve this particular situation, and knock Negan off his throne, during Season 7. When you have a villain as juicy as Negan, you want to keep him around as long as possible, if only to make his demise that much more satisfying.
The Walking Dead Season 7 is set to resume February 12th, 2017 on AMC.