The Walking Dead has kept audiences coming back hungry for six hit seasons on AMC and shows no signs of slowing down, but viewers have been even more eager for the show to return than usual after a shocking cliffhanger ending to season 6. The finale introduced a chilling new villain who summarily executed one of the main characters – but since the scene was shot from the perspective of the victim, the identity of the felled character has been kept a mystery.
Since then, fans have searched every new piece of promotional material for clues as to what might come next as the official premiere draws ever closer. Now, we know the title of the season’s second episode – and that it comes with an extended runtime.
While the news that season 7’s second episode would be titled “The Well” has been rumored online for several days, it has now been officially confirmed by an onscreen graphic via AMC. In addition, it has been revealed that the episode will be 76 minutes in length, making it roughly 10 minutes longer than the hotly-anticipated season premiere airing one week prior. A brief teaser-synopsis was also posted, which reads: “For a number of familiar faces, a new, well-established community seems too good to be true.”
That synopsis is pretty cryptic, even for The Walking Dead. “Familiar faces” could refer to just about anyone either from the series’ regular cast or returning characters who may not have been seen in awhile. Which “community” is in reference could also have multiple answers: The heroes are expected to still be dealing with The Sanctuary, the insular society controlled by Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s sadistic dictator Negan and his “Saviors,” but it’s also known that season 7 will see the introduction of the (relatively) less diabolical community known as The Kingdom and its ruler Ezekiel – a cunning leader protected by a pet tiger named Shiva.
Left unsaid is what, if anything, about the episode’s storyline required the extended running time. As The Walking Dead has progressed, experimental storytelling has become a part of its repertoire, so it’s conceivable that the episode may be structured in such a way that certain sequences may require extra “breathing room” in order to properly play out. At this point, Dead fans are fairly well hooked; so it’s unlikely that being asked to stick around an additional few minutes will be a major inconvenience to most tuning in (though fans should probably double-check their DVR settings just to be safe).