[SPOILERS for those not caught up on The Walking Dead ahead.]

The Walking Dead continues to hold back in its quest for hope, redemption, or anything besides the undying despair surrounding the rule of Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) over the season 7 narrative. Despite suggesting a different tone for the second half of the season, the last two episodes, “Service” and Sunday night’s “Go Getters”, didn’t take any significant steps away from the bleakness that has festered since the season premiere. There were, however, some tentative steps in a somewhat positive direction.

The episode gave viewers a break from Negan and his relentlessly tyrannical behavior as he imposes his will upon those at Alexandria. Negan dominated the previous two episodes, “The Cell” and “Service”, making a breather from his ruthless bombast necessary. But a preview clip for next Sunday’s episode, “Swear”, suggests that Negan will round his troops back up and continue their oppressive reign over other survivors in the coming weeks.

Acting as a teaser for both “Swear” and “the weeks ahead” for the remainder of first half of season 7, the clip debuted online via the We Got This Covered YouTube page. “We survive … We bring civilization back to this world … We are The Saviors,” Negan declares to a warehouse full of his followers, while a dejected, imprisoned Daryl (Norman Reedus) presumably looks on. Another clip teases the return of Heath (Corey Hawkins) and Tara (Alanna Masterson), who appear conflicted as they prepare to embark on a potentially deadly mission for supplies.

Andrew Lincoln As Rick Grimes In The Walking Dead The Walking Dead Season 7 Preview: Swear


The preview clip also suggests that Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) eventually snaps out of his recent submissive state induced by Negan’s slow-burning psychological torture. He’s shown in a few brief shots with Aaron (Ross Marquand) as they enter an area blocked by a sign that reads, “Keep going. Only thing here 4 you is trouble.” Rick also appears to project a big sense of urgency: “We have today, and only today, to find something.”

For a season marked by extreme violence against the main group and a pervasive sense of despair for as long as Negan remains in charge, even a brief glimpse of Rick springing to action for any reason has to be a refreshing sight for viewers who have remained patient through season 7’s inescapable dread. Heath appears to have internal conflicts of his own as the overriding need for survival and self-preservation consumes him, but it appears that he and Tara will ultimately face their fears.

The Walking Dead did not mislead the audience for very long when it came to the question of whether Maggie (Lauren Cohan) was really dead, as “Go Getters” found her (and her baby) alive and well. But clearly, Negan did not believe Rick’s story of Maggie’s supposed death, as an army of Saviors showed up at the Hilltop looking for her. Carl’s storyline also took a step forward as the show covered his budding relationship with Enid. While it remains to be seen how and when Rick will finally take action against Negan and The Saviors, or if anyone else from the main group will survive Negan’s penchant for murderous brutality, The Walking Dead appears to be laying the groundwork for a more intense, chaotic end to the first half of season 7.

The Walking Dead continues next Sunday with “Swear” @9pm on AMC.

Source: We Got This Covered