[SPOILERS for those not caught up on The Walking Dead ahead.]
Previously on AMC's The Walking Dead, Rick and Michonne made the most of an intimate scavenging trip and Rosita continued down her path of self-destructive moping, as she too headed out on a hunting venture. A few weeks back, the Alexandrians made a deal with the Junkyard group to attack the Saviors, but Rick's new pals wanted an offering of guns as a sweetener. This week's episode - 'Say Yes' - saw the protagonists looking to make good on their promise and attempt to find the small arsenal they needed.
One character who didn't appear this week was Carol, who has been largely a peripheral figure in season seven of The Walking Dead, hiding out on the outskirts of Ezekiel's Kingdom attempting to live a quiet and solitary life where she no longer has to kill others in order to survive. Carol's moral U-turn meant that Daryl lied to her about the deaths of Glenn, Abraham and the rest, knowing that the housewife turned one-woman killing machine would seek revenge if she knew the truth and that the resulting battle would further damage Carol's mental state.
However, in a promo for next week's offering - 'Bury Me Here' - it appears as if that could all be about to change. The teaser shows Carol apparently breaking her self-imposed exile and heading towards the main Kingdom community. The trailer also finds her questioning Morgan, asking him "Is everyone okay?" Additionally, the already-strained relationship between the Kingdom and the Saviors will seemingly worsen next week, resulting in another tense drop off between the two groups.
The fact that Carol is questioning Morgan shows her to be at least a little suspicious of Daryl's story and reaffirms her previous statement that if Negan had hurt any of her friends, she wouldn't hesitate to join the battle. Morgan has been known to tell the odd white lie in order to protect Carol - but given that one of the Saviors has now stolen his beloved staff, might he perhaps be tempted to tell her the truth and unleash the wrath of Carol Peletier upon the unsuspecting Saviors?
The reception to The Walking Dead's seventh season has been somewhat mixed and part of the reason for that may well be the more subdued role Carol has played. When the character turned full badass during the group's time living in a prison complex, most fans responded well and this was furthered when Carol more or less single-handedly took down the Terminus group further down the line. By benching Carol, the show has been deprived of one of its most interesting characters and for some, the sudden moral dilemma she's suffering from makes little sense given her previous callousness.
With that said, some may argue that Carol's current pacifist stance is setting her up for a big return later this season. It seems inevitable that the character will find out the truth about Negan killing her friends - perhaps as soon as next week - and once she knows, there will be no holding her back. And it's Carol's extended time away from the action that will make this moment all the more powerful and significant when it finally does happen - reaffirming her status as the show's number one warrior.
The Walking Dead continues with 'Bury Me Here' March 12th on AMC.