[SPOILERS for those not caught up on The Walking Dead ahead.]
Ever since Negan took Lucille to the heads of Glenn and Abraham, dispatching two of the The Walking Dead's most popular characters in cold, quippy fashion, war between The Group and The Saviors has seemed like a foregone conclusion. That inevitable conflict has been a long time in materializing, as Rick has gone through the twin processes of recovering his manhood (with a lot of help from Michonne) and building a coalition of allies strong and well-armed enough to have a legitimate shot against Negan's army.
Now with Season 7 entering the home stretch, that drawn-out process of preparation is finally beginning to ramp up to something exciting. Rick has joined forces with the Junkyard Gang, Tara seems on the verge of spilling the beans about Oceanside and all their stuff, Ezekiel and the Kingdom are ready to jump into the fray with Carol and Morgan on their side - and Sasha and Rosita have headed off to put their own misbegotten kill-Negan plot in motion.
In a pair of preview clips for upcoming episodes of The Walking Dead (via AMC), we see a little more of how things will come together as the show winds up Season 7. The above "only two epsiodes left" teaser shows The Group on the march via highway and through the woods, looking resolute. A shot of Michonne taking up a sniper position in a tree is followed by an explosion at Oceanside (so I guess we know Tara spilled the beans). As if we needed a reminder of what this is all about, Negan shows up for the requisite appearance.
Perhaps the most chilling image in the teaser shows someone - we presume Gregory - appearing ready to do something bad to Maggie with a knife while she is busy planting (Maggie has been on a real creating-life kick lately). An extended look at the action between Gregory and Maggie expands upon the growing tension between the two characters and indicates that Gregory has reached a point, where he's done waiting for Maggie to leave The Hilltop on her own.
The question as always with The Walking Dead is "who will live and who will die?" Maggie appears to be in some serious trouble despite her efforts to stay out of the fray - which just goes to show, there's no such thing as a truly safe place in The Walking Dead. Negan may be the baddest man in the zombie apocalypse, but don't underestimate a guy like Gregory, who doesn't act nearly as menacing but is equally capable of going to murderous lengths to protect his turf.
The most obvious candidate to be bumped off in one of the final two episodes is Sasha, who along with Rosita appears willing to lay down her life to rid the world of Negan. Though things seem to be developing in an inevitable and arguably predictable direction on The Walking Dead, don't rule out the possibility of a major twist or surprise. What we won't be seeing is another cliffhanger ending like the one that proved so controversial, back at the end of Season 6.
The Walking Dead continues next Sunday with ‘Something They Need’ @9pm on AMC.