What can fans expect when The Walking Dead returns for season 7.5 on AMC? A lot of Rick and the gang rising up against Negan, and no toning down of violence. The last images of the midseason finale showed the group reuniting and marching resolutely into a very uncertain future, a future that will at some point have to include a showdown with the Saviors.
The group will likely have to recruit new allies if they're going to fight Negan, and recent teaser images indicated Rick will indeed make contact with some new players. One cast member is promising that when the action resumes it will be "riveting," and says her own character has no intention of pulling a Rick and submitting to the authority of Negan.
While talking to EW Danai Gurira, who plays Michonne on the zombie series, teased season 7.5 with a discussion of the upcoming storyline:
It’s really, really riveting, and it goes through various rich chapters of being responsive to a very daunting force, that new force that is a part of our new normal. It’s the idea of how they start choosing to respond to this threat that makes for some really fantastic drama. So I think there’s just a really riveting second half to the season in terms of we’re rising up, but what does that look like? And how the heck are we going to do that? It’s great to be a team again, but we’re dealing with the biggest threat we’ve ever dealt with, and so our tactics have to be different.
Michonne herself will continue to fight as always, fueled by a combination of anger and love:
Really, all that she does now is about who she loves and it’s about this community. So, even that rage and that desire to get back at Negan was all rooted in the love for these people, and the horrific losses that they just experienced, and how it’s just not in her nature to just take that and say, “Okay, I’ll now submit to you because you’ve got us really good.” No. No. That’s not who she is.
Gurira doesn't give away much in her remarks, but possibly the most interesting comment is about how the group's tactics have to be different. It sounds like we can expect Rick and company to employ some new, possibly tricky approaches to dealing with the threat of Negan. Considering that Negan took all the group's weapons away, a full-frontal assault doesn't seem like much of a possibility. Perhaps there could be some kind of infiltration, or maybe Rick could use Negan's affection for Carl and Judith against him?
Michonne herself will have to be a big part of whatever plan Rick hatches to deal with Negan. She's clearly one of the best fighters, and like Rick herself, she has plenty of horrific images burned into her brain, giving her all the motivation she needs to keep slicing away. Michonne has reason to be protective of Carl, since he's basically her adopted son at this point, and she's not going to be happy about the way Negan wormed his way into Carl's life.
Everything we've heard and seen so far about the remainder of The Walking Dead season 7 promises confrontation. But naturally there will have to be some build-up before that final battle takes place. Hopefully the storyline will be as riveting as Gurira is promising.
The Walking Dead season 7 continues on February 12, 2017 on AMC.