Tonight is The Walking Dead's season 7 midseason finale, capping off what has been for many viewers a painful season filled with little more than suffering for its characters. Beginning with a grueling premiere revealing the identity of Negan's victim, only to immediately follow it up with another gruesome death, season 7 has been nothing but bad for Rick and his fellow survivors.
And things don't look to be getting any better. Last week left off on a foreboding scene, with Negan unexpectedly arriving at Alexandria while Rick was away, discovering little baby Judith, and then ending on him gently cradling her while relaxing on Rick's front porch -- a bit of stomach-churning imagery if there ever was one. Could Negan actually harm a little baby? It isn't clear, and that's what makes the moment all the more terrifying.
According to Josh McDermitt, viewers have every reason to be concerned. In an interview with EW Morning Live, the Eugene actor described that moment as "the wolf is in the hen house," going on to explain:
"I think the phrase is ‘fox in the hen house,’ but Negan is very much a wolf. I would not call him a fox. The way the last episode ended, with him holding baby Judith, is pretty disgusting, and we’re gonna pick up shortly after that and see what goes down. You know, Rick right now is not in Alexandria. He’s off on a supply run or something with Aaron, so we’re gonna see more of that and what happens there. And hopefully, he can make it back to Alexandria in time to see Negan basically becoming the adoptive father to baby Judith and Carl. And everything is going to go down in Alexandria."
Having everything "go down in Alexandria" sure makes it sound like there will be a major confrontation between Negan and Rick. And if the lives of both his children are in jeopardy, that leaves Rick with only two options -- either comply with whatever new demand Negan has or fight. McDermitt goes on to say that the midseason finale will end "with a bang," and that seems to imply the latter.
But if all-out war breaks out on the streets of Alexandria between the Saviors and Rick's ragtag group, there will almost certainly be casualties. Let's just hope baby Judith isn't among them.
The Walking Dead midseason finale ‘Hearts Still Beating’ airs tonight at 9pm on AMC.