The best defense is a good offense. That's a lesson Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) is taking to heart on The Walking Dead when the second half of the seventh season begins. It won't be easy to fight Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and the Saviors; any time Negan senses any rebellion at all, he kills. Brutally. Alexandria has already lost four people to Negan's brand of justice. Not to mention the abductions of both Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Eugene (Josh McDermitt), the severe beating of Aaron (Ross Marquand), and the psychological torture suffered by Carl (Chandler Riggs).
But the mid-season finale showed that Rick is no longer going to be afraid to fight back. He's going to need help to fight the Saviors, their numbers are huge. He's going to need Hilltop and The Kingdom to rise up with him. And possibly more. As the fight moves forward, they can never forget about the other threats around them. The hordes of Walkers. And other possible human threats, such as the person who followed Rick and Aaron back to Alexandria. It's going to be a massive effort.
When The Walking Dead returns on Sunday with ‘The Rock in the Road’, it looks like their first obstacle will be a fairly literal one, as shown in the clip above. While driving, Rick and company come across an actual road block. Not a rock like the title indicates, but lines of cars across the road. They decide to move them carefully, so they can put the cars back and keep the Saviors from figuring out what their plan is.
Among the group are Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) who has been living at Hilltop for some time and Jesus (Tom Payne) who is a long time resident of Hilltop. While the community's leader Gregory (Xander Berkeley) is a coward who would never stand up to Negan, there has been some dissension among his people. Jesus and Sasha accompanying Rick certainly seems like fuel on top of that fire.
It's also interesting to note that Carl sees The Savior's base nearby, which leads Rick and the others to deduce that they are protecting their home terf. It's unlikely that The Savior's home is the group's destination this early on, especially since Negan took all the guns, so it is more likely that Rick is trying to lead his group quietly past the enemy, searching for more allies.
Moving the cars is not the only roadblock they face. At the end of the clip, it looks like they find a sort of tripwire, loaded with dynamite. It is unclear what they plan on doing next, but they might be stuck continuing the journey on foot, since there is no way for a car to avoid that wire. And they will have to keep their eyes wide open for other traps along the way. One thing is for sure. This is The Walking Dead, so no matter how much help they get, this will be a hard fought battle. And more lives will almost certainly be lost.
The Walking Dead continues with ‘The Rock in the Road’ on February 12th, 2017.