The Walking Dead won't return until 2017, but that hasn't stopped AMC from making sure fans know what they're going to get when the show is back on the air. Following the recent midseason finale, it was made clear that Rick would no longer remain in service to Negan. Instead, the onetime lawman will look to unite the survivors of Alexandria with those of Hilltop and create a force capable of going toe-to-toe with the Saviors and their superior numbers. In other words, war is coming to the post-apocalyptic world and Rick needs all the help he can get.
The show made that abundantly clear after spending the last eight weeks demonstrating just how formidable an adversary Negan is. But the threat goes well beyond the bat-swinging killer, as Michonne found out during her little joyride with a member of the Saviors. The group is spread far and wide around the area the show takes place in, and while the group itself may not yet know their lackeys have decided to stage an uprising, chances are good they will soon enough. And when that knowledge gets back to the man in charge, Rick had better be prepared for retaliation. And what better way to do that than to get a king on his side?
Not long after the network released the promo teasing the second half of The Walking Dead season 7, AMC offered a new extended clip from one of the upcoming episodes that shows Rick and co. getting down to the business at hand. The clip is presumably from the midseason premiere, as it finds everyone still at Hilltop going over the logistics of taking on a group like the Saviors.
Despite how long it will be before the episode actually airs, the promo is like most other sneak peeks AMC has offered. It runs for about a minute and fleshes out a mostly innocuous scene, so as to not give too much away. The conversation here is about the best way to take the offensive against their enemies. As Rick mentions, the Saviors well fortified with outposts and the geography works against their enemies. Daryl proves that, despite having been on a diet consisting of dog food sandwiches for the last few weeks, he's still sharp as a tack, as he offers the potential solution of just blowing them up. That's not too far removed from the method he used when he Abraham and Sasha ran into Negan's group early on in season 5. Back then Daryl dispatched a number of Saviors with a single RPG, but now the group is pretty much a barebones operation. Which is where Ezekiel fits in.
Near the end of the clip, Jesus mentions it's time for Rick to meet King Ezekiel. Rick's response is about what you'd expect given his general attitude toward strangers, much less one who comes with the title of king. The sneak peek may not actually show Rick and Ezekiel's first meeting, but the intent is clear: these three groups are about to come together to deal with a common foe, and if that means Rick will have to put aside his trust issues and his clear reservations about one man's ostensibly meaningless title then so be it. After all, misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows.
The Walking Dead season 7 returns on Sunday, February 12 @9pm on AMC.