The seventh midseason premiere of The Walking Dead airs this Sunday on AMC, and it may finally bring a little normalcy back into our lives. The midseason finale — as promised by creator Robert Kirkman — didn’t leave any major unresolved cliffhangers, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t leave a few questions going into the back eight episodes.
What’s the biggest question we have?
Is it, “Who is the spy wearing the boot?” No, I think we have that one figured out. We think the boot-wearing spy is a member of a new community that lives in a junkyard, and we’ll likely be introduced to that new group in the second episode of this season. The junkyard community, we expect, will end up mostly playing red shirts in the oncoming war with Negan.
Will Rick be able to form an alliance with The Hilltop? The trailers suggests that’s an issue that will be taken up immediately, and the answer is yes, almost certainly. The question isn’t whether The Hilltop will join Rick Grimes, but whether The Hilltop’s nominal leader, Gregory, will also join them. He’s a coward. He’s afraid of Negan, and he’s not likely to rock the boat and endanger his own life. However, Maggie is well situated now to take over as leader of The Hilltop, and together with Jesus and Sasha, the three of them should be able to convince the rest of The Hilltop to join the alliance against Negan with or without Gregory.
Will Rick be able to convince Ezekiel’s The Kingdom to join the alliance? That’s a tougher question, because Ezekiel seems dead set against going to war against Negan. His people have suffered enough, and he’s already gone to great lengths to protect them by, for instance, posing as an old-timey King with a tiger to provide them with comfort. He also keeps The Kingdom’s arrangement with Negan hidden from his people because he doesn’t want to scare them. Ezekiel has no desire to confront The Saviors, and his people would be surprised even to learn that there’s a threat. In fact, Richard has already been unable to convince Ezekiel to fight, so I’m not sure how much a stranger like Rick could bring to the table. The lynchpin here may be Carol, who seems to be the only one that might be able to persuade Ezekiel to go to war. Ezekiel has a crush on Carol. However, Carol has shown no thirst for war herself. She seems content living alone in a house away from The Kingdom.