[Potential spoilers for The Walking Dead season seven]
The Walking Dead has always been a depressing show — it’s about a zombie apocalypse, after all –— but it was extra depressing in the first half of season seven. There was no hope to be found; the season began with Negan murdering Glenn and Abraham, and over the next six episodes, Rick was reduced to a quivering mess, Daryl was tortured, and Carl was forced to walk around without his eye patch. Thankfully, there was a moment of levity in the midseason finale (although not before one of Negan’s goons shot Olivia), which ended with Rick, Michonne, Daryl, Carl, Maggie, Sasha, Jesus, Enid, Rosita, and Tara — everyone but Carol, Morgan, and poor Eugene — reuniting at the Hilltop. They’re finally ready to fight back against the Saviors.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Andrew Lincoln says that the back-half of season seven, which premieres in February, is “probably the opposite of what you just witnessed. Certainly from Rick’s point of view. You see a man in action again with some of the members of his closest family.” He later added, “There’s a lot more levity, if you can believe that, than you’ve ever seen before in Mr. Grimes. There’s sort of a freedom in him, a feeling that comes from losing everything, and also the thrill of the fight. It’s the thrill of the fight again. He’s back in. All I’m saying is that the band is back together.”
Rick is for sure the Elwood to Daryl’s Jake.