Warning: possible comic and TV spoiler for The Walking Dead mid-season finale ahead!
The Walking Dead mid-season finale is almost upon us, and given that we've spent so much of the season being introduced to new communities and learning about new villains there's a real potential for Episode 8, "Hearts Still Beating" to also be a heart stopper.
But what do we know about this upcoming 86 minute episode? Who's involved, where will it take place and what are the hot rumors and likely options for the big mid-season finale drama? Take a look below to find out all you need to know ahead of The Walking Dead mid-season finale:
Who will be involved and where will it be set?
At the moment we know that Negan is currently in Alexandria with a group of Saviors, so part or most of the episode will certainly be set there. However thanks to this weeks promo as well as images released by AMC, it looks like we'll be traveling to many different places throughout the episode, much like we did in Episode 7. For starters we'll be paying a visit to the hilltop and catching up with characters such as Maggie and Gregory.
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In addition to Alexandria and the Hilltop, we're also taking a trip back to the Kingdom to catch up with Richard and Morgan, as well as checking out Carol's new digs (about time too, we've hardly seen any Carol so far this season!).
Also it looks like we'll check back in with Rick and Aaron who we last saw confronted with a pond full of walkers, as well as Michonne and the mystery red head out on the road. And finally, we're also heading back to the Saviors base where hopefully we seen Daryl finally make his escape — here's hoping Jesus is somewhere in the vicinity to lend a Daryl a hand if he needs it!
What will the episode focus on and who might die?
It seems highly likely that much of the episode will focus on the events from Issue 111 of the comics series which sees Negan show up at Alexandria. While Negan is at Alexandria he talks with Spencer Monroe, who tells him that he believes Rick to be a bad leader. Negan, thinking this a gutless move from Spencer, ends up slashing Spencer's stomach open, killing him in broad daylight.
Given that The Walking Dead has certainly focused on Spencer throughout Season 7, it seems likely the show is building up to kill him off — especially considering there's been a significant mid-season finale death each season since Season 4 (including Hershel, Beth, Deanna). But while it looks like Spencer's fate has been sealed, that's not to say his will be the only death in the episode.
Meanwhile Issue 111 also sees Rick during his first visit to the Kingdom. Although that seems unlikely to happen in the mid-season finale as we've see him return to Alexandria in the episode promo, perhaps this role could end up going to Michonne. Even though Michonne has instructed her mystery red head to drive her to Negan, that's no guarantee that's where they'll end up.
Issue 111 also shows Jesus gathering members of the Hilltop to train up for battle, and given that we know the actor who played Jesus, Tom Payne believes that the groups should all unite against Negan in Season 7b, perhaps we'll see the beginnings of of this united army in the mid-season finale.
In addition we might also events from Issue 112 of the comics, specifically to do with Rosita and her newly made bullet. In the comics, as the Saviors are preparing to leave Alexandria after Spencer's death, Andrea (who is still alive in the comics and a hell of a sharp shooter), takes out the Savior's van driver. There's no doubt that we'll see Rosita fire her bullet at some stage in the mid-season finale, but will the bullet hit a Savior, or someone else entirely?
The Walking Dead returns to AMC with Episode 8, "Hearts Still Beating" on December 11 at 9pm ET.