This article contains spoilers from The Walking Dead Season 7.
The seventh season of The Walking Dead has been pretty intense to say the least. After gruesomely killing both Glenn and Abraham in the Season 7 premiere, Negan has taken control of Alexandria — as well as other settlements — and forced Rick to become a shadow of his former self. The tyrant also took Daryl hostage and forced him to listen to "Easy Street" on repeat, which quickly became the nation's most addictive song.
Outside of Alexandria, Jesus and Maggie took control of the Hilltop Colony and Carol found refuge at the Kingdom with King Ezekiel. However, the events of the mid-season finale resulted in the death of both Spencer and Olivia at the hands of Negan, as well as humiliation for Carl. Rick decided he had enough of Negan's reign and in a rather emotional moment, the group reunited and decided to take on the villainous tyrant together.
The lengthy break has left Walking Dead fans craving for this moment, but the wait is over and the mid-season premiere is finally here.
"Rock In The Road" was everything that we could have hoped for — and the writers have definitely started laying the groundwork for the group's eventual face-off with Negan and the Saviors. But before we look forward to what's coming in the weeks ahead, let's take a look back at the most important action from tonight's episode of #TheWalkingDeadSeason7.
1. Rick And Daryl Discuss Strategies To Take Out Negan, But Jesus Has A Better Idea
Rick and Daryl were clearly happy to be back in each other's company following their separation for the first half of the season. Now, after their emotional reunion in the mid-season finale, the pair were thinking about the best course of action to take out the heinous Negan once and for all. The Alexandrians decided to depart The Hilltop for fear of the Saviors making an uninvited visit, but Jesus told them that they need not be so hasty in their departure.
Why? Because he has one of the Saviors' radio devices, which means that they can stay one step ahead of Negan. Not only this, but Jesus told the group their next move: it's time that they meet King Ezekiel. I know, guys, I nerded out too. Is there anything Jesus can't do?
2. Rick and The Gang Meet King Ezekiel
Jesus took the Alexandrians to the Kingdom to meet Ezekiel, and even though Rick and the gang were a little skeptical, they proceeded with Jesus' plans. Jesus introduced Richard to his new friends and, after surrendering their weapons, they entered the serene settlement. There was a rather emotional moment as the group reunited with Morgan. However Morgan refrained from telling the group that a Carol was nearby.
In an awesome moment, Rick met Ezekiel and the tiger Shiva and pleaded his case: the Saviors need to go, and the Kingdom can help extinguish them from existence. Jesus also made clear that the people of the Kingdom can fight, which is exactly what Rick and the gang need. Ezekiel told them to stay while he thought over their proposal.
3. Ezekiel Makes His Decision
The following morning, Ezekiel gathered the Alexandrians to inform them of his decision. While making their way towards the King, Rick got a good look at the folks of the Kingdom — there were several closeups on the people training, highlighting that they're athletically prepared for a fight, which is exactly what Rick and the group need to defeat Negan.
Unfornuately, Ezekiel turned Rick down, saying that too many lives have been lost already and that he won't put any more lives at risk. Rick and Daryl were understandably peeved, but they remained calm. However, Ezekiel did agree to let Daryl stay in his protection — something that was much appreciated later when the Saviors dropped in on Alexandria in search of him later in the episode.
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4. Rick Takes The Explosives And The Group Take Out A Herd of Walkers
On their way back from the Kingdom, our survivors encountered a roadblock — several old cars had been placed in the center of the road, blocking access. Rick refused to let this stop them from proceeding with their plan; the group moved the cars one by one so they could continue their expedition.
However, a problem occurred when Michonne discovered something potentially game-changing yet also disastrous. Summoning Rick to take a look, Michonne handed the group leader the binoculars and Rick's expression was enough to tell us that this was important: he Saviors had set up a vast amount of dynamite.
The group quickly worked out that the explosives were set up to take out a herd of approaching walkers. However, dynamite is exactly what Rick and the group need — it's a weapon, and after Negan took all of their other weapons, this was too good of an opportunity to pass on. The group all individually took out the dynamite, but as the walker herd approached, they started running out of time.
Rick and Michonne hatched a plan to activate two of the old cars, and together they drove on either side of the road with the wire that held the dynamite attached to their vehicles, taking out almost every walker in one go — it was a bloody mess to say the least, but it was effective. The whole scene was a goosebumps-inducing moment and it really goes to show that The Walking Dead still has what it takes to shock us.
5. Rick And The Group Find Themselves Cornered
By this point, you'd think that would Rick and the gang would get a break. Clearly, the writers didn't feel the same, as Rick discovered that Gabriel had left with the settlement's supplies in tow.
After finding a clue as to where the preacher may be, Rick, Aaron, Tara, Rosita and Michonne set out in search of him. However, before they could find them, they're cornered by another herd — this time it was of the living. Despite being relatively close to death, Rick smiled. Perhaps this group (and their weapons) is the breakthrough that he needs?
There's only so much drama our Walking Dead-loving hearts can take, and it seems like the mid-season premiere is only the beginning. With the group now formulating a strategic plan to take Negan out once and for all, it's likely that we could be in for some more major deaths in the second half of Season 7. With Rick's team joining forces with the Hilltop and hopefully the Kingdom, Negan had better start looking at the flowers.
The Walking Dead airs Sundays 9/8c on AMC. What was your favorite moment from tonight's premiere episode? Tell us below in the comments.