The Walking Dead Midseason Premiere Recap

Peter Castro
February 13, 2017

That was the dire situation as "The Walking Dead" returned for its midseason premiere on AMC Sunday with Negan squarely in charge.

Official answers will have to wait until the next episode, because "Rock in the Road" cut off on a cliffhanger without revealing who the people were or what they wanted. Rick had to leave Daryl at The Kingdom to keep him safe from the Saviors, and a little bit of our collective fandom soul died watching that gate shut on sad Daryl's face. Rick finds tracks in the area, and the group follows them to some kind of encampment.

But the real test for Rick and the core Walking Dead characters was whether or not he could convince King Ezekiel and his mighty Kingdom to back them in a fight against Negan. The video features Rick and the group as they discover a unsafe threat. When "The Walking Dead" has a break between seasons from March to October, "Fear the Walking Dead" has aired on AMC during its 6 p.m. time period on Sunday nights. It's one thing to refuse to fight the Saviors...that's kinda dumb because eventually they'll grind you to dust anyway, but at least he thinks he's protecting his people.

After everything that fills the first hour of "Rock in the Road", the episode still finds time for a coda that sees our crew stumbling into a new enclave of young and mean-looking types. There's evil with everything they lost but happiness that they're alive to fight against what took so much from them.

After initially standing open-mouthed at the sight of Ezekiel and his tiger, Rick told the King: 'Alexandria, The Hilltop, The Kingdom. With Rick, Maggie, Michonne, Carl, Sasha, Rosita, Tara and Daryl all on the same page about stopping Negan and the Saviors in order to wrestle back some semblance of a peaceful life, it's now a numbers game. Rick and Michonne showed why they are the best couple of the apocalypse.

Thankfully, the episode was a big step in the right direction; the disparate communities are finally beginning to come together against Negan and there was a more hopeful tone to proceedings in general.

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"Hide and Go Seek: Jesus managed to snag one of The Saviors" long-range walkie talkies, so now Rick's group has the delightful advantage of listening in on Negan's plans. Most everyone believes he's deserted them in fear, but Rick suspects otherwise. Seriously, it looks like there are hundreds of these people.

The Saviors don't seem to have gotten very far in their searches for new communities. Rick's re-reunion with Morgan, in addition to being as drab as the first, grants itself to a fantastic exchange between Rick and the king.

But none of that prepared him for "The Walking Dead".

High-Speed Slicing: Before they knew it, hundreds and hundreds of undead walkers descended upon our group and their time for dynamite thievery was up. Given Rick's long-absent smile at the end of the episode, he's not even bothered about being surrounded by scruffy strangers with a whole lot of weaponry - new recruits, perhaps? As a matter of fact, they seem to have a mindset closely resembling that of the Governor.

Before we get there, though, I'd like to address the elephant in the room, which is that over the last three months, The Walking Dead has been exposed not as a work of fiction, but as a documentary from the future.

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