Rick Grimes and the Alexandrians are on a mission to take down Negan and the Saviors
But the plan gets sidelined when they run into the Junkyard Community.
The Walking Dead Mid-season 7 premiere review
Season 7, Ep. 09 – ‘Rock in the Road’ | Aired February 12, 2017
by TS Alan
In last year’s mid-season finale, ‘Hearts Still Beating’, we were given Daryl’s escape from the Saviors’ compound, and a unification of Rick and the Alexandrians to fight Negan for their freedom. In this mid-season premiere episode, we find Rick and his group getting some support from the Hilltop Community. However, after appealing to King Ezekiel of the Kingdom in unifying their communities to fight a common foe, Rick’s request is turned down. Rick leaves a bit discouraged but still committed at finding away to defeat the Saviors. As a consolation, King Ezekiel gives Daryl sanctuary. Though at first Daryl refuses, Rick convinces him that staying is in everyone’s best interest; especially if Daryl can get Ezekiel to change his mind.
Upon returning to Alexendria, Rick not only gets an expected visit from Negan’s followers, who are searching for Daryl, but he also learns Father Gabriel has absconded with all the food supplies, disappearing into the night. The Alexandrians believe it was a cowards move, but Rick tells everyone he wouldn’t do that. As it turns out Rick is right. Father Gabriel has left a notebook behind with the word “BOAT” written in it. It’s a mystery that needs solving. As Rick points out, Gabriel had no way of knowing about the boat he and Aaron raided for supplies. However, there was someone that did, and that was was the stalker in the boots.
If you remember from ‘Hearts Still Bleeding,’ a mysterious character in boots was seen stalking Rick and Aaron during their supply run and later appeared outside the gates of Alexandria. Could it be, then, that Father Gabriel has taken off with the mysterious stranger for a reason? Sharp-eyed viewers should have noticed that in the scene where Gabriel leaves, another person can be seen in the passenger seat at the very last second. Has Father Gabriel taken the supplies to offer them as a bargaining tool to solicit aid from the stranger’s community. Is it the Junkyard Community, where in the final scene Rick and his group find themselves surrounded by a large contingent of armed combatants? Is this where Gabriel has fled, too? This would explain the smile on Rick’s face as the episode ended.
The season 7 mid-season premiere was a bit lackluster compared to past seasons. It wasn’t packed with much Savior conflict or walker action. However, we did get a big setup for a new community, a community which is exclusive to the television series. This is big for fans of the comic, because now readers are given a subplot unknown to them, and will have to see how the Junkyard Community fits into inevitable showdown between Rick and Negan. It certainly will be an epic battle between the allied communities and Negan and his Saviors.