Warning: This article contains spoilers from the midseason premiere of The Walking Dead
After Rick (Andrew Lincoln) spent the first half of The Walking Dead Season 7 feeling defeated under the tyranny of the villainous Negan (Jeffey Dean Morgan), Sundays midseason premiere found our protagonist in much better spirits even cracking a smile in the episodes final seconds.
But what exactly made him grin, and was it an expression of joy, or more a hint of laugh-so-you-dont-cry emotion?
Having spent most of the episode trying (and failing) to get Hilltop leader Gregory (Xander Berkeley) and the Kingdoms King Ezekiel (Khary Payton) on board with their plan to take on Negan and the Saviors, Rick and the rest of the Alexandria crew come across a massive herd of zombies while scavenging for weapons. Michonne (Danai Gurira) and Rick manage to take out dozens of them with a neat stunt involving a line of rope tied between two speeding cars but when they escape safely and Michonne says to her boyfriend, Its OK, you can smile now, he still cant relax.
Back at Alexandria, things get more tense when the Saviors show up looking for Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Rick subsequently discovers Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) has run off with most of their food supplies. His crew ventures out to look for Gabriel and find themselves in some sort of salvage yard, where theyre quickly surrounded by a large group of survivors, most with weapons raised. These menacing strangers wordlessly trap them in a circle until Rick seemingly catches the eye of one off-screen and breaks into a smile then the episode cuts to black.
Who could he have seen? One photo already released from next weeks episode gives us a clue, showing Rick facing an unknown woman with short hair dressed in black, whose back is to the camera. Or could he be eying up the person in the foreground of the photo, whose shoulder the camera is shooting over?
Walking Dead showrunner Scott M. Gimple has alluded to an important new character this season, telling Entertainment Weekly that The answers are just around the heap. I cannot wait for people to meet this character and to see this actor. But until next Sunday, it seems their identity remains a mystery.
Have theories on who this new person/persons could be and how theyll be connected to Ricks fight against the Saviors? Sound off in the comments below.