After its usual mid-winter sleep, The Walking Dead returned on Sunday night with the premiere episode of the second half of Season Seven. And unlike many episodes from the first half of the season, a whole bunch of things actually happened. Interesting things actually, that could lead to further interesting things, as multiple conflicts are now popping up at once. It’s a welcome break from the first half of the season, which largely consisted of viewers wondering when Negan would pop up again and who might die when he does.
In this slightly longer than normal midseason premiere, we finally see the group working together again after Daryl’s escape from the Saviors’ compound. Additionally, Rick and King Ezekiel finally meet, although it doesn’t go very well. We were often critical of the show for much of the first half of this season, as the plot plodded along at a snail’s pace after the explosive season premiere deaths of Glenn and Abraham, but now it finally feels like something is about to happen again.
Here’s a rundown of what happened, what it might mean, and speculation about what happens next.
Gabriel Abandons His Faith and His Friends
One of our co-workers actually missed the opening shot of with Father Gabriel stealing supplies and taking off in one of Alexandria’s cars. So when the other characters were talking about him at the end of the episode, our co-worker’s response was literally “who the hell is Gabriel?” That reaction perfectly exemplifies how little anyone cares about Gabriel as a character. He’s useless as an aggressor and does a terrible job trying to play the pacifist. And he’s already shown on multiple occasions that he only cares about himself.
Now that he’s taken the supplies and skipped down (and also leaving his bible behind, because symbolism), it creates an interesting situation. First of all, Alexandria has no food. Second of all, where exactly does Gabriel plan to go? And finally, what will happen when Rick eventually catches up with him? Will Rick give him (yet another) chance to redeem himself or will Gabriel finally be punished for endangering the lives of everyone else? Or maybe, Gabriel’s actions will be revealed as part of a larger plot to help Alexandria as a whole. Either way, we finally care about what Gabriel is doing, and that’s a good thing.