5 Best Moments from ‘The Walking Dead’ Midseason Premiere

The Walking Dead - Danai Gurira as Michonne, Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes, Chandler Riggs as Carl Grimes 
Gene Page/AMC
Danai Gurira as Michonne, Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes, Chandler Riggs as Carl Grimes 

The Walking Dead had plenty to prove, returning from its ratings slump in the first half of Season 7. Sunday’s midseason premiere may not have been the most exciting episode, but there were still plenty of things to enjoy in the continued approach to battle with Negan. These are the five best moments from the premiere episode.

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Rick meets Shiva

As it turns out, enormous CG tigers are something one can become desensitized to surprisingly quickly. Since Carol’s initial reaction to Shiva, the beast has faded into the decor. But Rick and his group’s hesitance to approach Ezekiel and Shiva was a fun reminder that, yes, big cat ownership is unusual, even in the topsy-turvy world of The Walking Dead.

Mass zombie clothesline

The Walking Dead has always had a hard time choosing between prestige cable drama and campy zombie slaughter. This week’s episode leaned heavily toward the latter with an action set piece involving a cable suspended between two speeding cars. Intentionally or not, the improvised cheese wire slicing through a herd of walkers at 40mph was a hilarious diversion from the roadblocks that keep popping up in the show’s larger dramatic arc.

Hilltop agreeing to fight

Just when it seemed like Gregory would successfully stymie the group’s momentum in building an anti-Negan coalition, Enid stepped in to rally the people of Hilltop to Rick and Maggie’s cause. It was a moment of hope after a half season of suffering, and it served as an indication that an all-out war is eventually coming, despite an excessively long buildup.

Rosita proving herself useful

Rosita is an explosives expert. Good to know. Since Abraham died, Rosita has gradually been getting a few character traits to add to her role as eye candy. In the midseason premiere scene on the road, Rosita got to come out from Abraham’s shadow a little bit more to show how important she can be to the mounting war effort. If previous seasons are any indication, the development of Rosita’s character could mean she’s next on the list of casualties, but for now, it’s nice to see her become a more central member of the group.

Gabriel’s mysterious cliffhanger

Something happened just before the credits rolled that put a smile on Rick’s face. Usually being held at gunpoint is a negative, but unless Rick has totally snapped (again), he sees something in that hostile crowd that gives him hope. How Gabriel knew about these people or why he wanted Rick to meet them remains a mystery, but the appearance of something unexpected could be what The Walking Dead needs to bump out of its story and ratings rut.

The Walking Dead, Sundays, 9/8c, AMC