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The premiere of The Walking Dead led us to many twists, turns, and a cliffhanger ending that put a smile on the face of Rick Grimes. Who is this new group that we are laying eyes on, and why is Rick so happy to see them? Furthermore, why are they dressed so weird? None of those answers are immediately clear, but we do know that Andrew Lincoln is excited about them!
These "Heapsters," as they are lovingly referred to by the cast, are an odd bunch. Their outfits seem some sort of mix between characters from the video game Fallout and a post-apocalyptic 80's action film. That's no coincidence, as Andrew Lincoln (Rick) informs TV Guide, and apparently fans are in store for an episode that will feel like a callback to films of that genre:
That's quite a few movies to name drop, and definitely the embodiment of what I would call weird. The Mad Max and Hellraiser vibe I get from the preview footage we saw of the armored Walker (pictured below), but how does Evil Dead play into the mix? Are we about to see some characters with chainsaws for hands, or maybe even a Walker with one? That would be absolutely insane, and I love the mere thought of it.
So why, after all the craziness he's seen already, would Rick be smiling when he meets these people? These are fresh people living independent of Negan's protection, which is exactly what Rick will need to turn the tables and declare war on the Saviors. Sure, they might be crazy, but why not side with them now to defeat the murderous Negan and then worry about whatever happens with them down the road. Is there really a better option at the moment? The Survivors are going to need all the help they can get in defeating the Saviors, and these guys have the people and weapons to make it happen.
Andrew Lincoln also adds that these guys are going to be with the team for awhile. Two episodes into the midseason, Lincoln states the series is already on a trajectory to the season finale. That's good to know, and also not entirely surprising considering there's so much going on that you can't really afford to do any one-off episodes with only 6 left. I'm still not convinced this season is the last we'll see of Negan, but I'm hoping I'm wrong!