The Season 7 premiere of The Walking Dead was quite possibly the biggest gamechanger of the entire series, and everything got upended after Negan murdered Glenn and Abraham. Carl's impending death arguably eclipses those moments, though, and The Walking Dead will start wading through completely unfamiliar waters in the extended midseason premiere. But we can expect Team Family to do what it does best: stave off depression and take out the enemy. According to star Lauren Cohan, the back half of Season 9 will dive back into the All Out War side of things.
We basically go into a huge battle. We've had a lot of action, and now we have this revenge plan in place. The group all comes together and we make this plan for our future while trying to really hold the pieces together in the grief and in the aftermath of Carl. It's a little bit emotionally scattered but militaristically focused.
Everybody remembers all of the empowering speeches and pep rallies that went down in the early days of Season 8? It sounds like we're going to get some more of them when the show returns, as the depleted Alexandria, Hilltop and Kingdom crews will reconvene to conceive of and deploy a revised plan to bring justice and peace to all the communities. Which, of course, means that the survivors are going to be locked and loaded and ready to put down any Savior that steps out of line. And in Maggie's case, perhaps even Saviors that step in line.
The Walking Dead's midseason premiere will be 82 minutes long, giving the editors and fans more time to spend with Chandler Riggs' Carl Grimes during his final episode. It sounds like the episode will indeed go for all the heartstrings, too, showing the ways in which his exit will deeply affect everyone else, especially Rick. But perhaps those emotions will take a backseat to the expanding vengeance that the groups will be invested in, with Rick's mercy unable to conquer his wrath.
Maggie in particular has been militaristically focused as of late, and she's quite tired of life under Negan's authority. She basically took over the Hilltop from the pussyfooting Gregory, and she doesn't much give a shit what he has to say about it. Of course, we all know that brazenly going into battle against Negan doesn't necessarily result in the biggest of successes, but The Walking Dead will probably keep Maggie fairly safe in the near future. Both because of Carl's fate and because she's in the middle of the longest TV pregnancy ever.
I feel so happy for Chandler and everything that he's going to do. And I feel really interested in how this is going to change the future of story because we know how much the story follows Carl's journey. I'm interested in what ideas we're going to have moving forward because I was just really devastated.
The Walking Dead will return for the battle-riffic back half of Season 8 on Sunday, February 25, at 9:00 p.m. ET. To see what other new and returning shows will be showing up on the small screen soon, head to our midseason premiere schedule.