Why was Rick smiling at the end of The Walking Dead 709?

Rick Grimes - The Walking Dead 709, AMC
Rick Grimes - The Walking Dead 709, AMC /

The Walking Dead’s newest community seems pretty hostile so why was Rick so happy to see them even though Rick and the survivors were surrounded?

The Walking Dead midseason premiere “Rock In The Road” delivered a lot of what fans wanted to see now that the group has reunited. There was a fantastic walker herd kill. Rick and Michonne showed why they are the best couple of the apocalypse. The group got to meet King Ezekiel and Shiva. And they discovered a new community.

But the new community didn’t exactly appear friendly. When Rick and the group approached the junkyard they didn’t see or hear anyone. But suddenly they were surrounded by a huge mass of armed people. There was no warm welcome like the one they received at the Kingdom. So why was Rick smiling at the end of the episode?

Rick was smiling because while the new group doesn’t seem to be very open to strangers they have huge numbers of people. With weapons that they obviously know how to use. Even though the strangers currently have them surrounded Rick doesn’t look worried.

That’s because Sheriff Rick sees a guerilla fighting force that the Saviors don’t know about. If he can convince this new community that the Saviors are the real enemy they could be exactly what the survivors need in order to take on Negan.

They obviously are well-trained and aren’t like the other communities. Those communities only have small handfuls of fighters. They are more focused on growing crops and creating some type of community. But this new group are scavengers who are more adept at fighting than creating a community that resembles the communities of the old world.

Game Changing Potential

Finding the explosives and the RPGs that the Saviors had set up was a big deal for the group. But those explosives alone aren’t going to be enough to start a battle against Negan and the Saviors. Not by a longshot. Even if Rick and the survivors have heavy weaponry they still don’t have the numbers of people Negan has at his disposal.

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But the new group does. They have the numbers Rick needs. And they have the weapons that he needs. They obviously know how to track and hide well. If Rick can get this new group to join the survivors they could become exactly the kind of guerilla ground force that could change the odds in favor of the survivors. Or at least give them a fighting chance against the Saviors.

Do The Saviors Know About The New Group?

It doesn’t appear that they do. If the Saviors had known about this group they would have taken their weapons and probably taken a lot of the stuff. A junkyard or salvage site like that has a lot of raw materials that could be used by the Saviors. The fact that the place is pretty much intact and the fact that there are so many people with weapons indicates that the Saviors don’t know about them.

The Saviors don’t seem to have gotten very far in their searches for new communities. So far it seems they have only discovered Hilltop and the Kingdom. They didn’t even know about Alexandria until Rick and the group attacked them. So it’s very likely that they have never made it far enough out to find the new group.

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Can Rick Bring The New Group On Board?

So the real question will be whether or not Rick’s inspirational speech skills are going to work on the new group. If not, Rick and the others are back at square one when it comes to starting a war against Negan. But if he can then all out war on The Walking Dead is going to be heating up very soon.