6. “Rock In The Road”
Season 7, episode 9
“Rock In The Road” was the season 7 mid-season premiere and while it had one of the best action sequences that The Walking Dead has done it also moved the story forward and was the beginning of the buildup to All Out War.
After the mid-season finale in season 7, Rick has had enough and he realizes that they need to fight back against Negan. But he also knows that they won’t be able to do it alone. So Rick puts on his diplomacy hat and fires up some speeches to try to convince the other communities to join him.
Unfortunately, this gives Gregory ammunition to use against them because ultimately he will go to The Saviors and tell them what Rick and the others are planning. But after Gregory’s refusal Rick leaves Maggie, Sasha, and Enid at The Hilltop to try to convince the people there to fight. He takes Daryl, who is a fugitive from Negan at this point, and Jesus and goes to The Kingdom.
After meeting King Ezekiel and Shiva Rick tries to convince Ezekiel to join their fight. But Ezekiel doesn’t want to put his people at risk. His deal with The Saviors was still holding at that point and he couldn’t risk breaking it and bringing The Saviors down on The Kingdom. But Ezekiel says that he will keep Daryl safe since The Saviors would never look for Daryl at The Kingdom.
During this episode, Morgan lies to Daryl and tells him that while Carol is ok she left The Kingdom. Even though it was at her request it was difficult to have Daryl and Carol still estranged after so much loss. Daryl being Daryl he doesn’t stay in The Kingdom but goes back to The Hilltop to help Maggie get The Hilltop ready for war.
And at the end of the episode when Rick is back in Alexandria he realizes that Father Gabriel is missing and so are most of their supplies. Gabriel has left a note hidden in a notebook that told Rick to look where the boat was. When they get there they are able to track Gabriel to the junk heap, where they first encounter The Heapsters or The Scavengers. Rick smiles at the end of the episode because he thinks he just found the army he needs. Little did he know then how very unreliable The Heapsters would end up being.