Having eagerly awaited the return of The Walking Dead after a slightly disappointing first half of the season we’re back.
After an action packed return we’re yet again left on a cliffhanger as Rick faces down a large, heavily armed, angry-looking mob.
Given his situation, it’s a little surprising to see Rick grinning like a madman as the mob closes in, but it turns out there could be a very good explanation.
The good people over at Uproxx have come up with a great theory to explain Rick’s seemingly strange behaviour.
Basically, it all hinges around Father Gabriel. In the opening minutes the priest is seen taking supplies from Alexandria and driving away into the night.
When Rick learns of Gabriel’s getaway he instinctively knows there’s more to it than meets the eye.
He discovers a notebook with the word ‘BOAT’ written on the last page and surmises that this refers to the houseboat Rick and Aaron discovered on a supply run.
But how did Gabriel know about the boat? Uproxx suggests that following an argument with Spencer about Rick, Gabriel got out of the car and walked back to Alexandria, and during this walk he either spotted Rick and Aaron – or – met someone in the new ‘Junkyard’ community that did…
Either way, Gabriel must’ve known about both the boat and the Junkyard Gang.
So, he took the supplies as part of a plan to lure Rick, Aaron, and a few others back to the boat – because he knew the Junkyard Gang would supply Rick with the army he needs to fight The Saviours.
And that’s why Rick was smiling. As he was being surrounded he knew what Gabriel had planned.
He now sees a way forward – these people holding guns to his head are in fact the key to victory over Negan.