With the season seven teaser trailer dropping later today from ComicCon, and knowing that at least one of these eleven will not survive the first episode, I’ve been thinking that it was time to share my thoughts on how we first met them before we say goodbye to one (or two, as speculation has suggested from internet sources).
In some cases, our first meeting was quite different than Rick’s, and so I’ve included his first meeting with each of them as well from his perspective as the main character.
We meet Glenn at the same exact moment Rick meets him, in Days Gone By, through his voice coming over the tank radio with that beautiful choice of music to play the scene out. Opening the second episode, we continue with the mystery voice until we see him in the alley. Was Rick as surprised at how young Glenn was as I was? He’s changed so much in the last six seasons. Will the last we see of him be at the end of Negan’s bat?
We meet Rosita on the road from Tara’s point of view. She’s got her pony tails and short-shorts and her field cap. I have the same one – one of the only hats I own. Rick meets her in the train car at Terminus. I’m not sure at that point that we have a good sense of who she is. For example, in season 6, she gravitates towards the infirmary. She’s a good shot, taking out that Savior going after Abraham at the train tracks where they run into Dwight and his group again.
As with Glenn, we meet Daryl at the same time as Rick. We’ve already heard from Morales about him and Glenn mentions an issue with race. They’ve built him up for us to have a certain expectation and meeting him did not disappoint from that. Already on the defensive from having the guns pointing at him, pissed that his deer can’t be eaten, irrationally angry at the walker for messing up his hunt, then he switches gears completely and calls out to Merle to show off his squirrels.
We meet Michonne traveling on her own. She’s wearing a hooded cape and the only thing we really know about her is that she’s just saved Andrea’s life. Rick first sees her standing at the fence at the prison, holding a shopping basket. He probably can’t see the formula until he gets closer, but he can tell almost right away that she’s a person; not a walker.
He, Rosita, and Eugene are standing over Tara and an unconscious Glenn. even without the from the ground perspective, he’s clearly in charge, he’s big and burly, and he might be a threat. Then again, he might not. Tara is too pissed to care about pissing him off and I think that begins a friendship founded on mutual respect. rick meets him in the train car at Terminus, and he’s a little too busy to really take him in. It’s not until after they’re somewhat comfortable at Father Gabriel’s church that he can assess Abraham, and he likes him enough to follow him to Washington with Eugene.
We meet Maggie just before Rick does. She’s standing on a farmhouse porch looking through binoculars. She calls out to her father and the family joins her as Rick arrives. I’m not sure he even noticed Maggie until she removes him from the bedroom and then she offers to get Lori and bring her back to him and their injured son.
Our first look at Rick is while he’s looking for gas and he meets up with that little girl carrying her teddy bear. For those of us who know what the show will be about, we are right in the thick of it, and we are also introduced to a storytelling technique that we will see again and again over the six seasons. He shoots the girl, not alive nor dead, and sets up the universe’s main rule – to kill them, you need a headshot.
After the opening sequence and theme music, we see Rick again, not harried, sitting in his patrol car with his partner, eating fast food, talking about the respective women in their lives. Very normal. And we wonder when the shit will hit the fan. We don’t have long to wait.
We meet Sasha in the woods outside of the prison. We get a sense of her through her interactions with Carl and being locked up, and then again when Alan and Ben try to take over the prison before Rick and the rest of the group returns to kick them out (which he did.) Rick meets her inside, but he’s out of it.l They meet again when Rick returns to Woodbury for Andrea, at the wall. He’s definitely more himself, but still barking orders. Tyrese and Sasha see that they can trust him and he recognizes their inherent goodness.
Carl is first seen by the audience in the survivors’ camp in the mountains just outside of Atlanta, near the quarry. He’s doing chores and going to a makeshift school, at least he and Sophia are still doing their school lessons in workbooks with Lori and Carol. Rick is reunited with him in episode 3, Tell It To The Frogs. I cry every time I see it. it’s still one of my favorite scenes.
We get a glimpse of Aaron when he shows himself to Sasha and Maggie outside of the barn where they took refuge from the storm the night before. He already knows their names and Rick’s. He introduces himself with his hands up, claiming to have good news. rick’s not so sure when he finally meets him, and maybe takes a few too many precautions considering that he could have ambushed Sasha and Maggie without much trouble. Rick, having just left Terminus and Father’s Gabriel’s church, having lost Beth and Tyrese so abruptly and painfully, is a little more suspicious of strangers. His first reaction is to punch Aaron in the face.
Eugene is introduced at the same moment as we (and Tara) meet Abraham and Rosita. The three of them make an unlikely picture, together but not quite fitting together. Their hair alone, from Abraham’s military crew, Eugene’s ancient mullet to Rosita’s ponytails, they seem from different eras let alone regions. Their accents don’t even join together in any way, adding to their randomness of relationship. Rick meets Eugene in the Terminus train car with the rest of the newcomers. He may have recognized Tara from her time with the governor, but he doesn’t say anything about that. Rick doesn’t really “meet” them until they’re at Father Gabriel’s church and have five seconds to breathe.
One, or perhaps two of these friends will not be returning to Alexandria. That’s going to affect the entire group as well as the rest of the Alexandrians. We, and Rick are going to have to come up with a new plan for dealing with strangers and getting first impressions that are a true picture. Thinking back to Aaron’s recruitment of Daryl and his certainty that Daryl can tell the bad people from the good people is something that Daryl will have to work through since he had invited Dwight to join their group at one time. Now with his bike and crossbow stolen (and returned), with Denise dead, and Dwight capturing him and Rosita right when he thought they would rescue Glenn and Michonne will have him second-guessing himself in that respect.
We also have to wonder how Carol and Morgan will relate when they’re reunited with the group and find out what’s happened in their absence.
Whoever’s left for season 7 will have more than a little to deal with, both emotionally and physically. Determining which direction the group will go in, and how many risks they’re willing to take to survive will be integral to season seven, at least in the first half.
My speculation on what I think of each individual’s chance to die at the hands of Negan in the 6 finale/7 premiere can be found here.