9:15am PT by Josh Wigler
'The Walking Dead': What to Expect From the Next Big Battle
[This story contains spoilers for season eight, episode twelve of AMC's The Walking Dead.]
All-Out War is about to become an all-out disaster for the men and women in the zombie apocalypse.
The first look at the newest episode of The Walking Dead, called "Do Not Send Us Astray," makes one thing abundantly clear: after a few weeks where both sides of the war have been licking their wounds and gearing up for the next volley, it's finally time for the battle to resume.
Steven Ogg's Simon, now in charge of the Saviors while Negan is missing in action, leads his people to the gates of the Hilltop, with mass murder firmly on his mind. On the other side of the wall: basically every single person we know and love on the show, armed and ready to defend their world.
An even more detailed look at the episode centers on Simon and Maggie (Lauren Cohan), issuing threats toward one another from other sides of the radio. Simon, with his chest puffed out and a leather jacket in place to channel his inner Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), lets Maggie know about the imminent disaster. For her part, Maggie is very clear about what will happen if Simon doesn't back down.
"Your 38 people are alive and breathing," she says, referring to the outpost prisoners contained within the Hilltop's walls. "Turn around, leave us be, and they will stay that way. But if you don't? I have 38 bullets that I will personally fire into all 38."
It certainly looks like Maggie might make good on that threat, based on an image we see around ten seconds into the trailer for the episode: Alden (Callan McAuliffe) digging into the earth, standing next to a pickup truck loaded with bodies. Is Maggie making him bury his friends? "The Widow Rhee," as Simon calls her, has certainly been fixing to make such a move for quite a while now; don't be surprised if she finally pulls the trigger in "Do Not Send Us Astray," if not all 38 bullets.
With so much violence heading toward Walking Dead so imminently, it's worth planting a flag in the ground about which characters are likely to wind up in the ground next. Here are the top three on the board, in no specific order, by our count:
• Simon: The clock is ticking for the current king of the Saviors. Dwight (Austin Amelio) has every reason to put a bullet in Simon's back, and is in the best position to do it, but there are so many other characters with a greater grudge in play: Maggie, who has been positioned against Simon as the two opposing leaders; Jadis (Pollyanna McIntosh), who wants vengeance for the deaths of the Garbage People; and Negan, who is not going to be pleased when he realizes the extent of Simon's betrayal. Maybe Simon's death won't come as soon as next week, given that Jadis and Negan feel like the likeliest people to take him out — but that death is coming soon, like it or not.
• Jared (Joshua Mikel): Will we lose all 38 of the Hilltop's imprisoned Saviors? Maybe, maybe not. But if one of them is going to die, Jared feels like the likeliest. He's been on borrowed time ever since his initial appearances in season seven, frankly, and now that he's in the same space as both Morgan (Lennie James) and Henry (Macsen Lintz), the shaggy-haired Savior's death feels more inevitable than ever.
• Henry: Will Walking Dead kill another one of its youngest characters so shortly after we lost Carl (Chandler Riggs)? The argument in favor is this: Morgan still needs a reason to leave Virginia for Texas and the greater Fear the Walking Dead universe. If someone who was once his disciple ends up dying because he follows Morgan's bloodthirsty example, that would be incentive enough to send one of the most enduring Walking Dead figures out of the show by season's end.
Who do you think is the next person to die? Let us know in the comments section and keep checking THR.com/WalkingDead for more season eight coverage.