'Walking Dead' Should Pick Up The Pace Next Year

Waiting for The Walking Dead to return from its midseason break won't be as difficult as the wait for Season 7 to premiere after the big Season 6 finale cliffhanger. Yet, the midseason finale typically promises some major event, so when will The Walking Dead Season 7 come back for its second set of episodes? As per usual, all evidence points to the show returning in February, but AMC has not released an official date yet. However, as the Season 7 midseason finale is airing on Dec. 11, it's always worth taking a stab at when to expect The Walking Dead to come back.

For Season 6, the first episode premiered on Oct. 11, so The Walking Dead midseason premiere was on Feb. 14 — just in time for Valentine's Day! Since Season 7 premiered two weeks after Season 6, I predict that The Walking Dead will most likely come back to your TV with new episodes on Feb. 26. That's the last possible Sunday in February and with Digital Spy reporting that The Walking Dead Season 7 will return that month, Feb. 26 is the best guess to set your expectations accordingly.

When Season 7 does return though, there are a few things that I hope the series will do. Here's what I want most when The Walking Dead comes back in 2017.

Pick Up the Pace

Longer Walking Dead episodes used to be a cause for celebration, but the 90-minute episodes in Season 7 have been lagging and seem unnecessary. If the series wants to continue with longer episodes, they just need to pack more action in to justify it. I know they have the content, so I want to see the rest of the Season 7 episodes keep me on the edge of my couch.

Form An Alliance

The beginning of Season 7 introduced the Kingdom and gave viewers more insight into the Hilltop. Now, let's have Rick and his Alexandria group join forces with these groups for the second half to come up with a game plan to take down Negan. Because while I'm not naive enough to think that Negan will be going anywhere in Season 7, there can at least be some plan to fight him.

Show More Of The Kingdom, Hilltop, & Even The Sanctuary

Actually, it would be good to just see more of these other colonies in general — even the messed up Sanctuary. (You can't tell me you weren't at least intrigued by Negan's group of wives.) With Maggie at the Hilltop and the charismatic Ezekiel running the Kingdom, there are great stories to be told. And since The Walking Dead has shown fans the expanded universe, I don't expect it to go back to a smaller world ever again.

Stop Following Just One Group of Characters At A Time

In the same vein as picking up the pace, The Walking Dead benefits from bouncing back and forth to different characters throughout one episode. For example, only focusing on the Kingdom in the second episode, "The Well," lessened the impact that Glenn and Abraham's deaths had. "Sing Me a Song" proved that The Walking Dead can still follow multiple characters in one episode, so it should continue to do that later in Season 7 for more dynamic episodes.

Free Daryl

Seeing Daryl be captured has been breaking my heart, but I kind of mean that in a good way. Norman Reedus has played the intimidating Daryl for so long that it's really touching to see him so vulnerable — especially when he was concerned for Carl's well-being at the Sanctuary. However, he is not going to become a soldier for Negan no matter what that sadist thinks, so let's get Daryl out of his cell and back with his gang in the second half of Season 7. And I will continue crossing my fingers that his escape attempt won't lead to his death.

Bring Back Badass Rick

Rick realized his limitations after Negan killed Abraham and Glenn, so I understand why he's kowtowing to Negan right now. Yet, Alexandria needs a strong leader who will come up with a covert plan to defeat the Saviors. Seeing Negan hold Judith made my maternal instinct kick in — and I don't even have kids! — so hopefully seeing Negan in his home during the midseason finale will light a fire under Rick. I need the Rick who bites a guy's neck out to protect his child, not the Rick who submits to Negan. Plus, Rick returning to form would be the perfect way to build suspense for The Walking Dead's likely return in February.

Images: Gene Page/AMC (7)