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Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Rick Grimes is on a mission to connect all the various communities in an attempt to take on Negan when The Walking Dead returns to AMC on Feb. 12. But what about the community he doesn’t even know about?

In the episode “Swear,” Tara washed ashore at a place called Oceanside and found a well-armed group of women. She promised she would keep their existence under wraps, but that was before she learned what Negan and his goons did to Glenn, Abraham, and her girlfriend Denise. Will Tara still honor the secret now that she knows the stakes? And how might Oceanside possibly fit into the jigsaw puzzle that is the rest of the season?

We went to showrunner Scott M. Gimple for answers, and he had an interesting tease as far as that goes, while also dropping some intel on a big episode coming up for Dwight. Here’s our quick-hit lightning round Q&A about what’s in store. (And don’t forget to check out what Gimple told us about that huge twist in the midseason premiere.)

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: You established these different communities in the first half of the season. Are we going to see them start to connect now in 7B?
SCOTT M. GIMPLE: I’ll just say that there are a lot of common threads within these communities now — they’re bound together in one way or another. That’s going to draw them to each other.

7A kind of mirrored the second half of season 4 in that people were spread out and a lot of the main characters we only saw in 2 or 3 episodes. Is that going to continue here, or do these communities connecting mean we’re going to see more of everyone together?
The structure of 7B is very different, just as 4A was different to 4B — and the connections and characters are coming together.

Oceanside is much different and introduced much later in the comic. Why decide to bring it in here and should fans expect that we have not seen the last of them?
There’s definitely unfinished business there. And the information that Oceanside — and what it possesses — would be a very big deal to Rick.

What can you say about Dwight moving forward and his relationship to Negan, because we’re getting close to a pretty pivotal time for him in the comics?
Easy, Dalton! Easy, big fella! Don’t make me angry like an old man trying to send soup back in a deli. Let us not spoil anything. Or, at least, if peeps want to spoil it, reading the comic is the best way to do it. I will say that an aspect of episode 11 deals a LOT with this.

For more Walking Dead scoop, follow me on Twitter @DaltonRoss.

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Episode Recaps

The Walking Dead

AMC's zombie thriller, based on the classic comic book serial created by Robert Kirkman.

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