"The Walking Dead" season 7B premiered on AMC networks on Sunday night. Fans were surprised to see Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) smiling. Recently, showrunner Scott Gimple spoke about the scene. He explained that Rick has not gone crazy again. There might be a logical explanation for Rick's response to being surrounded.

Father Gabriel left Alexandria

At the beginning of the midseason premiere, Father Gabriel Stokes (Seth Gilliam) took Alexandria's food and tools. He packed it up in a car and left Alexandria. Some fans as well as Christian Serratos' character, Rosita Espinosa, think that Gabriel stole and fled.

However, there were clues that there was something else going on.

Clues that Gabriel didn't betray Rick on 'TWD'

The first hint that Father Gabriel didn't have bad intentions was at the beginning of the episode. He was pouring over his Bible, searching for answers, comfort, or perhaps both. Frustrated, he threw down his Bible. Also, he didn't calmly pack the food and tools. He angrily shoved them into boxes and loaded them in the trunk of a car. Another clue is that Rick Grimes found a message in a notebook.

Who is the new group in 'The Walking Dead'?

In the "TWD" midseason premiere, Rick, Michonne (Danai Gurira), and some others ended up surrounded. There were several mystery characters that seem to be part of a new group or community, most seem fairly young, but they all had weapons and were good about surrounding the Alexandrians before being sensed by Rick's group.

These could be some people that Gabriel knows. Perhaps they are a group that Rick will convince to help join the fight against the Saviors. Maybe he was smiling at someone in particular, as if he recognized an old friend.

Scott Gimple explains why Rick Grimes smiled

After being surrounded, everyone looked worried except for Rick.

In fact, he smiled, which everyone thought was an odd response. In an interview with "TV Line," showrunner Scott Gimple explained that the main character has not lost his mind. He brought up Father Gabriel's message and hinted that the new community might be connected. Gabriel led Rick on this journey and now they encounter several people who are armed.

In his heart, Rick knows that Seth Gilliam's character didn't take off with their food. Could there be a connection?

What do you think of what Scott Gimple had to say about why Rick Grimes was smiling in "The Walking Dead"?