The Walking Dead is known for it’s time jumps, but this one is a little more bearable.  A little over a month after the season premier episode, Rick (Andrew Lincoln) has assembled a working crew for the reconstruction of the bridge. Maggie (Lauren Cohan) agreed to send food to the Sanctuary in exchange for fuel and labor.  Maggie also had to make a very tough decision to kill Gregory (Xander Berkeley) after he coerced an assassination attempt on Maggie.  A decision that some felt was too harsh, including Michonne (Danai Gurira) who sees a need to establish some kind of government.

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The Bridge

The episode begins with Rick telling someone about the construction of the new bridge.  It wasn’t that long ago they were fighting to stay alive. They are building, growing and ready to deal with the new world. They are making a new beginning.  The communities are staying at a camp near the construction site.  Ezekiel (Khary Peyton) and Henry (Macsen Linz) are visiting and Henry has a small job to help out.  Ezekiel and Henry are heading back to the Kingdom soon.  Carol (Melissa McBride) on the other hand, still has work to do at the Sanctuary. Ezekiel is understanding, but not giving up on his fairy tale.

Eugene (Josh McDermitt) and Rosita (Christian Serratos) give Rick some updates. They have 6-9 days to get their supports up before water starts to rise. They put a levy on the river, but it will give out soon. Next, a herd of walkers, code name Horatio is headed their way. They have a plan in place to redirect the herd away from the construction site. There’s a larger herd, Margaret behind them that’s about five times as big as Horatio.  Rick tells Rosita to blow up the rock slide. If the herd comes, they will set off sirens to redirect it.

Next, a Savior has walked off the site. That makes six in the past month. Rick and Eugene get to the infirmary, where Siddiq (Avi Nash) is teaching Enid (Katelyn Nacon) to treat wounds.  Rick asks Siddiq to go back to Alexandria, because a bug is going around. Enid is a little worried, but says she’s got this. Rick is confident that she can handle it. Eugene has one more thing to report.  They are running out of food. Rick says he has Michonne on it.

Trouble

The Walking Dead

Zach McGowan as Justin, Macsen Lintz as Henry – The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 2 – Photo Credit: Jackson Lee Davis/AMC

Henry goes around giving the workers a drink of water.  Justin (Zach McGowan) asks for more, but Henry refuses him. Justin pushes Henry down and takes the water jug. Henry uses his staff to knock Justin off his feet and takes the water jug back. The rest of the Saviors laugh at him. Justin gets up to go after Henry, but Daryl (Norman Reedus) stops him and the two start fighting. Eugene and Rick walk up to the bridge and hear a commotion.  Rick breaks up the fight and orders everyone to go back to work.

Daryl is upset that Rick won’t repreminand Justin.  Rick says they only have a few days left to finish and they’ve already had several Saviors walk off the job. Daryl argues that the Saviors aren’t reliable and Carol agrees. They can’t just expect the Saviors to forget what happened. Rick says it will take time but they need to continue to move forward together.  Daryl says they aren’t on the same side and walks away. Carol gets what Rick is trying to do, but some people aren’t ready for it.

Hilltop

Michonne arrives at the Hilltop to speak to Maggie.  Maggie asks Michonne about the fuel from the Sanctuary.  Michonne is surprised that it never arrived. Maggie is suspicious of the Sanctuary, but Michonne things something may have happened to the people delivering it. Regardless, Maggie doesn’t want to give any more food until they get the fuel for the plow.  Jesus (Tom Payne) mentions that they have reserves. The problem is that they need fuel for the tracker to plow the fields. 

Michonne questions how long Maggie will hold Earl (John Finn) in jail. Maggie isn’t sure, prompting Michonne to talk about the need for governmental structures.  Maggie won’t let Earl go unpunished for what he did, but he’s the only blacksmith who can fix the plow they got from the museum. She decides that Hilltop won’t give anymore food until they get the fuel from the Sanctuary.

Plea

Brett Butler as Tammy Rose, Tom Payne as Paul ‘Jesus’ Rovia – The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 2 – Photo Credit: Jackson Lee Davis/AMC

Later, Michonne hears Tammy Rose (Brett Butler) yelling a Jesus about seeing Earl.  Jesus tells her to give Maggie a little time to figure things out. Tammy Rose says she won’t move from the cells until Maggie lets her see him.  She has no place else to be.

Michonne approaches Jesus about the Earl situation.  She says he needs to reason with Maggie. Jesus says he trusts Maggie’s every decision.  And not everyone is right all the time…including Michonne. Michonne says that’s why they need to build something bigger than anyone of them.

In Maggie’s office, Maggie plays with Hershel on the floor while she talks to Jesus. He finds a letter from Georgie. He asks if she is thinking about joining Georgie’s community.  Maggie is happy where she is.  Jesus tells her about Tammy Rose’s request to see Earl. Maggie asks if she was wrong for locking him up.  Jesus never says she is, but he sees a need for laws. Maggie knows that he’s been talking to Michonne. Jesus says she’s a good person. Sometimes good people can disagree.

Good with People

Anne (Pollyanna McIntosh) draws a picture of a woman for Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam).  He compliments her on her talent. She says it makes her feel like she’s part of the community.  Anne says Rick, Morgan and Gabriel are the only ones who have made her feel welcome. Gabriel understands because he didn’t give the group any reason to trust him either. But Rick reached out to him. He’s good with people. Anne says Gabriel is good with people too and touches his hand.  Gabriel says it’s his job to be there.

Diversion

Rosita and Arat (Elizabeth Ludlow) get ready to blow up the rock slide to divert the Horatio herd away from the construction site.  Tara (Alanna Masterson) see the herd and calls to Rick to let him know the herd is right on schedule. He tells her to sound the first siren.  Tara calls Jerry (Cooper Andrews) to sound the alarm and the herd turns again. They have to sound a second alarm to keep the herd from going to the lumber site.

While Rick waits, Alden (Callan McAuliffe) tells Rick the Saviors who walked off the bridge job never made it back to the Sanctuary.  At the same time Tara continues to call for the second siren. Alden tells him that the Sanctuary is getting scared.  If the fear spreads, then more will walk off. Rick says he will protect them. Alden repeats, they work for Rick and he will protect them. Who does that sound like?

Lost Limbs

Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier, Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes, Callan McAuliffe as Alden, Kerry Cahill as Dianne – The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 2 – Photo Credit: Jackson Lee Davis/AMC

Tara is still calling for the second siren, but the lookout is not answering. The herd is headed to the lumber crew. Daryl and Aaron (Ross Marquand) are at the lumber site.  Aaron pushes a log up on to a pile, while a Savior pulls it up. Daryl sees a couple of walkers approach and takes them out. He turns around and sees dozens more approaching. He yells for the workers to get to safety. The Savior who is pulling the log drops his rope.  Aaron pushes another guy out of the way of the log and it lands on Aaron’s arm. Aaron is trapped as the other workers try to get him out. Rick and others show up to fight off the walkers.

Daryl rushes Aaron to the infirmary.  Aaron’s arm is bloody and appears to have multiple broken bones. Enid says they have to amputate the arm. Daryl ties a rope around the arm and asks for something to put Aaron under, but it won’t work fast enough.  Aaron is brave and tells Enid she can do it. Enid takes his arm.

Daryl bursts out of the tent after it’s over and goes to another tent where Carol is reprimanding Justin.  Justin was supposed to sound the second alarm, but he says the radio was dead. Daryl accuses him of lying because the radio was solar powered.  They start fighting again, but Carol quickly breaks it up. Carol says they will deal with it, but not like this. Daryl says there’s only one way to deal with the Saviors.

Good Man

Maggie allows Tammy Rose to see Earl.  He says he’s okay. He’s being treated fair and it’s more than he deserves.  Earl is angry with himself for falling off the wagon and doing what he did. Tammy Rose says she forgives him, but it’s not her forgiveness that he needs.   

John Finn as Earl, Lauren Cohan as Maggie Rhee – The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 2 – Photo Credit: Jackson Lee Davis/AMC

Maggie goes back to Earl’s cell and asks about his drinking problem. Earl says he started drinking to stop smoking. He was drunk the day his son was born. He tells her a story about picking up his son from the babysitters, but going to drink first. Earl thought Tammy would leave him after that.  That was the day he stopped drinking until that night that he attacked Maggie. He asked why he hung Gregory and not him. He’s the one who attacked her. Maggie asks if it was a mistake. Earl says no and Maggie leaves him.

Compromise

Michonne complements Maggie on what she has built at the hilltop.  Maggie says she agrees that they need common laws, but she won’t give up the right to do what’s best for her people. Michonne understands, but thinks what’s best for everyone can be best for Hilltop too.

Maggie asked Jesus to load up the food in the reserves.  She says Earl still owes a debt, but she is releasing him to work on the plow.  A council will decide when his status will change. Michonne asks what changed her mind. Maggie says her daddy drank, but if he wasn’t given another chance a lot of people would have been worse of…including Michonne.  Hershel was a good man. Gregory, on the other hand, had too many chances. She doesn’t regret what she did because some people can’t be redeemed. Michonne asks who makes that decision…that’s one thing they have to figure out.  If it ever happens again.

The Cost

Justin tells Rick to keep his dog on a leash.  Rick compares Justin to the lowlifes he picked up eer saturday night when he was a cop. He gave Justin the benefit of the doubt, but he’s done.  He tells Justin to leave.

Rick checks on Aaron. Daryl is sitting with him.  Enid says he will be okay if they can keep his wound from getting infected.  Aaron wakes up and Rick apologizes for what happened, but Aaron says he couldn’t have known. Rick feels bad for pushing everyone too hard, but Aaron says it’s worth it.  He says when the dead started to rise, he thought that was the end of everything. Rick changed that and started a new world. Aaron is glad he is a part of it.

Come Together

Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier, Khary Payton as Ezekiel – The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 2 – Photo Credit: Jackson Lee Davis/AMC

Gabriel and Anne listen to the frogs in the woods.  Anne asks who the woman in the picture is. Gabriel says it was the organist at his church. He cared for her.  Anne thought he wasn’t allowed to have personal relationships, but Gabriel says his vowels don’t prohibit that. Anne asks what’s stopping him, so Gabriel kisses her.  

Rick watches the people at the camp sit around a fire, talking, laughing and playing games.  Carol asks Ezekiel if he still has the engagement ring. She’s not saying yes, but wants to try it on. Ezekiel starts to get on one knee to propose, but Carol stops him.  He says he wrote a speech. Carol says he can read it to her later. Ezekiel, very happily puts the ring on her finger.

Negan

Rick finishes his story, saying the day was really hard.  But at the end, everyone was together because they chose to be.  Things are changing. It’s human nature for them to come together.

Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) says Rick’s story is nice and all. He asks when he gets to see it. Rick says Negan will die behind those bars.  Negan says everything will go wrong. When it does, he wants Rick to come tell him all about it.  Rick says they are building a future. Negan asks who he’s building it for? Carl? Rick gets angry and tells him to never speak Carl’s name

Negan says Rick’s family is gone, just like his. The bridge isn’t the future. It’s a monument to the dead.  He says Rick isn’t saving the world, he’s just getting it ready for Negan.

Who, What, Where

At the lookout tower, Anne plays with a toy frog. She hears something and looks up. She sees the helicopter hovering over the camp.

Justin walks down the road away from the camp and hears someone in the woods.  He recognizes whoever is there and yells at them for almost getting themselves killed. Whoever is in the woods hits Justin, knocking him out.

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Thoughts

Looks like a new beginning comes at a cost for Aaron. The actual loss of limb was Rick’s when he first met the Governor.  They never took Rick’s hand so the make up for the canon by taking Aaron’s arm.  Boo.  Aaron has so much potential to become a great leader.  I hope Angela Kang sees that. Even with the loss of a limb, Aaron is a good person to have in your corner.  

I’m having a hard time getting into the Carzekiel relationship. I was all for it last week, but there’s just something really forced about this week. Maybe if they didn’t have her turn down the proposal last week.  Yeah, she’s wearing the ring, but she still hasn’t said yes. 

I did think Jerry and Nabila were cute!!!  But Gabriel and Anne.  I can’t y’all. I’m sorry. We haven’t gotten a chance to see Ann redeem herself. We only know her as the Garbage lady Jadis. We don’t know Anne. So it’s really hard to accept someone that we wanted to die last season.  And still has secrets!  The helicopter! Knowing what we know about Jadis, Anne won’t tell anyone about the helicopter until it’s too late.

It is good to see the rest of the cast have some important roles to fill.  It’s like they truly are working as a team and not centered on one or two characters. I didn’t even mind the mini time jump.  The story is moving forward and we aren’t getting any conversations that have no meaning.  Everything that is being said has some significance.  

 

Noetta Harjo
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