Apparently a year and a half isn’t long enough to create a peaceful community on The Walking Dead.  And now that the Saviors are going missing, things are only going to get worse.

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One by one, Saviors have gone missing. There were two convoys headed to Hilltop that disappeared.  And if what happened to Justin (Zach McGowan) is any indication, they’re probably dead too.  Justin lies dead in a school yard. When the walkers are finished feeding on him, he reanimates and starts walking.  

The Next Day

Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and Michonne (Danai Gurira) are back in Alexandria.  He gets up before everyone else to visit with Carl.  When he returns, Michonne is awake and worried about Judith’s cough. Rick decides to take the day off to have a Grimes Family Fun Day to get Judith to see Siddiq (Avi Nash).   He thanks her again for leading Alexandria and making the charter.  He knows she sees his vision for the future.  Rick even suggests they make a baby of their own!

Maggie (Lauren Cohan) and Kal (James Chen)are transporting food to the construction site.  They are stopped by a group of Saviors.  The Saviors are looking for Justin, and are suspicious of Maggie.  She is just as suspicious of them, but Savior Laura (Lindsley Register) eases the tension saying they need to leave.  As Maggie and Kal continue their journey they spot someone down the road…walker Justin.

Chloe Garcia-Frizzi as Judith Grimes, Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes – The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 3 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Grimes Family Fun Day consists of a doctor’s visit for both Judith and Rick, a walk through town, hide and go seek, a picnic and crawling races.  As Rick reads to Judith on the steps, Michonne see Scott (Kendrick Green) running toward them.  Michonne goes to meet him and Rick can see the urgency on his face.  He calmly leaves Judith on the stairs and meets Scott. Scott tells them about Maggie finding walker Justin. Now the Saviors are angry.  

At the Construction Site

Tensions are high as the Saviors face off with everyone else. Two of the Saviors, Arat (Elizabeth Ludlow) and Laura try to stop their side from fighting. Carol (Melissa McBride) and Alden (Callan McAuliffe) speak up to calm everyone down and Alden gets punched.  One of the Saviors blames Anne (Pollyanna McIntosh) for Justin’s disappearance and Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) steps up to him.  The Saviors had all of their guns removed, so they grab other weapons, axes, lumber, whatever they can get their hands on.  Everyone else pulls out their guns.

Rick rides in and stops everyone before anything can happen. Everyone stands down and Rick tells his team to pair up to search the area.  Rick asks Gabriel if he knows where Anne was all night.  Gabriel says she was with him all night. Alden asks Rick to give some of the Saviors guns.  Maggie says the Saviors don’t get guns.  Rick says first they will find out who killed Justin, then he’ll think about it. Maggie doesn’t like that idea, but Rick reminds her that most of the workforce are Saviors and it’s the job to keep them safe. 

Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier, Cooper Andrews as Jerry, Lauren Cohan as Maggie Rhee, Sydney Park as Cyndie, Nadine Marissa as Nabila – Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 3 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Father Gabriel checks on Anne.  She says she didn’t do anything.  He tells her that he lied to Rick for her, saying he was with her all night.  She’s a little hurt that Rick even asked.  Gabriel asks if she saw anything. She doesn’t answer though, she leaves to prepare for her next shift.

Difficult Talk

Rick finds Daryl (Norman Reedus). He says Justin’s wound looks like an arrow.  Daryl asks Rick if he thinks he did it, and Rick says no.  He says other do though. Daryl says if he was going to kill Justin, he would have done it in front of everyone.  He doesn’t know who killed him, but he knows why he was killed. And so does Rick.  By bringing everyone together, that’s part of the reason it happened. 

Rick says the future belongs to everyone, but Daryl reminds him that it’s a future that Glenn, Abraham and Sasha don’t get to have.  Did Rick think about what they want?  Rick says he has, but killing each other is not the way.  The world already belongs to the dead. Rick asks Daryl to try, even if he doesn’t agree. Let people see it and maybe people could move past everything that’s happened.  And maybe it will be one of the best decisions he’s made. Like not killing the guy who left his brother on a rooftop to die.

Several of the crew search the area for anything suspicious.  Maggie and Cyndie (Sydney Park) see a couple of walkers headed to an abandoned house.  Cyndie knows the area because she used to live around there.  There is a loose panel on the roof that is banging against the house. They have to fix it before it draws in more walkers.  While they are fighting, Cyndie falls through the porch. There are walkers inside the house and they burst through the front door.  Maggie is able to fight off the walkers, but one of them has Cyndie pinned down. Daryl and Rick show up in time to save her. 

Rick radios to another group that was supposed to meet them at the house. They go search for the group and find Beatrice (Briana Venskus) unconscious on the ground.  She says Arat called in the all clear.  They started walking towards the road and someone hit her from behind.  Maggie finds their radios, Arat has been taken.  

New Search

Lauren Cohan as Maggie Rhee, Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes – The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 3 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

The leaders convene back at the camp. The Saviors don’t know about Arat yet.  Carol says if they can’t find her then the Sanctuary is gone.  Rick is concerned that the bridge won’t get completed. Jerry (Cooper Andrews) asks what will happen if they find who took her. Who decides what happens to them? Will it be a Gregory or a Negan situation? Cyndie says when the time comes they will get what they deserve. Rick tells them to pair up and start looking.  

Rick and Carol search together.  Carol says she saw the war starting beginning again. She wanted to pull the trigger to stop it before it started.  If they don’t find Arat, it will start all over again.  Rick tells her about his talks with Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan). He says he wants to kill him every time.  Rick thinks about everyone they have lost. He knows he needs to honor them, to build life, not take it. Every life counts now. 

Daryl and Maggie talk while they search.  Maggie says part of her wishes she could see things Rick’s way.  When she looks at Hershel, she thinks about how things could have been and she can’t let that go. Daryl says she shouldn’t have to let it go. He hasn’t let anything go. Maggie thinks what Rick is doing is right for the future and better for Hershel.  They see a walker crawling toward a dead body.  Maggie kills the walker and Daryl pulls an arrow out of the dead body.  He knows who took Arat. 

Later That Night

Anne shows up at the junkyard where she used to live.  She opens a metal box and finds a radio.  When she gets on the walkie, she refers to herself as Jadis.  A man answers back, asking if she has an A or a B.  She asks if he took the Saviors, but he says they haven’t taken anyone.  He says the deal still stands, does she have an A or B? She says neither.  It’s just her now and she’s paid her share.  The man says she’s been compensated and asks for an A. He will meet her the next day.

Father Gabriel followed Anne to the junkyard. He asks who she was talking too and what she did.  Anne say she did bad things before. Gabriel gets upset. He stood up for her and he cares about her. Anne, as Jadis would trade people for supplies.  She tells Gabriel that she tried to fit in, but they will never trust her. She ask Gabriel to go with her, but he refuses.  He says he has to tell Rick about her.  That’s too bad. Anne thought he was a B. She hits him on the head and knocks him out.

Every Life Counts

Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes – The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 3 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Carol is alone and looking for clues. She hears a walker nearby and goes to check it out.  It’s Jed, but he’s not dead. DJ (Matt Mangum) comes out of the woods about the same time that Jed grabs Carol and holds a knife to her neck.  Rick comes out of the woods and holds his gun on Jed. Jed says they want guns.  The Saviors are leaving the bridge project and they want protection to make it home.  He commands Rick put down his gun or he will kill Carol.   What Jed doesn’t know is that Carol has a knife in her pocket. 

Rick tries to talk him down. He says if Jed kills Carol, everything they are doing ends.  Jed says it ended with Justin.  Carol says it’s over.  Rick agrees. Jed points his knife at Rick and Carol quickly turns around to stab him in the chest. DJ moves, but Rick stops him telling him to get on his knees.  Rick says they will fix Jed up at camp.  Jed asks why they don’t kill him. Carol says because every life counts.

No Exceptions

Maggie and Daryl arrive at the school yard where Justin died. They find the missing fuel and Cyndie holding a gun to Arat’s head.  Arat begs for Daryl and Maggie to save her. Maggie tries to talk Cyndie down saying by killing Arat, it will make matters worse.  Cyndie says Arat is the last one. She was ready to let it go, but then Maggie showed her the way when she killed Gregory.

Arat killed Cyndie’s brother. The boy  was only eleven years old. Arat tries to say she’s one of them now.  But Cyndie tells them that Arat smiled when she killed him.  He begged for his life and the only thing Arat could say was “no exceptions”  The exact same thing Negan said when he killed Glenn. Maggie and Daryl turn around and walk away to the sound of an arrow killing Arat. 

The next morning, Rick watches as the Saviors leave the camp.  Maggie and Daryl walk out of the woods and down the road back to the camp. She considers what Cyndie said about showing her the way.  Cyndie did the same for her.   They gave Rick’s way a chance.  Maggie says it’s time to see Negan.  

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I loved the Grimes Family Fun Day.  It’s rare for TWD to show those moments, but they are a part of life. These kids have it hard enough being born in the zombie apocalypse.  And we get to see Rick and Michonne smile.  

The Savior uprising was predictable.  Even after a year and a half, neither side wants to forgive or forget.  But to kill those that hurt you. Cyndie surprised me.  Following Maggie’s lead is something that can break everything apart.  The Saviors kill Oceanside, Oceanside kills the Saviors, the Saviors retaliate…it’s an endless cycle. I don’t know what it will take to fix the problem. Maybe Rick should give up on helping the Saviors. They’ve decided that they don’t need him, so just let them go and move forward with the communities that get along.  

The content that we are getting this season is the content we should have had in season 7 and 8.  The story move at a steady pace, we get more character development for the B team. And the conversations are straight to the point.  Kudos to Angela Kang for bringing The Walking Dead back to amazing storytelling!



Noetta Harjo
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