The Walking Dead returns with a brand new enemy that the survivors didn’t see coming. “Adaption” begins with Michonne (Danai Gurira) recapping the first half of the season. The war is over. The communities are working together to rebuild. But there are some who are still harboring hard feelings and seeking revenge.  

They let Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) live. He was in a jail cell in Alexandria but recently escaped. They also lost some of those they love, including Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln). Now, six years later, Rick’s vision of the future lives on in his kids. But the survivors may have just encountered the most dangerous foe of all.

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Michonne and Daryl (Norman Reedus) fight off the remaining walkers in the graveyard as Aaron (Ross Marquand), Magna (Nadia Hilker), and Yamiko (Eleanor Matsuura) get Eugene (Josh McDermitt) and Jesus (Tom Payne) out of there. Michonne locks the gate behind them, hoping to get a good headstart, but one of the new walkers easily opens the gate to follow.  

In Alexandria, Negan walks out of his cell and into the streets. He eats a tomato, grabs a shovel and heads for Rick’s house. Once inside, he goes straight to Judith’s room. No one is home though. Negan sees a compass and takes it for his journey.

Negan leaves Alexandria on The Walking Dead.

Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan – The Walking Dead  Season 9, Episode 9 – Photo Credit: Jackson Lee Davis/AMC

The next morning, Negan packs some food and takes his shovel towards the walls of Alexandria. No one is up so Negan starts climbing. Judith (Cailey Fleming) catches him. Holding a gun towards him, she says she will shoot him if he doesn’t climb down. Negan jumps down and suggests that she let him go. He won’t go back to his cell. If she lets him go, she will never see him again.

Judith says there’s nothing out there for him. And rules are rules, he has to go back. Negan promises not to hurt anyone. He says he has to go. Judith lowers her gun. She sees the compass around his neck and gets a little annoyed that he was in her room. She lets him keep the compass so he can find his way. Negan starts climbing again with a final warning from Judith. If she sees him again, she will shoot him.

The Last Ride

At the Hilltop, Tara (Alanna Masterson) gets a little worried and confers with some of the Hilltop residents about what to do. Marco (Gustavo Gomez) suggests sending out two parties of two to search for the group. Luke (Dan Fogler) hears them talking and volunteers for the search party. At first, Tara isn’t sure about sending Luke since he is new and all, but Alden (Callan McAuliffe) offers to team up with the new guy.

Michonne and Daryl lead their group back to the Hilltop. Michonne says it will mean a lot that they are taking Jesus’ body back to be buried. Daryl is sorry that he couldn’t do that for her. Michonne is sorry they couldn’t do that for both of them and what happened after. Whatever happened, Daryl is good with Michonne.

Michonne's group takes Jesus home on The Walking Dead.

Danai Gurira as Michonne, Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon, Ross Marquand as Aaron, Josh McDermitt as Dr. Eugene Porter, Nadia Hilker as Magna – The Walking Dead  Season 9, Episode 9 – Photo Credit: Jackson Lee Davis/AMC

Eugene takes the blame for Jesus’ death, but Aaron says Jesus made his own decisions. He knew the risk, even though none of them should have been out there. Magna sees a handful of walkers in the woods following them. Michonne and Daryl are able to trap the walkers inside a covered bridge. They kill all but one. It’s a young lady (Cassady McClincy). She easily gives up her weapon and begs them not to kill her. Daryl decides to take her back to the Hilltop for questioning.

A Hard World

Negan is making his way to the Sanctuary, but he runs into quite a bit of trouble along the way. Even though he knows how to handle the dead, he ruins his food and water supply. He tries to drink from the river, but that just makes him sick.

Negan walks through a town and goes into one of the stores. He finds a flashlight, a leather jacket and three hungry dogs. The dogs chase him through the store, but he outsmarts them, hiding on top of a shelf. The dogs leave to look for him through the store, so Negan sneaks out the back door and straight into a walker. He grabs the walker and throws him into the store where the dogs have caught up to him. He can hear the dogs crying from being attacked by the walker.

Negan makes it to the Sanctuary, but it’s in shambles. He finds a motorcycle, but nothing else is salvageable. There are some walkers in the courtyard and he recognizes one of them as big Richie. That makes Negan a little proud, but eventually, he realizes that the Sanctuary is dead. He kills all of the walkers and leaves.

Tara takes command of the Hilltop on The Walking Dead.

Alanna Masterson as Tara Chambler – The Walking Dead  Season 9, Episode 9 – Photo Credit: Jackson Lee Davis/AMC

The Hilltop search teams head out and shortly after Michonne’s group shows up. Tara and many of the Hilltop residents anxiously watch as one by one the rescue team arrives. Aaron is the last to walk in the gates, leading a horse with Jesus’ body.

They take the prisoner to the cells. Tammy Rose (Brett Butler) starts asking questions about who the girl is and what they will do with her. She tells Tara that a lot of people will look to her for justice. Henry (Matt Linz) watches as they bring the girl in. He sees Daryl and asks what’s going on. Daryl tells him that Jesus is dead.

Tara, Daryl, and Michonne interrogate the girl, asking who she is, where she comes from and how many people she’s with. The girl says they killed all her people. Her people dress like the dead to live. She says they were trying to see if their group were good people, but then they were attacked. Michonne wants to know what the girl’s people know about the Hilltop. She says she didn’t know anything. No one believes her but the girl breaks down crying.

What’s Next?

After the interrogation, Michonne tells Tara and Daryl that she is leaving first thing in the morning to warn her people. Tara thanks her for her help and says she will let the newcomers stay. Michonne warns Daryl that keeping the girl at the Hilltop is risky. He says he will get her to talk, but if she doesn’t they both know what needs to be done.

Siddiq (Avi Nash) fixes Eugene’s leg, but it was very painful. The doc leaves to get Eugene some bandages, so Eugene tries to talk to Rosita (Christian Serratos) again, to tell her that he loves her. She gets sick and runs out of the room. Siddiq checks on her, concerned that something major is wrong. Apparently, Rosita and Siddiq had a thing before Gabriel (Seth Gilliam). Rosita is pregnant and it’s Siddiq’s baby. Eugene hears the talking through the window.

Daryl lets Henry out of his cell for a little bit. Henry has one more night and he will fulfill his sentence. Henry apologizes for his behavior saying he doesn’t really know where he fits in yet. Meanwhile, the Hilltop residents dig a grave for Jesus.

Travelling Musicians
Luke and Alden search for their friends on The Walking Dead.

Dan Fogler as Luke, Callan McAuliffe as Alden – The Walking Dead  Season 9, Episode 9 – Photo Credit: Jackson Lee Davis/AMC

Alden gets to know Luke on their ride and learns that he’s a musician. He tells Luke about the fair to unite the communities. He suggests that Luke plays for everyone. Luke asks if Alden plays, but he only sings.

Luke finds an arrow in a tree. He almost gets attacked by a two-for-one walker, but Alden shows off his spear throwing skills and saves Luke. The arrow belongs to Yamiko and there is another one nearby. Luke thinks she was leaving a trail for them to find her. Alden isn’t sure though. Luke says if he’s right, then Alden has to sing at the fair.

They hear a herd of walkers nearby. Alden says they will get caught on the other side if they follow the arrows. They wouldn’t be able to get back to the Hilltop until the next morning. Luke says he will do whatever Alden wants to do.

Back to Life

Aaron helps Michonne load up supplies for the trip home. He takes the opportunity to tell her she’s right about protecting their own. The Hilltop has everything they need. They have to stay inside their home and protect their people; taking care of each other. He apologizes for not seeing it sooner. He leaves to get Eugene so they can leave.

Daryl comes out of the barn, giving Michonne a chuckle. She tells him that Alden and Luke aren’t back yet and asks what he’s going to do with the girl. He’s not sure it’s up to him, but Michonne says he’s the best judge of character. Besides, Hilltop and Tara need him. Tara is smart, but she can’t lead alone. They need to do whatever it takes to make sure no one else gets killed.

Henry watches Daryl question the prisoner on The Walking Dead.

Matt Lintz as Henry – The Walking Dead Season 9, Episode 9 – Photo Credit: Jackson Lee Davis/AMC

The Hilltop says goodbye to Jesus and Alexandria leaves for home. Daryl gets emotional and goes to jail to question the girl again. He threatens to give her over to the people at Hilltop if she doesn’t talk. The girl says there were about ten people in her group and they don’t have names. She doesn’t know how long they were out there. They wear the skin of the dead to stay alive and to protect the walkers.

Daryl asks if the girl had a place with walls. She says walls don’t keep anyone safe; places like the Hilltop will fall. Daryl asks again how many people were in her group. She only tells him about her mom. Her mom was in the graveyard and got separated. That’s the only person she knows that is out there. Her mom told her they have to adapt to the new world. They need the dead so they won’t be alone and they were always going to kill them, the Hilltop people. It’s what people do now. Kill or be killed.

As she speaks, Henry is yelling at Daryl to leave her alone, but Daryl yells back for him to shut up. Daryl tries to drag the girl out of her cell to take her to the people. Henry keeps yelling at him to stop and the girl begs for her life. Daryl lets her go and tells Henry that he will be staying in the cell longer. He needs to wise up.

The girl thanks Henry for helping her. He says he couldn’t let Daryl hurt her. He tells her his name and finds out her name is Lydia. Daryl sits outside, listening to their conversation.

The Trail
Alden and Luke follow a trail to trouble on The Walking Dead.

Dan Fogler as Luke, Callan McAuliffe as Alden – The Walking Dead  Season 9, Episode 9 – Photo Credit: Jackson Lee Davis/AMC

Negan rides his motorcycle down the road when Judith steps out and shoots at him. She tells him that everyone is looking for him. Negan is actually headed back to Alexandria and back into his cell. Judith was right. There’s nothing outside for him. She asks what happens after that. Negan doesn’t know, but he will tell her when he figures it out.

Magna checks on Enid (Katelyn Nacon) who is worried about Alden. She says their relationship is really new, but she’s so worried. Magna tells her that Luke is a survivor and Alden is in good hands.

Luke and Alden follow the arrows and find themselves surrounded by walkers. One of the walkers pulls a gun on them and says the trial end here.

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We start the second half of season 9 with more questions. Mainly about the new villains. We all know that Lydia is lying. But I have to wonder if Daryl just set her up. I think he is using Henry’s sentimental heart to get answers from the girl. Whether or not that’s the case, the Hilltop is about to find out who they are dealing with.

Daryl was involved with whatever happened to Michonne. So why is the Hilltop okay with Daryl, but not Michonne?

I like how the writers put Negan in bad situations one after the other to show him that he can’t survive on his own. But come on! A ten-year-old girl is not that intuitive. A regular ten-year-old would have asked a million questions and then ask to go with him. But that was cute.

I think the Whisper storyline will move pretty fast. There’s a lot to come, both good and bad. Prepare yourself, this will not end well.



Noetta Harjo
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