The second episode of series 9, of THE WALKING DEAD opens with Rick basking in Carl’s vision for the future of the communities coming to fruition.
All the communities (Alexandrians, Hilltop, The Kingdom and The Saviours) unite to reconstruct the bridge (washed out in the previous episode by a flash flood) that links the supply routes between all the settlements. However, it doesn’t take long before for the uneasy truce to be strained to breaking point.
Tensions between the saviours and the other survivors are simmering and soon boil over when arguments arise about rations and the saviours not being allowed to arm themselves.
Maggie’s (Lauren Cohan) resentment of the saviours is worsened when she reveals to Michonne (Danai Gurira), who visits the hilltop to ask for more rations, that she will give no more of their surpluses to them. This is because the saviours have not held up their end of the trade, a delivery of ethanol –used to run their tractors has not arrived from Sanctuary.
The conflict between Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and Darryl (Norman Reedus) descends to new depths with Darryl only asking if they are both on the same side and declaring that he believes the saviours to be beyond retribution. This is in the heated aftermath of a walker attack, caused by a saviour that leaves one survivor with serious injuries.
This episode also introduces a sub plot between Anne / Jadis (Pollyanna McInotsh) and Gabriel (Seth Gilliam), seemingly innocent initially but I would keep an eye on this situation as I feel it will a major part of the story later in the series. These scenes ask us, whether we can trust Anne’s intentions and who is the group she is secretly communicating with?
All said, I think this episode foreshadows a lot of important events to come for our survivors. It ratchets up the tension between the various groups of survivors. This whilst providing the visceral action sequences we have come to love from The Walking Dead.
The main 3 talking points for me would be the somewhat out of character conflict between Rick and Maggie over their ideas about the saviours.
Secondly, Darryl openly opposing Rick in regards to the saviours which could end up being catastrophic for our group. This is Darryl and Rick after all, together from the start of the outbreak, brothers. If Darryl can turn on Rick then anyone could be swayed.
Last, but not least, the Anne subplot. She has never been fully accepted by the other survivors since Rick saved her in the last series. Her actions have always been suspect in my opinion and I think she has secrets yet to reveal. The question is, how will her secrets affect Rick and the other survivors?
This is an episode that leaves us with more questions than answers-the most mysterious being “A or B?”
- Watched on Fox. 15/10/2018