So, we’ve finally discovered what’s happened to the missing saviours and Maggie’s missing ethanol.
This episode ties up that sub plot but opens up the bigger questions around this season, - can the various communities live in peace with the once menacing saviours, and can the saviours accept their new place in the pecking order? All indications seem to be a resounding no.
Beyond the conflict in between the various survivors whilst building the bridge there are other stories developing, firstly, Maggie (Lauren Cohan) and Darryl’s (Norman Reedus) insurrection against Rick and the Anne Jadis (Pollyanna McIntosh)/Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) subplot.
The episode leaves us in no doubt as to the resolution of the former but the Anne story leaves us on a knife edge. I found myself asking where is this leading? Who was the voice on the radio? Why did Anne knock Gabriel out? And, arguably, the most important what is the significance of “A or B?”.
Rick is living in the utopia of Alexandria, taking Judith (Cailey Fleming) out on a family day with Michonne (Danai Gurira) to compensate for having to visit Siddiq (Avi Nash) for a check on a chest infection.
The bridge receives its supplies courtesy of Maggie from the Hilltop, albeit with a tense exchange between a group of saviours hunting for their missing friends, namely Justin (Zach McGowan).
Rick (Andrew Lincoln) seems intent on pushing his vision for the communities despite all opposition, alienating himself from friend and foe alike.
There’s also old foes settling past grudges whilst under the guise of co operation. This is the cause of the missing saviours and when discovered - it triggers a confrontation between the saviours and the other survivors forcing Rick to keep the peace. Whilst it strains the relationship between Rick and his allies.
The episode colludes with a walk out by the saviours - the incomplete bridge and Maggie and Darryl deciding to confront Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan). Not to mention Anne reaching out to the mysterious helicopter group with her walkie before being discovered by Gabriel.
I think this episode tied up some storylines neatly, whilst deepening the crisis between the communities and casting Rick further to the fringes.
The Anne storyline I think will somehow feed into the central arc of this season as it has been growing in the background for sometime now but quite how is yet to be seen.
Aside from a few action set pieces, this addition to season 9 acts to show us, with a lot of dialogue between key characters that all is not well in Rick’s new world. Just as Negan had foreshadowed.
It’s hard to have a fresh start when the skeletons of the past still haunt the survivors.
- Watched on Fox. 22/10/2018