The Walking Dead Season 9 Episode 2 Recap
After last week’s episode, The Walking Dead’s ninth season continued to navigate the tenuous alliances forged in a post-Negan world. While Andrew Lincoln’s farewell as Rick Grimes remained a heavy focus in the show’s marketing, the latest episode was the first to showcase the impressive ensemble cast and weaving storylines that originally made the show so beloved.
The act of building bridges stood as a major plot focus in the episode, both physically and metaphorically. A coalition made up of members of various communities come together to rebuild a bridge that will better facilitate trade between the various bastions. Even young Henry pitches in as a water boy, though he runs afoul of a Savior named Justin when he demands more than his ration of water. Justin’s attempt to assault Henry is intercepted by Daryl’s fist and a brawl ensues. Rick breaks up the fight and gives Justin a chance to redeem himself.
At the Hilltop, Maggie is dealing with her feelings after publicly executing Gregory when Michonne arrives from the Sanctuary. A fuel delivery from the Sanctuary has gone missing in transit to the Hilltop and Maggie refuses to send extra food to the Sanctuary until it arrives despite Michonne best efforts to convince her otherwise.
Pulling One’s Weight
The rebuilding effort continues despite the project falling behind schedule. As if that wasn’t enough, a herd of walkers is bearing down on the work site. Tara and Barry coordinate a distraction to pull the herd away from the logging site with air raid sirens. But the additional siren spinner doesn’t comply, leading the walkers straight into the work site. A tree trunk falls on Aaron’s arm in the chaos, pinning him while the other fend off the dead.
Back at base camp, Enid, despite her medical inexperience, is forced to amputate Aaron’s arm due to the severity of his injury. It is revealed that Justin is responsible for not finishing the walker distraction. The revelation causes Daryl to attack him, though Carol holds him back. Justin’s culpability in Aaron’s injury leaves Rick no choice but to banish him from the community.
The Power of Connection
Despite the physical toll, multiple connections are still being forged within the work group. Gabriel and Anne begin a budding romance, while Carol quietly accepts Ezekiel’s marriage proposal while fellowshiping with the Saviors around a campfire. Nothing is cuter than Ezekiel’s lament that he prepared a speech for the moment giving way to true happiness at the end of a bleak day.
Away from the fray, Maggie is convinced by Jesus to allow Tammy to visit Earl in jail. After overhearing their discussion on Earl’s sobriety, Maggie pays him a visit. When asked, Earl reveals his failings due to drink, including putting his family in danger before the dead rose. When Earl asks why he wasn’t hanged like Gregory, Maggie gives him a non-committal answer and leaves.
The conversation leads Maggie to soften her approach to inter-community relations. She informs Michonne that the food destined for the Sanctuary is being packed and is open to establishing common laws between the communities. She even allows Earl to continue rebuilding the plow under supervision. Despite this change, she still stands by her decision to hang Gregory, deeming him irredeemable.
“You’re Just Getting It Ready For Me.”
The episode is bookended by Rick’s recount of the day to an unseen figure. As he expounds about how it’s human nature to come together, it is revealed that he is speaking to an incarcerated Negan. Negan questions Rick’s outlook, deeming the bridge a “monument to the dead,” including Carl.. Negan ends their conversation with a warning: “You’re not saving the world, Rick. You’re just getting it ready for me.” Elsewhere, Anne sees a helicopter flying over the base camp and Justin is taken by an unknown person who he clearly recognizes
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