Where one era ends another one begins. Such was the case for AMC’s The Walking Dead. Rick’s time among the original survivors may be on hold, or completely over, but those he empowered and brought together continued the resurrection he began. Everyone deals with loss differently, but the time and resolve affect all. Even walkers.
Time & Evaluation
Years have passed, but the old chestnut of “can we trust them?” never goes out of style. The first taste of such sentiments in a post-Rick world comes when Judith brings the survivors she saved back to Alexandria. While one of the newcomers is whisked away to the infirmary with a head injury, the others stand in shock at a thriving Alexandria. Those gazes soon meet with that of Michonne, returning from a scavenging outing. The years have made her untrusting of outsiders, but a now-ponytailed Eugene and Judith defend the newbies against her questioning. The group decides to let the council decide their fate and place the newcomers into holding. Judith discovers a gunslinger figurine that Michonne found during her exploits.
The newcomers run through their past lives and experiences during the council meeting. From a deaf journalist to an extremely lucky music teacher, the group relive their lives and losses in front of Gabriel, Michonne and company in an effort to convince them to let them stay. Michonne focuses on one in particular, Magna, revealing she lied about her past thanks to a prison tattoo. Michonne also uncovers a hidden knife on her, stoking distrust, before exiting the meeting hall. With their fate up in the air, the newbies ask Siddiq about what changed the community’s once welcoming approach.
Elsewhere, the Kingdom remains a thriving community, but is falling into disrepair. Water pipes, among other things, are starting to fail. However, Henry continues to repair them as best he can. They need proper tools and training though, both of which Ezekiel is hesitant to seek out due to the state of society and a distant relationship with the Hilltop. Henry is reprimanded for mouthing off to Ezekiel, but he gets his wish when he and Carol set out for the Hilltop.
Carol decides to take a detour, taking a path where the two come upon distant screams for help. The idealistic and naive Henry bolts for the voice, running headlong into a trap set by everyone’s least favorite former Savior, Jed. His gang rob Carol and Henry of their cargo, including Carol’s wedding ring, but spare their lives. Henry expresses disgust at Carol’s decision to not fight back against Jed in the moment. He clearly doesn’t understand Carol’s methods yet, as she returns to burn Jed and his entire gang alive in the middle of the night. Henry apologizes to her and notices the return of her wedding ring as they rendezvous with a now-nomadic Daryl.
Judith still believes she is right for bringing the newbies to Alexandria despite Michonne’s hard front. She soon learns that Michonne’s edifice isn’t without cracks, however, when she discovers her privately talking to Rick’s spirit. Her believes even remain steadfast in the face of a still incarcerated Negan, whose main purpose now seems to be that of a math tutor. The newcomers are upset at Magna’s actions, saying that they had no desire to fight Alexandria’s inhabitant except through discourse. They may be divided on how to approach Michonne, but they vote to leave peacefully if they are asked to do so. An angered Magna storms out.
The upset newcomer ends up on Michonne’s doorstep, knife drawn. She seemingly reconsiders her action when she sees Michonne with her son, RJ. She instead knocks on the door and relinquishes her final weapon as a show of trust to Alexandria’s leader. Michonne sees her own struggles in Magna as the two part, but Judith pushes her even further, pointing out that Rick would’ve wanted her to bring them here. Michonne agrees, although she remains non-committal. Judith hopes that Michonne can still hear both Rick and Carl before turning in.
The message seems to come across for Michonne as she agrees to lead the newcomers, along with Saddiq, to seek housing at the Hilltop the next morning. She gives Judith the gunslinger figurine, now painted to resemble Rick.
The Next Step
Things at Alexandria may be tense, but Eugene and Rosita undoubtedly believe that their ordeal is much more dangerous. Along with Gabriel, who is now romantically involved with Rosita, the two hatch a plan to expand the reach of their radio through a remote amplifier. Eugene and Rosita set out on an awkward car ride to mount the device on a water tower. They come across a set of fresh walker tracks, but luckily they lead away from the water tower.
The two accomplish their mission fairly easily, but Eugene notices the herd approaching them from atop the water tower. He tried to get down as quickly as possible, injuring his knee in the process. The two flee into the woods. Eugene eventually offers to sacrifice himself to save Rosita, but she denies him the chance, pulling him along until the two cover themselves in mud and hide in a creek bank. The plan appears to work as the walkers pass by without noticing them, but they are frozen in silent shock when the walkers begin to speak to on another. Are the undead evolving?
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