Through seasons one to eight, Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and his group of survivors have experienced a lot. From countless of deaths, tensions between characters, and numerous opposing human tribes who prove to be even more dangerous than the walkers, it’s hard to imagine our favourite fighters going through anymore. But of course, the battle for survival is far from over, especially in this ninth season.
Running for now almost a decade, The Walking Dead enters a highly anticipated season nine meeting the fans’ high-expectations. The show, having earned one of the largest viewership of modern TV, proves that it has no plans of slowing down. For those who have not yet caught up with this season, here’s a quick recap of how the season has been doing so far.
Episode One – A New Beginning
Written by showrunner Angela Kang and directed by executive producer Greg Nicotero, the first episode of season nine opens with a time jump from where season eight left off. Eighteen months after Rick finally defeats Negan, viewers are shown how the communities of Alexandria, the Kingdom, Oceanside, the Sanctuary, and the Hilltop have tried to restore their societies and make them more viable.
In Hilltop, Maggie, who has just given birth to her and Glenn’s child (named Hershel), is elected leader. Over at the Sanctuary, Eugene and Daryl lead the last survivors as they try to deal with the infertile soil. At the Kingdom, Carol and Ezekiel are now a couple, and at Alexandria, Rick and Michonne lead while raising Judith.
Rick takes a group to Washington DC to find some pioneering supplies from a museum such as wagons, plows, canoes, and seeds. The journey becomes challenging due to a rainstorm wiping out the bridge. They end up leaving the supplies due to walkers, but at the end of the shuffle, Ken is bitten and dies. His parents and the Hilltop community are angry. Gregory, who lost the election to Maggie, is especially livid. He then implies to others that the election was a fraud.
At the Sanctuary where they end up bringing the supplies, Daryl discovers graffiti that pledge allegiance to Negan, who Rick decided to keep alive. Daryl no longer wants to run the Sanctuary and Carol offers to take over for him. Meanwhile, Michonne suggests that they should establish a new code of laws between the communities.
At Hilltop, Earl and Gregory ambush Maggie and try to overpower her. However, Maggie survives the encounter. Rick and Michonne then visit Hilltop to negotiate deal with Maggie about rebuilding the bridge, but Maggie says she is no longer following Rick’s way and hangs Greg before Rick and Michonne leave.
Episode Two – The Bridge
The episode opens with Rick conversing with somebody off-camera about the recent events surrounding the communities as they try to repair the washed-out bridge.
With the help of Eugene, Rick has been overseeing a group of Saviors as they provide the labor for the bridge repair, however they have not been able to keep track of a handful of them who have walked off. They also discuss a plan to destroy a roadblock as well as a plan to reroute a walker horde further using sirens.
After a conflict occurs with the Saviors at the bridge repair, Rick and Daryl take in the fact that they can no longer control the group due to the scarcity of food and Rick rushing the bridge repair. When they try to execute their plans with the roadblock and the siren, something goes wrong when the second siren does not go off. This leads to a walker threat and an incident where Aaron gets his arm crushed by a log, resulting in Enid having to amputate it. Rick reprimands Justin for not being able to sound the second siren and refuses to take his excuse for his mistake, so Justin ends up walking off.
Meanwhile at Hilltop, Michonne visits to negotiate a deal with Maggie involving an exchange of food and ethanol. However, Maggie refuses because they have thrown their blacksmith, Earl, in custody for ambushing her, and so they don’t have anyone to repair their plow for harvest. Eventually, Maggie learns that the ex-alcoholic Earl acted under Greg’s orders and that Greg had given him a drink. Maggie concedes and allows Earl to rejoin the community as well as agreeing to Michonne’s deal.
The episode ends with the reveal that Rick was relaying all this conversation with Negan who is being held prisoner at Alexandria, although it’s clear that Negan is not very interested in how Rick is handling things. Meanwhile, Anne spots a helicopter overhead while keeping watch and Justin gets attacked by someone he thought he recognized.
Episode Three – Warning Signs
Majority of the third episode of season nine revolves around Justin’s murder. While construction of the bridge continues, the re-animated body of Justin appears as a walker with clear signs that a human had caused his death. This sparks anger at the construction camp and creates conflict between the Saviors and the rest of the group. Before anything violent could break out however, Rick arrives and promises that an investigation will be held.
Rick questions Father Gabriel and Anne, but they report seeing nothing — although Gabriel had actually secretly stepped away during their watch and Anne saw the helicopter pass by.
The survivors are then paired off to investigate Justin’s murder. Maggie and Cyndie discover a house where Oceanside members formerly occupied and get into some danger with walkers in the area. They eventually survive with the help of Rick and the others. After the debacle with the house, the group finds Beatrice knocked unconscious and Arat, her partner, missing with only her things have been left behind.
This time without any help from the Saviors, Rick and his closest allies go searching again to figure out what’s been going on. Rick and Carol run into Judd and some saviors resulting in a clash where Carol ends up stabbing Judd in the shoulder. Meanwhile, Daryl and Maggie discover a building where Cyndie, Beatrice, and some Oceanside members have been holding Arat prisoner. They learn that this group has been behind the Savior deaths — killing those who have wronged them and getting revenge for the deaths of their loved ones, following Maggie’s example when she had Greg hanged. Maggie and Daryl can do nothing as Cyndie executes Arat.
In the meantime, Anne goes back to the Scavengers’ junkyard where she digs up an old radio and makes a call. She asks to be picked up by helicopter but the voice on the other end asks her for “A” or “B” — neither of which she has. The call ends when they agree that Anne will be picked up the next day when she delivers an “A”. It’s then when Anne discovers that Gabriel had stalked her and overheard the call. He figures out that Anne has been trading people to the voice on the other line for supplies and help, even going as far as to find out that she had planned on trading in Gabriel and Rick. Gabriel goes to tell Rick about this but Anne stops him, implying that he might be the “A” she needs.
At the construction camp, the team is heading back to the Sanctuary. Maggie and Daryl have a conversation where Maggie suggests that after Rick’s way has failed, they should approach the problem another way — and that way is to meet and speak to Negan.
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