The Walking Dead 9×04 Review

The Obliged

Michonne

As the episode begins, we’re shown a series of short clips of Michonne. But why are we seeing this? This is because the showrunners will be wanting a smooth transition of Michonne once Rick’s departure occurs. They’re basically showing us creating laws, building futures, settling scores, spending time with Judith, looking after the weak. She is transforming into a born leader.

We all remember Michonne from the past seasons as this brutal, destructive character that was well compared to Daryl. But what about her past? In the past before the apocalypse, she grew up with a keen interest to modern art, as well as literature living a privileged lifestyle in a stylish apartment with her boyfriend (Mike) and son (Andrew). She originally had two daughters in the comic books, and one of them actually turns up eventually at the Commonwealth. However, in the TV series Andre, her son was confirmed gone in Season 3 as we’re shown her arriving back at her camp. Her boyfriend (Mike) and his best friend (Terry) were supposed to keep her Andre safe, but she finds them also dead and decides to keep them as pets as punishment. Chopping off their arms so they can’t grab, and jaws so they can’t bite. Michonne really has lost everything, especially after Andrea’s death at the end of Season 3.

We saw her become a very important asset of the group, that was always going on supply runes willingly, wanting to help. She didn’t question any decisions made by Rick or the others, she followed and learnt along the way from the best. She finally saw her place in the group in Season 4, we see her with her own very own horse that she names Flame. She becomes one of the runners along with Daryl that brings out others to teach them and train them in the outside world.

Stuck In The Past

Getting back to the episode whilst Ricks away, she knows that she is in charge of things. She has to hold down the fort until he returns, which is highly unlikely now. In the first few episodes, we’re shown subtle hints of Michonne thinking about the future that includes laws & agreements. These are shown in my previous reviews, go check them out! She also has a long chat with Maggie, discussing the future and how it won’t happen without laws in place to deal with people accordingly.

However once this short heartwarming scene is over with, we see Michonne waking up from her sleep every single night and not waking Rick. Taking her katana and venturing outside of the walls. But why do we see this? This is because Michonne, as much as she’s trying to forget about her past. She can’t, she is built for this apocalyptic world and we’re told why by Negan later on in this episode which I’ll explain there. Michonne has a connection to the dead, she has an addiction to killing them all. Do you guys remember when the prison was destroyed? Where she was by herself again for some time before finding Rick and Carl, she completely wipes out a herd of walkers by herself. She has lost all hope, as that was the first time she really saw a future for herself. And the only way she could deal with it was to go back to how she used to before she found Andrea in Season 2.

Both scenes are similar in a sense, they just show completely opposite sides of Michonne. They show her potential future, along with the past she carries. Michonne has to have been venturing far from the safe zone around the communities, as in the previous episode we see them scouting grids looking for Arat and most of these grids are cleared from walkers.

Most nights are the same for her, as we’re shown Michonne killing, arriving back home, cleaning and then going back to sleep. However, on one occasion Michonne kills a few walkers as usual but this time see’s a walker strung up. This walker could mean a few things, as she looks at it in confusion and sadness. It could mean that this walker was one of the Saviours that has gone missing, it could mean that she’s thinking about what Maggie did to Gregory in the first episode. Or, which I believe the most is that she sees the walker as her boyfriend (Mike). But why do I think this? Because in these scenes we don’t see the Michonne planned for the future, we see Michonne in her past. Dealing with things how she always used to deal with them. Also because this walker is completely helpless as it’s strung up by its neck. As well as it’s hands together, and this sounds like to me Michonne’s boyfriend (Mike) as a pet walker. He also couldn’t use his jaw or hands because Michonne had cut them off.

As Michonne is stunned in the scene, we then see her have a tense grapple with a real threat that can use its mouth and hands. After a few seconds, as she’s already dropped her katana we see Michonne pick up a weapon from the floor quickly to take out the walker. But what’s the weapon? It’s a bat. This bat is a direct reference to Negans bat (Or wife, Lucille) reminding her even more of her past. Michonne is locked in her past, and she’s sugar coating it by trying to be something she’s not (yet anyway).

Maggie Heads To Alexandria

As we saw in the previous episode, on the night of Arat’s death we see Maggie’s fire begin to start sparking as the “No exceptions” quote comes from Arat’s mouth. Maggie is tipped over the edge and finally decides after a year and a half to visit Alexandria. She can’t have this on her shoulder for the rest of her life, she can’t live with it knowing that Negan gets to live. She doesn’t see it from Ricks point of view, even admitting that she wishes she could before she decides with Daryl to formulate a plan to get in.

Speaking with Jesus, he reports to Maggie about another letter from Georgie (The woman who we saw in the previous season, handing her the book named “Key to the future). Maggie has been keeping all of the letters in a drawer in her office, as we’re shown in a previous episode but this time Maggie isn’t eager to read the new one. Sensing somethings up, Jesus questions Maggie about the crowbar she just picked up from the blacksmiths. Realising she’s going to Alexandria with Dianne, Jesus tries to talk her out of it but her mind is already made up. I wonder how these letters are being delivered, there are a number of ways that I’ve thought of.

One, there could be homing birds that have been trained to deliver letters to certain areas. This would be a very interesting character to see further down the line, as it’s yet another profession we haven’t seen yet on the show. Two, a scout from Hilltop and Georgie’s group could be meeting halfway to relay back letters to each other. As we don’t know where Georgie’s group is, we can only imagine it to be a long distance.

As Jesus has always followed Maggie’s decisions, respecting her every move Jesus steps aside and lets her out of Hilltop.  He is a very respectful man and was clearly built for this world as we’ve previously seen him take out Walkers in very stylish ways. He is cunning, as well as a confident loyal character that would do anything for Hilltop.

Further, in the episode, we see Maggie and Dianne heading to Alexandria. On the way, we see a pile of walkers that have been decapitated and unless there is another katana-wielding badass in this area then the only person it can be is Michonne. Maggie realises this as she slows down and we’re shown the shot of the walkers. But what is Maggie thinking as she sees this? Personally, I believe that she realises Michonne has been way out of Alexandria’s grids to kill walkers and thinks why? Why would she want to come all the way out here to kill walkers? She simply doesn’t want people to find out that she’s still struggling to live in her new role. She’s still fighting with her past. Further up in this review I explain the comparison between Michonne’s past and present.

Rick Finds Out About Maggies Mission

As a new day starts, members of the community report back to Rick on the latest to get him up to speed after last night. Starting with Eugene, we see him speak in the only way Eugene can. By turning every sentence into a highly intellectual but comedic string of words. He presumes Rick has seen the water level rising at the bridge, as Eugene predicted in previous episodes. Without the help of the Saviours to build those last bits of support then there is no bridge. Eugene goes on to tell him that “Nature has seriously served us up a bowl of whoop-ass”. Rick asks him about the chances of the bridge holding without the supports as Eugene tells him that it’s very slim pickings.

Eugene

Notice the camera follow Rick and Eugene through this shot, we see Daryl and Beatrice from Oceanside. But why do we see this? Usually, in the background, there wouldn’t be any main characters as it can distract us from what we’re being shown in the foreground. I think we see this because we know Daryl is watching Ricks every move, he knows eventually he’ll find out about Maggie’s departure from Hilltop to Alexandria. So showing us that he’s keeping an eye on him tells us that he’s up to no good. As for Beatrice, we know that she is along with Cyndie the main culprits of the mysterious disappearances of the Saviours. Passing her, we the viewers already know that she is to blame for them but Rick hasn’t found out yet. It makes us want to shout at the screen and tell Rick that it’s her.

Back to the conversation at hand between Eugene and Rick, Eugene tells him that there is a silver lining to the bad news he’s just given him. The herds that we’ve been told about in previous episodes are going as planned, they’re back on track after the incident at the Logging site (Aarons’ arm) and are showing no signs of merging. As Rick wraps up the conversation, Eugene speaks out to him and tells him that he’s truly sorry that he couldn’t have done more for the bridge. It’s like the show now is showing us individual conversations between Rick and his group, upsetting us as this is probably the last time they’ll speak or even see each other. Rick tells Eugene to not apologise for anything, he’s the one that got them here. This is referencing back to Eugene’s plan right from the start of Season 7 as he is taken along with Daryl to the Saviours.

People still think that Eugene betrayed Rick and everyone else, especially Abraham by joining the Saviours. But because he is different, of course, he has different ways of doing things as we’ve seen since his arrival back in Season 4. We’ve seen Eugene evolve, from a coward that lied to Abraham and Sasha for their safety. To a very strong part of the group, he is the scientist and most intellectual. He has a very quick brain, coming up with new and inventive ideas on way to do things like the bridge for example. Eugene never betrayed anyone, it was his plan right from the start when he entered the Sanctuary to wait for the right moment to strike (The ammo factory he originally found with Abraham).

Carol

Again we now see Rick talking to Carol, previously in my last review (Episode 3) I presumed that might have been their last conversation but we’re blessed with a heartwarming one as Carol tells him that she wished her way could have worked. But it just wasn’t to be. As soon as this scene starts, the first words that are said are “Hey, you leaving too?”. The communities are divided and have abandoned the project, Ricks plan has all gone upside down and Carol feels for him. She talks about how she’s taking back the people from The Kingdom back home, for their own safety.

But what about the Sanctuary? Carol was their leader after all and was keeping them in line. People like Justin and Jed sabotaged the Saviours fate and has convinced Carol to leave them to their own accord. To let them do what they want, and if they come back trying to fight everyone will be ready for them. She knows that they don’t want anyone there any more that wasn’t a Saviour, and they definitely don’t want Negan there as Carol tells us. They just want to be left so they can survive on their own.

Towards the end of the scene, we see it gradually getting more upsetting, as Carol talks about how leaving them on their own will let them figure out who they want to be. Rick, replying with “Like you did?” with a response of “Like we all did” is powerful as even though she’s given up on the Saviours that doesn’t mean they can’t change. Before she saw Ricks plans, Carol would’ve been all for abandoning them or even killing them just like Daryl and Maggie wanted. Carol wants them to see the right way of surviving, and come to terms with themselves but they’ll only do that by surviving on their own.

Ending the scene, just like with Eugene previously Rick compliments Carol. Telling her that if anyone can give hope in how things turn out, it’s Carol. Apologising to Rick, she admits that she wanted things to work the way Carl wanted. We don’t often see Rick smiling at characters, but this private conversation with Carol show’s a few. It’s like it’s telling us more that this is now the last words they say to each other before Ricks Departure.

“Get outta here” are the last words we hear Rick say to Carol in this episode.

Jerry

After the upsetting conversation we hear between two of the three veterans of the show (Rick and Carol), Jerry arrives at the scene with important news. We can only presume that Jesus has reported to the Kingdom that Maggie is heading to Alexandria, as the call comes in from the Hilltops relay. Rick knows exactly what this means, he knows Maggie is now heading to Alexandria despite the invite he gave her back in the previous episodes. After that fateful night with the Oceanside ladies (Cyndie in particular) and Arat, she tells Maggie that she showed them the way realising that people don’t just follow Rick, they follow her too.

Rick thanks Jerry as he rides off the scene. Now here’s an interesting part, we see that a member of Oceanside is involved in Maggie’s mission. Which supports previously Maggie showing Cyndie the way, Rachel is on watch looking out for any trouble. Relaying to his first contact on the radio frequency, Rick tells Rachel to get his message back to Alexandria ASAP. “If Maggie Rhee shows up, delay her at the gate and alert Michonne right away”. This would give Rick time to get home before anything happens. He even calls out to Maggie on the radio in case she’s listening in asking her to talk before she does something. Rachel puts down the radio and says “I think she’s done talking”. So Rachel knows the plan right to the last detail.

Nora

Cutting back to Alexandria, we see Michonne enjoying time with Judith as she reads to her. Knocking at the door, one of the communities gardeners or otherwise known as Nora has updates she’d like to report to Michonne with. This is Nora’s first appearance on the show and isn’t written in the comics so no history of her life is known. She reports to Michonne that crow activity is increasing in number eating at least a quarter of the tomato crops. Now we hear about the whereabouts of the Windmill will be built as people have been wondering what it’s meaning is from the shows new intro theme. Michonne tells her that once the windmill is built it will help and reduce problems like that, assuring her that once Eugene is back they’ll talk about it.

Nora also mentions Negan, as Scott has tried to make him eat this morning but he is refusing to. Nora even tells us that she was going to try and make him eat, showing us that she isn’t scared of him. Michonne tells her that it’s ok and that she’ll deal with it as Negan is her responsibility.

Michonne pays Negan a visit with a fresh plate of food. Note that this is the first time she’s seen him in a very long time, but we’ll get onto that later. Telling him that his hunger strike ends today, Negan replies in a very Negan way telling her that he’s just not in the mood to eat. We can clearly see that Michonne doesn’t want to take any shit from him so is stern with him as she tells him that she wants the food gone before she returns. But why is this? It’s because Michonne can’t stand him, there is a reason much deeper than the fact he’s killed her friends. I’ll talk about this more as the scene progresses.

Now Negan tells her that if she wants him to eat, then she has to do something for him which is to stay and talk to her. By staying and talking, Negan breaks Michonne. Using his manipulative way of saying things, he can read people very easily. And what did we talk about at the start of the episode? What were we shown? A struggling Michonne, that’s still fighting with her past as she shows us her addiction to the dead. She gives Negan the chance to talk, 20 minutes to be exact until she has to go do other things.

This is where we see Negan take his opportunity to break down Michonne. He asks why she is stuck here at Alexandria whilst Rick and everyone else is out there building that bridge. He knows that Michonne is a born warrior, that she isn’t supposed to be “Planting kale and kissing booboos”. Michonne now openly says what I’ve previously mentioned. She tells him that they’re rebuilding the world, creating a new government and applying laws. That they’re at the start of everything, as nothing is holding them back from doing so now Negan is locked away in the cell.

Notice how she wipes away dust from the same arm in the previous episode she wipes away blood from so Rick doesn’t see. This is a reference to that, as Negan begins to compare her to him.

Openly talking about his wife (Lucille), he tells Michonne that he is grateful she didn’t have to see him like this. “As opposed to the asshole that you were before?” Michonne replies with. Not rising to it, Negan carries on telling Michonne about how pure she was, how much of an angel she was that didn’t deserve what she got. Forcing Michonne to ask how she died as much as she didn’t want to. She died of cancer, as she died before the apocalypse happened. We’re told this in a previous season. They always wanted a child, a child just like Carl as Michonne responds telling him that she sees him everywhere.

“Do you see him in this cell?”
“Everywhere”

Negan now sees how much Michonne meant to her, knowing that she saw him as a child. He realises that she wasn’t his first child, as her son (Andre) was killed too. This angers Michonne as Negan starts to break her down with his manipulative words. She snaps at Negan, telling him that he just didn’t make it. Just like Lucille? At the start of everything? This is another comparison between them both, as Negan apologises for his death.

He then goes on to tell her that it’s better this way, it’s better than Lucille and Andre had died. As they both would’ve made them weak in the apocalypse. If Lucille had survived cancer (He told us that she was very weak at the time), she just wouldn’t have made it in this world. And it’s the same for Andre, if her 3-year-old son had of survived she would not have been able to do what she has done, and that’s become a warrior that’s built for this world.

“We were built for more, we still are Michonne”

Negan is now inside Michonne’s head, as she is reminded of her past she knows that he is right but just doesn’t want to accept it. Negan even ends up mentioning Andre’s name which is spine-chilling, how she’s grateful he’s gone so she can live in this world like she was supposed to. As she knows full well that if he would’ve lived it would only have made her weak. Michonne can’t hear anything else Negan has to say, so she flips over the tray of food and leaves the prison in shock.

Later on in the episode, we see Michonne getting back to her duties as a leader whilst Ricks gone, writing what looks like a book of laws or even a manual for something. Thinking about what Negan told her earlier, we see her looking back and forth to her Katana that’s hung up on the wall. She’s still confused about what Negan said to her, which results in another visit to him in his cell.

He knew she would return, bringing along another plate of food she asks him why did he say that stuff to her? We could see that Negan was very well not trying to piss her off, he was just trying to make her understand that he’s just like her in many ways. Now we get on to what I was saying previously.

“You’re trapped same as me, connected to the dead the same as me, we’re the same and you can’t stand that we’re the same”.

This is such a powerful quote, as it confirms that Michonne is the same as him. If you didn’t already catch on about what Negan means then you do now. She is trapped just like Negan, as he’s rotting behind bars only thinking of Lucille as well as Michonne trapped behind walls only thinking of Andre. This is why we see her outside the walls, as it’s her last connection to Andre. Killing the ones that killed him. She is connected to the dead the same as Negan as they both lost someone they care about, and that someone has made them strong in this world, someone that belongs in this world and is meant to survive.

Now here is where we see Michonne shut Negan down. She tells him that they aren’t the same, yeah they do stuff to get shit done. She works her hardest every day to bring people together, rather than against each other. Which is what Negan is, there were never any alliances. Only punishment, forced into working for him through agonising death and torture. Michonne admits that she gets strength from the dead (Referring to Andre mostly, but walkers as well) and tells him that she lives for the living. To keep people safe, to bring them together to rebuild civilisation.

“My sons are gone, but this world is going to be better for my daughter and every other child that comes into it”.

This is probably the best acting I’ve seen from them both, the writers also have done an amazing job perfecting this scene with every word. That quote firstly tells us that she considered Carl as her son, not just her best friend. And know is telling us that she sees Judith as her daughter. I’m so proud of her for telling us that, it’s amazing to see just how much she cares about them. She even speaks about other children being born into this world, which could only tell us one thing. The possibility of her being pregnant, and I am certain in fact that she is. In the comics, she has two girls which I told you about previously, both of those girls are presumed dead until one of them shows up at the Commonwealth. Now, how amazing would it be for her to have two daughters that are born into this world? Judith and the one she had with Rick. Once they do a time jump, seeing Michonne with two daughters by her side would be incredible to see. It just shows us the talent that the writers etc of the show have, and how they’re able to twist and turn things from the comics.

“There is nothing worse than nothing” (N)
“As long as you’re still breathing, it’s not nothing”. (M)

We can see now that all this time, Michonne hasn’t come down here because she was scared to face the truth and her fears. However, facing her fears she’s even stronger than she was before. Telling him to eat, Negan takes a bite out of the sandwich showing that he’s grateful for Michonne coming down here and talking to him. By eating, just like before when he asked her to sit down and talk to him. He again wants her to do something for him, and that something is to ask the whereabouts of Lucille.

“I want to see her, I need to see her, please”

All this time, this whole conversation was to try and get Michonne on her side just to see Lucille one last time. You can understand why it’s his only connection to the dead that he has left so seeing her would put him at rest. He presumes that Michonne knows where she is, but she tells him that Lucille is still out there alone and rotting away. Remember how she picks up the bat from the pile of garbage? (Which isn’t Lucille) this has to be a direct reference to this.

A dark atmosphere suddenly covers the scene, as we see Negan feel different emotions, anger as well as sadness. This is the first time we’ve seen Negan like this, and it’s shocking to see how much Lucille means to him in how he’d do anything to keep her safe. He becomes enraged, as he speaks to himself about how he’s going to see his Lucille. He does this by smashing his head on the wall multiple times which is possibly a last-ditch attempt as he realises his only hope of seeing her is now gone. Suicide.

At the end of the episode, we’re shown that as well as trying to lead Alexandria she’s still keeping Judith from the outside world as she spends time with her reading a children’s book.

However, she’s reminded once more of Lucille, as the children’s book is about a baseball team gearing up to go play. What does this mean? Could this mean Michonne has second thoughts about going to find Lucille? Maybe it has something to do with the bat she previously saw at the beginning of the episode. Or maybe she’s just being reminded once more of her connection to the dead, that the words Negan has said to her are running through her mind.

Anne and Gabriel

As we’ve all been eagerly waiting to see Gabriel’s fate to the hands of Anne and the mysterious voice on the helicopter. We see him tied up, just as Negan was back when she captured him. This could show that Anne has been doing this for a long time, even before her people who followed her as Jadis were brutally murdered by Simon.

We see Anne taking care of Gabriel, showing that she does care about him however he is her ticket out of here before anyone else finds out what she’s been doing. We see this as she wipes the sweat from his forehead, for a place to kiss as she says her goodbye. Waking up, Gabriel’s first sight is Anne’s latest art creation. A Walker tied to a trolly, with no arms and currently wearing a bucket. But why? For a start, removing the arms from the walker reduce the threat of it by a huge amount. Also, wearing the bucket stops it from making noise as it can’t see anything, well not the loud groans anyway. I’ll talk about this in my official theories section of the website, but I believe that it’s the same walker she’s been using for the majority of the missing people that she’s traded for supplies.

As Gabriel begs her to not do this, Anne tells him that she has to as he is the “Price of Admission”. Take note of that line, it’s vital towards my theory for A’s and B’s. You can see that Anne doesn’t want to do this, she tried her hardest to move on from her past like Gabriel but she can’t. She was drawn to him in the first place as she thought they shared the same past but she realised Gabriel isn’t stuck like she is anymore. This relates back to Michonne, as she’s stuck in the past but is trying her hardest to see past it every day by fighting for Rick, Judith and of course Alexandria.

As she slowly lowers the walker to bite Gabriel, he tries his hardest to make her realise that she doesn’t have to do this. He tells her that he’s a better person because of her, but it was all for nothing. Blaming his self for what she’s about to do, telling her that he pushed her away when she asked for help because he was afraid too. Hoping that she can forgive him someday, Anne shows clear signs that she doesn’t want to do this. She wants to find another way for her to survive.

“I forgive you, Anne”.

This changes Anne’s mind, as she realises just how much Gabriel cares about her. He blames his self for this, he apologises to Anne as a Walker is about to take a chunk out of him. He knows he’s going to die and turn, but still apologises to Anne. This shows how strong Gabriel is, he isn’t weak anymore. He isn’t the man running from his problems, begging for safety from others. He didn’t originally belong in this world, but thanks to his family he has found a place. He is a voice of wisdom, spirituality and peace.

Towards the end of the episode, we see Gabriel wake up in a crate after being smothered. It’s the same crate Rick and Negan both woke up in previously. But this time Anne wasn’t there, she has abandoned Gabriel and leaves him only with a note.

“If you wanna go fast, go alone. If you wanna go far, go together. I need to go fast”.

Jed Confronts Carol

As we previously knew that the project was being abandoned as the communities divided, we see Carol, Beatrice, Jerry and a few others packing up to head back to the Kingdom. Locking up gun’s and loading them up, Carol spots movement in the trees as the Saviours try to sneak up on them. Jed, speaking for the saviours and leading them into what could only mean death as they face Carol he tells us that they’ve found out about who’s killing them. Which we all knew was Oceanside, Jed and the other Saviours (That don’t look that confident may I add) are prepared to fight back and start something else.

Carol gives Jed a warning, telling him to stop before he gets everyone killed. But he refuses to listen to her, as he tells them to drop their weapons. But why does Carol lower her weapon first? Because she is smart, we all know how she assesses situations for every possible outcome in her head very quickly. She’s dealt with people like Jed before, do you not remember at the end of Season 6 where she put on the act of a scared weak woman but ended up brutally killing a whole group of Saviours? But how can she put on this act? It’s because it’s who she used to be. Carol has this ability to find her past self, as she was so used to it at the beginning of the apocalypse as well as before it.

As Jed takes the keys from Carol’s belt, he lets his guard down for a split second (You’d think he learnt from the previous episode as Carol stabs him with a hidden blade) and kick him to the ground accompanied by a backhand. This shocks the Saviours, the only thing they can think of is to fight. As the whole scene erupts, we’re cut away from the scene back to Rick and Daryl as they both hear the gunshots starting.

The Pit

Rick needs to get to Alexandria fast if he has any chance of stopping Maggie from killing Negan, so offering him a lift on his motorbike instead of a horse Daryl and Rick set off back. But we all know Daryl is up to something.

As Daryl rides his motorbike over a crossroads, we’re shown for a few seconds this shot below but the majority of viewers wouldn’t have thought anything of it. Notice how this scene is placed on a Junction, one way to Alexandria, one way back to Hilltop and the other way through the camp to the Kingdom. This is the moment where Daryl misses the turning to go to Alexandria, which later on is the place where Rick ends up impaled right through a bar. A lot of people will blame Daryl for this but there is no way he wanted it to come to that, he just wanted to let Maggie get it over with and deal with anything else later.

As Rick tells Daryl to stop, they square up against one another as they show their disagreements this time in a way like they did in the previous season. Fighting. A few grapples and shoves here and there, sending them down a hill (Take reference from Season 2 Episode 5, Chupacabra). This scene is just like the one with Daryl in that episode, as he finds himself stuck with his real brother Merle but as a hallucination. This time he’s stuck with his brother Rick and has to work with him settles their differences to make it out alive. We’ll get onto more referencing from this episode in a little bit.

Trapped with only each other for company (Well, so far anyway) we see them forced into a conversation that ALL of us have been waiting for.

“You know what keeping Negan alive means to us” (R)
“I know what seeing him dead means to her” (D)

This is a tough cookie. How on earth do we side with someone when they’re both right? No one is in the wrong here, as Rick explains to Daryl that he gets what she can’t accept it. For never coming to Alexandria, for hanging Gregory. It’s clear now that Maggie’s fire inside of her has been lighting gradually over the past year, part of me want’s to believe that hanging Gregory wasn’t anything to do with how mad she is at Negan. But in my opinion, she hung Gregory because she was looking for someone to lash out on, yes, of course, Gregory literally tried to kill her but so have many other people. They’ve simply been killed there and then, whereas Gregory was executed publicly. A better choice would have been to exile him but he would simply run to join the remaining Saviours to add to their numbers. He was a lost cause, not built for this world.

Getting back to the pit, Daryl tells Rick that if it wasn’t for Glenn he wouldn’t have found Lori or Carl, or even any of them. Glenn is to blame for everything that’s happened, he was the foundation of this world and the strength from him still lives on in the ones that are still going. Remember, Glenn saved him from that herd of walkers in that first episode.

Reasoning with Daryl, Rick goes onto telling him that he spared Dwight. The man who killed Denise in Season 6 with Daryl’s own crossbow as well as torturing Daryl in Season 7. But why does he mention this? It’s because he’s trying to compare with him that there had to be a reason for sparing Dwight, as well as Rick having his reasons to spare Negan.

“You mean locking me in a damn closet? Parading me around so I couldn’t say nothing?”

Daryl is comparing himself to Negan, this is exactly how he was treated at the Sanctuary, wasn’t allowed to talk to anybody and was locked away the majority of the time.

“You got that guy sitting in a cell like a damn symbol, to all the assholes who can’t wait for things to go back to the way they were”

Darl’s right here, the remaining Saviours know that Negan is still alive and being kept in a cell to see this new world. However, the majority of the Saviours in the previous episode when Rick entered the Sanctuary were happy that Negan was gone, as to a few that opposed of it that we’ve seen various signs of.

“Keeping him alive is how we make sure it won’t” (R)
“No, keeping him alive is giving em hope that it will” (D)

Again we’re hit with this again like before, both of them are correct. They both have every right to be saying what they’re saying. There are points to both side, however, Daryl thinks that the Saviours will end up rising up again to save Negan. Now remind yourself of the previous scene where we saw Carol square up with Jed from the Saviours? There are around 10 people that are in favour to rise up against everyone. But that still doesn’t tell us that they want Negan back, not once do they mention that that’s their purpose. As Carol spoke with Rick before, she tells Rick that she knows that they don’t want anything to do with Negan anymore and that they just want to be left alone to survive. And if they eventually came for us, they’d be ready.

This is where Rick now finds out about Oceanside killing the Saviours. Daryl never told Rick about it as he knew it would complicate his and Maggies plan. This is anything but loyalty to Rick here, this has to be one of the first time we’ve ever heard him say anything along the lines of betrayal. Not telling Rick could’ve got a lot more people killed, and it already has as Jed and the remaining saviours from the project have just opened up on Carol and others.

“Carl, Carl died for nothing” (R)

Feeling for Rick, we see him reduced to tears as he mentions Carl to Daryl. If Negan dies, then Carl has died for nothing and he is not wrong. All this time, since his death Rick has been fighting for Carl’s envision. Putting aside any problems it might cause along the way, everything right from the start was for Carl.

“I would’ve died for you, I would’ve died for Carl but you gotta hear me, you’re chasing something for him that ain’t meant to be man” (D)

This is so powerful, Daryl shows that he’s still the most loyal character on the show despite disagreeing with Rick on this one occasion. He tells him that he would have died for him, as well as Carl. We’ve seen him sacrifice himself many times to save others, Glenn for example. He lashed out on Negan on that night even after he got shot beforehand by Dwight. He got the blame for Glenn’s death by many fans, but it was never his fault. He wants it to be him that was killed, no one else.

It’s hard to compare this scene between Rick and Daryl to Michonne and Negan. Incredible acting by all of them, especially from Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Negan). I have huge hopes for the future of The Walking Dead, as long as it gets its time jump. It needs one after Rick goes.

Chupacabra

To break up the tension between them both we’re reminded what world they’re living in, as walkers heard the motorbike and followed it and are now leaving them both in a very tight situation. Walkers are throwing themselves one by one down the pit as they both try to dodge them, Daryl is taking them out as they hit the ground whereas Rick is climbing up using the roots. Again, like I mentioned earlier this is a reference to Daryl in Season 2 Episode 5. Daryl is falling back down and then climbing back up in that episode the same way Rick is in this episode but in a much more dangerous predicament.

Things start to escalate now as more and more walkers are dropping down, and Daryl can’t handle them all so he decides to start climbing closely behind Rick. At least 10 now are standing again trying to pull at Daryl’s feet as he frantically climbs for his life.

After dodging falling walkers, we see Rick finally make it to the top as Daryl still struggles to climb. Checking the top of the pit to see that he’s safe from walkers, for now, he begins reaching for Daryl’s hand. Now, what does this look like? The scene in 2×05 as Merle waits for him at the top to pull him up.

But what does he say? He tells him to “Grab your friend Rick’s hand” which is completely mirroring the two scenes together. It’s perfect, the way everything is written, all of the references we’re shown are just so nostalgic.

Many fans also noticed that scene called back to one with Daryl's brother, Merle, in season two.

After multiple attempts of Daryl trying to grab Ricks hand he just doesn’t seem to be able to until this wonderful word is spoken from Ricks’ mouth one more time, viewers of the show like me live to hear them class each other as, Brother.

“Brother. Brother, Take my hand”

Daryl finds the strength in a last attempt to grab his hand like Rick just calmed him down and made him focus. He brought Daryl back down to the ground like he always has done. I’m so glad they overcome this milestone before we get to see Rick’s departure, I would hate it if he left and they were both in disagreement.

As they fight off the remaining walkers in their path to the road, they both see the herd closing in quickly that’s going to head right through the bridge and into the camp. Telling Daryl he’s staying, he mentions that he’s not giving up on the bridge yet. But Daryl is adamantly telling him that he needs to sacrifice the bridge so they’re all washed away to sea once it collapses.

Rick isn’t giving up on the bridge yet, telling him that he’s not destroying the bridge because he needs it. Telling us that Rick still has hope, he’s not giving up on Carl’s plans just yet.

Letting him be, Daryl’s last words to Rick are most likely spoken here.

“Be safe”.

Rick says the same thing to everyone in the first episode as they split up in the museum.

Impaled

The very last scene of the episode, we see Rick riding the horse that was spooked from the fighting going off back at camp where the Bridge is. Notice how that’s where it comes from, it comes from the very place that everyone but Rick and a couple of others are so against. And notice that it’s a completely white horse, and the true meaning of the colour white is considered to perfection, purity, safety, a beginning.

Leading the herd, we hope that Rick has a plan and knows where to take the herd but suddenly his horse is spooked once more like an even larger herd appears from the left. This was the other herd previously that they’d been trying to draw away from any of the communities. As the horse had already been scared away easily before back at the Camp, it was very likely for the horse to be scared again as it happens here.

Rick is thrown off the horse (A direct mirror again from Season 1 Episode 1) As he turns the corner to find a huge herd in front of him. This sends the horse into fright as it kicks Rick off onto the ground, leaving him to retreat under the tank before finding temporary shelter.

In this scene, it’s the same but we see Rick thrown off onto a bar that impales him. Notice where it’s injured him, it’s the exact same spot where we see Daryl injured (Season 2 Episode 5). Rick is impaled, from one end to the other with a bar as well as Daryl impaled the same but with an arrow.  I wasn’t lying when I mentioned the number of references, was I?

Now how many of you screamed at the TV? I did. I wanted to physically grab Rick and save him myself because we know no one’s coming to help him. Unless Daryl turns back and arrives at the scene which I highly doubt.

Final Thoughts

As I said before, this season is getting better and better. Maybe it’s just the fact that it’s Ricks final episodes but that doesn’t put aside the fact that the writers and showrunners are doing a fantastic job delivering it. The montage at the beginning of the episode showing Michonne fighting with her past, to her very deep conversation with Negan. The direct mirroring of episodes between Rick and Daryl. It’s just too much to take in, I could go on forever writing about them.

I’m just so happy to see that Rick and Daryl have just about put aside their differences and come to an agreement, they’re no longer mad at each other. And the line, “Brother. Brother, take my hand” was the cherry on top to finish this episode. Outstanding acting, writing and directing in my opinion.

Overall Rating 9/10

Advertisements