In ‘The Walking Dead’ recap, Rick tries to maintain control over the crews working on the bridge as the volatile situation finally explodes…
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
If building a bridge doesn’t exactly sound like interesting viewing, then you’ll probably understand why the latest episode of ‘The Walking Dead’ was focused on that yet we saw very little construction taking place.
Following the season debut of ‘The Walking Dead’ last week that picked up 18 months after the end of ‘All Out War’ as Rick led the survivors to defeat Negan and the Saviors, a new world was being forged for the people left alive.
Alexandria was rebuilt thanks to Rick, the Hilltop was thriving because of Maggie and the Kingdom is being put back together by King Ezekiel. That just leaves the Sanctuary, which is seemingly in shambles without a strong leader like Negan and no natural way to survive because the place is nothing more than a factor where nothing can grow and the facility is largely cut off from the rest of the world.
Now that might have made the Sanctuary a perfect place for tactical purposes, but it’s not very good when the people there are desperate to survive.
That kind of struggle only serves to further frustrate the people from the Sanctuary asked to provide labor to rebuild that bridge to make it easier to carry supplies back and forth between all the different communities. Rick is doing his best to make it all work, Maggie is getting fed up with waiting and Daryl is just fed up in general.
By the end of the episode, more than a few tempers flared, somebody got an arm amputated and at least one more person is likely dead.
With that said, let’s recap the latest episode of ‘The Walking Dead’ titled ‘The Bridge’…
On the Surface
It’s been 35 days since construction on the bridge first started and Rick decides to take a break from the work being done to have a sit down with his old pal Negan, who has been locked up in a cell in Alexandria ever since the end of the war against the Saviors.
Rick is bragging about how Carl’s vision for the future is coming together and his idyllic vision seems rather nice except for the fact that he’s leaving out all the bad parts. That’s like describing ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’ without mentioning the homicidal madman who just so happens to haunt your dreams.
At the worksite, Eugene is trying to warn Rick that each passing day brings them closer to his levee busting through and water flooding the entire area unless they can get the bridge finished in time. Rosita is setting up demolitions while begrudgingly working next to one of the Saviors who sliced her face once upon a time. Enid is learning to be a doctor courtesy of Siddiq and Anne/Jadis is flirting with a one-eyed Father Gabriel while drawing pictures of an organist that used to work at his church.
And then there’s Ezekiel and Carol, who are more or less raising Henry as their child these days. The happy couple take another step forward in their relationship when Carol decides to accept Ezekiel’s proposal as she puts his ring on her finger.
As for Henry, he’s working at the bridge dishing out water to the workers, including one asshole named Justin, who was the same guy that scoffed at Daryl when asked to clean up the graffiti at the Sanctuary last week.
This guy doesn’t want to stop at just a sip of water, he wants the whole jug and ends up knocking Henry on his ass. In retaliation, Henry uses the stick skills he learned from Morgan to drop Justin on his ass and Billy Walsh from ‘Entourage’ (his name is Jed on the show) laughs and mocks his fellow Savior for getting beat up by a kid.
When Justin prepares to retaliate, Daryl intervenes and ends up in a fight with the Savior with everybody just kind of standing around and watching. Rick finally makes his way there to break it up and send everybody back to work.
Afterwards, Daryl tries to tell Rick that this volatile gathering of Saviors and survivors isn’t working out too well. Six Saviors have gone missing recently — and several of them have families back at the Sanctuary so he can’t be certain that something more serious might be going on here. Alden tries to talk Rick into giving the Saviors better protection because he took away all of their weapons but he says that they haven’t earned it yet.
Alden then mentions to Rick that his ‘my way or the highway’ kind of talk reminds him of another leader the Saviors had not that long ago.
Perhaps the more important part is that the Saviors are struggling to join the team and Daryl is getting fed up with it. Rick is trying desperately to play mediator but his attempts are being met with a lot of resistance as the Saviors are getting sick of being the work force and everybody else can’t seem to find a way to trust them after being part of Negan’s team for so long.
Doing Hard Time
Back at the Hilltop following Gregory’s execution, Maggie is still in charge and she’s finding it harder and harder to trust the Sanctuary after their agreement to send food in exchange for corn fuel hasn’t gone very well so far. The corn fuel has yet to arrive after six days and the Sanctuary is starting to run low on food, which has Michonne showing up at the Hilltop to try and play negotiator just like Rick.
Maggie is trying to balance her role as de facto president and provider for the Hilltop while not ignoring that they are still part of a bigger ecosystem with the other communities. Add to that, Maggie has been receiving messages from Georgie — the leader of another community who handed out plans to help rebuild society last season — and she’s trying to get the Hilltop leader to move there and join them (keep an eye on this possibility as away for Lauren Cohan to exit the show as she’s expected to do this season).
She’s also trying to reconcile with her decision to put Earl in jail — he was the grieving father who took Gregory’s advice to try and kill Maggie last week. Maggie locked him up but decided to execute Gregory because that guy was out of second chances already.
As for Earl, Maggie finally allows his wife to pay him a visit after a month apart and she decides to hold her own meeting with him to decide if he’s ready to rejoin the community.
Maggie asks about Earl’s drinking problem and what led him to listen to Gregory in the first place. He wonders why he’s been waiting in jail yet Gregory was executed. Maggie remembers the problems her own father Hershel (RIP Scott Wilson) had with drinking and how he was able to help so many people because he was given a second chance.
In the end, Maggie is finally able to forgive Earl for his actions and she releases him back into the community because he’s the only blacksmith they’ve got who can fix the plow that was brought to them from the museum a week ago.
Maggie has Earl supervised but he’s working his way back into her good graces. She also decides to send food to the Sanctuary because with the plow working, they will get the food planted on time so more supplies can be provided. Maggie also agrees with Michonne that a set of common laws should be made to govern all of the communities so situations like these are handled before they even happen.
The Herd’s The Word
Back at the construction site, Rick is coordinating a massive herd migration to ensure a horde of zombies don’t arrive at where they are building, which is what helped collapse the bridge in the first place.
The first sound goes off without a hitch and the herd starts to shift but a second horn doesn’t happen and the group of zombies starts to splinter off towards the construction site. Before they arrive at the bridge, the zombies will first run into a group collecting wood that includes Daryl and Aaron.
As soon as the walkers arrive, Billy Walsh runs for his life, letting go of a support rope that releases one of the logs that immediately rolls over Aaron’s arm. Daryl and the rest of the group fight back until Rick arrives with reinforcements to kill off the zombies who attacked.
Sadly when the log is finally removed from Aaron, his arm has been completely smashed and there’s nothing left to save when they return to the camp. Enid is forced to amputate Aaron’s arm after she briefly studied under Siddiq in apocalyptic medicine 101. Thankfully, Enid gets the job done and saves Aaron’s life after lopping off his arm but Daryl is irate when he finds out that the person responsible for not sounding that second horn was Justin the Savior.
Rick is angry as well but Daryl flips out and ends up beating the crap out of him. Rick finally casts Justin out of the group and tells him to head back to the Sanctuary because he’s no longer welcome at the bridge. Justin forgoes waiting until morning, grabs a bottle of liquor and heads back on his own (cause that won’t backfire).
Daryl and Rick are at odds once again and this bromance is on the rocks right now.
As for Anne-Jadis, she’s taking watch alongside Father Gabriel but he ultimately just ends up staring at the top of her head (if you get the picture). Later that night when Anne-Jadis is actually doing watch on the top of a crane that overlooks the communities, she sees a flashing light in the sky that might be that same helicopter she was trying to signal last season during her battle with Negan.
And finally, Justin is walking alone on the road, half sauced from alcohol when he hears a noise coming from the bushes. Of course, he goes to investigate and a second later something lunges out at him as he screams.
While nothing has been confirmed, it would definitely seem that the Saviors who have gone missing lately — including Justin — could be the victims of the Whisperers, who are coming to join the show sooner rather than later.
As for Rick, he finishes up his conversation with Negan by talking about how well things are going and Carl’s vision is coming to fruition. In return, Negan just laughs and tries to remind Rick that this is a whole new world whether he likes it or not.
“You’re not saving the world, Rick. You’re just getting it ready for me.”
Considering Rick will be leaving the show soon, perhaps Negan’s vision for how to govern will be the only way that the survivors survive after they finally meet the Whisperers for the first time.
‘The Walking Dead’ returns next Sunday night at 10pm ET on AMC. Take a look at a preview below: