Man is The Walking Dead back on track. And I say that as someone who thoroughly enjoyed the last couple of seasons. The show hasn’t felt this fresh since season 5 (the best season in my opinion). New showrunner Angela Kang has so far surpassed herself with three wonderful episodes that take me right back to how I felt watching the show 8 years ago. It’s not just because the cast are having actual conversations again about something other than Negan, it’s the whole tone of the show. The great moral dilemmas that used to be at the heart of the show return in season 9 and ‘Warning Signs’ has perhaps the most even sided one to date. And however much I personally love him, it’s probably a good move to keep Negan out it for a while.
So that big dilemma; is it ever ok to kill someone, whatever they’ve done in the past? Not a new thought for this show but perhaps represented the best within this episode. Turns out that Cyndie (Sydney Park) and the remaining Oceansiders have been the ones picking off the Saviours. This episode sees Arat (Elizabeth Ludlow) go ‘missing’ (the name might not ring a bell but she’s been a familiar face in the Saviour camp for a while now). So when Maggie (Lauren Cohan) and Daryl (Norman Reedus) catch up with the Oceanside bunch, you sort of expect them to put an end to it. That’s the way of team Rick, right? But then you realise that Maggie and Daryl aren’t really on team Rick – Maggie went against Rick’s wishes and hanged Gregory only a few days before and neither of them has ever been comfortable with Rick sparing Negan at the end of the last season. And when you hear the story from Cyndie’s side it might test the loyalty of even the most devoted Rick-fan. There are some great performances here, namely Park and Ludlow, who both haven’t really got the chance to shine in their time on the show. Ludlow goes out on a high and hopefully, Cyndie will have more time in the future to have big moments like this. And it’s a heartbreaking story Cyndie tells, about Arat murdering Cyndie’s younger brother. But while I do see where Maggie and Daryl are coming from with their decision to walk away and let Cyndie deal with Arat herself, I struggle to agree with her proposed plan of going on to see Negan and, presumably, kill him.
In the main camp this week, Rick (Andrew Lincoln) was just trying to have a simple family day with Michonne (Danai Gurira) and Judith. After some hinting towards a little Richonne baby in the future, that is. Which makes sense, considering Rick is on his way out and a baby would lessen the blow somewhat. If the upcoming 5-year time skip is to be believed that would put Judith at about age 8, and the new baby between 4-5. Perhaps the showrunner way of ensuring a relationship similar to Carl and Judith in the comics? Regardless, that’s a way off yet and for the time being Rick is still around, even if he’s only got 3 episodes left (including this one). And after the events of this episode, Rick’s got multiple targets on his back. From the saviours who are angry at him over their missing camp mates and the lack of guns given to them to his own ‘friends’ Maggie and Daryl. Not to mention his arch nemesis locked up a stone’s throw away from his house. And with only two episodes left will this bridge ever get built?
One of the weirder plots this week saw Anne (Pollyanna McIntosh) get in touch again with the mysterious helicopter we saw again last week. Remember last season when she tried to ship Rick and Negan off? Well, those guys are back. Who they are is anyone’s guess. The going theory is the commonwealth but I don’t know, it doesn’t really seem their style. The whisperers possibly? Does A = alpha and B = beta? Again, not really their style. What it does present though, is a way out for Andrew Lincoln (and a possible way back in if he so chooses in the future). I’d personally rather he was killed off – that seems like a more fitting ending for our leading man – but I guess we’ll see in two episodes time. For the meantime, Rick’s penultimate episode next week looks like a good one. And it looks as if Rick and Daryl get into another scrap. Could this be how Rick leaves? Next week can’t come soon enough.