8:00 am EDT, November 20, 2018

‘TWD’ 9×07 review: A big step towards the next big villain

The Walking Dead is gearing up for the infamous Whisperer comic arc.

This week’s episode left Judith Grimes and Alexandria behind as Michonne took the new crew to the Hilltop. Rosita ran from strange voices in the woods, Maggie’s whereabouts were finally confirmed, Jesus/Aaron were about that action, Caryl/Henry ate forest animal stew, and a few questions gave fans something to ponder.

Here’s the scoop on what went down on Sunday night:

Jesus is a figurehead but Tara runs the show

Surprise, surprise…Maggie sent a letter to Jesus confirming that she’s happy at Georgie’s place with baby Herschel. It’s still not clear exactly when Maggie left the Hilltop, but she doesn’t appear to have been gone for long.

It still feels weird to have Rick and Maggie gone, but at least Maggie’s exit makes a little more sense because of the established relationship between her and Georgie. Maggie kinda owes her a favor, especially after Georgie’s plans helped the Hilltop thrive, so it makes sense for her to return the favor and help jumpstart a new community.

Speaking of Hilltop, Jesus is apparently in charge now despite YEARS of affirming that he does not want to be a leader. So, instead of doing his job, he’s pushing all the responsibility on Tara.

She hasn’t had a strong arc of her own since joining the group in season 4, so this could be her chance to step up in a major way.

Michonne doesn’t play games

Michonne and Siddiq’s trip to take Magna’s group to the Hilltop had some expected hiccups. Magna was still sulking about her knives (let it GO girl) and weapons while her group tried to convince her to chill.

Honestly, I could care less about her or Luke, who will hopefully die soon like he did in the comics. Yumiko, Kelly, and Connie can stay because they are all level headed and trying to make the best out of an awkward situation so they can keep surviving. And, it’s always a good thing to have more women of color in prominent TV roles.

I appreciated Michonne and Siddiq’s camaraderie. It’s an interesting dynamic considering how he came into the group, but she clearly trusts and respects him as a community member.

I’ll always give Siddiq major props for teaching Enid about medical practices so there could be more than one doctor on this show. Michonne slicing Luke’s violin and her almost deadpan reaction to his rambling story about how modern humans survived longer than Neanderthals was hilarious.

We get it Luke, music is your life but please shut up. Michonne simply wants to get rid of you and go about her business.

The walker fight scene was quite cool as Magna’s crew showed off their walker killing prowess. But, it kind of fell flat with the revelation of their former group member as a walker.

They were obviously emotional, but I doubt the general audience cares because they don’t know this man. Either way, it will be exciting to see how they are received at the Hilltop.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this storyline was Michonne not knowing about Maggie’s exit. For some unknown reason, they were on the outs again to the point that Michonne didn’t want to go up to the gates at the Hilltop.

The only reason she went in was because Rosita was confirmed to be in their infirmary with an injury. Yeah, they may have confronted each other about the circumstances behind Rick’s death and stopped speaking, but something tells me there is more to the story.

And, it was odd that Siddiq kept that information from Michonne despite her being a leader. I guess these people will never learn that being shady doesn’t pay in this world.

Aaron is a flying squirrel

And the funniest scene goes to…Jesus and Aaron! Jesus was strolling on a horse and avoiding his job when Aaron literally leaps onto him like a flying squirrel so they can have a sparring round.

It was a fun and entertaining scene that makes me want to see them together more often. I don’t know if there is some kind of brewing romantic tension between them or if they are just friends, but I am down for this duo.

They spent some time sulking over not wanting to do things and being under the thumbs of Tara and Michonne, so it looks like women are truly running the show. And, Jesus is right about them needing to come back together.

Thankfully, they were in the right place at the right time to see Rosita’s flare so they could save her life.

What’s up with Rosita?

The episode actually jumped off with Rosita running through the woods Blair Witch style as she heard whispering voices from walkers. We didn’t get a full explanation of what went down after Rosita and Eugene heard the Whisperers among the walker herd, but she sustained a nasty blow to the head among other injuries.

And, Eugene is stashed away in some barn, likely because his leg injury from the previous episode wouldn’t allow him to run. I can’t wait for her to wake up and explain what happened to them in the woods.

Daryl’s back to the loner life

Daryl has been living alone in the woods for some time now. He tends to revert back to this lifestyle when major changes happen, but he’s particularly odd now.

He looked worn out and almost paranoid as he trapped rabbits and skinned snakes to make a meal for Henry and Carol, who somehow thinks Daryl will be a good influence on Henry. What is Daryl going to do, exactly?

Teach Henry to make more terrible decisions? Get him killed? If you love this child Carol, then please keep him away from your bestie.

It’s revealed that Daryl also has the X scar on his back like Michonne, which definitely confirms that something terrible happened during the time jump that broke everyone apart. But only Carol could convince Daryl to come to the Hilltop and help out.

Now, Daryl is on a new mission to help find Eugene because he doesn’t have much else to do besides be a dog dad. I loved the ending scene with his doggie leading the pack as Daryl, Jesus, and Aaron mounted up to find Eugene.

I really thought Daryl had abandoned that bike, but somehow, it’s still running. Go figure.

What did Connie and Magna see?

When Michonne rode off towards the Hilltop, Connie spotted something in the woods. She claims it was nothing when Siddiq questioned her about it, but she continued to look towards a specific spot along with Magna.

What or who was out there in those woods? I find it a major coincidence that the Whisperers didn’t pop up until they came on the scene and it makes me nervous to think about them setting up our already alienated communities.

Observation: What happened to the Oceanside people? Did the remaining Saviors take them out?

This week’s episode took a long time to move the plot approximately one inch ahead, but at least the things that happened were working toward the big Whisperer reveal that’s bound to happen in the mid-season finale.

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