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    The Walking Dead: Season 9: Episode 2: The Bridge Link to this post

    The Walking Dead: Season 9: Episode 2: The Bridge

    I give this episode a 65 on Robin's Scale. We have been told through the media that Laura Cohan is
    leaving the show along with Andrew Lincoln and that Rick's final episodes are in this season (three more after this.) I will keep that knowledge out of the episode review, however it does beg some Unknowns at the end. Finally we are back to having dialog interaction between characters that's providing their inner thoughts. This is helping weave some complexity and grayness into characterization.

    Two quick examples:

    Earl and Maggie: I honestly do think Maggie saw Hershel in Earl with his alcoholism and how giving folks a second chance benefits everyone not just that person. That's some interesting politics that surprised me.

    Jesus and Michonne: Jesus reveals that he has respect for Maggie's decision as a leader to hang Gregory although it's not clear to him caused her to do that (personal or for the community). He also didn't see anything wrong with Tammy seeing Earl.

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    Story Run down:

    * Overall episode and main character interaction is Rick sharing the day with Negan and the difference in their ideologies. Rick thinks society can be rebuilt ('a new beginning': regardless of the zombies and
    human outlyers. Negan thinks any sort of progress (like the bridge) is just a reminder of what was not
    what will be and things will just slip back to his Savior days and that thing will just lapse back to
    Negan being in charge.

    * We start in the bridge building camp (which is in day 35) of repairing the bridge. Carol will be taking
    over the Sanctuary. Alden tells Rick 6 Saviors have gone missing from the build since last month. Enid
    is a nurse under Siddiq. Food supplies are low.

    * Michonne rides to Hilltop while Maggie breaks a wild horse. We learn that Ethanol from the Sanctuary to power the tractors to produce higher crop yield hasn't arrived at Hilltop for some reason. She asks Maggie for their crop surplus and Maggie refuses because of the Ethanol situation.

    * Justin the Savior tries to hog the water on the bridge and when Henry puts him in his place; Daryl
    steps in and then Rick has to step into to stop the fight between Justin and Daryl. There's a nice
    interaction between Rick and Daryl. Rick's politics are about getting the bridge complete (regardless
    about participant's behaviors along the way); Daryl is about justice in the moment. Carol moderates and suggests Rick speak with Daryl.

    * Tammy refuses to move off a stool until she gets to see Earl in his cell.

    * Jadis/Anne helps Father Gabriel sketch out his old organist and makes a pass at him, which he doesn't
    see to mind. Jadis pushes back on secrets as Gabriel relays his relationship.

    * Tammy gets to see Earl while Rosita and Arat set off an explosion that redirects a herd of Walkers.
    Tara walkies Rick and he tells her to kick in the redirect plan. She walkies Jerry who hits the Siren which redirects them heading towards the lumber area where they are getting wood for the bridge. Justin was supposed to set off the second siren redirecting the heard from the Lumber area, however he doesn't. Tara tells Rick and he sets off immediately to intercept walkers heading for the Lumber yard.

    * The walker herd hits the Lumber yard where Daryl protects the group and saves Aaron who has a crushed arm. Rick and company arrive to finish the herd.

    * Enid amputates Aaron's arm and saves his life. Daryl beats up Justin for not sounding the second siren. Carol breaks up the fight. When Justin encounters Rick later, Rick ends up ordering Justin to leave the camp.(I thought it was interesting that he relied on his police background to determine Justin had to leave rather than heed Daryl's opinion on the matter.)

    * Anne makes a direct pass at Gabriel and he reciprocates. Later on Anne sees the helicopter while she maintains lookout over the camp.

    * Rick watches Carol and Ezekiel. Carol puts the engagement ring on perhaps as a trial because she
    doesn't want Ezekiel to make any speeches although he is clearly dying to profess his love for her to everyone.

    * Rick rounds up the story for Negan.

    * Justin gets jumped by someone he know.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    The Good:

    * Jadis is finally getting some more character definition. She is still retaining her wildcard status on the show. She's not against anyone knowing her
    background, however she clearly has secrets she knows (one of them related to that helicopter.) We know that the helicopter is not in her head because Negan saw it. So there definitely is another settlement somewhere that she's not telling this group about.

    * I liked the cuts between the camps and the slowing down of the main action to work on character interactions so we get more character development. The major thing being how the politics of the situation is being heeded and relayed to us through interactions of leader characters between themselves and their subordinates.

    * I loved slowing down the overall pace to the bridge construction and focusing on character interactions. Standout interactions were Maggie and Earl and Jesus and Michonne. After that it was Maggie and Michonne and Tammy and Earl. The little interaction friction between Rosita and Arat did not lead me to think that Rosita isn't enough to make me think she was the one Justin encountered at the end.

    * Earl has a bit more detail. Drinking slips him into poor judgement situations like stopping for drinks before picking up his son (and attempting to kill leaders of campsites he stays in.) He was sound enough to to protect his family (regardless of the alcoholism) and it's clear his relationship with Tammy is strong. She didn't leave him I think because he knew enough to call her to pickup him and Ken because he was too drunk to drive.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    The Bad:

    * It's hard not to address the fact the show runners have leaked these are Rick's final episodes. It's
    kind of a cheap way to try and inject some emotional impact into all his scenes over this and the next three episodes. Sadly for me, that doesn't make a difference. Rick has nearly died so many times that when it does happen I am going to be like 'Finally!'. What matters for me is what effect will his passing have on the show and major characters (emotionally) and I don't think it will be enough to make feel like losing Rick Grimes was a real loss. I think part of this is other than Michonne, he only has Judith left to be the Rick Grimes we have known since the beginning. They are going to have start putting more scenes with him interacting with Michonne to give me more, however it may be too little too late.

    * No one hears or sees the helicopter lights?

    * I am pretty sure I am supposed to think Rosita, Daryl and perhaps someone else is responsible for Justin getting jumped and missing Saviors. I don't feel that way with Rosita and I think that is possible with Daryl. I think it has to do with the lack of dialog or the briskness of the interaction between Arat and Rosita.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Unknowns:

    * What happened to Heath?
    * Who owns the helicopter?
    * Why doesn't Jadis/Anne tell anyone about the helicopter? Why is it no one else spots the helicopter lights at night or even hear it? Is it real or in her mind?
    * Where is Sherry?
    * What will happen to Dwight? Will he meet up with Sherry?
    * Georgie is mentioned at the beginning of the episode. How advanced is Georgie's group then all of theirs? Will Maggie end up going to be with Georgie?
    * How will Rick finally go? Does it really matter?
    * Is Justin dead? If so, who killed him? Daryl? Rosita? Someone else?

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    http://www.thetvcritic.org/forums/other-tv-shows/show/173
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