REVIEW: The Walking Dead, S9 Ep3 – Warning Signs

The Walking Dead, S9 Ep3 – Warning Signs

Rick barely maintained the already tenuous peace between the Saviors and the other communities on this week’s chapter of The Walking Dead. While the culprits behind the disappearing Saviors were found, the Maggie-Daryl alliance against Rick was revived and a more insidious conspiracy was revealed.

What a waste of Zach McGowan. I really hoped there would be more to his character and while we got to briefly glimpse his zombiefied form in this episode, his death was just another part of the mysterious plot against Saviors. One can understand their concern for their safety when they are surrounded by people who hate them and who only need them there as valuable manpower for building the bridge.

The Walking Dead, S9 Ep3 – Warning SignsBut there lies the great flaw in Rick’s idealistic plan to bring everyone together. The grudges people from the Hilltop, Alexandria, the Kingdom, and Oceanside have against the Saviors are wounds that run deep and the atrocities committed by the Saviors against these communities during Negan’s heyday are not so easily forgotten or forgiven. Rick managed to do so and even resisted the urge to kill Negan. But such a saintly outlook, while admirable, is not sustainable in the long term, especially in the world of The Walking Dead.

The reveal that it was the Oceanside ladies who were exterminating Saviors, while not shocking, was a reminder of how little was keeping the peace in Rick’s idealized world. It was also a powerful moment for Maggie who saw with horror that these acts of violence were a consequence of her execution of Gregory during the premiere. She might have stopped this latest killing but when the Savior revealed that she had murdered an innocent child for no reason, Maggie and Daryl turned their backs and allowed this to happen, condoning revenge and finally acting on the feelings they had expressed during the season eight finale.

The Walking Dead, S9 Ep3 – Warning SignsRick’s perfect world is about to collapse and all this is made all the more tragic by all the scenes of domestic bliss in this episode. Rick’s just living his best life, loving Michonne, playing with Judith, reading stories, and just being the happy family they never thought they would be while living among The Walking Dead. Rick is so full of hope and sunshine these days that he might have let his guard down. He believes too much in mercy and goodness and the need for unity, but he cannot see that others are struggling to achieve this level of peace, especially when living among the people who had tormented them. His failure to realize the folly of this enterprise will be his undoing and it will be all the more tragic because of all he has managed to build.

The Walking Dead, S9 Ep3 – Warning SignsAnne (or Jadis, as we were reminded in this episode), proved to be less trustworthy than she seemed, giving her character a little more substance compared to the seemingly reformed figure we’ve seen in the past two episodes. She is in contact with a mysterious group (who are probably The Whisperers, since their presence this season was already teased by the writers) and Gabriel catches her in conversation with them.

As cringe-worthy as their sudden romance was, it was thankfully brought to an end in this episode, with Anne revealing her true colors and her part in some vicious barter of survivors with the group on the other end of the walkie-talkie.

Tensions are truly mounting on The Walking Dead, with the acceleration of the coup against Rick’s idyll and the looming threat of this still unknown group with the helicopter. Rick’s days are numbered and it will be an interesting and excruciating journey to see how far he falls.