The Walking Dead: Season 9: Episode 3: Warning Signs
I give this episode a 65 on Robin's Scale. As mentioned in the previous episode, it's been
released and marketed pretty heavily that Rick will be leaving in two more episodes and that this
is also Laura Cohan's last Season. I will only reference this to measure this episode's impact.
What keeps ringing through this episode for me is two ideologies pushing against each other:
Rick's 'Every life counts' versus Daryl and Maggie's 'eye for an eye'
There's nothing really new about that idea to me except for it's set in the zombie apocalypse. It appears 'Every, life counts' though is ideologically Rick's legacy towards the show. After he's gone I am willing to bet they will constantly nod at this way of treating people as 'Rick's way.'
The 'who dun it?' centered around Justin's death and Arat's disappearance is nothing knew either.
I supposed the warning signs being relayed here are that Rick's ideology is being tested and it's
not working. People have their reasons for lapsing back to an eye for eye. It's pretty clear though from a pragmatic standpoint that without cooperation from a lot of people there's a limit to what they will ever be able to accomplish for the future of everyone.
Rick's ideology (outlined in Michonne's intended charter) I believe is meant to help deal with
other groups out there (like Georgie's and the Helicopter people) with more people; more
technology. Otherwise they will be easy pickings from larger groups out there that all believe
in the same things. This looks like the direction the show is taking.
Story Run down:
* Someone killed Justin and he has become a Walker.
* Rick has some interesting exchanges with Michonne. She's been trying to write a Charter for the people while Rick fixes the Bridge. Judith has a fever and they want to take her to see Siddiq. He wants to have a child with Michonne. (Knowing that Rick is leaving the show does point to the possibility that Michonne may end up pregnant during this season with Rick's child.)
* Saviors stop Maggie who question her about Justin's whereabouts and the ethanol that went
missing. Jed the Savior tries Maggie's patience and takes a Tomato and when she asks his name he says Mud. Another Savior tells her his real name is Jed and that he will pay for it and they move on.
Maggie spots Walker Justin.
* Rick spends story-time with Judith and Michonne.
* They learn about Justin's fate.
* A brawl nearly breaks out at the construction site between the Saviors and everyone else.
Saviors blame Jadis and then Rick appears out of nowhere to break it up and to get them to start
the redirect of Walkers. Rick puts on his police personae and asks Gabriel about Anne's
whereabouts. He tells Maggie that they need to figure out who killed Justin first and then get
the bridge done.
* Gabriel questions Jadis/Anne and she asks him if he thinks she's hiding something?
* Rick questions Daryl and vice versa. Rick makes sure it wasn't him who killed Justin and Daryl
takes the opportunity to tell Rick that bringing people together like he has been trying isn't
going to work; especially if some of those people are responsible for the deaths of their main
group. Rick continues to profess his 'every life counts' new policy.
* Maggie and Cindy find Walkers in their grid and Cindy points out a house that was in an area
the Oceansiders used to live at. They clear the walkers around the house (with Rick and company's
help) and plan on destroying the house before it draws more.
* Bea is found unconscious and Arat is missing so they need to figure out who took her asap.
* Meeting of leaders is called to investigate Arat's disappearance and the community priorities.
(this includes Jerry, Cindy, Carol and Maggie.) Jerry asks about the punishment of the executioners and abductors of Arat and no one seems to know what that will be.
* Carol goes out with Rick it becomes pretty clear she is at odds with Rick's 'every life counts
policy'. She confides that she favors violent preemption at the outbreak of human threat to their group and found she had to administer fierce self restraint to obey his new law.
* Maggie and Daryl debate Rick's policy. Daryl finds a spear gun bolt and says he knows who took
Arat (and most likely he also knows who killed Justin.)
* Jadis/Anne goes back to the Trash people and pulls out a cached walkie and negotiates a trade
of people for her passage to these people. Gabriel follows her and questions her and she knocks
him out for the trade. It's pretty clear that neither Jadis or the Helicopter people took the
* Standoff with Rick versus Jed that has Carol at knife point. They want guns for Carol's life.
Carol manages to break free and they gain the advantage on the Saviors.
* Maggie and Daryl search the old Oceansider's complex and stumble upon them executing Arat. It's
revealed that they were the ones killing the Saviors to avenge the deaths of their relatives. Bea
for Justin having killed her husband. They did this after Gregory's hanging because that showed
them some of the leaders believed in an eye for eye. Arat killed Cindy's 11 year old brother and
Maggie and Daryl leave them to continue. Arat is eliminated; even after she begged for her life.
* Saviors leave the work camp.
* Maggie votes to see Negan and confides this to Daryl who accepts this choice.
* Jadis appears to be in touch with a various sophisticated new survivor group. They have really
nice walkie talkies; helicopters and have been trading with her supplies for people. This reinforces for me the value of people and Rick's reason for not killing people who do things wrong.
* Group list now has: Alexandria, Hilltop, Oceanside, Saviors, Georgie's group and now the
* I love how Maggie was the catalyst for the Oceanside revenge killings. Her reaction to them
during Erat's execution was interesting. She looked regretful for knowing she triggered their
justice, however she let them proceed because she understands why they feel compelled to exact
justice and doesn't stopping them; reinforcing the comment Michonne made last episode 'Who's job
is it to exact justice?'. Jerry says the same thing when discussing what they were going to do
whomever took Arat and killed Justin.
* For some reason Arat's execution wasn't impactful for me (as far as feeling anything for her.)
I am not sure if that was intended though. Mixed emotions probably was what the writers wanted
from the audience. I can see why Cindy felt compelled to kill her (due to Arat's No exceptions
order she was carrying out on Cindy's family.) What works for me is when characters have interactions with other characters and then those help make other interactions or situations more impactful. If they had shown a flashback of what Arat had done to Cindy's family I think that may have had added more impact to the situation rather than Cindy talking about it to Maggie and Daryl.
* What happened to Heath?
* Who owns the helicopter? Who was Jadis trading with? The fact that she wants to trade so she
can go with those new people says a lot about what they may have as a society.
* Why couldn't Jadis tell everyone else about these new people?
* Are there other groups out there?
* Where is Sherry?
* What will happen to Dwight? Will he meet up with Sherry?
* How are they going to wrap up Rick's story line in two more episodes?
* Who will provide the system of charter enforcement once Michonne is done drafting it?
* Will Michonne become pregnant with Rick's baby before he departs in two episodes or will not
having the chance provide yet another tragedy for Rick?