Is It Really A New Beginning?
So, with the final episode of Season 8 of The Walking Dead, the war is over and the plan is for everyone to finally just get along as they move forward into a brave new world.
Is that happening in Season 9?
As Episode 1 opens, the scene is set for a utopia. Crops are growing, people are smiling, old technologies are being rediscovered. Judith is adorable. We also find out that Maggie (Lauren Cohan) and Glenn’s (Steven Yeun) son is called Hershel, which is adorable and heartbreaking all at once.
We also see the “famous Rick Grimes” (Andrew Lincoln) — Michonne’s (Danai Gurira) words, not mine — setting out with members from the other groups as they head into the city in search of a museum. It turns out that Jadis (Pollyanna McIntosh), who is now Anne and sporting the exact same hairstyle as Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus), knows where a stockpile of seeds is stored and the group decides the Sanctuary needs them.
CF: Of all of the episode I enjoyed the trip into Washington D.C. the most. The implication was they were inside the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, because their departing shot established they were on The Mall heading back west. But, in the comic the ASZ had been making runs into D.C. for a while: it was during one of those runs when Glenn and Heath encountered Negan and the Saviors for the first time, which is how we learned about them.
The actually filming outside the museum took place at the Georgia State Capitol building, with the group killing zombies a block west on Mitchel Street SW.
RT: Once again, thank you for the further insight. I was wondering if there were any extra details in regard to this trip.
While they are there, the group decides to take some old farm equipment, a canoe, and an awesome full-sized wagon. The only problem is that they have to get the wagon down the stairs and across an annoying glass floor. A horde of walkers waits below to snack on them if they fuck up.The wagon is mostly across when the glass starts to break but the group is unflappable. Moving slowly, cautiously, they manage to negotiate the wagon across the glass floor safely. They then move onto the small items and I am wondering why they didn’t move these ones across first. But, anyway. Needless to say, they manage to get them all across before the glass breaks and Ezekiel (Khary Payton) nearly becomes walker bait before they can pull him to safety.
CF: And then they do this bullshit. You know that floor would have been constructed of Plexiglas probably a third of a meter thick, but not: it’s glass that looks like an inch at the most. Which means it would never have lasted long with thousands of people walking on it, but if they didn’t do it this way we couldn’t have drama. The whole while you knew it was going to break at some point, while at the same time I was hoping against hope they wouldn’t do that so they’d get the fake drama.
RT: This is exactly what I was thinking too. Surely the building code would have been us to scratch? But, nope. Because drama.
King Ezekiel, glad to be alive, proposes to Carol (Melissa McBride). Of course, she declines, but she has a chat to Daryl about it later on when they are discussing community woes later on.
CF: Back in the comic it was Ezekiel and Michonne who were a thing and during this story line Michonne was out to sea with people from Oceanside because she feared a long-term commitment to him. Let’s see if what happened in the comic still happens with The King and Lady Carol.
And, just as viewers are starting to wonder if the whole crew has finally gotten a handle on this “living in the zom-poc” down pat, a horde turns up and bites a new guy just to remind us that life still hangs in the balance.
The Utopia Cracks Along With The Glass In The Museum
SO, new nameless guy’s parents are super pissed their son died on account of Hilltop gathering stuff for the Saviours. Which means that while everyone has been through a ton of shit and the all-out war should have been good enough to show everyone that it’s important to help each other and get along, it seems the lesson was lost on many.
Over in the Sanctuary, Saviors are already writing shit on the walls hinting that they are still Team Negan.
Meanwhile, back in Hilltop, Gregory (Xander Berkeley) is working behind the scenes against Maggie. Seriously, remind me why is this guy still here?
CF: Because if he’s not there’s no one around to fuck with Maggie.
Anyway, because Gregory is spineless, he enlists someone to attack Maggie after dark. Lucky for her, a ton of people arrive to fend off the attacker and Maggie heads off to confront Gregory about it.
Rick And Maggie Have A Little Chat As Shit Gets Real
The next day, Rick arrives and he and Maggie have a little chat. This basically breaks down to Maggie claiming she has bigger balls than Rick.
To prove her point, she hangs Gregory.
TL;DR: Same shit, different season. Oh, and Gregory dies.Personal Note: I wasn’t overly impressed with this episode. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the set up for it. The new world and the new beginning was awesome. However, as soon as cracks started to show and it became apparent that Season 9 was just going to be one big political unrest, I got bored. We’ve seen this shit before. A lot. Like, in every, single season. It would be nice to see a change in the tropes of The Walking Dead and have AMC really shake things up a bit.
CF: I have to agree. Even though I knew shit was going to start fragmenting, in the comics nearly everything that happened in this episode was sorta stretched out for 15 issues. That was how long it took to start up fresh from the time jump to the point where Maggie hung Gregory. And this is where we have one of the MAJOR diversion due to a character having died.
See, in the comic, the boy who died on the road was one of two boys who attacked Sofia–you remember, the original Hide and Seek Champion of the Greene Farm–because they wanted to beat her up and maybe even sexually assault her and Carl Grimes–who happened to be visiting Hilltop–jumped in and beat one of the kids almost to death with a shovel, because he’s Carl Fucking Grimes. And in one of the funniest moments, the two sad-sack parents of the boy beaten by Carl want him to apologize for his actions and Carl says, “You fucking fuckwads can go fuck yourselves”, because it’s established he’s been hanging around Negan, talking to him in his cell whenever he can and shit is rubbing off. It’s after that when Gregory decides Maggie needs to go, she’s almost killed–poisoned in the comic–and deciding she’s had enough, she hangs Gregory.
Now, in the comic Rick had no idea Maggie had hung Gregory. In fact, he was off making some rather questionable decisions–I know, shocking, right? When he finally gets to Hilltop and discovers what she did he makes the comment “Are you out of your fucking mind?” and it’s not long after that before Maggie kicks Rick’s ass. Which I still hope happens before Rick takes his dirt nap.
RT: Oh, how I hope Maggie kicks his ass 🙂
CF: I do hope everything picks up from here. I know most recapers were extremely pleased with the first episode, saying it was something TWD has needed for a while. Personally, I wanted something more.
R.I.P Scott Wilson
Now, as most of you would have heard already, the actor that played Hershel Greene in The Walking Dead, Scott Wilson, died over the weekend. Scott lost his struggle with cancer and The Snarking Dead Recaps would like to send out our heartfelt condolences to Scott’s family.
I was lucky enough to see Scott Wilson in person at the start of the year when Australia hosted it’s very first Walker Stalker Con. Scott arrived in a wheelchair and insisting he had gout. However, it now seems likely he was covering up for the battle that would finally claim his life.
What did you think of Episode 1 of the Season 9 premiere of AMC’s The Walking Dead? Let us know by commenting below!
Season 9 of The Walking Dead returns to AMC with Episode 2 (titled “The Bridge”) on Sunday, October 14. The synopsis is below.
“The communities join forces to restore a bridge that will facilitate communication and trade. Someone is gravely injured at the construction site.”
[Featured image via Gene Page/AMC]