the walking dead season 7 episode 9 recap

Walking Dead Recap: The Path to War

The Walking Dead’s Rick would probably have had an easier time convincing people to French-kiss a walker than band together against the Saviors. But, newly refired up, he nonetheless spent most of the AMC drama’s midseason premiere going from community to community to pitch the idea of a rebellion. Did it work? Eh… keep reading. At this point, the most accurate answer would seem to be yes, no and… maybe?

‘I WANNA THANK ALL OF YOU FOR NOT BEING HERE TODAY’ | After a prologue in which Gabriel cleaned out Alexandria’s cupboards, gassed up a car and left the community in his rear-view mirror (with a secret passenger in tow), “Rock in the Road” really got underway at the Hilltop, where Gregory informed Rick not only that their previous secret agreement was “null and void” but also that “you owe me for taking in [your] refugees.” (Never mind that those same “refugees” — Maggie and Sasha — had only recently saved the community!) In rare form — I’d have sworn he was afraid we forgot over the break what a d-bag he is — the Hilltop’s spineless leader called Rick Ricky and Maggie Margaret, and scoffed at the notion that the Saviors would be toppled by “a platoon of sorghum farmers.” However, after  Gregory declared the matter “outside of my purview” and dismissed the gang, Enid revealed that she’d recruited about a dozen Hilltop denizens to join Rick’s army. (So that’s what was going on in that mysterious photo that AMC released ahead of the episode.)

the walking dead season 7 episode 9 recap‘LET’S CHANGE THE WORLD, YOUR MAJESTY’ | Off that little bit of good news — emphasis on the little, but hey, it was a start — Rick was anxious to get back to Alexandria before the Saviors realized that Daryl was missing and came looking for him. Not to worry, said Jesus. He’d swiped a long-distance walkie-talkie, so they could listen in and find out exactly when the jig was up. In the meantime, he’d take his pals to meet King Ezekiel. (“King?” Rick couldn’t help but ask.) At the Kingdom, Tara spotted Morgan, who revealed to Rick that yes, he had found Carol — and had shot a man to save her life. (“I had to.”) But, Morgan added, after Carol had recovered from her injuries, she’d departed once again. (Of note: He didn’t admit that, when she’d departed, she’d resettled within walking distance.) During the Alexandrians’ subsequent audience with His Highness, Ezekiel was ticked off that Jesus had blabbed about the secret Kingdom/Saviors pact and asked Morgan what he thought about teaming up to defeat Negan.

the walking dead season 7 episode 9 recap‘IF YOU’RE ASKED TO BE THE HERO, BE A HERO’ | Though Morgan had killed to save Carol, he crushed Rick by arguing that, if at all possible, a war with the Saviors should be avoided. Maybe if they just captured Negan? Undecided — but let’s be real, decided — Ezekiel promised to “deliver my decree in the morn.” Later that afternoon, Benjamin — stealthy as a falling tree — ran into Carol in the woods and offered her some of the spare food and water that he always carried in case he met anyone. The reason? There aren’t many people left, so they should help each other. That evening, Benjamin told Ezekiel that that was the same reason the Kingdom should join forces with Alexandria. Unfortunately for Rick, the king — remembering the high price that was paid for the Kingdom — refused to take the risk. He did at least offer Daryl sanctuary, since the Saviors never set foot within the community’s walls. On the group’s way out, Sasha told Rosita that she’d predicted Ezekiel would say no. “What the hell you telling me for?” Rosita shot back. “We both had sex with the same dead guy. That doesn’t make us friends.” (Snap.) Before reluctantly parting with Daryl, Rick reminded him that hiding out was the smart play. And besides, if he remained in the Kingdom, he could talk to Ezekiel — “or stare him into submission, whatever it takes.”

the walking dead season 7 episode 9 recap‘WE’RE THE ONES WHO’LL LIVE’ | Rick & Co. were headed home listening over the walkie-talkie to Negan’s “eulogy” for Fat Joey (whose demise had tragically made Skinny Joey pointless) when they came upon not just a roadblock of cars but also a steel cable lined with explosives. As big a gamble as it was to steal TNT from the Saviors, our heroes had to — they were gonna need it. So, after Rosita completed Step 1 of the procedure (with what I’d swear was a vague variation of the Mission: Impossible theme playing in the background), the others carefully removed sticks of dynamite. Meanwhile, the walkie-talkie tipped them off to the fact that Daryl’s absence had been noticed and a search party sent out. In other words, they needed to haul ass back to Alexandria — Daryl’s logical destination and, therefore, the Saviors’. First, though, they had to deal with the approaching herd of walkers. Rick’s solution? He and Michonne raced two cars connected by the steel cable down the highway, bisecting just an absolute s—ton of walkers along the way! When the couple miraculously made their way back into their getaway vehicle, Michonne told Rick that he could relax and smile. To her, the successful maneuver was a sign that they were gonna make it in the end.

the walking dead season 7 episode 9 recap‘I WANT US ALIVE… BOTH OF US’ | Arriving back in Alexandria just in time to greet Simon and the Saviors, Rick, of course, pretended that he didn’t know that Daryl had escaped from Negan, much less where he was. Still, the villains turned Alexandria inside out looking for the fugitive, along the way discovering that the cupboards were bare. Once the Saviors split, Rick naturally wanted to know what the hell had happened to Alexandria’s supplies. After Tobin explained that Gabriel had been M.I.A. when he came to relieve the preacher from his sentry post, Rosita jumped to the (fairly logical) conclusion that he’d robbed them blind and run in the wake of Spencer and Olivia’s murders. No, Gabriel had “found his courage,” Tara argued. “I wanna believe he held onto it.” And maybe he had — Rick discovered the word “boat” scrawled in the back of the pantry log and deduced that Father G had somehow found out about the houseboat that he and Aaron had happened upon. Before a group — Aaron included — headed in that direction, Eric pleaded with his boyfriend not to go. (And if Eric, who never has any lines, is actually getting dialogue, we all know what that means: No way will he survive the season!) Finally, as the episode drew to a close, Rick, Michonne, Tara, Aaron and Rosita were following tracks near the houseboat when suddenly they were surrounded by a whole lotta people pointing guns at them. Strangely, this made Rick… smile?

Has Rick snapped again? Does he know these people? Do you? (I didn’t recognize anyone.) Hit the comments with your theories as well as your review of the midseason premiere.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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83 Comments
  1. Theresa Taylor says:

    Ricks smile was because they weren’t saviors and he has an army. Potentially, probably…absolutely!!! Hahaha

    • Cynthia says:

      YYYEEESSSSSS!!! My thoughts exactly!!!

    • Wrstlgirl says:

      Yeah that’s my thought also. He see recruits, lol!!

    • Christine says:

      I thought the same thing.

    • Msk says:

      Heath is back with the priest

    • Chels says:

      Honestly the only time I’ve ever been bored with TWD was all of season 2. Everything else has been amazing! Negan, while I hate him for killing Glenn and being a huge pain, he is a freaking awesome character. What in the world are many of you talking about in regards to how the show has taken a turn for the worst? I’ve read the comics and I know this is how it goes so maybe I realize that it isn’t the shows fault it might seem like a stand-still for many of you, but COME ON! This show is amazing and it always will be!

      • Daryl's girl says:

        When you said ” I read the comics” I stopped reading. This season has been bad, there is no other way to describe it. A third of the viewers gone? You goober comic nerds won’t be getting your way again for a LONG time. Screw Negan, screw him hard.

        • Lilly says:

          I’m torn. I’m one of those people who is a passionate TWD TV fan and who wouldn’t mind reading the comics if I could afford it. That said, anyone who is honest – even comic book fans – has to admit not everything in TWD series translates well into the TV show. I want the TV show to stay true to the comics but to make some bold moves. And this time, I think that means Negan must be treated differently. I not only HATE Negan, I’m not a fan of the way the actor is portraying him (nothing personal). Why does he ALWAYS talk in that sing-songy, unnatural voice?? Heck, I was watching last night, and they even have his Negan-wannabe-lieutenants talking the same over-the-top way most of the time. It’s annoying and stupid. I get the sick sense of humor side of Negan, but on TV that’s translating into something very one-dimensional and extremely irritating. Negan also needs to be menacing sometimes, quietly lethal. He should be feared by the audience. Instead, this Negan I watch from week to week on tv … he’s nothing but a comic book caricature. He can’t die soon or violently enough to suit me (and yes … I’ve heard he doesn’t die in the comics).

          • AnnieM says:

            Lilly, depending on where you live, your local Public Library may have some of the compilations available. And recently, they released the Walking Dead Compendium, Volumes 1 – 3, which cover issues #1 through 144 of the comic.

          • Lilly says:

            Thanks, I’ll check!

          • Emma says:

            Lilly agree, TWD has gotten a bit stale, I think it is reaching its final lap around the bend. Really it did well to get so far but I feel like the whole franchise is circling the plughole at this stage. But adult fanboys and fangirls will just never be disappointed no matter how dreary it gets, maybe they feel this show represents them, idk. But is has gotten quite overrated and we aren’t spoiled for quality choices, lets be honest. Watched the Santa Clarita Diet recently though, what a hoot! Really I needed something like this all along, would totally recommend.

        • AnnieM says:

          I read the comics, and I can’t stand Negan. I hope they kill him off on the show.

        • ANDY says:

          Guess what? YOU don’t have you watch….

          • Lilly says:

            Sorry, Andy, but it’s TWD comics fans like you who frustrate the tv watchers. I, too, want the tv show to remain at true as possible to the comics, but the strict adherence to the comics (example: the violent season premiere and this season with the annoying Negan) has cost the series MAJOR ratings. Above all, I want the show to stay on the air! So some comics fanatics better start listening to the tv viewers at least some of the time or you will wind up reading the comics only and not watching it come to life on the television.

          • Emma says:

            Once again Lilly, agreed.

    • Chels says:

      Sorry this posted under your comment, I meant to make it a stand alone comment. :/ My bad lol. This wasn’t directed towards you guys. :)

    • xldeathlx says:

      An army that betrays him by siding with the saviors right before the battle. Essentially they are double agents.

  2. Wrstlgirl says:

    So Rosita is still a total bitch, can she be the next to die please. I’m thinking Daryl might end up hiding out with Carol. That should make the shippers happy.

  3. AngelWasHere says:

    Some stuff was pretty eye roll worthy tonight, but it was an alright episode and a good set up for what’s to come.

  4. Leonocalvero says:

    Garbage pale kids

  5. Lilly says:

    Why is it not obvious that Rick is smiling at the sight of Father Gabriel? Too obvious? Seems logical to me. Enjoyed this episode immensely.

  6. ChaelMontgomery says:

    Did anyone else see someone suddenly sit up on the passenger side of the car as Gabriel drove away from Alexandria?

  7. Iris says:

    Much better! Awesome character and action moments. It bodes well for the second part of this season.

  8. Greg says:

    It’s the whisperers

    • Couch Mom says:

      No. The Whisperers wear walker skins and masks to move about freely. They don’t come in until after the war with Negan.

  9. Shiva says:

    Father Gabriel loads the supplies and heads out in a car, someone else appears in the passenger side probable the same. Person who was following Rick from the boat remember we just saw feet n a pair of binoculars. In the end of the episode, Rick is seen smiling cuz now he’s got a ton of people and that too with guns.

    • Here I am...... says:

      This ^^^^. Hopefully this group will agree to join Rick in fighting the Saviors since they got the numbers and from the looks of it they have weapons too :) so they probably do know how to fight.

  10. Chels says:

    Honestly the only time I’ve ever been bored with TWD was all of season 2. Everything else has been amazing! Negan, while I hate him for killing Glenn and being a huge pain, he is a freaking awesome character. What in the world are many of you talking about in regards to how the show has taken a turn for the worst? I’ve read the comics and I know this is how it goes so maybe I realize that it isn’t the shows fault it might seem like a stand-still for many of you, but COME ON! This show is amazing and it always will be!

  11. Sonny says:

    Rick smiled because he recognized Gabriel between the people surrounding them.

  12. Marcelle331lv says:

    I feel with the smile from Rick was a sign of more people that can help fight the saviors.

  13. Marcus says:

    Gabriel took the food to those people, to somehow convince them to join the fight. Maybe Rick realized it when he saw all of them. Gabriel left that clue about the boat for a reason….

    • 13thGeneral says:

      I actually think that Mysterious Boots left the note, to lead them to the new group. I believe that Gabriel heard a noise and followed it into the pantry, walked in on Boots and was forced (at gunpoint) to help him/her take everything to these new people.

  14. cat andred says:

    he knows them, or hes gonna try and recruit them, or he just hit psycho

  15. Joey Padron says:

    New episode was good. Good to have Rick back to his old self again. Good to see the group again. Hope they find Father Gabriel in next episode.

  16. Charline L Munro says:

    The Group is the woman Tara ran into. Rick is smiling because he see’s gun’s and ppl not afraid to use them.

  17. Anita White says:

    Could it be Benjamin from the kingdom with a group that he rounded up?

  18. Hankster says:

    I think he saw Father Gabriel in the crowd.. so Rick knows “he’s in”…. and why he smiled… this will be his “army” the other guy in the car.. was one of this new crowd I’d wager… Probably a guy who was watch Rick and Aaron that day….. Father Gabriel fed and armed em.. so they are pals……

    Thats my guess…

    • RB says:

      THE NEW HOODED CHARACTER COULD BE BENJAMIN, OR GABRIEL. BUT ONLY A SMILE COULD BE BROUGHT TO RICK’S FACE BY AN OLD FRIEND…CAROL.
      REMEMBER SHE DAWNED THE HOODIE WELL WHEN THE WOLVES BROKE IN.

      • Debbereye says:

        It’s definitely not Carol or Ben. Carol is not out developing whole communities under our noses and behind our backs. She wants to be alone. Why would she go develop a new community when she doesn’t want to go back to the ones she already loves, and when would she find the time? Ben is a kid who only recently developed some chutzpa. It’s not him.

  19. James says:

    I didn’t watch any episodes last season because I had a hard time watching Glenn and Red die and a harder time watching Rick bow down. It was like watching what was going on in our own country with President Pumpkinface Tomatocan and things were depressing enough. I want to watch Rick pull out Negan’s still beating heart and show it to him on his slow trip to hell. I want to see the gang resist the way we are resisting now only we don’t have zombies. This season is gonna be epic.

    • Max says:

      I mean it is better than the spin off at least so I will just keep hanging in with the main. Although I do miss Glenn and Abe.

  20. alllllly says:

    I loved it like I always do. I wonder who the group met at the end of the show. obviously, the group has many women, and Gabriel brought Rick and the others to the boat house to make them meet the group. but, who did Gabriel know before joining Rick’s group? or someone he knows from the group, who is not with the group any longer? hmmmm and why did he take stored stuff to them? He did not look worried or hesitated at all when he was packing up. it has to be someone he trusts.
    I read the others’ comments. and Heath could be the one. and also, the women group Tara met could be. or both? Thinking about how confidently the women group who Rick ran into were using guns, most likely, they are the group from Tara’s, but not from kingdom.

    And another thing I was wondering was why Carol was taking a walk in woods? hmmmm. cannot wait for next episode!

  21. Pete Camacho says:

    Hes smiling because he sees Morales in the crowd.

    • jm2232 says:

      i think you may be right bc the eye staring at rick looked familiar to me! and Rick smiled like he saw a familar face

    • Wrstlgirl says:

      I’ve always wondered if we’d see Morales again. That would be very cool and a nice throwback to season one. But could they really keep that a secret??

    • Debbereye says:

      This is a guess I had. I do believe he sees someone he knows and I think it’s the hooded person. Morales is the only one I can think of that he parted ways with on friendly terms that we have unaccounted for, although theoretically it could be anyone they parted with on good terms. The vatos back in Atlanta? Maybe, but Morales was on the road, so it makes him more likely. I’m guessing that’s who it is or someone else like that.

    • JDizzle says:

      It can’t be Morales because the Governor hit him with a golf putter and put him in the zombie pit, remember? He’s definitely dead.

  22. Jen smith says:

    He’s smiling because he realizes with those new people he will have the numbers to go up against the saviors

    • Lilly says:

      Guns and numbers would be exciting to Rick, yes, but the Kingdom didn’t give him that smile – because it wasn’t a guarantee. That smile has to be the result of him seeing someone he’s pleased to see AMONG all those people and guns. I think it’s Gabriel, but who knows….

  23. Bob says:

    It’s gotta be Gabriel ? Either he or Carol ? But most clues point to Father Gabriel ?

  24. beachcoconut says:

    I predict the group with the guns at the end of the episode will help Rick and the gang battle the saviors

  25. Heather Hearne says:

    Omg! loved tonight’s episode, I was gripped to my seat .. brilliant start to the build up of what’s to come !! the hooded person standing there in front of Rick looks as if they’ve got long blondish hair as I paused you laptop on looking back .. take a look 👀 can’t wait to til next week 🤓

  26. Julie Hurst says:

    It was the group of women whos men we’re killed by the saviors, and they’re the group who Tara stumbled on to. At first they were suspicious about her, then let her stay for dinner. All along they’re going to kill her so she couldn’t tell
    anybody about them.

  27. Sara norton says:

    Put Rick and Maggie together as lover so Rick can be a father to Maggie’s baby.

  28. evi says:

    The hooded character at the end is not Benjamin and not Gabriel either! It’s a girl with long light brown hair! Who is it then?

  29. Rick Grimes says:

    This was the army of Carol

  30. Pt says:

    Vatos gang season 1 ep 4

  31. Wrstlgirl says:

    People who think this is Carol’s doing simply are not paying attention. Come on!!

  32. heathdane says:

    Does anyone remember that from season 1 episode four (or close to that) that one mexican guy and his family left the group for DC? What are the odds it is him? I mean the next episode is called “New Best Friends”

    • heathdane says:

      But more than likely it is the whisperers in friendly form at first, and they will become enemies later or something. Isn’t that one girl in the trailer supposed to be Alpha?

  33. edmond earl says:

    how did gabriel know where he was being taken by the junk yard people