Welcome to Bleeding Cool's weekly review of AMC's The Walking Dead, as take a look at the second episode of the long-running horror-drama's ninth season, The Bridge.'
Less than two years after Rick (Andrew Lincoln), Maggie (Lauren Cohan), Michonne (Danai Gurira), and the rest of the communities banded together to bring down Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and the Saviors, work on rebuilding society continues on – as Negan stews in a prison cell. And while the communities may be working together, not all are created equal: the Sanctuary is unable to grow its own food – or move out from under the shadow of the Saviors, thanks to those still loyal.
Add to that a growing view among the communities that they shouldn't feel obligated to save a community that once tortured and killed their citizens – a view Maggie's shared since Rick made the decision to let Negan live, and a view she had in mind when she ordered a permanent solution to her "Negan problem," Gregory (Xander Berkeley).
Which is why tensions continue between our survivors heading into this week's episode of AMC's The Walking Dead – and why 'The Bridge' does an excellent job of showing us some familiar faces in some unfamiliar situations, while also planting the seeds for the horrors still to come.
Spoiler Warning: I'll be covering some themes and takeaways involving major and minor plot points from the episode, so just keep that in mind. Definitely not looking for pitchforks and torches outside my apartment.
The Walking Dead s09e02 'The Bridge': The communities join forces to restore a bridge that will facilitate communication and trade; someone is gravely injured at the construction site.
Here's a teaser and overview for next week's episode, 'Warning Signs':
The Walking Dead s09e03 'Warning Signs': Rick's vision for the future is threatened by a mysterious disappearance that divides the work camp where the communities are building a bridge.
In one of the most talked about scenes from this week's episode, Enid (Katelyn Nacon) must make an impossible decision to save Aaron's (Ross Marquand) life:
Last season brought the culmination of "All Out War," which pitted Rick Grimes and his group of survivors against the Saviors and their cunning leader, Negan. With Negan's life in his hands, Rick had a character-defining choice in front of him. By making the unilateral decision to spare Negan, Rick upheld the values his late son, Carl, championed in order to build for the future, but created conflict within his group.
Now, we see our survivors a year and a half after the end of the war, rebuilding civilization under Rick's steadfast leadership. It is a time of relative peace among the communities as they work together, looking to the past to forge the future, but the world they knew is rapidly changing as man-made structures continue to degrade, and nature takes over, changing the landscape and creating new challenges for our survivors.
As time passes, the communities confront unexpected obstacles, danger, and of course, walkers, but nothing quite prepares them for the formidable force they are about to encounter, which threatens the very idea of civilization that our survivors have worked so hard to build.
Based on the comic book series written by Robert Kirkman and published by Image Comics, "The Walking Dead" reigns the number one drama on television among adults 18-49 for the last six seasons. The series is executive produced by chief content officer Scott M. Gimple, showrunner Angela Kang, Robert Kirkman, Gale Anne Hurd, David Alpert, Greg Nicotero, Tom Luse, and Denise Huth.