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The Walking Dead “Rock in the Road” 

The Walking Dead “Rock in the Road”
Photo Credit: AMC

Can Rick organize a rebellion? That seemed to be the question during The Walking Dead Season 7 Episode 9, titled “Rock in the Road.”

It’s been a long hiatus, but Rick and Co. are in much better mental shape than they were during the first half of the season. I’m not going to lie, this season hasn’t been the most exhilarating.

Don’t get me wrong, Negan is fascinating to watch, but most of his menacing and humorous monologues are repetitive. Also, I really couldn’t stand to see the group not on the same page week after week.

It’s about time Alexandria stands up against The Saviors. But will The Hilltop and The Kingdom follow?

Photo Credit: AMC

Rick trying to get Gregory on board with an uprising against Negan was never going to work out. Gregory is cowardly. He’s done nothing to give us any indication that he wanted to fight The Saviors.

Despite Gregory’s objections, it looks like his people aren’t as comfortable with their arrangement with The Saviors. They are ready to join Alexandria. However, The Hilltop is not a large community. The numbers are not in their favor.

That’s where Jesus came in and decided it was time for Rick and Co. to meet King Ezekiel and The Kingdom. I have been waiting for Morgan to reunite with the group, but the air between Rick and Morgan felt a little chilly.

The first thing Rick asked about was Carol, not so much about Morgan’s journey since they last saw each other. Morgan then proceeded to lie about what happened with Carol. He told them the truth about her gun shot and her surviving, but then he told them she left and didn’t say where she was going.

We all know that’s a load of b.s. because she’s still in her little house nearby, walking through the woods , and scaring children and teenagers wherever she goes!

Photo Credit: AMC

While the group’s reaction to Ezekiel and his tiger wasn’t as funny as Carol’s, you could tell they were a little surprised to see the spectacle.  After all, it isn’t every day you see a tiger in the apocalypse.

Rick waxed poetic about a story of a rock in a road, and that’s about the time I drifted off and thought about my grocery list. Sorry, not sorry!

Ezekiel seemed annoyed that Jesus had led Rick’s group to The Kingdom. Knowing that Morgan had belonged to this group, Ezekiel tried to get Morgan’s opinion on fighting The Saviors. It’s also worth noting that Morgan now knows Glenn, Abraham, and other members of Alexandria have either been killed or taken hostage.

Sadly, Morgan is still adverse to murder and mayhem, so his opinion was that they should avoid war with The Saviors at all costs. Okay, sure that’s going to work out really well. It’s easy for Morgan and Ezekiel to think the current arrangement with The Saviors is fine.

However, we all know sooner or later Negan will step foot within the walls of The Kingdom. It’s unavoidable that blood will be shed at some point and Ezekiel will not be ready to face the fallout.

Rick was met with disappointment the following morning when Ezekiel turned down the offer to team up. He was too concerned for the safety of his people. Again, we’ll see how well that turns out for him.

His only offer of service was to hide Daryl in The Kingdom. He couldn’t go back to Alexandria, so this was the best option. Perhaps Daryl will be the one to convince Ezekiel to stand up and fight.

Photo Credit: AMC

As cool as the entire sequence on the highway roadblock sequence was, I felt like it was thrown into the episode strangely. There was something just not flowing about it within the context of the entire episode.

The Saviors had assembled the cars on the highway to block hoards, but they also set up a steel cable with explosives attached to it. The Saviors are jerks, but that’s a pretty damn good set up.

With their stolen Savior walkie talkie in hand, they overheard Negan figuring out Daryl had escaped. They knew they had to move fast to get out of there.

Moving quicker than was believable, Rick and Co. managed to move the cars, steal the explosives, and use the steel cable to mow down part of the hoard of walkers coming through. And no one ended up getting scratched or bit. Not too shabby!

As if this episode wasn’t already tension building what with the action sequence we just watched, Rick and the others arrived back in Alexandria just in time for Simon and other Saviors to stop by to tear the place apart looking for Daryl.

As Rick followed Simon and the other into the pantry, they realized the majority of their supplies were missing. Well that’s because at the beginning of the episode, we saw Gabriel take off in his car after gathering all the supplies. As he was driving away, a mysteriously figure arose from the backseat of the car.

After The Saviors left, Rick wanted to know what happened to their rations. Tobin revealed that Gabriel had taken off. Despite all the evidence pointing to Gabriel being selfish, Rick and the others (minus Rosita) didn’t believe he would do that.

And it turns out Gabriel may have been up to something else. They came across the word “boat” written down. The only boat Rick and Aaron came across was the one they had ventured out to inspect. But what would Gabriel be doing out there?

Photo Credit: AMC

Once back at the site of the boat, they spotted what could be Gabriel’s footprints. After following them, the group was suddenly surrounded by… another group!

What’s striking about this scene was that the majority of the invading group looked like women. Could they somehow be part of the group that Tara had encountered earlier in the season? Or is this a new female-centric group?

Another important factor to this scene was Rick’s smile. How long has it been since this man has smiled? The answer is a damn long time!

However, I am definitely curious as to why being surrounded by a group of strangers with weapons would make him so happy. Does he know something we don’t know about these people?

Or could he be thinking strategy? If he gets this group of people on their side, they will increase their numbers, and be more likely to defeat The Saviors.

Leftover Thoughts and Questions

  • So Aaron’s boyfriend actually spoke words! So I assume he’s not going to live much longer…
  • Can Carol stop being a sad loner and just rejoin the group already? She needs to know about Glenn and Abraham!
  • I’m surprised it took The Saviors that long to discover Daryl was missing.
  • Speaking of which, how much time passes on this show? I can never tell!

The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9/8c on AMC.

Check out a sneak peek of the next episode, titled “New Best Friends.”

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