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Disturbing BeSavior.

Warning: Full spoilers for The Walking Dead’s “Warning Signs” follow…

Welp. I don’t know how you side with Rick, as idealistic and optimistic as he is, after “Warning Signs.”

I’m not saying this guy needs to go down, or anything that drastic, but the ending here, which sort of wrapped up a three-episode arc involving everyone needing the Saviors to build a bridge and many of said Saviors going missing, made a very convincing case for eliminating these a-holes and salting the soil behind them.

Sure, there’s a balanced debate to be had about second chances and moving past the violence. I get that. I’m just saying that maybe something should be done, judgment should be weighed, on a case-by-case basis. Bring all the Saviors out for individual trials. Rick would love everyone to forgive (and possibly forget) just because he has, basically. And he’s right to a certain extent about there needing to be a unified front of mercy, along with a charter (that Michonne is currently cooking up), for society to move forward. But maybe this generation can’t do that. Or, in the very least, it’s foolish to expect them to without much more than a rousing speech to guide them.

Was it the best surprise to find out that the women of Oceanside were the ones behind the Savior smiting? Eh. Not really. Mainly because none of them are very memorable as characters (even Cyndie, who’s the most notable yet still paper thin). That scene at the end was still really effective though. It reminded both Daryl and Maggie, and us as viewers, that this isn’t necessarily about the “war.” It’s about war crimes. Or atrocities committed before the war even started up. Killing and maiming visited upon innocent, defenseless people so that Negan, and all his fellow “Negans,” could send malicious messages to the people they ruled over. It’s one thing for, say, Aaron’s significant other Eric to die in the midst of a machine gun fight with the Saviors. It’s another for Cyndie’s eleven year old, unarmed brother to be executed in full public view for no reason.

Maggie was starting to see things Rick’s way this week. She uneasily agreed with Michonne last week about there needing to be a set of common rules to prevent people, like herself, from getting revenge-happy or going power mad. And when she heard the Oceanside gals were killing the Saviors because of her hanging of Gregory, it gave her pause. Maggie experienced a brief “oh, what have I done?” moment. She’d given these women a license to kill and created a dangerous situation regarding the bridge and other people at the camp.

But then she heard what Arat had done. Once that came out, Arat, who’d been one of the “redeemed” Saviors, was done. Among other monstrous things, she’d coldly killed a child with, apparently, no real hesitation or regret. This wasn’t soldiers falling in the heat of battle. This was murder. And while maybe some laws need to be put in place so that people know what the agreed-upon punishment for murder is (it probably shouldn’t be a secret death squad, right?), there has to be some sort of reckoning. There does need to be justice, in whatever way everyone can decide on.

I think we’re all assuming Rick’s exit, probably his death, is going to be held off until the final episode of this half season, but – man – that Family Fun Day (complete with Let’s Make a Baby morning) sure felt like a send off. So much so that it seemed like this episode was going to be his final bow. Most likely, the “FFD” is meant to stand as his final moments with both Michonne and Judith, and that he either won’t make it back to Alexandria or his trip back to Alexandria will be his last.

I’m not sure of the geography here and I never have been. I don’t know how long it takes to get from one settlement to another, or which settlements are closer to one another than others, or how far the bridge site is from any of them, but Maggie and Daryl feel like Alexandria is walkable so I assume Rick can get back there fairly quickly once he hears they’re trying to kill off Negan. Again though, who knows how the show will manipulate the nebulous landscape to keep people from being where they need to be.

On a side note, as a massive Bauhaus fan I appreciated the hell out of “All We Ever Wanted Was Everything” being used for various FFD activities.

“Warning Signs” was a fairly cut and dry mystery episode, with one story dominating. The culprits didn’t make for much of a grand reveal, but I liked that this was all solved quickly and that the story made you side with the stalkers. The somewhat silly side quest this week involved Anne contacting the helicopter people and the discovery that the Trash Folk had been giving these walkie talkie bastards live humans in exchange for supplies. “A”s and “B”s. Could this stand for Alphas and Betas? Is this shadow faction the show’s version of The Whisperers, who we already know are coming? Whatever the case, this C-story graciously ground to a halt the ill-fitting romance that began last week between Anne and Gabriel. The ultimate outcome’s unknown for now, but we’ll at least always be able to thank the story for that.

The Verdict

Warning Signs” gave us a somewhat satisfactory wrap up to this mini mystery arc. No, the reveal of the “enemies within” didn’t make for the mic drop were were hoping for, but the twist involved in Maggie and Daryl allowing the killers to eliminate their “last one, we swear” Savior was a good one. It helped make the story more complex and the arguments against Rick’s rule even stronger. His biggest sin right now is wanting to push past all this quickly without allowing others to feel their very real, and valid, emotions.


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