Welcome everyone to the only Walking Dead related blog that adds a silly 9 Deuce gimmick. The first week back was rough for my contributors, with Valentine’s Day and some other things. Fortunately, I am not alone as I had 2 gentlemen help out, Bob and Eric, so round of applause for them, and much appreciation. I would like to say congratulations to Bob on his newest child. Somehow he still found time to provide answers to my inane questions. Sweet.
In case you aren’t familiar with this blog, I ask 9 questions that are episode specific and then 2 bonus ones that can be anything Walking Dead related. If you like what we do, please check out the Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/9deuceblog/. You can also follow us on Twitter @official9deuce and Instagram which is also Official9Deuce. Finally, if you want to email me because all of those options weren’t charming enough, write me at Kent@9deuce.com. Sorry, I hate all of this promotion as much as anyone else.
- What is Father Gabriel doing? .Who is watching Judith?
Bob: I have no idea what this cat is doing. I know he has a plan and he is determined. Judith… ahhh uhm.. no clue.
Eric: I think that the supplies he was gathering up wasn’t for him. He was very rushed and sloppy. I’d be interested to be able to read closer whatever he was reading. (Kent: I think it would be fascinating to look through that notebook.)
Kent: First, the potentially easier thing to guess. I will say that Kent and his woman are watching her, although Tobin seems more likely. As far as Gabriel is concerned, I think that whoever spied on Alexandria at the very end of the last episode gave Gabriel some rather explicit instructions on what they wanted and that is why he was so hurried and sloppy when gathering the canned goods. Also, there’s a person in the car with him….probably Heath.
- Is Gregory doing what’s best for: A) Himself, B) The Hilltop, C) Both himself and Hilltop, or D) Neither? Also, who’s the bigger jerk: Gregory or Simon?
Bob: A) Himself, although be projects it inaccurately upon the Hilltop as well.
Eric: He is looking out for himself with the Hilltop on the side. He knows how unpredictable Negan is and if Greg is seen as important maybe Negan wont bash his skull in. Gregory is a huge dick. (Kent: I think you will find that we eventually see something play out. I think people will love it more than the Spencer incident.)
Kent: D is my response. I think that Gregory believes that as long as he is the leader, he holds value in Negan’s eyes, but that’s only true of a leader with a strong will and grip on his people, so not Gregory. Also, he keeps proving his enemy with more supplies, strengthening their cause. Yes, I will discuss this later. I think that Gregory may be a bigger jerk than Simon, but it’s damn near 50/50, but I refuse to say both. Simon is technically still following, and trying to motivate. Gregory pulls off this facade that he is trying to be a “good guy” while being a dick. He seals the deal with his theatrics and calling people their incorrect name. Gregory may be one of my 5 favorite current characters for all of the reasons that I just mentioned.
- Are the members of the Hilltop community making the smart decision, for them and their community, in wanting to join Alexandria’s cause?
Bob: Yes. Live Free or Die! (Kent: I don’t know what film reference to make here. Lots of options. Eh, half Les Miserables and half Bill Pullman’s speech in Independence Day sounds about right.)
Eric: Strength in numbers. Even though some are reluctant to join the cause. I feel its in everyone’s best interest to fight against Negan and the Saviors.
Kent: With the Hilltop in particular, those wanting to join Alexandria to fight against Negan are wise. They probably know that they are going to most likely be the pawns in this game of chess, but pawns sometimes survive. If they don’t act now and help their best chance at getting out from under Negan’s thumb is to join the cause and hope for the best. Those are better long term odds. As for what both gentlemen above me spoke on, I have often wondered about the mentality of somebody in a community. I have wondered what percentage are optimists. If you’re an optimist, you fight for a better tomorrow. What about the eternal pessimists, which even if you weren’t prior to the ZA, maybe you have changed. If you’re a pessimist and you pretty much live day to day with low expectations, are you really going to risk your life for such a cause? It’s something that I have been pondering.
- Would Richard be a better leader than King Ezekiel?
Bob: No, he is too war hawkish. Richard is perfect where he is.
Eric: Richard doesn’t necessarily think things through. He is right where he belongs
Kent: As currently presented, yes. To go back to something said in the show, the more the Hilltop and the Kingdom provide the Saviors, they weaken themselves while strengthening the enemy. At some point you have to cut your losses and go for it before the ratio is too out of balance that you have no chance. Richard gets this principle and Ezekiel doesn’t The hard thing for me is that overall, Ezekiel is the wiser leader for the day to day stuff and keeping things going. But none of that matters if they are eventually are too weak to keep that community going.
- Will there be any repercussions or fallout from Morgan lying to Rick and Daryl about Carol’s whereabouts? Will Benjamin be the person who blows Carol’s cover?
Bob: Daryl will not trust Morgan ever again until something else happens that forces him to trust him. Rick will broken-heartedly rebuke Morgan, it might end their relationship, but probably not. Benji will not blow any cover…
Eric: it will hurt the trust that Morgan and Rick have. Even though Morgan helped Rick out in episode 1 and 2. The rest of the group might not be so forgiving.
Kent: I can see Daryl following somebody like Ben out in the woods and meeting up with Carol. I think he finds her in some way accidentally and he convinces her to step back into the fire. That could subsequently lead to Carol getting into Ezekiel’s ear. As for fallout, I guess it comes down to if Rick is in desperation mode Rick or in Ricktatorship mode. Both gents above me talk about various ways of how the lie could be potentially compartmentalized in some capacity, and I didn’t think about it in that way, but I think they are onto something.
- What will happen first: A) The Saviors step foot inside the walls of the Kingdom, B) Daryl talks Ezekiel into joining the cause, or C) Daryl stares Ezekiel into submission?
Bob: A, then B
Eric: The King seems to think that the Saviors will never set foot inside the walls, and with Negan actively looking for Daryl, lets hope that doesn’t happen. So I say B.
Kent: C, as I am guessing that he will convince Ezekiel to let him go outside the walls for some purpose and hopefully it will be through the power of staring. The safe money is on A though.
- Was it worth the risk to get the explosives all things considering? More importantly, do you find it feasible that Rick and Michonne came out of that unscathed?
Bob: Sure is! It shows they will do anything it takes for their freedom! It is feasible for the unscathed result, but not reasonable.
Eric : Not totally unfeasible. But the cars and the wire wouldn’t have come out undamaged, but maybe the walkers are easier to take down now that time has passed and their bodies aren’t as solid as they once were. With Negan taking all of their weapons, it was worth it for the coming fight.
Kent: We can all look back with some confidence and be like, yeah it’s our group, of course it was worth it. The reality is that they probably could have gotten 2 less bundles and been smarter. As for Rick and Michonne somehow going unscathed, this is beyond absurd. Last I knew, scratches can still infect you. Just because the walkers are slowly weakening, they are still a threat. They can still easily lunge at you. They still have nails and teeth, at least a good chunk of them do. They also had to be careful in keeping hold of the explosives. It was about as practical as the Daryl and Carol ambulance flip or Glenn surviving the dumpster scene. These are things that would not happen, and you have to make peace with that. If somebody tries to argue about it though, I will be forced to put them in their place with logic and reason.
Rant time. Let me tell you something brother, the first thing I thought of was wrestling during this scene. Of course it was, but to be more specific, Hulk Hogan. You see, in the 80’s and a good chunk of the 90’s, the Hulkster would be put up against the biggest, baddest dudes, all hell bent on destroying Hulkamania. Every once in awhile, Hogan would get put on teh shelf, like Earthquake did in 1990, but it was always to give Hogan a break for filming or whatever other nonsense he had going on. Then, he would come back, and he would stand victorious against all evil. One of the biggest traits of the Hulkster was wrestling fans call “no selling”. You remember, Hogan would take clubbing blows to the back, punches to the face and he may shake the ropes, his eyes would get huge, he may even wag his finger telling you “not today brother” and then he would hit a few punches, maybe a clothesline, a bodyslam, the big boot, and finish it off with a leg drop for the 1, 2, 3. Rick Grimes is now officially no selling any danger when it comes to stuff like that, and it does weaken this show slightly for me. Yes, it’s fiction and anything can happen, but fiction is at it’s best when there are rules to that world and story and people have to follow those rules in order to create drama. Consider how Superman started off with a few big moves, and that was it. Nowadays, he has so many more things added to over come the obstacles, the same with Batman, and it kinda takes you out of believing that they are remotely in trouble. They need to bring back the danger element. A major character needs to get bit to illustrate that while the living are more dangerous, do not forget about Dre, I mean the walkers. Otherwise, what’s the point in having walkers anymore? Either tell us that scratches will no longer kill you, which would make sense considering that everybody is infected already, or give a walker a kill on one of the experts. Don’t give us Glenn by the dumpster again. I’m sick of that shit.
- Are they foreshadowing something bad happening to Aaron?
Bob: Nope, just a little LGBTQSIA etc. drama. (Kent: What? You dislike long abbreviations that keep getting bigger and bigger? Me too! I just say LMNOP and that’s what they get, no more, no less. Although, I am still a big fan of the UMSHCG, better known as the Ultra Mega Super Hyper Cool Guys.
Eric: Just forcing relationship drama. (Kent: You guys are killing it right now.)
Kent: Aaron is actually a really good character, and it feels like a reverse foreshadow. Eric offers very little to the group or the show. He is expendable. Now we can all be worried about Aaron getting got, but I think the more likely scenario is Eric dying. Also, it’s as the gents said, just for drama to keep women entertained and involved so they can go watch True Housewives of East Bumfuck after.
- Give me your theories, your guesses, whatever you want to call it, in regards to the ending. Who are these people? How is Gabriel involved, if he is?
Bob: I don’t think Gabriel is involved and is probably being held. I still don’t know who these people are, no idea!
Eric: Could they be the all women’s group that we saw earlier? (Kent: It’s possible that is Oceanside, but there are some dudes, or some really fugly amazons there. It is possible that they have recruited a few dudes since we last saw them, which would be approximately a week I am guessing, 2 weeks at most given what we have seen on TV.)
Kent: Rick smiled. Now I know that can be interpreted in a couple of ways. I’m going to say that this group has Heath. Father Gabriel is on next week’s Talking Dead, so his story should be explained. There’s a surprise guest next week as well, and that used to indicate a death. They haven’t gone that route in awhile, so it makes sense for it to be Heath. With that being said, it will probably be some annoying actress that brings the show down. I am going to say that this group is a minor threat, maybe Wolves level. This should all tie in with whoever spied on Alexandria at the end of episode 8. Rest assured, I will be wrong. Rick is smiling because he sees an armed group and that is what Rick needs.
Also, I feel so bad for any guys in that group. Just imagine being surrounded by all that estrogen, and they probably initially think “My my, look at all the poon at my disposal” and the 30 minutes later, they aren’t getting any, and are getting nagged all day. I’d rather get eaten by a walker. More peaceful.
- What was your favorite scene or line from this episode?
Bob: Rick’s smile at the end.
Eric: “ We fucked the same dead guy, doesn’t make us friends”
Kent: There’s a lot to like in this episode. I loved Carl’s pissed off look, Gregory’s “Rhetorical”, Ezekiel reading the “Free at last” speech, Rick’s smile at the end, and probably a few that I am missing. But damn, I have to go with “What the hell you telling me for? We both had sex with the same dead guy. Doesn’t make us friends.” That was awesome, and it kinda redeemed her character a bit, in my eyes.
- Who is the biggest ticking time bomb on the show at the moment?
Bob: Richard looks to becoming unhinged. If he doesn’t get to murder some saviors soon, look out!
Eric: I agree with Bob. Richard seems out for blood concerning the saviors
Kent: There are so many people that are like one nudge away from snapping. You can see it in so many of their eyes, the actors are doing a great job in showing the pressure and tension that they face, well except Tara because her character is just the worst. At least Jesus is chill, but delivers it in a different manner. Richard and Rosita top my picks. Rosita still has the mind to disarm the explosives, Richard is my choice.
All of the pictures are the property of AMC, the producers, Robert Kirkman, and all of the other people who helped make this. I am simply using the images for review purposes.