THE WALKING DEAD RECAP S9EP7 STRADIVARIUS

Paul Mendoza

A lot of info coming out in these first post- Rick episodes! We’re still getting to know the newbies but also getting the blanks filled in about what has happened to our regulars in the last six years.

The cold open is one the best and creepiest the show has done. We see Rosita scrambling through the forest, as if being chased. She’s bloody and scared and keeps hearing voices. Eugene is not with her! What happened to him? Are these walkers really chasing her? She runs out of steam and passes out! Opening credits!

One thing I forgot to mention about last weeks episode was the big scar in the shape of an X on Michonne’s back. In this episode, we see that Daryl has a similar scar on the same part of his back along with multiple other scars that look like he had been whipped. Did they meet up with another villainous group during those six years? How many others have these scars in their backs?  Does this have anything to do with the seemingly bad blood between Michonne and Maggie and why Michonne hasn’t seemed to have left Alexandria in a long time and don’t go to The Hilltop? Will we get any of these answers in the mid-season finale? I’m thinking, no.

THE HILLTOP

Maggie is gone. Jesus got a letter from her and she and Little Hershel are well, don’t worry. They’re with Georgie! Wherever she is. Meanwhile, Jesus has been voted the new leader, a role he is not eager to take. Tara has taken on the job of his second in command which, for now, means she’s taking care of everything.

There’s a great scene between a Jesus and Aaron where Aaron surprises Jesus by knocking him off his horse and doing combat. It reminded me of Cato and Inspector Clouseau going at it in the Pink Panther films! Jesus is trading him but could there be more than combat training on their minds?

Before any shenanigans could happen they find Rosita. She tells them she left Eugene in a barn but she first remember where. They take her back to Hilltop then plan to go back out to search for Eugene.

DARYL THE WOODSMAN (AND DOG)

“Look, I know you still think I’m lookin’ for him. Never found a body. Ever. After a while it just got easier to stay out.” Daryl

Carol and Henry find Daryl and he takes them to his camp. he seems rather annoyed that they’re there. He has a pet dog he calls ‘Dog’ who brings him the hand of a walker he’s found. Good boy! Carol wants Daryl to go to Hilltop to look after Henry who wants to learn to be a smith. Daryl is not keen on the idea. He likes being alone. He’s still looking for Rick. They never found a body. So sad! Carol gives him a haircut and I mean that literally, she only cut a few hairs.

Henry is not impresses with this vagabond that his mom speaks so highly of. Later that night, however, they have a bit of an adventure, rescuing Dog from some walkers stuck in the mud. Of course, Carol was in the shadows with her bow and arrow just in case they needed some help. They have a heart to heart and Henry tells Daryl that his mom misses him and worries about him. In the morning, Daryl agrees to go to Hilltop and mentor the young squire.

THE ROAD TO HILLTOP

“I know what it’s like to worry about your family. Carry the burden of protecting them. To feel guilt when they suffer.” Michonne

Michonne won’t let Magna and the newbies stay at Alexandria but has agreed to escort them to Hilltop. She may admit that she likes them but she still doesn’t trust them. She also refuses to go all the way to Hilltop. It seems that her and Maggie had some sort of falling out. Sadiq tells her that Maggie has left to work with Georgie so she shouldn’t stay away from Hilltop. I wonder what the falling out was over and if it has anything to do with those mysterious scars on her back?

They take the newbies back to their camp and find that all of their friends had been killed and now walkers. They gather what they can of their belongings and continue on. Machine confiscates their weapons though and won’t let them have them back. Trust is a tough nut to crack. We find that Luke has been collecting musical instruments. He believes that part of rebuilding civilization is art, music. This leads to a tense moment that turns out to be funny and tragic! In the middle of the night Michonne hears something. I was thinking it was going to turn out to be Eugene but she finds Luke hovering over something. She takes out her katana and tells him to turn around and when he does she sees he’s holding something so she strikes! Turns out he was holding a violin and she has sliced it in two. It was the stradivarius. Bummer.

In the morning they wake to find a herd of walkers coming their way. Machine lets them have their weapons back and they all handle themselves well, except Luke, who grabs his bag of instruments instead. Unfortunately, one of the walkers is Magna’s boyfriend who was easily spotted due to the paisley shirt he always would wear to annoy her. Michonne handled killing him with sensitivity by not just slicing his head into but gently stabbing him in the back of the neck. Magna was a sobbing mess. Michonne was very sympathetic because she understands that kind of loss.

Once they got back on the road they are approached by two men in horseback wearing Kingdom-style armor. One of them looked like the Man of La Mancha and he told them that they had found one of their people, Rosita and she was safe at The Hilltop.

Carol, Daryl and Henry arrive at Hilltop ahead of Michonne. It was a very warm reunion for everyone. But as soon as they arrive daryl rides off with Jesus and Aaron to look for Eugene.

Looks like next week’s mid-season finale is going to be a nail biter! TWD has gotten scary again!

SIDE BITES

Michael Cudlitz (Abraham) made his directorial debut with this episode. He did an excellent job! Andrew Lincoln also plans to come back to direct future episodes!

Did anyone catch C. Thomas Howell in this episode? he was the Man of La Mancha guy that greets Michonne and company on the road and tells them about Rosita.

If anyone watch Talking Dead after the episode you saw a very stoned out of his mind Gary Fogler (Luke). He was hilarious and Michael Cudlitz could not stop laughing!

Special surprise guest on Talking Dead was Madison Lintz who played Sophia! Sophia is all grown up! She shared the couch with her brother Matt Lintz who now plays Henry.

5 THINGS I THINK I KNOW

1 Michonne will arrive at a Hilltop and we will find out what the bad blood between her and Maggie is.

2 Enid and Henry sitting in a tree! Oh it’s happening!

3 Well now that Connie is staying at Hilltop and not Alexandria  thinking she can become Tara’s new love interest

4 I think Daryl and Luke will be a great comic pairing!

5 Special unknown guest of Talking Dead next week means one thing; someone’s gonna die! I’m thinking it will be Aaron!