‘The Walking Dead’ 9×02 Review: The Bridge to Actually Living & Not Just Surviving

For the longest time, seasons upon seasons, the survivors of The Walking Dead have just been…well…surviving. They haven’t been living. That is, until now. Two episodes into season 9 and we’re already seeing a different side of our favorite survivors where they are allowing themselves to actually live, love, and grow amongst the end (or the beginning if we’re being honest with ourselves) of the world.

“The Bridge” is the continuation of that train of thought that demonstrates that not everything is perfect but they are trying for something bigger than themselves. And sometimes that counts for more than anything else. Because it’s not about forgetting what happened in the past or the battles that brought them to this point. It’s about moving forward, moving on, together.

We see this moving forward in the shape of Michonne acting as a leader, an ambassador, trying to set some ground rules that all of them can follow. We see this moving forward in the bond growing between Aaron and Daryl. And we see this moving forward in the things that Maggie is doing for Hilltop, no matter how much others might disagree with her.

Michonne Should Lead This Show

Photo Credit: Jackson Lee Davis/AMC

Look, I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. I love Daryl. I’ve loved him since the first time he walked out of the brush looking like a hot mess with all dem squirrels. (Yes, the love runs that deep.) But he’s not built for or has what it takes, to lead The Walking Dead as a whole. “The Bridge” was proof of that.

Michonne is the lead that we need to keep this show afloat after Rick Grimes aka Andrew Lincoln says goodbye. Watching her approach to Maggie and Jesus felt like a masterclass in understanding what NEEDS to be done and what CAN be done to survive together. Michonne has the integrity, courage, and vision that this show needs to not fall apart or rip at the seams. Daryl doesn’t.

That’s not to say that Daryl doesn’t have goals or any integrity. It just means that Daryl is a loose canon without a clear focus of what he wants or what this community needs. Yes, he’ll do whatever needs to be done to accomplish some of their goals, like building the bridge, but I don’t think he plans enough to anticipate the results/consequences of his actions. And in this post apocalyptic world, we don’t need leaders like that.

We need leaders that inspire, can clearly community with each other, and know how to build bonds throughout the communities that will survive and thrive. Daryl is not ready for that or is capable of that. Michonne is. So here’s hoping against hope that Michonne is given the opportunity to lead The Walking Dead when season 10 comes rolling around and Rick Grimes is long gone.

How Am I Not Supposed to Ship Aaryl?

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There’s something about the relationship between Daryl and Aaron that sets my heart all aflutter. It could be the way that Aaron brings Daryl out of his shell. It could be the way that Daryl doesn’t give up on Aaron no matter how much the latter begs the former to go and save himself. It could also be the way that Daryl stands vigil over Aaron, not leaving his side unless it’s for Rick or to kick some ass.

Something is brewing between Daryl and Aaron and I’m loving it. And this isn’t my imagination connecting dots that aren’t there. They’re there. Daryl and Aaron are honest, kind, and fun together. (The best kind of building blocks for a good relationship.) They have each others back and in Aaron’s time of need, Daryl came through 100%. Hell, they held hands while Aaron was in uncontrollable pain.

“But maybe they’re just friends,” you yell at my queer ass. Yes, they are friends. But what’s so frightening or so out of this world that they can be more? The Walking Dead is dropping me queer breadcrumbs, aka talking about Daryl being a great dad or Daryl standing vigil over Aaron, and I hope we get the gay representation we need and deserve at the end of the world.

“But we have Tara!” you once again yell at my queer ass. Well, I didn’t know that we could only have a sprinkling of gay or a certain quota of gay. You do know there are probably more gay people in the apocalypse, right? They’re queer, they’re here, and maybe Daryl and Aaron are part of that.

I can’t wait.




 

Maggie Isn’t Going to Turn Evil If That’s What You’re Thinking

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One of the most frustrating things I’ve come across while swimming through Twitter is this assertion/thought that Maggie is turning evil. Fans see what she’s doing, the risks she’s taking to protect her home and people, and see it as Maggie turning dark side. And it’s kind of pissing me off.

For multiple seasons, I’ve seen fans make excuse after excuse for the things that the Governor, Rick, and even Negan (yes, I said Negan) have done to protect their people. It made sense to them and they understood why these men were doing what they were doing. But now that Maggie’s come around to a position of power that she fought and bled for, things have changed and plenty think she’s going dark side.

I can’t help but wonder if this has to do with the fact that Maggie is a woman. She’s not doing what the Governor, Rick, or even Negan have done in the past. Maggie is being kind, assertive, understanding, and aware of the realities of their situation. But no, her taking power and doing the things she’s done, like killing the snake known as Gregory, is crossing the line into being evil territory.

What about when Negan branded a man’s face? What about when the Governor chased a woman down with his car? What about when Rick killed Saviours in the dead of the night as a means to an end? Those situations don’t make these men evil (in the eyes of these fans) but it makes Maggie evil when she imprisons a man that TRIED TO KILL HER? I call bullshit.

Maggie is a result of the old world and the new. She knows what needs to be done, where to draw her line in the sand, and what is at stake if this community fails. This is what a leader looks like. And I won’t let some mysogynistic assholes that hold contempt for a woman in power, bring Maggie down or smear her good name.

Additional Thoughts:
  1. “Stitches won’t fix what I do to you.” SCREAMINNNNNNNNG.
  2. After all these people have been through, it’s kind of beautiful seeing all of them fighting together.
  3. Mother Goose is the best code name for Rick Grimes. Also it shows that despite the serious nature of everything that they’re going through, there’s still time for laughter and teasing. And that right there matters. Shows they’re still alive and not just surviving.
  4. Trash Lady and Father Gabriel? I did NOT see that coming!
  5. Also, Trash Lady is hiding a secret. She knows that there’s someone watching and a reason why a lot of their own people are disappearing.
Favorite Scene from The Walking Dead’s “The Bridge”:

https://of-dragons-and-dreams.tumblr.com/post/179069083311/i-love-two-cuties

Check out the trailer for next week’s episode titled “Warning Signs”:

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




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