The last three episodes have probably been the best stretch of The Walking Dead episodes since Glenn’s death, and it is worth noting that the current arc is mostly original to the television series, created as a necessity in order to kill off Rick Grimes. It’s a shame that the series has to lose its lead character, but at least it has given a rise to a creative resurgence for The Walking Dead under Angela Kang.
This week’s episode, “Warning Signs,” continues the series’ hot streak, as it answers one major question (who is behind the disappearance of the Saviors), hints at answers behind another major question (what’s the deal with the helicopter?) and sets up Rick’s death, which is likely to arrive in the next episode or two.
Here are some questions we have after “Warning Signs”:
1. What’s the deal with the helicopters? And the letter ‘A’? This answer was provided more fully in a separate post, but it’s quite possible that the helicopter is not from a community like the Commonwealth that we haven’t been introduced to yet, but a community with which we are already familiar: Terminus. Check The Walking Dead Wiki under “Terminus,” and this is the last line: “It remains unknown whether any other Terminus residents survived the compound’s destruction.” If our theory is correct, that unknown will become a known very soon.
2. So, Are Anne and Father Gabriel Donzo? It appears so, sadly. I do believe that Anne’s affection for Father Gabriel was genuine, but Jadis didn’t take kindly to Gabriel’s decision to sell her out to Rick. “You can’t choose me, instead?” “Not like this,” Gabriel responds. That was clearly the wrong answer, because Anne knocks out Gabriel, and it appears that she will exchange him to possibly the residents of Terminus or the Commonwealth in exchange for a helicopter ride to a place where she and Gabriel could have had “a life like you wouldn’t believe.” Poor Gabriel. He is never going to get laid.
3. Who killed Justin? — As we predicted last week, it was indeed Cyndie who was killing the Saviors. But she didn’t work alone. It appears that she had the help of the entire Oceanside community, who simply could not forgive several select Saviors for killing members of their family. In fact, the episode ends with Cyndie and the gang killing Arat. Maggie and Daryl didn’t encourage it, but they didn’t discourage it, either. Arat’s death has essentially set in motion Rick’s death.
4. How Will Rick Die? — I still strongly believe it will be an assassination, and though he’ll probably be killed by a Savior, I think it will be Maggie’s fault for helping to restart the conflict. “We gave Rick’s way a chance,” Maggie said to Daryl at the end of this week’s episode. “It’s time to see Negan.”
Maggie and Daryl have turned their backs on The Saviors, and after Arat’s death — which Maggie and Daryl allowed to happen — the Saviors turned their back on Rick. The Sanctuary is a free state now, but they have no guns and no food. They won’t survive without the rest of the United States of Alexandria, and someone is going to take it out on Rick. If Maggie and Daryl had stopped Cyndie from killing Arat, they could have nipped this all in the bud. On the other hand, I’m not entirely sure that Maggie chose incorrectly. Arat deserved to die for how she killed Cyndie’s brother.
5. Who will kill Rick? — I am 90 percent confident it will be Jed, aka Billy Walsh from Entourage. At this point, he’s the most recognizable Savior. More than that, Rick had the chance to kill Billy Walsh, and he declined. That almost never works out well for characters on The Walking Dead (remember the Wolves that Morgan refused to kill?). We also already know from the Season 9 trailer that Jed gets his hands on a gun.
6. Will Negan Survive? — Negan will absolutely survive, notwithstanding Maggie’s threat, “It’s time to go see Negan.” I’m not sure how Negan survives, but it may have something to do with the introduction of Magna (Nadia Hilker), who will be introduced to the series fairly soon. The question I have, however, is whether the rest of the Saviors survive? Will they fall in line after Rick’s death? Or will Daryl and Carol wipe that entire community out?
7. Will Rick Leave a Gift After He’s Dead? — In this episode, Michonne and Rick got started on enlarging their family. Will Michonne find out she’s pregnant after Rick is dead? That will be a gut punch, but since Judith is actually Shane’s child, it would mean that at least one Grimes will remain on the show.
8. What was that song playing during Rick and Michonne’s Family Day? — That was Bauhaus’ “All We Ever Wanted Was Everything.” The lyrics are fitting in the context of Rick’s eventual demise: “All we ever wanted was everything / All we ever got was cold.” It was a very sweet sequence, however, and I have never wanted to play hide and seek with Michonne and Judith more. The book Rick was reading to Judith — probably the last he’ll ever read to her — was obviously, “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.” There is no place like home, indeed.