Episode 3 of Season 9 was by far the most tension fueled episode of the new season yet. From unexpected betrayal to the most obvious yet, "Warning Signs" was the tip of the iceberg in the Negan-Maggie-Rick-Daryl anger trilogy.
As the episode began, we saw a walker mindlessly wonder over a downed fence with signs. Walkers feast on a fresh host then is lured away. When the walking corpse stands, Justin. He follows the others and a spray-painted sign that says "Final Warning" is seen.
After the opening credits, it shows Rick waking up, putting his boots on and checking on things. Rick kisses Michonne's shoulder, checks on Judith then walks downstairs and puts his hand over Carl's painted handprint. Rick checks the garden and brings a beautiful red tomato to assumably Carl's grave. When Rick goes back to the house, Michonne is awake and working on things for Alexandria. Rick says he is proud of her for leading and growing Alexandria.
Rick wants to take Judith to Siddiq for a checkup, but she won't go without a family day. Michonne brings up the fact that he can't be away from the bridge for too long but he believes that things will work out. Rick thanks her for everything she has done as well as being her. Then, he suggests she "take a break." She grins and asks him if he meant for her to take a break from building a future, and he says he has a few ways he recommends to get there. He pulls her on top of him after he flicks her pencil away and they get "busy." Khal and Maggie are on their way to deliver their end of the Saviors agreement for the ethanol when Laura and a group of Saviors stop them in the road. Mud, a cringe-worthy savior takes a tomato and practically taunts for them to do something. Laura says he will be docked for that. Then, they carry on. Not even ten seconds later, a walker comes from the treeline. It's Justin. Back at Alexandria, a family montage begins! Siddiq "examines" Rick, Rick makes Judith laugh at his groans, Michonne and Judith play hide and seek with Rick finding them, Rick watched as Michonne and Judith "sword" fought with sticks, they have a picnic and Rick is reading to her when an Alexandrian rushes over. Michonne went first then Rick joined her. He told them that they found Justin and they think that it was an inside job.
When the commercial ends, there is a fued at the campground. The Saviors and the Survivors are fighting over what happened. Laura and Arat try and defuse the situation but can't. Carol even steps up and lets them know she means business. A few charges but are taken down. Jed and another Savior say they need to end what Justin didn't. Arat attempts to defuse again, but Daryl says that he's all for it. Just as the two men prepare to fight, Rick rides up an splits the groups up. Alden says he'll speak with Rick about what can be done about Justin and the safety of the Saviors. Laura tells them to back off, and they go their ways. Rick talks to Gabriel about Anne, and he tells him they were on watch together all night. Gabriel confronts Anne about this and says her Rick lied for her. She asked if he believes she did it. She leaves. Alden comes to Rick as does Maggie. Maggie is unsure about what to do and is torn. He sees Daryl and confronts him. Rick stares for the longest time then tells Daryl that Justin's kill wound was small and circular like a puncture. Like an arrow. Daryl calls Rick on his assumption like he used to ask Rick if he thinks he did it. Rick says he doesn't. Daryl says that his way of things is wrong because the Saviors don't deserve what Glenn, Abe, and Sasha didn't get. Rick asks for Daryl to at least try for the guy who didn't kill his brother.
Maggie and Sydney are on route four patrols when they see some activity. They radio in, and backup should be arriving soon. The house is one Sydney knew and was now overrun. Maggie leads the walkers away while Sydney tries to move the rattling tin. Walkers bust from the planks and pounce. Maggie comes to the aid and a walker Sydney is wrestling with gets a Dixon arrow. Rick and Co come then they notice Group 5 hadn't arrived. When they investigate, Beatrice is knocked out. Arat is missing. Back at the camp, they discuss moves. Rick needs the bridge finished before the storm, but they also need to find Arat. Jerry doesn't think it a solid plan, but Sydney is sure that no matter what, they'll get what's coming to them. Rick and Carol patrol and he admits that some mornings he wakes up and wants to kill Negan but doesn't because Rick remembers why he kept him alive, to begin with. Carol realized that she wanted to kill those Saviors to end it beforehand. Rick says they need to honor the dead because of every life matters now. Daryl and Maggie are on patrol as well. She tells Daryl that she doesn't agree but what Rick is doing is beneficial for the future. They find walkers with a harpoon arrow. Daryl says they need to find Arat.
In the next scenes, Anne is seen inside of the Junkyard. She pulls a walkie and radios that she knows they're in the area. Whoever it is, they want their "A," and she finally agreed. As soon as GE communication is over, Gabriel pops in. He questions her, and she quickly tries to goat him into leaving. He will leave with her but... he has to warn Rick. She is surprised and says "and here I thought you were a "B" and knocked him out. Carol and Rick are searching in the middle of the night. They're looking for Arta. As she comes around a corner, Mud grabs her and holds her at knifepoint. Rick comes but so does another Savior. Mud tells him they don't need a babysitter. Mud says they need guns since someone is hunting them. Rick tries to, but Carol has pulled a knife. Rick says it doesn't have to be this way. Carol says "its over" and stabs Mud in the shoulder. Rick tells him that they'll patch him up at camp.
Maggie and Daryl take up the other end in the search for Arat. They walk over a downed fence with detour signs. Maggie knows about this place. When they turn around the corner, Sydney and Beatrice have Arat on her knees. Arat begs for their help, but Sydney tells Daryl and Maggie that Arat killed her brother who was only 11. Sydney said to them that she begged Arat, but she said the most chilling line yet, the line that Negan told before killing Glenn; "No exceptions." Arat pleaded that she changed, but Sydney told Maggie that she showed her there is more than one way of justice. After that, Daryl and Maggie turned their backs and walked away as Arat got a harpoon through her chest.
In the final scene, Daryl and Maggie set out in search of ethanol. She tells him that they gave Rick's way a fair chance but it's her way now. Daryl agrees. They decide that "it's time to visit Negan." They start home, and they have three cans of ethanol.
This episode was amazing. What did you guys think? Let me know in the comments below!
Author/Editor: Joeleen Gatlin