What kind of future do the survivors want on The Walking Dead? Is this bridge a pathway to the future or a monument to the past? Here’s our review of “The Bridge”!
“The Bridge” is bookended by Rick talking to Negan in his cell. He’s explaining the events of the day and how people came together for a common cause, building the bridge.
At the start of the episode, the conversation feels like Rick is being self-righteous as usual. The events of the episode play out for us, and the end part of his conversation with Negan takes a different tone now that we’ve seen how everyone behaved in all the communities.
Rick is looking for validation that this was the right path.
The events of “The Bridge” take place 35 days after Gregory’s death. The Saviors are helping on the bridge, but they don’t want to be. So far, six Saviors have abandoned their posts and no one has seen them again. We can chalk this up to them not wanting to help Rick, but at the end, it seems the disappearances are much more than pissed off Saviors who don’t want to work.
Overall, this one hits on the two big issues that have been set up this season on The Walking Dead:
Who can we trust?
Who calls the shots?
Michonne is sent to Hilltop to talk Maggie into sending more food to the Sanctuary even though the ethanol supplies the Saviors are supposed to provide never made it to her. She also attempts to persuade Maggie into letting Earl, the blacksmith, out of his cell.
“You didn’t hang him like you hung Gregory. There has to be a reason for that?”
Eventually, we see Tammy, Earl’s wife, get into an argument with Jesus and refuse to leave the cellar doors where her husband is being kept because she demands to see him and she has rights.
Michonne plays this situation perfectly. She doesn’t come out and call Maggie wrong, but she approaches Jesus with the prospect of there being another way. Jesus tells her that he doesn’t think Maggie is wrong, but admits there can be instances where everyone chooses poorly.
“Not everyone is right all the time. Not her, not me, not you.”
“That’s why we need to build something that’s bigger than any one of us.”
Later, Maggie and Jesus talk while she’s playing with baby Hershel. You can see the paintings on her wall of her family, including Hershel, Beth, and Glenn, which leads us to believe that Anne (Jadis) has been by at some point.
Jesus points out something interesting in this conversation. It’s a letter from Georgie, the woman who gave them the “Keys to the Future”. Maggie tells him it’s not a new one, but she was reading an old one. That’s when he asks her if she’s thinking about accepting Georgie’s offer of moving out to their settlement.
I assume this is how The Walking Dead will write off Maggie’s character in the coming episodes.
After her conversation with Jesus, Maggie allows Tammy to see Earl and that’s when we find out about Earl’s drinking problem. Due to all this and the story of his addiction that he shares with Maggie, she connects him to her father, and decides to let him out of his cell.
When she explains her reasoning to Michonne, she says of her father:
“He was a good man, and if he hadn’t been given a second chance, a lot of people would have been worse off for it.”
In the same conversation, she defends her execution of Gregory.
“Some people can be redeemed but others can’t.”
“Who makes that decision?”
“I guess that’s one of the things we’ll have to figure out.”
And boy, that’s a big thing they’re going to figure out considering what’s happening at the bridge site…
Yes, they’re all living together for now, helping build a bridge, but there’s no love lost between the Saviors and literally every other survivor from a different community. It also doesn’t help that the Saviors are still portrayed as assholes with no idea of how to behave.
Sure, Justin, you didn’t expect someone to kick your ass after you pushed down a little kid.
This is the biggest issue with The Walking Dead right now. They want the audience to buy into Rick’s idea of a future, but how in the world are we supposed to do that when the Saviors are still very Savior-y?
Rick’s words to Daryl about how if they just model correct behavior it will eventually be picked up are extremely naive for a man who spend a good portion of his adult life in law enforcement. Rick tries to get Daryl to see they’re on the same side.
“Are we though?” Are we on the same side, Rick?”
“You tell me.”
“See that’s the thing. I’ve been trying to but you’re not listening.”
That’s a big problem. Rick is so lost in his own ideas about what the future should be and what Carl wrote, that he’s not looking at the now. Carol even tries to tell him that this future could be possible, but he’s moving too quickly for some of them.
For Rick, it’s all or nothing from the get go. For everyone else, those wounds are a lot harder to heal and buying into a world where they work side-by-side with the people who tormented and hurt them isn’t ideal.
Later, when they’re trying to distract a herd of walkers from the site, Justin fails to do his part, and it results in Aaron’s arm being crushed by a huge tree trunk after they get surprised by the herd.
Aaron ends up having his arm amputated by Enid, who has been shadowing Saddiq for the last year and a half, I guess? I don’t want to harp on this for long, but Enid amputates a man’s arm, in the woods, with no help, and a year and half of observation and a medical textbook. In the grand scheme of things, it’s a tiny matter. I mean, this is the zombie apocalypse. Why am I doubting that a teenager who didn’t finish high school could successfully amputate an arm after she’s been taught techniques by a guy who didn’t finish medical school.
This is fine.
Later that night, Rick goes and talks to Aaron. He apologizes for this happening to him, and Aaron gives him the boost in self-esteem he needs for his confrontation with Justin later.
“I’m so sorry this happened to you. We’re all supposed to be working together.”
“You couldn’t have know.”
“I’ve been pushing everyone hard, I know I have. I put this project first, and you paid the price.”
It was worth it. When the dead started to rise, I thought I was seeing the end of everything, but you changed all that Rick. It’s not the end of the world anymore. It’s the start of a whole new one, and I’ll always be glad I was here to be a part of that.”
I wouldn’t be handling losing an arm this well.
When Rick leaves, he crosses paths with Justin and finally kicks him out, but only after Justin tells Rick to keep his “dog” (Daryl) away from him.
I can’t stress this enough, Rick needs to see the big picture here or it will be the cause of his death. And I swear on all things good and holy in this world if they make Rick’s death be what brings the Saviors and other survivors together, I will flip tables.
Y’all already killed off one Grimes this way. Please don’t press repeat.
As Justin leaves camp, he’s approached by someone from the woods. He obviously knows this person because he tells them he could have killed them and lowers his weapon. That’s when he’s attacked and the screen goes black.
Perhaps those missing Saviors aren’t going missing on their own…
Since Daryl has fought with Justin twice in one day, I’m sure he’ll be the prime suspect, but Daryl wouldn’t kill someone in the dead of night. He’d shoot him in the face in the middle of camp and accept the consequences. This is someone else entirely.
After “The Bridge,” who do we trust?
No one outside that small group from the beginning. Anne (Jadis) even proves she’s still got things to hide after seeing the helicopter again.
Who makes the decisions?
Honestly, we could see a council situation like at the prison, and maybe that would help things. Right now with Rick leading, Alden said it best:
“They work for you, and you protect them. Who does that sound like to you?”
Rick isn’t as vicious as Negan, but his Ricktatorship remains in place for now. As his conversation with Negan (and “The Bridge”) draws to a close, Negan poses a thought provoking statement to Rick:
“That bridge isn’t about the future. It’s a monument to the dead. You’re not saving the world, Rick. You’re just getting it ready for me.”
I mean, he might not be wrong.
Random moments from “The Bridge” that deserve our attention:
Carol accepted Ezekiel’s proposal, and it was adorable! I’m so happy for them! However, at the start of the episode, Ezekiel told Carol that he knows people in real life don’t get happily ever afters, so is this a way to foreshadow one of their deaths? Or possibly Rick’s death later?
Add to that question, Aaron telling Daryl he’d be a good dad. Is this a nod that he’ll take over that role for Judith when Rick dies?
What did you think of the episode? Who is killing Saviors? Will Maggie leave to be with Georgie at some point this season? Leave us your predications in the comments!
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9/8c on AMC.