Connie wins our hearts as we inch closer to the season finale.
With just three more episodes left, we're really in the homestretch of "The Walking Dead" Season 9. So why are we spinning our wheels meeting yet another new group?!
We still have to get to the flashbacks, the Kingdom's big fair and whatever aftermath that entails, plus, aren't the Whisperers compelling enough for more screen time? Also, our survivors already have a pretty impressive roster of warriors, do they really need a bunch of men on horseback coming in to rescue them all at the last second?
Sunday's new episode introduced The Highwaymen, included one killer fight scene between Beta and Daryl Dixon and teased a world beyond the communities we already know and love. Let's dig into "Chokepoint."
Daryl Meets His Match
After rescuing Lydia and Henry from The Whisperers, Connie (in total boss mode) led the group to one of her nearby safe houses. They didn't want to return to Hilltop just yet, out of fear Alpha would burn the place to the ground trying to get Lydia back.
While Daryl's used to running the show, Connie gave him a lot of pushback in terms of what to do with the runaway Whisperer. In an exchange of furiously written notes, Connie held her ground and, in the end, talked him into keeping her around.
They came up with a plan to separate The Whisperers from their undead horde, luring the living up to higher ground while making it impossible for the walkers to follow. A massive fight scene followed, as each of them went face to face against another Whisperer. In one especially gruesome moment, Daryl axed one of them in the chest from behind a tarp, their blood covering the white sheet in silhouette.
But Beta still managed to have a small element of surprise, busting through a damn wall like Michael Myers in Rob Zombie's "Halloween," giving Daryl a fight unlike any we've seen before. There were knives, buzzsaws and bodyslams, before Daryl ended up throwing Beta down a frickin' elevator shaft. Problem solved? More on that in second.
The plan going forward involves avoiding the other communities altogether after getting patched up at Alexandria, to keep those communities safe. "We'll move on, all of us," Daryl told the group, inviting the obvious, "Where are we going?" from Henry.
"There's a whole world out there," he responded, echoing something Henry told Lydia earlier in the episode.
Where do we think these guys will all end up though? We know Daryl and Michonne have been keeping some major secrets about what went down during that giant time gap -- does he have knowledge of another community we don't yet know about? Or maybe wherever Maggie wound up with Georgie? We're very interested to see where they flee to, if they don't get sidetracked by something else by season's end.
Oh yeah, and that elevator drop? Didn't kill Beta. He'll be back.
This week, we learned what those mysterious red symbols popping up all over the place were: markers of The Highwaymen's territory.
The hour kicked off with Jerry, Diane and more of the Kingdom's guards returning from a run all banged up after getting robbed. Their assailants left a note: "We are the highwaymen, the roads surrounding the Kingdom belong to us, all visitors attempting to travel to your fair will be turned back unless you pay our toll."
Just what the already-struggling community of the Kingdom needed right now, right?
While the King wanted to go in guns a blazin', his Queen had a more diplomatic approach to their latest roadblock. During a meeting of the two groups, Carol came up with an offer they couldn't refuse.
The agreement: the men would protect the roads around the Kingdom for them, in exchange for access to trade at the fair and -- the real cherry on top -- the chance to watch a movie for the first time in years. The guys proved their worth shortly after, as they saved Tara, Magna, Yumiko, Kelly, Tammy and Earl from a small group of walkers.
Will their help be enough to help them from whatever face-off awaits them in the final three episodes? Time will tell.