The Walking Dead spoilers for Season 9 Episode 1 reveal romance for King Ezekiel (Khary Payton) and Carol Peletier (Melissa McBride). There’s a kiss and proposal for these two. The new world order is revealed including who’s running each settlement. Leading up to Rick Grimes’ (Andrew Lincoln) death in a handful of episodes, there is a lot to see in the S9 premiere. Here’s a complete breakdown of the episode so you’ve been warned – spoiler alert!
The Walking Dead – King Ezekiel Near Death Experience Spawns Proposal
The Walking Dead made it clear that Ezekiel’s carrying a torch for Carol, but now it seems it’s mutual. Sorry Carol and Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) shippers. The group is at the capitol and, as you see in the promo, cart out an old-timey wagon. They deal with walkers and things get tense as they walk over a glass floor.
Inevitably, the glass doesn’t hold and King Ezekiel plummets through into a pit of walkers. Fortunately, the other survivors save his butt and that spawns an Ezekiel-Carol kiss. Back on the road, the king proposes to Carol. She doesn’t say yes or not, but spoilers point to an eventual yes. King Ezekiel pledges his undying love.
— The Walking Dead AMC (@WalkingDead_AMC) October 2, 2018
TWD Broken Bridge Death at Maggie’s Hands
On the way back, the gang hits a broken bridge (also shown in trailer) and Hilltop’s Ken gets bit during the melee. He can’t be saved and Maggie Rhee (Lauren Cohan) has to put him down. Remember the crowbar? Back at Hilltop, Maggie has to break the news to his parents, Tammy Rose (Brett Butler) and Earl (John Finn) that their son is dead.
There’s a memorial service for Ken at the colony and Alden (Callan McAuliffe) sings a tribute. Gregory (Xander Berkeley) uses this as an opportunity to stir trouble. He’s still butthurt that he’s been ousted by Maggie. Gregory gets grieving Earl liquored up and points him at Maggie.
— My Daryl Dixon Art (@MyDarylArt) October 4, 2018
Daryl is Not the New Negan on TWD
Since The Walking Dead season 9 fast forwards a few years, we get an immediate look at the new network of communities. Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) is languishing in jail at Alexandria. The Sanctuary lives on though and Daryl is running the show over there. He’s disturbed to see that someone tagged the wall with “Saviors save us – we are still Negan” and has it painted over.
Rick drops by Sanctuary with supplies and it’s clear all is not hunky dory at the outpost. The community isn’t thriving and Daryl doesn’t want to be in charge anymore. He wants to move back to Hilltop to chill with Maggie and that group. Carol is there too and tells him about King Ezekiel’s proposal. Daryl gives him her blessing and she decides to take over the troubled Sanctuary so he can leave.
Maggie Makes an Example of Gregory
Gregory connives a meeting at Glenn Rhee’s (Steven Yeun) grave between Earl and Maggie that turns violent. He knocks out Enid (Katelyn Nacon) in the fracas and others come to quell Earl. Gregory and Maggie brawl when she finds out he’s responsible. He takes credit for all the success of Hilltop but, of course, left to him, they’d still be under the Saviors’ thumb.
Maggie can’t have him around sh*t stirring, so she builds a gallows and brings out Earl and Gregory trussed up and ready to face the music. According to the character tracking guide, Earl’s not been spotting since Season 9 Episode 1, so it looks like Tammy Rose will be a grieving widow as well as a sad mama.
— The Walking Dead AMC (@WalkingDead_AMC) December 12, 2016
The Walking Dead Rick vs Maggie
Tensions run high at Hilltop based on Maggie’s actions and so Rick wants her back at Alexandria. But she is comfortable leading her group. Maggie pushes back on Rick by refusing to help Sanctuary in any way – who can blame her? Maggie publicly executing Gregory stuns Michonne (Danai Gurira) and Rick but she’s recalcitrant.
The episode ends with Maggie’s long-time nemesis swinging at the end of a rope. With Rick Grimes’s death coming up and slated for Season 9 Episode 5, there is still plenty of story to tell before we say goodbye to him. Because the Whisperers are to blame, look for that group to emerge immediately.
AMC kicks off the new season of TWD with a major character death balanced by a sweet proposal. Perhaps that means season 9 will be bitter sweet all around. What do you think? Will anyone miss Gregory or will he go unmourned? Check back to Soap Dirt often for more The Walking Dead spoilers and news.