The Walking Dead Fans Cheer ‘Be a Hero’ Message of Mid-Season Return

Maybe call it the “Josh McDermitt reacts” edition

by | February 13, 2017 | Comments

The Walking Dead episode 709 (Gene Page/AMC)
When we left The Walking Dead season 7 back in December, the Spencer, Olivia, and Fat Joey were dead, and Rick (Andrew Lincoln) finally woke from the stupor brought on by the violence of his first encounter with Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and is ready to rumble.

Episode nine, “Rock in the Road,” picks up with some strange goings-on in the nighttime with the padre, then heads back to Hilltop to check on that reunion.


Pantry Raid!

The episode started out with Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) perpetrating a thorough and seemingly spontaneous pantry raid. His behavior baffled everyone watching, including some of his fellow Alexandrians (like they don’t know what’s up with the good padre’s thieving by now — you’re not fooling anyone, but we appreciate the engagement effort).

Meanwhile, Back at Hilltop…

Xander Berkeley in The Walking Dead 709 (Gene Page/AMC)Gregory (Xander Berkeley) was on fire with some of the best lines of the show, while trying to squirm out of having anything to do with Rick and Co.’s failed coup.

To Rick: “Sometimes, Ricky, you have to count the blessings you have.”

To Jesus (Tom Payne): “Hey, don’t you work for me? Aren’t we friends.”

To Maggie (Lauren Cohan): “I don’t know how many people we have, Margaret. Does it even matter? What are you gonna do? Start a platoon of sorghum farmers? Cause that’s what we got: They grow things.”

To Tara (Alanna Masterson): “Let me stop you before you break into song, OK?”

To the room: “And, by the way, who would train all this cannon-fodder?”<

And, of course, “Rhe-TOR-i-cal ― OK? I don’t want to know! I never want to hear another word about any of it. Ever!”

Hilarious! Nice work, Xander Berkeley: Your Gregory has just entered the zone of characters we love to hate, as opposed to just plain hate (Dwight) or, worse, hate with indifference (Enid with the endless sulking and brooding).

The Kingdom Introductions

Jesus has a guy he wants Rick to meet. Cue the tiger.

Triggered by the talk of Negan’s murders, Rosita brutally recounts Team Alexandria’s deaths to Morgan.

An aside from Eugene…

Daryl is left behind, but Rick seems as excited that he’ll be making new friends at The Kingdom.

Talking Dead trivia: Director Greg Nicotero’s kids were in the background being trained in bow and arrow the Kingdom scene.


Armed with a radio that allows them to listen in on the Saviors — Negan gives a uniquely Neganesque eulogy for Fat Joey — Rick and the gang hit the road back to Alexandria.

Running across a booby-trapped roadblock, they dismount the minivan for some foraging. An enormous herd of Walkers conveniently shows up while they’re disarming explosives, sparking instead what some saw as a bonding moment for Rick and Michonne (Danai Gurira)— aka, “Richonne.”

Just the best thing ever. #TheWalkingDead

— Dalton Ross (@DaltonRoss) February 13, 2017

Thought it looked familiar… Talking Dead later revealed that the stretch of road where Rick and Michonne mow down the walker herd was seen back when Carol’s ill-fated daughter Sophia went missing.


The Saviors show up just behind Rick and the gang. The pantry raid has been discovered, but no matter — the Saviors didn’t come for food and sundries.

Eric (Jordan Woods-Robinson) is nervous about Aaron (Ross Marquand) participating in whatever the hell the plan is to take down the Saviors. Selfishly, he’d rather remain not dead, rather than undead or dead dead or whatever form of deadness the Saviors might exact upon them should they be caught.


Benjamin (Logan Miller) went for a stroll and met up with Carol (Melissa McBride) — in full-blown hermit mode — then brought word back to Ezekiel.

“My dad used to say, ‘If you’re asked to be the hero, be a hero,’” young Benjamin said to King Ezekiel (Khary Payton). But the king didn’t want to upset Hilltop’s shaky relationship with the Saviors and put the community at risk.


Rick’s smile at the end when they stumble on the goth camp was EVERYTHING.

Watch the full scene:

The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on AMC

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