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The Walking Dead shockingly hangs character during epic premiere

October 8, 2018

The Walking Dead shockingly hangs character during epic premiere

CLEVELAND, Ohio – If any character on “The Walking Dead” deserved to die, it was Gregory.

He’s spent just about every second of his time on the series fueling the war between Team Rick and the Saviors, switching sides on the regular and undermining Maggie to the point where her life was often in jeopardy.

FOR OUR EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH EMILY KINNEY (AKA BETH) LISTEN TO ‘THE STALKING DEAD’ PODCAST:

But if you told me he would die in the old-school manner he did. I might not have believed you.

Of course, readers of Robert Kirkman’s comic book surely saw it coming. Gregory meets his demise is the origin story via hanging after he betrays Maggie one final time.

Things play out exactly the same in the Season 9 premiere. Still, it was a bit jarring after all the bullets that have flown over the years to see a guy hanged in the village square.

It was the final moment of an excellent episode in a season where “The Walking Dead” will seek to reinvent itself.That means almost every aspect of the show will change, starting with a new graphic-novel themed opening sequence.

We’re in uncharted territory for a prestige drama. “The Sopranos,” “The Wire,” “Breaking Bad” and even “Sons of Anarchy” were all long gone before making it to nine seasons.

“TWD’s” ninth go round begins with Rick leeading Daryl, Michonne and company on a mission straight out of the 19th century. Who needs cars when you have horses and buggies? Oh, if it were only that simple.

Alexandria and the Hilltop are now functioning old school dial (solar power?), which seems more efficient. However, the mission to get supplies (and another buggy) from an abandoned museum leads to new character Ken (We hardly knew ye) getting bitten by a walker and then kicked in the chest by a horse.

This sets the stage for Maggie’s transformation from weak widow to a vicious powerhouse.

Ken’s parents aren’t happy their son is dead. This gives Gregory his opening. He gets Ken’s father drunk and sets up Maggie to be murdered.

Of course it doesn’t work. Enid winds up in a wheelchair in the process and Gregory ends the episode with a noose around his neck.

Maggie’s power move happens a scene before that, however, when she goes against Rick. Our fearless leader is on a mission to help the residents at the Sanctuary survive. They have limited supplies and Rick has been bleeding Alexandria and the Hilltop to make up for it.

No one outside of Michonne seems to fully agree with Rick. In a tense scene, Daryl essentially asks Rick what the point of it all is.

Mr. Dixon liked things better when the core of “The Walking Dead” was a small group of survivors watching each other’s back on the outskirts of Atlanta. So, yes, Daryl feels the same way most of the audience has over the past three (maybe four) seasons.

Daryl was in charge of the Sanctuary, but Carol takes over. Though, this seems like a slight break for her from Ezekiel, who is Carol’s new man and wants her to marry him (And to think we were just getting used to Richonne).

But back to Maggie’s big moment. She and her son Hershel (RIP Scott Wilson) are on her porch with Rick. Maggie says the Hilltop won’t help the Sanctuary anymore without something in return.

Maggie says it’s time to put the kids to bed and then hangs Gregory (with Daryl’s help). Only, someone didn’t get the memo and a few Hilltop kids witness the entire thing. Michonne does what she can to stop it, but Rick wisely holds her back. Though, both are left looking on in shock.

This is the setup for Season 9. The fight will happen from within. The tension is high and Maggie looks like a villain of sorts (which is the case with anyone who goes against Rick). She and Rick can’t possibly coexist.

Season 9′s premiere fires on all cylinders and might be better than anything we saw during the last half-season. What’s interesting is that the episode’s two chief players are Maggie and Rick, both of whom will be gone before the end of the season.

Oh, and we didn’t see any of Negan. So, there’s that.

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