Less than two years after Rick (Andrew Lincoln), Maggie (Lauren Cohan), Michonne (Danai Gurira), and the rest of the communities banded together to bring down Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and the Saviors, work on rebuilding society continues on – as Negan stews in a prison cell. And while the communities may be working together, not all are created equal: the Sanctuary is unable to grow its own food – or move out from under the shadow of the Saviors, thanks to those still loyal. Add to that a growing view among the communities that they shouldn't feel obligated to save a community that once tortured and killed their citizens – a view Maggie's shared since Rick made the decision to let Negan live.
Speaking of Maggie and Negan…
After last week's episode, Maggie and Daryl (Norman Reedus) decided on a more "permanent" solution to communities' "Saviors problem" – starting with Negan. In the following preview for this week's episode of AMC's The Walking Dead, 'The Obliged,' Maggie readies for her fatal field trip to Alexandria while trying to keep Jesus (Tom Payne) in the dark – but Jesus isn't Maggie's trusted advisor for nothing:
The Walking Dead s09e04 'The Obliged': Rick's vision of a civilized future is threatened by a sudden reckoning with past sins that remain unavenged and unforgiven.
Last season brought the culmination of "All Out War," which pitted Rick Grimes and his group of survivors against the Saviors and their cunning leader, Negan. With Negan's life in his hands, Rick had a character-defining choice in front of him. By making the unilateral decision to spare Negan, Rick upheld the values his late son, Carl, championed in order to build for the future, but created conflict within his group.
Now, we see our survivors a year and a half after the end of the war, rebuilding civilization under Rick's steadfast leadership. It is a time of relative peace among the communities as they work together, looking to the past to forge the future, but the world they knew is rapidly changing as man-made structures continue to degrade, and nature takes over, changing the landscape and creating new challenges for our survivors.
As time passes, the communities confront unexpected obstacles, danger, and of course, walkers, but nothing quite prepares them for the formidable force they are about to encounter, which threatens the very idea of civilization that our survivors have worked so hard to build.
Based on the comic book series written by Robert Kirkman and published by Image Comics, "The Walking Dead" reigns the number one drama on television among adults 18-49 for the last six seasons. The series is executive produced by chief content officer Scott M. Gimple, showrunner Angela Kang, Robert Kirkman, Gale Anne Hurd, David Alpert, Greg Nicotero, Tom Luse, and Denise Huth.
Here's a look at the overviews for the remaining episodes before mid-season break – and the lack of information on episode 6 is pretty much a ten-ton hint that something big is going to happen in the fifth episode:
The Walking Dead s09e05 'What Comes After': Rick is forced to face the past as he struggles to maintain the safety of the communities and protect the future he and Carl envisioned.
The Walking Dead s09e06 TBA
The Walking Dead s09e07 'Stradivarius': Carol seeks out an old friend living alone in a wilderness teeming with walkers; survivors make the perilous trek to a new home.
The Walking Dead s09e08 'Evolution': A small rescue mission braves a dangerous herd in their hunt for a missing comrade, only to discover a surprising threat that could doom them all.