The Walking Dead introduced a mystery in "The Bridge," the second episode of Season 9: who is picking off Saviors? We have four theories.
But before we get to them, let's recap what brought us here. Rick (Andrew Lincoln) is concerned about disgruntled former Saviors walking off the bridge repair job. A number of Negan's (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) onetime folks have gone missing, including six people who were bringing ethanol fuel from the Sanctuary to the Hilltop. They never made it to the Hilltop or back home, and because some of them had families, something must have happened to them. Alden (Callan McAuliffe) warns Rick that if the Saviors don't feel safe, they might ditch the bridge job en masse, so Rick has to figure out how to keep them invested without forcing them, because that's what Negan would have done. It's quite a pickle.
One of the most disgruntled Saviors, Justin (Zach McGowan), is tasked with sounding a horn to draw a herd of walkers away from camp. He doesn't follow through -- he says it's because his walkie died and he didn't get the signal, but it's probably on purpose -- and when the herd swarms a logging outpost, Aaron's (Ross Marquand) arm gets crushed by a log in the ensuing chaos. Justin won't take responsibility, and Rick banishes him, but not before Daryl (Norman Reedus) beats him up for the second time in the episode (previously Justin took more than his fair share of water, because Justin's a jerk).
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As Justin is walking on a path through the woods, he sees somebody. The scene is shot from that somebody's point of view, so we see through their eyes as Justin drunkenly tosses away a liquor bottle, realizes somebody's watching him, draws his knife and approaches the woods, recognizes the person and says, "Christ, you damn near got yourself killed. What the hell are you--" as he's violently apprehended. Then the episode abruptly ends.
So Justin got caught by whomever is presumably bumping off Saviors, and it's somebody he knows. We've got four suspects we think may have done the deed.
1. Daryl. The most obvious possibility, and probably who the show wants you to think, which means it's probably not. Daryl and Justin came to blows twice in the episode, and when Rick separates them during their second fight, Daryl says, "There's only one way to deal with these assh---s." We might be witnessing what Daryl meant by that. Daryl and Rick are not seeing eye-to-eye on how to handle the Saviors, and Daryl might be implementing his own method of Savior management. Which is assassination.
2. The Whisperers. We know the skinsuit wearers are coming, and they may actually already be here. There's a stylistic clue for this in the attack on Justin. That scene is filmed from the perspective of the assailant, like Michael Myers attacking his family in Halloween. The Whisperers wear masks like Michael Myers. The Walking Dead loves referencing classic genre films. Maybe the person Justin recognized was actually a Whisperer wearing a suit made of the skin of a Savior Justin knew and Justin didn't realize until too late because it was dark and he was drunk. Working against this theory is the fact that it would be a pretty weird coincidence for the Whisperers to only be picking off former Saviors. And it just feels too early for the Whisperers at this point in the season.
3. Cyndee. Hear me out. Right after we learn that Saviors are disappearing, there's what seems like a throwaway scene where Enid (Katelyn Nacon) is bandaging Oceanside leader Cyndee's (Sydney Park) hand. Cyndee says she cut it peeling potatoes. A LIKELY STORY. Why include this scene unless it was actually important? The truth is probably that Cyndee is lying. She hurt her hand scuffling with a Savior. And as we saw in the premiere, she's still thinking about her dead brother, so it's not a leap to think she might still be holding a grudge against the Saviors for killing all of Oceanside's men. Maybe she and some other Oceansiders are getting revenge, even though Simon (Steven Ogg), who was responsible for the massacre, is already dead. The only thing is that there was no prior indication that Justin and Cyndee knew each other. They may have seen each other around camp, but that's a supposition.
4. Henry. Waterboy/Stickboy (Macsen Lintz) gets his revenge for Justin drinking all his water!
We'll find out next week.
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9/8c on AMC.
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