The Walking Dead begins the post Rick Grimes era with major developments. Where Are You Now introduced a slew of new characters, a truly surprising hook-up, and our first glimpse of the deadly Whisperers. One constant does remain, mess with Carol (Melissa McBride) and your ass will be thoroughly kicked.
"Where Are You Now" opens with a voice over from Michonne (Danai Gurira). She tells the departed Rick about her continuing struggles. Daryl (Norman Reedus) awakens in a tent. He spears a fish in the river, then a walker that pops out after. Carol gets out of bed with King Ezekiel (Khary Payton). Her hair is long and grey. Michonne finds a van overtaken by the woods. She searches it and takes a toy cowboy. Daryl sees a walker grown into a tree. A bird takes a worm from its body and feeds her chicks. Michonne ends her monologue by saying she will always fight. She is kneeling by the bridge that Rick destroyed six years ago.
Aaron (Ross Marquand), Rosita (Christian Serratos), Eugene (Josh McDermitt) and Laura (Lindsley Register) are searching for Judith (Cailey Fleming). They find her with the group led by Magna (Nadia Hilker). Judith decrees that they need help. Yumiko (Eleanor Matsuura) is injured. Eugene, sporting a sweet ponytail, and carrying a dead deer; kills several approaching walkers. Aaron decides to take the strangers to Alexandria.
At the Kingdom, Carol surveys a bustling community from her balcony. Jerry (Cooper Andrews) is doing some painting. He calls her the "queen", which she doesn't appreciate. They hear a high-pitched whistle and race down to the boiler. Henry (Matt Lintz) patches a pipe before it explodes with duct tape. Henry curses that they need better tools. King Ezekiel warns his "son" to watch his "tone".
Magna's group is blindfolded and taken to Alexandria. They are stunned by the community when the gates are opened. The church and windmill are completed. There are new structures with solar power. The Alexandrians, led by Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam), come out to meet them. Siddiq (Avi Nash) wants to help the injured Yumiko, but the others are wary of the strangers. The gates open again to Michonne. She is furious that they've been let in. Aaron takes the blame for that decision. Michonne pats them down. She orders Yumiko to the infirmary and the others kept under guard. Michonne drops the toy action figure she found on the road. Judith picks it up.
At the Kingdom, Ezekiel and Carol decide to send Henry to the Hilltop. He will learn to be a blacksmith. The next day in Alexandria, the strangers are brought before the ruling council. Gabriel asks, "Who were you before?" Luke (Dan Fogler) was a music teacher. The deaf Connie (Lauren Ridloff), a journalist, with Kelly (Angel Theory), a high school kid, interpreting her sign language. Magna responds that she was a waitress. They lost another friend the previous day. Luke comments that they would never have been together before the apocalypse.
Michonne gets up from the council table and confronts Magna. She asks her to take off her gloves and reveal a prison tattoo. She then forces her to give up the knife in her belt. Everyone is shocked. Michonne walks out of church, ordering everyone to vote on their status.
Father Gabriel enters a room with radio equipment. He turns it on, but no response. Rosita comes in. He tells her they need to look farther, but the range is too short. He wants to put another receiver on a tower in the distance. Rosita kisses him passionately. She volunteers to place the receiver. Gabriel professes his love for her. Judith walks in her house to Michonne's room. She can hear her "mom" talking to her "dad". The floorboards creak and Michonne is aware she was listening.
Henry and Carol are in a wagon en route to the Hilltop. As they come through a deserted town, they hear a woman screaming for help. Henry foolishly races towards the screams. Carol catches up, but it's a trap. They are ambushed by Jed (Rhys Coiro) and the remaining Saviors. The Sanctuary has long fallen. He takes their supplies, but will release them because she didn't kill him in the past. When he tries to take her wedding ring, Henry intervenes and is knocked out. Jed takes the ring and leaves with the others, sarcastically approving of Carol's new hairstyle.
On the road to the tower, Eugene thinks that Father Gabriel is a poor choice for Rosita. She needs a man of science, not religion. They came across a herd of walker tracks. In Alexandria, the newcomers are in the infirmary. Luke asks Siddiq if he was here from the beginning. Siddiq replies no, they took him in. Magna looks outside to see Michonne training Judith in swordplay.
Judith is sitting on the stoop above Negan's (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) cell doing homework. She asks him to help her with a math problem about a plane. Negan is healthy,with a short beard and cropped hair. He reminds her that she will probably never see a plane. She tells him about the newcomers. He assumes she tried to help them. Negan recounts a story of taking in stray dogs as a child. One of them killed the others and bit his mother's ear off. It seemed nice at first. Judith doesn't want his advice. She says that math doesn't care if you're a good or bad person.
On the water tower, Eugene sets up the receiver. He looks out to see a massive herd approaching. He warns Rosita, then tries to get down quickly. He drops his bag, spooking their horses. The base of the ladder fails away and he's forced to jump. Rosita gives him a shovel as a crutch. They hobble away with the herd right behind them.
Carol and Henry are getting ready to sleep in the wagon. Henry is furious they stole his mother's ring. He wished she had done something. Carol replies that she could not endanger him. He goes to sleep in a huff. In Alexandria, the newcomers discuss their situation. Magna wants to try anything to stay. Luke demands that she give them Yumiko's necklace. It's another hidden dagger. He saw her take it at the infirmary.
On the road that night, Jed and the Saviors are asleep. They are splashed with gasoline. He awakens to find Carol standing in front of him. She lights a match. He begs for mercy, but she curses him for hitting her son. Carol throws the match and burns them all to death.
In Alexandria, Magna sneaks up to Michonne's house. She's about to break in when she sees a little a boy jump into Michonne's arms. She knocks on the front door instead. Magna gives Michonne the necklace. She admits that had done terrible things, then walks away. Michonne closes the door to see Judith with her revolver on the stairs. Michonne says her father and brother would be proud. Judith sadly admits that she's forgetting their voices. Her little brother running into their mother's arms.
Rosita and Eugene are trying to outrun the herd. Eugene begs her to escape, he will hold them off as long as possible. He tries to tell her about his feelings, but Rosita retorts "don't make this weird". She grabs him and they continue toward the river.
Henry notices that they're not heading to the Hilltop. He also sees Carol has her ring back. He apologizes for what he said the previous night. They turn into a field. Daryl is walking towards them holding firewood. Carol offers him a ride.
Michonne dresses that morning. As she puts on one of Rick's shirts, an "x" scar is seen on her back. The newcomers are at the gate. They are given supplies. Michonne rides up to the group. Her stance has changed. She will take them to the Hilltop.
Rosita and Eugene slide down to the riverbank. They cover themselves with mud and dirt. As the herd approaches, voices are heard whispering, "Where are they? Don't let them get away." Rosita and Eugene lay deathly still, their eyes wide in terror.
"Where Are You Now" was a torrent of plot development. Michonne did have a child with Rick. Judith has essentially swapped places with Carl as the older Grimes sibling. Carol and King Ezekiel got married, and raised Henry as their son. But Carol hasn't lost a step, killing the Saviors for their treachery. Father Gabriel and Rosita getting it on was truly surprising. She and Eugene are the first to meet the Whisperers. I have a feeling that several old cast members are about to die. Magna's group seem to be replacements. AMC has gone full throttle with the post Rick storyline. Tune in next week as Daryl takes Henry under his wing, and the Whisperers are further revealed.