"The Bridge" is the second episode of the ninth season of AMC's The Walking Dead. It is the one-hundred and seventeenth episode of the series overall. It premiered on October 14, 2018. It was written by David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick and directed by Daisy Mayer.
He talks about how everything has changed after the war and how the communities are working together on fixing a bridge, which will be the link to their future. "We're making a new beginning", Rick says.
At a camp, which the communities have set up in the woods, Ezekiel explains to Henry how vital the bridge will be in connecting the communities. Carol hands Henry his stick, kisses him goodbye and tells Ezekiel she's still going to remain at the Sanctuary.
Rick plans a detonation with Eugene and Rosita that will serve to distract an oncoming herd. Nearby, Siddiq watches as Enid stitches Cyndie's hand. Rick orders Siddiq to return home with the next crew and tells Enid he has confidence in her.
Jesus confirms they have a surplus of food but Maggie counters that without a working plow it may not last long. Michonne suggests they let Earl out to repair it but Maggie scoffs and says she's fine with waiting for the fuel to show up from the Sanctuary.
On the bridge, Aaron shares with Daryl his experience as a father with Gracie and tells him someday he'll make a great dad. Meanwhile, Henry arrives to give water to the workers. Justin shoves him down for not giving him extra water and starts drinking from the jug. Henry gets angry and knocks him down with his stick. Jed laughs and mocks Justin.
A furious Justin gets up to retaliate but Daryl stops him, saying that the kid's just doing his job. Justin swings at him but Daryl dodges his swing and punches him in the face. Justin throws sand in Daryl's face and the two start fighting.
Rick arrives and stops them. He tells everyone to go back to work. He takes Daryl to his tent to calm him down, reminding him that they need the Saviors to help in building the bridge in spite of several deserters. However, Daryl says that the Saviors won't fall in line just because he says so.
Rick explains that he wants everyone to be on the same side, and Daryl questions if they actually are, before leaving. Carol advises Rick to talk to him once he has calmed.
Back at Hilltop, Tammy begs Jesus to see Earl but he says the time isn't right, reminding her he tried to kill Maggie. Tammy grabs a stool and says she's not moving until Maggie allows her to see him. Michonne overhears and tells Jesus to consider talking to Maggie about it, but he says it's not her concern. Michonne disagrees and proposes that they need to build something bigger than all of them.
At the camp, Anne draws a picture for Gabriel and laments that no one trusts her except him and Rick. Gabriel tells her that at first, no one trusted him either until Rick made it possible. She strokes his hand and thanks him for staying on her side.
After the conversation, Tammy is allowed to see her husband. She talks to him about his mistakes and forgives him. Maggie listens on and gets a little emotional. Later, she talks to Earl herself. He mentions how he became an alcoholic and doesn't remember seeing his son for the first time.
Alden arrives to inform that Rick that none of the deserter Saviors made it back to the Sanctuary and their families are worried. Tara radios Rick again to warn him that the second siren didn't go off and the herd is coming.
Suddenly, walkers arrive at the labor site and a commotion ensues. Jed panics and lets go of a rigging rope, allowing a giant log to pin Aaron to the ground. Daryl yells to the crew to lift the log while he double-knives the walkers around him. They lift the log but Aaron's arm is crushed. Daryl carries Aaron to the camp as Rick and the others arrive to hold off the walkers. Rick shoots a rope restraining a log pile, loosing an avalanche of logs to crush the remaining walkers.
Daryl rushes Aaron to the infirmary and Enid quickly decides they need to amputate. Aaron reluctantly agrees as Daryl ties the tourniquet. Enid amputates his arm with a bone saw.
Daryl angrily goes to confront Justin on why the second siren wasn't sounded. Justin claims the radio wasn't charged and Daryl leaps at him, punching him repeatedly and hitting him with a frying pan. Carol begs for him to stop as the rest of the camp watches.
Back at Hilltop, Maggie tells Michonne she's open to creating common laws. She explains that her father, like Earl, used to drink and also deserved a second chance but Gregory got several chances and didn't change.
In the camp, at night, Rick tells Justin to take his things and leave and if he sees him again, a couple of stitches won't fix what he would do to him. He then goes to Enid and says that she did a good job with Aaron. Rick apologizes to Aaron for what happened. Aaron says that he couldn't know and claims that thanks to Rick: "It's not the end of the world anymore... It's the start of a whole new one."
Nearby, Anne asks Gabriel who the woman she drew for him was, and he says she was his organist that he loved and lost. She asks him if he is still afraid but is cut short when he kisses her. They smile and start to make out until Gabriel remembers he's supposed to be on watch. Anne replies that then he can watch, as she starts to unbuckle his pants.
In the camp, as everyone laughs and talks, Carol asks Ezekiel for the ring. He gets excited and is about to give a speech but she tells him that he can tell her the speech later. She puts on the ring and they hug and smile. Rick happily watches them from his tent.
Back in Alexandria, Rick finishes narrating his story to a locked up Negan.
Negan taunts him with Carl but an angry Rick shuts him up. He says he should be quiet and listen, but Negan says "You're not saving this world, Rick. You're just getting it ready for me."
On the guard post, Anne spots the helicopter from the crane and looks nervous.
In the woods, Justin hears something and sees someone he recognizes. He asks what they're doing out here but is violently pulled aside.
- Justin (Alive, Off-Screen)
- First appearance of Jed.
- Last appearance of Justin. (Alive)
- The title of the episode, "The Bridge", is a reference to the bridge being rebuilt to connect the communities together.
- This episode marks Andrew Lincoln's 100th appearance on the TV Series.
- As of this episode, Rick Grimes is saying the "Previously on The Walking Dead" line in the recaps before the episode.
- As of this episode, Xander Berkeley (Gregory) is no longer listed under "Also Starring".
- The episode is framed as a story Rick is telling to Negan and occurs at least thirty-five days since "A New Beginning".
- This episode features the last interaction between Rick and Negan, due to the former's departure in "What Comes After".
- Drawings made by Anne of Glenn, Hershel, Beth, Shawn, Annette and Josephine are seen inside Barrington House while Maggie talks to Jesus.
- Maggie mentions her father Hershel and his drinking which was first mentioned in "Nebraska" when Hershel went to drink at a bar after the barn walker massacre.
- Tara is seen wearing the same glasses that she got in "Swear".
- The woman Anne draws for Gabriel is the undead church organist seen in the episode "Strangers".
- This episode marks the start of Anne and Gabriel's relationship.
- Anne sees a helicopter in the sky, similar to the ones in "The Big Scary U" and "Still Gotta Mean Something".
- This is the last episode where Henry is portrayed by Macsen Lintz, as due to the time jump in "What Comes After", he is now portrayed by Matt Lintz, starting in "Who Are You Now?".
- Aaron losing his arm is a slight nod to Rick having his hand amputated in Issue 28.
- Oddly enough, Aaron's new look is slightly based on Rick's new look starting in Issue 127.
- Daryl beating Justin savagely with a frying pan is adapted from a similar scene in Issue 134, where Carl attacks Brandon Rose savagely with a shovel instead.
- Rick talking with a locked up Negan about how the communities are thriving without him is adapted from Issue 129.
- Rick telling Negan that he will never be released from his cell is adapted from Issue 129.
- As Aaron and Daryl talk about Gracie's diaper, a woman can be seen in the background "chopping wood", though her axe never makes contact with the lumber.