"Warning Signs" is the third episode of the ninth season of AMC's The Walking Dead. It is the one-hundred and eighteenth episode of the series overall. It premiered on October 21, 2018. It was written by Corey Reed and directed by Dan Liu.
In a field, a group of walkers devour Justin's body. The walkers leave as he reanimates and meanders past a building with the words "Final Warning" painted on the side.
The next morning, Rick wakes up and kisses Michonne. On his way down the stairs, he touches Carl's handprint, cut from the porch floor boards, now mounted on the wall. He then strolls through Alexandria.
Later, he returns to his house and thanks Michonne for being amazing and for everything she does. He suggests that they could find other ways of building for the future, implying having a baby. Michonne kisses him and they make love.
On the road, Maggie and Kal are bringing food to the Sanctuary when they are stopped by a small group of Saviors, who question her about their missing people. Jed steals a tomato out of the back and takes a large bite. Maggie says she'll mark him down for it while the other Saviors let her pass. Suddenly, they notice a zombified Justin stumbling onto the road.
Back in Alexandria, Rick and Michonne spend a family day with Judith playing, having a picnic and reading stories. Suddenly, Scott runs up and informs them that Maggie found Justin as a walker, but it doesn't look like an accident.
At the camp, the Saviors are furious with the news of Justin's death. Alden promises they'll get to the bottom of it but is punched in the face by Jed, who claims he isn't one of them anymore. Carol steps in with her gun at her hip, stopping Jed.
The Saviors start accusing Daryl and Anne of being the culprits. They grab axes to retaliate when Rick rides in the middle of the group with his gun drawn and warns everyone to back off. Arat and Laura help to disarm the Saviors.
After they disperse, Rick questions Gabriel on where Anne was last night when Justin disappeared. Gabe vouches for her but Rick instructs him to keep an eye out for her.
Alden asks Rick if some of the Saviors can receive guns but Rick says they need to figure out what happened first. Maggie asks Rick who he thinks killed Justin, and he looks at Daryl.
Inside a tent, Gabriel tells Anne about Rick's suspicions and asks if she knows anything about Justin's disappearance, but she denies this, asking him if he thinks she is hiding something before leaving.
Meanwhile, Rick confronts Daryl about Justin, suggesting he might have been shot with an arrow or bolt. "If I was going to kill him, I'd a done it in plain sight," he counters before saying the Saviors don't deserve to have a new beginning while their dead friends didn't get a chance.
Rick ends the conversation by asking Daryl to try, reminding him that he once spared the man who left his brother on a rooftop to die. Daryl is left in thought.
In the woods, Maggie and Cyndie head to an abandoned house with a noisy roof which has attracted a small group of walkers. Maggie distracts them as Cyndie investigates. Another group of walkers breaks out of the barred-up front door and Maggie runs over to kill them. Cyndie nearly gets bit until Rick, Daryl and Rosita arrive to save her.
They check on Beatrice over the walkie but receive no response, so they try to find her and locate her unconscious in the woods. When she wakes up, she tells them she was attacked from behind and that Arat is missing.
Later, at the camp, Rick implores his team to find Arat before the Saviors find out and leave, delaying the bridge construction.
In the woods, Rick and Carol are searching for Arat. He says he's constantly tempted to kill Negan but stops himself by reminding himself to build life, not take it.
Elsewhere, Maggie admits to Daryl that what Rick's doing is right for the future. They find a walker with a bolt in it and Daryl says, "I know who took Arat."
At night, Anne returns to the Junkyard and retrieves a hidden walkie-talkie. She radios the unknown man from the helicopter. He asks her if she has an "A or a B." She asks for an extraction for herself and claims she has paid her dues but the man say for their deal to be on she'll need an A, and she promises them one tomorrow. Suddenly, Gabriel appears behind her and asks who she was talking to and if she had anything to do with Justin.
Anne admits she's been trading people for supplies and she was planning to trade Gabe and Rick back when she abducted them. She asks him to leave with her to a new place that is much better and is far away, but that he can't tell anyone. Gabe says he has to tell Rick, but she says, "All this time, I thought you were a B," before knocking him out with her radio.
Back in the woods, Jed and D.J. ambush Carol and Rick. He holds a knife at Carol's neck while Rick points a gun at his head. Jed explains to Rick that this is about getting their guns back for protection before leaving. Carol pulls a knife from her sleeve, feigns submission, then stabs him in the shoulder while Rick forces D.J. to his knees.
Meanwhile, Daryl and Maggie arrive at the "Final Warning" building to find Cyndie and a group from Oceanside holding Arat on her knees for execution. Cyndie emotionally reveals that this was their former settlement and recalls how Arat and the Saviors wiped out her people. Justin killed Beatrice's husband while Arat killed Cyndie's brother without mercy.
Cyndie says that they went along with Rick's rules because they thought they had to, until Maggie executed Gregory, "showing them the way". Since that moment, they have been killing the Saviors responsible for wiping out Oceanside.
Arat starts crying, claiming she had no choice but Cyndie reminds her how she smiled when she killed her brother. Arat begs Daryl and Maggie to help her but they walk away as Cyndie stabs her through the back of the head with a spear.
The next morning, the Saviors leave the campsite. On the road, Maggie tells Daryl that they gave Rick's way a chance, but it's time to see Negan.
- James Chen as Kal
- Matt Mangum as D.J.
- Briana Venskus as Beatrice
- Aaron Farb as Norris
- Mimi Kirkland as Rachel Ward
- Chloe Garcia-Frizzi as Judith Grimes
- Justin (Zombified, Off-Screen)
- Beatrice's Husband (Confirmed Fate)
- At least 6 unnamed Saviors (Confirmed Fate)
- First (and last) appearance of Hallowbrant Outreach Recovery.
- Last appearance of Justin. (Zombified)
- Last appearance of Arat.
- The title of the episode, "Warning Signs", comes from the phrase painted on a wall at Oceanside's former settlement and the warning Arat gave to Oceanside.
- Chloe Garcia-Frizzi (Judith Grimes) is credited as a "Co-Star" for the first time in this episode.
- The song that plays during the family day sequence with Rick, Judith and Michonne is "All We Ever Wanted Was Everything" by Bauhaus.
- It's revealed by Anne that she has traded people for supplies to the helicopter, marking them as either an "A" or a "B".
- Anne confirms to Gabriel that she was planning on trading him and Rick after previously capturing them.
- Rick was marked as an "A" in "The King, the Widow, and Rick".
- It's implied Anne's deal with Negan for people in "The First Day of the Rest of Your Life" was for the helicopter.
- This also implies that in "Still Gotta Mean Something" Anne was planning to trade Negan for an extraction for herself.
- The deceased Saviors are revealed to be those who, along with Simon, wiped out the men and boys of Oceanside.
- Rick mentions the time that Daryl didn't kill the guy who abandoned his brother handcuffed to a roof and how it changed things for Daryl. This is a reference to the events of "Guts" and "Tell It to the Frogs" when Rick subdued and handcuffed the out of control Merle Dixon while trapped in Bradbury's.
- Arat's words before killing Cyndie's brother, "No exceptions", are the same words Negan said before killing Glenn in "The Day Will Come When You Won't Be". This explains why Maggie and Daryl turned away from Arat as those words haunt them the most. Glenn was Maggie's husband and Daryl felt guilty for causing Glenn's death.
- In a deleted scene, Rick and Carol stroll through the woods, talking about the bridge project, the Saviors, and whether what they are doing and the decisions they made have been the right courses of action.