"Who Are You Now?" is the sixth episode of the ninth season of AMC's The Walking Dead. It is the one-hundred and twenty-first episode of the series overall. It premiered on November 11, 2018. It was written by Eddie Guzelian and directed by Larry Teng.

Plot

The survivors encounter unfamiliar faces outside the safety of their community's walls and must decide whether or not this new group can be trusted.

Synopsis

In the woods, Michonne talks to Rick's presence at the destroyed bridge about the future and how life continues and time passes by. Elsewhere, an older Daryl spearfishes in a lake and watches as nature takes over walkers.

In the Kingdom, a longer-haired Carol wakes up next to Ezekiel and admires as everyone works in the community. Michonne finds a toy sheriff figure in an abandoned car that reminds her of Rick and grabs it before leaving the place. 

Meanwhile, Rosita, Eugene, Laura and Aaron find Judith in the woods along with Magna's group. Wanting to take them in, Judith declares she won't return to Alexandria until they accept them. Rosita and the others reluctantly agree.

At the Kingdom, Carol and Jerry find a teenage Henry trying to fix the pipes. Ezekiel arrives and Henry sasses him about their deteriorating community, but Ezekiel warns him to watch his tone. Shortly after, Carol reminds Ezekiel that Henry isn't wrong and he could benefit by moving to Hilltop and become Earl Sutton's apprentice.

In Alexandria, Magna's group arrives at the gates and Judith assures them they’ll be safe. They get escorted inside, where Gracie runs over to Aaron. Rosita updates Siddiq on Yumiko's condition and he escorts her to the infirmary. Magna tries to tag along but is stopped by D.J..

Michonne arrives on horseback and doesn't look pleased to see the new arrivals. She frisks Magna and asks Eugene why they’re here. Aaron claims it was his call but Michonne reminds him it's not his call to make. "I decided", Judith tells her. Michonne scolds her but Aaron says they’re here now and they should decide their fate together, while Gabriel suggests they vote tomorrow. Michonne agrees and instructs her people to put them in holding. She leaves as her sheriff figurine falls out of her pocket and Judith picks it up. 

Back in the Kingdom, Ezekiel bids farewell to Henry as he and Carol prepare to trek to Hilltop. Henry assures him they'll see each other before the fair. Carol tells him that Henry inherited the dream part from him and Ezekiel mentions that the fair is his way to reunite the communities.

The next day, the church is packed with residents and others peer through the windows as Magna's group stands before the Alexandria council (Michonne, Gabriel, Aaron, Siddiq, Laura, Nora, and an unnamed man) for questioning. They ask who their leader is and Magna claims they're a team, while Luke explains their group used to be bigger. Gabriel asks about their former professions. Luke was a music teacher, Magna was a truck stop waitress, Connie was a journalist and Kelly was a high school student. Luke says they should trust them, but Michonne isn't done with questions. She stands up and asks Magna to see her left hand, which has a prison tattoo. Michonne then calls her out for the hidden knife on her belt, which she puts on the table. Michonne storms out, saying she'll second any of their motions. Magna tries to question her but is shut off.

In another room, Gabriel tests out the radio he found in the woods and tells Rosita he thinks there could still be more survivors out there they could help. He suggests they set up a remote amplifier to boost the signal and find new communities, and Rosita instructs him to stay in town while she and Eugene set it up. Rosita then kisses Gabe and he tells her she's amazing.

In their house, Judith overhears Michonne pretending to talk to Rick, but Michonne catches her and tells her to do her homework and that they will train later.

On the road, Carol tells Henry they have to take a detour before going to Hilltop. Suddenly, they hear a woman scream and Henry runs over to help but finds Regina with a group of former Saviors. Carol runs over with her bow and arrow as Jed walks up with a gun and smiles.

On the way to set up the amplifier, Eugene questions Rosita about her fling with Gabe and reminds her some men prefer facts over fairy tales, implying he has feelings for her. 

Back in Alexandria, Siddiq updates Magna's group on Yumiko's condition. Luke asks him if he has been since the start there but Siddiq confesses that he was also found in the woods but things were different in the past.

Elsewhere, Jed tells Carol and Henry that since the Sanctuary was abandoned they've had to get more desperate. He tells her he's going to let them off since she spared him back in the day, but he's taking all their stuff, including her wedding ring. This angers Henry, who kicks up his stick and knocks Jed down. Jed throws Henry to the ground and Carol jumps in and gives him her ring. Jed thanks her and leaves with his people.

Outside of Negan's cell, Judith reads off a math problem to him about two planes on a collision course. He stops her and asks if she's ever seen a plane and she says no, so Negan suggests she worry about problems that apply to the real world. Judith then tells him that Michonne wants to make Magna's group leave but she doesn't want them to. Negan uses an anecdote from his childhood about a seemingly nice stray dog that turned violent, meaning just because someone looks nice doesn't mean they are. Judith brushes it off and says the numbers don't care if someone’s good or bad on the inside. Negan smiles as she leaves.

On top of a water tower, Eugene places the amplifier and begins to climb down before seeing a walker herd head toward them. Rosita screams for him to climb down as his pack falls and the horses get spooked. Part of the ladder falls so Eugene jumps down, injuring his knee. Rosita runs over with a makeshift crutch and the two run off into the woods.

At night, in Alexandria, Magna is scolded by her group for ruining their chance to stay. Luke asks Magna to hand over her necklace, which also doubles as a knife, but she's reluctant. Magna says they should fight their way through Alexandria to take their supplies before heading out, but Connie tells her to leave Michonne and Judith out of it. Luke says they save the fighting for people who deserve it, and Magna finally surrenders the necklace. 

In the woods, Carol and Henry camp inside an abandoned vehicle. Henry scolds her for not defending herself but she says that she couldn't risk him getting hurt. However, a while later, Carol returns to the Saviors camp. She lights a match and reminds Jed that they hurt her son. She drops the match, igniting and killing all the Saviors she poured gasoline on, including Jed and Regina.

Back in Alexandria, Magna sneaks around outside of Michonne's house with another knife. She opens the door slightly but sees Michonne pick up and hug a toddler, and leaves. A moment later, Magna goes over to the door and hands Michonne her knife, telling her she was right about her. Michonne tells her they all have done things to survive. She closes the door and then turns around to find Judith on the staircase with her father's gun. She says her dad would have wanted her to do what she did, and Michonne agrees.  

Michonne tells her she'll understand one day why she's making Magna's group leave. Judith reveals she knows Michonne still talks to Rick and Carl while she's beginning to forget their voices, shocking her. As Judith leaves, Rick and Michonne's son, R.J., runs up to Michonne and asks for food. 

In the woods, Eugene slows down as he and Rosita keep running from the walkers. He suggests he stay behind to distract them and reveals he has something to tell her. She tells him not to make it weird and forces him to keep going. 

Elsewhere, Carol and Henry find Daryl and ask him to come along. He smiles and agrees.

In Alexandria, in the Grimes' house, Michonne undresses, revealing a scar on her lower back, in the form of an X, that she received sometime in the past six years, she smells one of Rick's old jackets and puts it on.

Outside, Magna's group prepares to leave by thanking everyone for their hospitality. Michonne rides up and says she's going to instead escort them to Hilltop with Siddiq. 

Back in the woods, Rosita and Eugene slide down a ditch and cover themselves in mud as the walkers get closer. They stay still but get shocked and horrified as the walkers pass by and whisper to each other: "Where are they...?" "They must be close..." "Don't let them get away..."

Other Cast

Co-Stars

Uncredited

  • Marvin Lee as Alexandria Councilman
  • Chuck Hollywood as Alexandria Resident
  • Jimmy McAfee as Alexandria Resident
  • Laura L. Anderson Weber as Alexandria Resident
  • Mario Williams as Alexandria Resident
  • Christina Cobbs as Alexandria Resident
  • Tia Davis as Alexandria Resident
  • Daniele Lyman as Alexandria Resident
  • Christopher Gaynor as Alexandria Resident
  • Shellnae Demarest as Alexandria Resident
  • Casey Miracle as Alexandria Resident
  • Mandi Mazonkey as Alexandria Resident
  • Corky Turvey as Alexandria Wrangler
  • Carol Bruckner as Kingdom Teacher
  • Marie Dixon as Kingdom Resident
  • Melissa Deater as Kingdom Resident

Deaths

Trivia

  • First appearance of the Whisperers.
  • First appearance of Rick Grimes Jr.
  • Last appearance of Jed.
  • Last appearance of Regina.
  • The title of the episode, "Who Are You Now?", refers to Gabriel Stokes asking Magna's group this question after they reveal their occupations from before the outbreak.
    • It also refers to how the characters changed in the 6 years that have passed since Rick's disappearance.
  • Carol burning the remaining Saviors alive marks the second time she has killed others in such a way.
  • Jed promising that Carol will never see the remaining Saviors again if she spares them from certain death only to be mercilessly killed mirrors Rick killing Gareth and the remaining Terminus cannibals.
  • This episode marks Josh McDermitt's 50th appearance in the show.
  • Following their characters' departures in the previous episode, Andrew Lincoln (Rick Grimes) and Lauren Cohan (Maggie Rhee) have been removed from the opening credits.
    • Likewise, this marks a major departure for the opening credits as Andrew Lincoln had been billed in every episode up to this point since the pilot, even for previous episodes for which he did not appear in.
    • Also, as of this episode, Norman Reedus receives top billing during the opening credits.
    • Pollyanna McIntosh (Anne) is no longer listed under "Also Starring" due to her character's departure in the previous episode.
    • As of this episode, Khary Payton (Ezekiel) has been added to the opening credits.
    • As of this episode, Matt Lintz has replaced Macsen Lintz as Henry due to the time skip. Matt is the older brother of Macsen.
  • The current condition of the communities is shown:
    • Alexandria has grown and prospered, but has adopted a more isolationist mentality with regards to new survivors. They are now led by a council.
    • The Hilltop has become distant from the other communities since Maggie's departure. It has a female leader that Michonne thinks might take in Magna's group.
    • The Kingdom has become old and is starting to fall apart with Henry struggling to keep it going.
    • According to Jed, the Sanctuary has gone “bust”, implying that it has fallen apart completely. Several members of the Saviors are shown to live with the other communities including D.J. and Laura, while many others including Jed and Regina had become rough raiders. Many other Saviors and inhabitants of the Sanctuary are currently unaccounted for.
    • Oceanside was not mentioned, leaving its status unknown.
    • Furthermore, it was shown that the bridge was never rebuilt after the explosion.
      • Michonne visits it often to talk to Rick.
    • The communities are shown to rely primarily on melee weapons such as spears and bow and arrow, rather than guns, suggesting either a less militaristic stance or a lack of ammunition. Even Jed's group appears to rely primarily on these kinds of weapons such as Regina's spear gun with a few firearms amongst the bunch.
  • The fate of many of the primary characters are expanded upon:
    • Daryl lives in the woods alone, presumably since Rick's "death" which was implied by his walking off alone after the bridge explosion.
    • Michonne raises Judith, who calls her "Mom", and her and Rick's son, R.J.. She is the head of security for Alexandria and has adopted a harsher and more isolationist mentality. She also changed up her hairstyle, leaving one side of her hair short, while her dreads cover the other side.
    • Gabriel is a prominent member of Alexandria's leadership council as well as the priest and is in a relationship with Rosita.
    • Aaron is also part of the council and is raising Gracie. He was also made a prosthetic arm to replace the one he lost while building the bridge.
    • Carol has married Ezekiel and together they are raising Henry. Jerry at least considers Carol the Queen now since she has married "King" Ezekiel and he calls Henry the Prince since they are raising him. Carol has also adopted a longer hairstyle.
    • Negan remains a prisoner in Alexandria but has adopted a much less antagonistic attitude and has struck up a friendship with Judith.
    • Eugene acts as the engineer for Alexandria. He is also a more proficient fighter than in the past, easily dispatching several walkers with a blade single-handedly.
    • Maggie has left to an unknown location and since then the Hilltop has isolated itself further from the other communities.
    • Henry has been adopted by Ezekiel and Carol and calls them "Mom" and "Dad." He desires to go to the Hilltop and apprentice as a blacksmith, something that Ezekiel has been reluctant to allow him to do but finally agrees to.
  • With the deaths of Jed and Regina, the final known antagonist members of the Saviors aside from Negan are dead. The remaining Saviors have reformed and joined the other communities such as D.J. and Laura.
    • Additionally, Regina's death marks the death of the last of Negan's closest lieutenants and outpost heads aside from the reformed Eugene.
    • D.J. is shown to have reformed again, having abandoned Jed's group for a life in Alexandria, making him the only Savior to have reformed twice.
  • Earl Sutton is briefly mentioned when its wondered if he's still active at the Hilltop or if he has retired yet.
  • This episode marks the first time Gracie is heard speaking.
  • The unnamed man on the Alexandria council is Marvin Lee, a recurring core extra who has been portraying an Alexandrian since the Season 6 premiere, "First Time Again".

Comic Parallels

  • Magna's group being rescued by Judith, Eugene, Rosita, Aaron and Laura is adapted from a similar scene in Issue 127, where they are rescued by the Alexandria herd patrol instead.
  • Aaron using a prosthetic is a slight nod to Rick starting to use a prosthetic in Issue 127.
  • Henry calling Carol and Ezekiel "Mom" and "Dad" is adapted from a similar scene in Issue 127, where Carl calls Rick and Andrea like this instead.
  • Henry wanting to go to the Hilltop to become Earl's apprentice and Ezekiel refusing at first is adapted from a similar scene in Issue 127, where Carl tries to convince Rick instead.
  • Carol convincing Ezekiel to let Henry go to Hilltop is adapted from a similar scene in Issue 127, where Andrea convinces Rick instead.
  • Carol going with Henry to Hilltop is adapted from a similar scene in Issue 128, where Rick goes with Carl instead.
  • Ezekiel preparing a fair to unite the communities is a slight nod and possible foreshadowing to the fair in Issue 142.
  • Magna's group being questioned by the Alexandria council is adapted from a similar scene in Issue 127, where they are questioned by Rick and Andrea instead.
  • Gabriel trying to use the radio to locate other survivors or communities is a slight nod and possible foreshadowing to Eugene starting to use a radio in Issue 143.
  • Judith talking to an imprisoned Negan is adapted from a similar scene in Issue 127, where Carl visits Negan instead.
  • Magna trying to break into Michonne's house is adapted from a similar scene in Issue 131, where Magna and her group break into Andrea's house and ambush her instead.
  • Eugene and Rosita covering themselves in mud and hearing the Whisperers as they pass by is adapted from a similar scene in Issue 130, where Marco and Ken hear them instead.

Goofs/Errors

  • During the council meeting with Magna's Group, several filmcrew members are seen through the white church window.

References

Episodes of The Walking Dead
Season 1 "Days Gone Bye" • "Guts" • "Tell It to the Frogs" • "Vatos" • "Wildfire" • "TS-19"
Season 2 "What Lies Ahead" • "Bloodletting" • "Save the Last One" • "Cherokee Rose" • "Chupacabra" • "Secrets" • "Pretty Much Dead Already" • "Nebraska" • "Triggerfinger" • "18 Miles Out" • "Judge, Jury, Executioner" • "Better Angels" • "Beside the Dying Fire"
Season 3 "Seed" • "Sick" • "Walk With Me" • "Killer Within" • "Say the Word" • "Hounded" • "When the Dead Come Knocking" • "Made to Suffer" • "The Suicide King" • "Home" • "I Ain't a Judas" • "Clear" • "Arrow on the Doorpost" • "Prey" • "This Sorrowful Life" • "Welcome to the Tombs"
Season 4 "30 Days Without An Accident" • "Infected" • "Isolation" • "Indifference" • "Internment" • "Live Bait" • "Dead Weight" • "Too Far Gone" • "After" • "Inmates" • "Claimed" • "Still" • "Alone" • "The Grove" • "Us" • "A"
Season 5 "No Sanctuary" • "Strangers" • "Four Walls and a Roof" • "Slabtown" • "Self Help" • "Consumed" • "Crossed" • "Coda" • "What Happened and What's Going On" • "Them" • "The Distance" • "Remember" • "Forget" • "Spend" • "Try" • "Conquer"
Season 6 "First Time Again" • "JSS" • "Thank You" • "Here's Not Here" • "Now" • "Always Accountable" • "Heads Up" • "Start to Finish" • "No Way Out" • "The Next World" • "Knots Untie" • "Not Tomorrow Yet" • "The Same Boat" • "Twice as Far" • "East" • "Last Day on Earth"
Season 7 "The Day Will Come When You Won’t Be" • "The Well • "The Cell" • "Service" • "Go Getters" • "Swear" • "Sing Me a Song" • "Hearts Still Beating" • "Rock in the Road" • "New Best Friends" • "Hostiles and Calamities" • "Say Yes" • "Bury Me Here" • "The Other Side" • "Something They Need" • "The First Day of the Rest of Your Life"
Season 8 "Mercy" • "The Damned" • "Monsters" • "Some Guy" • "The Big Scary U" • "The King, the Widow, and Rick" • "Time for After" • "How It's Gotta Be" • "Honor" • "The Lost and the Plunderers" • "Dead or Alive Or" • "The Key" • "Do Not Send Us Astray" • "Still Gotta Mean Something" • "Worth" • "Wrath"
Season 9 "A New Beginning" • "The Bridge" • "Warning Signs" • "The Obliged" • "What Comes After" • "Who Are You Now?" • "Stradivarius" • "Evolution"