Caution: The following contains spoilers from episode 9×07 of The Walking Dead titled, Stradivarious.
Rosita runs from whisperers.
They whisper and you can faintly hear them say “You can’t get away. Leave now. This way.” She faints.
Daryl, Henry and Carol walk through the woods. They arrive at Daryl’s camp. He lives alone in the woods. Carol sees his bike. She notices he hasn’t fixed his boat since the last time she visited.
A dog drops a severed walker hand at his feet. “Good dog.” Carol asks him the last time he ate. He says the dog ate yesterday. Carol says she isn’t talking about the dog.
Michonne takes the new group towards Hilltop. She talks to Siddiq and he says he’s glad she changed her mind about releasing them. He thinks she likes them. She admits she may like the but that doesn’t mean she trusts them.
Connie and Magna talk about wishing they had their weapons. Yukimo apologizes to Michonne and speaks of their old friend they lost, who wore a crazy shirt.
Flash to Hilltop. People live daily lives. They farm. Tara check up on each role. She returns to find Jesus listening to 80s music on a couch. Tara asks if Maggie sent another letter. He says she did and she’s good and happy.
Tara says people want to talk to him. She talks of people wanting to expand their departments, and a noise complaint. He is being re-elected as leader of Hilltop. He says she can talk to him when he gets back.
Carol watches Daryl hunt. She say he has been out alone longer than he said he’d be. He says he wants to be, and asks why she’s really there. She says she’s bringing Henry to the Hilltop and wants him to go there too. He says he won’t babysit Henry and that he’ll have to learn like they did.
Michonne and the new crew come across their old camp. It’s overrun and desolate. The think a herd came through. Connie, Luke and Kelly bring down several walkers in different ways. Michonne seems impressed.
Magna walks over to a body she recognizes. She’s upset.
Siddiq finds a record and tells Michonne a story of when he used to play it.
Luke searches for an instrument. Connie jokes about his unhealthy obsession with rescuing musical instruments in need.
Michonne tells them she believes their story now and she’s leaving. They want their weapons, and Michonne tells them that they can’t have them if they want to continue to Hilltop. Yukimo convinces them to continue on with Michonne.
Jesus rides a horse through the woods and is attacked. It’s Aaron. They fight and it seems friendly and fun. Aaron hits him a little too hard. They joke about it and sit in a clearing. They talk about how hard its been to get away from their groups to meet in private. They talk about a fair and that Michonne doesn’t want one. Jesus says its important to reunite people. They say Michonne doesn’t know about Maggie.
They hear a gun shot.
They run and find Rosita against a tree, exhausted. She says she left Eugene in a barn. Walkers approach. They grab her and bring her to safety.
Daryl’s dog brings him a foot. Daryl throws it in the fire and cooks it. He cooks a snake for Carol and Henry.
Later, Carol is cutting Daryl’s hair.
He says he knows Carol thinks he’s still looking for Rick. He says he never found a body.
They share a sweet moment and Carol is happy to see him.
Daryl yells “Dog”!
Michonne enters the temporary horse barn. She finds Luke holding something. He won’t show her. She slashes it. It was a violin.
Henry wakes in a tent when something walks by. He thinks it’s Daryl but It’s a walker. He follows Daryl into the woods where Dog is barking. He is caught in a trap and surrounded by walkers, who are held back by traps.
Daryl gets pulled back by a walker trying to cut Dog out.
Henry steps in and saves the day when things get crazy, even though Daryl said to stay back.
Tara asks Jesus what he and Aaron were doing. He says they were training and keeping lines of communication open. She says people notice he’s gone a lot. She says people need him and he took the job. She says Maggie and the people count on him. She says she’s going out to look for Eugene.
Daryl removes his jacket and we see large X scars on his back. He sits next to Henry and thanks him for helping. Daryl throws a stick for Dog. He says the traps are not for animals. He just wants to keep walkers out because there are more and more. Henry says his mom says he is her best friend and has her back no matter what. He says she misses Daryl and worries about him.
Henry says she shouldn’t have to worry. Daryl asks if he would want Daryl looking over his shoulder all the time. He says it isn’t about him.
Luke tells Michonne it is an original Stradivrious violin circa 1925 that she sliced. He’s upset and call it art. He begins talking about a flute surviving in the old days. It’s a story Magna and the group have obviously heard many times.
He talks about neadndethals having music and that it brings people together. He says it’s important for building. Michonne asks if that’s all he believes it will take, after everything. He says it makes us stronger.
The next morning Michonne prepares to leave them and head back to Alexandria. Siddiq tells Michonne that Maggie left. She didn’t know and asks where she is. They are interrupted by walkers coming through. The group need their weapons and Michonne keeps running.
Magna uses a brick on walkers. The horses are in danger. She finally tells DJ to give them their weapons. They fight the walkers. Each of the new members have unique walker fighting skills, including a slingshot.
Magna sees somebody from their group’s past. It’s the one with the crazy shirt. He is a walker now. They put him down and Magna cries.
Carol exits the tent and Daryl asks how she slept. He says he’ll be ready to go in ten minutes. She smiles.
Siddiq says he should have told her sooner but he promised someone he wouldn’t. She says she’s needed back home. Siddiq asks what about her promises to Carl?
Two men ride over on horseback. They are from hilltop. They say they have Rosita. Michonne says to let them know Michonne and the others are coming to Hilltop.
Carol Daryl and Hery arrive at Hilltop. They hug Tara. Aaron tells Daryl they found Rosita outside the walls and Eugene is missing. Daryl calls for Dog and sets off on his bike to find him. Jesus and Aaron follow on horseback.
The mid-season finale of The Walking Dead airs Sunday night at 9 PM ET on AMC.
Shannon Toohey is Editor-In-Chief of FanFest.com. She graduated from Hofstra University in 2015 with a B.A. in Journalism from the Lawrence Herbert School of Communications. Shannon has been a proud member of the Fan Fest team since 2013. Tweet her in your prettiest bird voice: @shannontoo