Spoilers below for the latest episode of The Walking Dead.
With Rick Grimes' presumed death waiting in The Walking Dead's wings, viewers couldn't be expected to truly care about some shitbird Saviors getting targeted by a mystery killer. However, the AMC drama reached seldom seen emotional heights when it revealed those responsible for hunting the former villains down. It turns out the women from Oceanside were killing off the specific Saviors responsible for having killed their loved ones during the Simon-ordered genocide.
"Warning Signs" was clearly aiming to wrap this case up posthaste, with characters spending much of the episode suspecting and accusing others. (Leading to Anne's big helicopter reveal.) But on the same day Arat went missing, Daryl and Maggie discovered Cyndie to be mere moments away from completing her "final" act of vengeance.
The Saviors not only killed Cyndie's mother, but Arat herself was responsible for a particularly heinous act. She murdered Cyndie's brother right in front of the already grieving girl, but only after making her beg for her younger sibling's life. The emotional brutality was punctuated by Arat repeating the harsh assertion she gave to Cyndie at the time: "No exceptions." If I could have reached through my TV screen to set Arat on fire, I would have.
While we didn't get to hear any similarly harrowing tales from the other Oceanside women, but it's overtly implied that everyone shares in Cyndie's torment. Sydney Park was pretty exceptional during the scene, giving Cyndie a far wider range than we'd seen thus far. All in all, it was arguably the most poignant moment to come yet from the live-action take on Oceanside, and one of the most powerful scenes of the entire run so far.
Just think, it was all inspired by Maggie, too. Even though the Hilltop leader didn't aim to bring about any copycat vigilantes in choosing to give Gregory the death penalty, that's exactly what she did. When faced with this reality, Maggie is initially taken aback, but she comes to the quick decision to let fate run its course, knowing all too well how it feels to witness the violent murder of her loved ones.
By walking away from the situation, Maggie and Daryl prove once again that they're not into the Rick-tatorship as gospel, and that there have to be other rules in order to keep the communities from imploding. You never know what people are going to be capable of these days, so it's best to leave some wiggle room in case of extreme situations involving mustachioed bullies.
Seeing how Cyndie and the other women were handling their revenge plans was inspiring to Maggie, so she voiced her intention to pay Negan a visit. Something tells me that conversation won't be quite as calm and peaceful as Rick's talk with the imprisoned villain.
Now that we know the details behind the Saviors' deaths, does that mean Enid should worry about sharing space with any of the Oceanside women again in the future? She probably shouldn't get too comfortable, just in case.
The Walking Dead airs Sunday nights on AMC at 9:00 p.m. ET, so be sure to keep tuning in to see if the show can possibly top the emotional resonance of "Warning Signs." While waiting for more, head to our fall TV premiere schedule to check out all the other new and returning shows.
Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.
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