The Walking Dead: Season 7, Episode 9: “Rock in the Road”


Gene Page/AMC

Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes, Jason Douglas as Tobin - The Walking Dead _ Season 7, Episode 9 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Chris Chalker, Staff Writer

The Walking Dead is back and with its mid season premiere seems to show that the series’ worst season may be shaping up.

Previously, I have written articles on the previous eight episodes: “The Day Will Come When You Won’t Be”, “The Well”, “The Cell”, “Service”, “Go Getters”, “Swear”, “Sing Me A Song”, and “Hearts Still Beating”.

These previous eight episodes have followed the previously made comic books really closely.

The episode, titled “Rock in the Road” is the first episode of the rest of season seven part b (alternatively named season 7b). The episode follows Rick Grimes, Michonne, Maggie Greene-Rhee, Rosita Espinosa, Sasha Williams, Paul Rovia or “Jesus”, Daryl Dixon, Enid, Carl Grimes and some others as they attempt to rise up against the tyranny of The Saviors.

The episode stars:
• Andrew Lincoln as the main protagonist and leader of Alexandria, Rick Grimes.
• Chandler Riggs as Carl Grimes, son if Rick Grimes and one of those who is very resistant to The Savior’s rule
• Danai Gurira as Michonne, the love interest of Rick and the “silent-strong” type. She has been very resistant to The Savior’s rule.
• Lauren Cohen as Maggie Greene-Rhee, the recently widowed woman who seems to be taking the lead of Hilltop. Maggie was married to fan favorite Glenn Rhee before his brutal death.
• Kaitlyn Nanco as Enid, Carl’s friend and a very mysterious teenage girl.
• Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon, the escapee of The Sanctuary and a former prisoner at the Sanctuary.
• Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier, the battered woman who has turned into a cold stone shell. Now she is in hiding and struggling with her morals
• Tom Hiddleston as Paul Rovia, better known as Jesus, the easy going warrior of The Hilltop.
• Khary Payton as King Ezekiel, the “king” of a society called The Kingdom.
• Seth Gilliam as Father Gabriel Stokes, the former priest who has gone bat sh*t crazy.
• Ross Marquand as Aaron, an Alexandrian who is against The Saviors.
• Xander Berkeley as Gregory, the self-centered leader of The Hilltop
• Christian Soratos as Rosita Espinosa, the former girlfriend of the now deceased Abraham Ford and a major resistor of The Savior’s rule.
• Lennie James as Morgan Jones, the preacher of all life being precious and the man who saved Carol.
• Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan, the big bad at this point. Negan is only heard as a voice, that being over a walkie talkie, in this episode.
• Sonequa Martin-Green as Sasha Williams, the girlfriend (at the time of death) of Abraham Ford.
• Alanna Masterson as Tara Chambler. Tara has played a minor role due to her pregnancy in real life.

What exactly happened in The Walking Dead season seven, episode nine: “Rock in the Road”? I interviewed Matt Delmar for his input on the episode.

It’s time to rise up!

Rick and the others finally attempt to try and rise up and uproot the tight grip The Saviors have on them. It is time to rise up! But first, what is going on at Alexandria?


The opening picks up where we last saw, Father Gabriel is on watch, the mysterious figure in the muddy boots is watching him. Gabriel eventually steals all the food from the Pantry and leaves on his own. It seems like he has fallen into a trap set by the muddy boots character. We then see the group at Hilltop.

The Hilltop

Rick and the others arrive at Hilltop, Rick says he is ready to fight now, contrary to where he was earlier this season. Rick and the others: Jesus, Daryl, Maggie, Enid, Carl, Sasha, Tara, Michonne and Rosita, all approach the leader of another community, The Hilltop, for help in taking down The Saviors. The leader of Hilltop, Gregory, is not pleased with the idea. Gregory feels that it is too much of a risk and that he has to look out for his people. Gregory refuses to accept the offer, so Rick and the others leave, frustrated with his deniability and him not helping them. Jesus then offers to take them to another community, The Kingdom. Rick reacts as we all did and us even more baffled by the mention of the leader of The Kingdom, King Ezekiel.

The Kingdom

After failing to convince Gregory, the group tries their luck at The Kingdom, but it doesn’t go any better. Ezekiel deliberates the offer before he finally rejects their deal. Ezekiel shows them a bunch of limbless children, Ezekiel states that he tried to expand The Kingdom when he didn’t need to, getting innocent people killed and others, like these children, were left changed due to loss of arms and legs. Ezekiel offers Daryl asylum at The Kingdom, saying The Saviors do not come inside their walls. Daryl rudely asks how long he thinks that will last.

An explosive situation

Daryl is forced to stay at The Kingdom to avoid being found by The Saviors. Meanwhile, Rick and the others learn of Fat Joey’s demise and the depth of the situation they are in now that he is gone. The group has to defuse the bombs attached to the cars and some wire and steal the dynamite while waiting to the oncoming herd of walkers.

The group escapes, barely before parting ways to meet The Saviors back home in Alexandria.

The trap

Rick and the others, minus a few, all head out to find Gabriel after learning that he raided the pantry. They fall into a trap, surrounded by a bunch of people holding guns.

I interviewed Matt Delmar and for his input on “Rock in the Road”.

Q: What did you like about the episode?

Matt: I liked the intenseness of it, I liked seeing Michonne and Rick take that risk and almost die and I liked seeing Simon again

Q: What did you dislike about this episode?

Matt: The confusion in the beginning, yes they cleared it up at the end, but still.

Q: What do you expect to see in next week’s episode?

Matt: Since it’s called “New Best Friend”, they will probably work together with then to bring down Negan