Caution: Spoilers ahead for The Walking Dead.
The Walking Dead's latest episode left plenty of mysteries unanswered as the show heads toward its mid-season finale. The dust in now beginning to settle after the supposed death of Rick Grimes and the mammoth time jump that followed immediately after, launching The Walking Dead's narrative roughly five or six years into the future.
Last week's episode of The Walking Dead provided viewers with an overview of the new-look Alexandria and Kingdom and in "Stradivarius" it was the turn of the Hilltop. Maggie is gone, Jesus is (reluctantly) in charge and preparations for the upcoming fair are underway. Following last week's "talking zombies" cliffhanger, The Walking Dead's latest offering begins to ramp up the feeling of threat and dread soon to befall the divided trio of communities and "Stradivarius" also makes time to catch up with Daryl, who has been living in the wild with his new dog - a creature he has imaginatively named... Dog.
While this week's installment of The Walking Dead certainly had the feel of a set-up episode and didn't offer any definitive answers to the show's current assortment of mysteries, it did offer up some further plot points for audiences to ponder and perhaps even nixed a few fan theories along the way. Here are the biggest questions from The Walking Dead season 9 episode 7, "Stradivarius".
- This Page: Questions About The Walking Dead's Time Jump
- Page 2: Questions About The Walking Dead's Whisperers
What's Up With All The Scars?
Last week, it was revealed that Michonne now has a large, X-shaped scar on her lower back. Two leading theories as to how she received this suggested either a wound sustained in an unseen battle or a surgical scar as a result of pregnancy. Both of these ideas can now be swiftly discarded, as "Stradivarius" unveiled a very similar looking scar on the back of Daryl Dixon. This revelation rules out the pregnancy-related surgery idea, for obvious reasons, and it's also highly unlikely that both characters would've sustained exactly the same wound in the course of a battle.
Fortunately, several new theories naturally emerge. While it might not be the most exciting storyline, perhaps Daryl and Michonne were involved in a kidney transplant, with one being the donor and one the recipient. Alternatively, the scars could be some kind of deliberate brand and although there's no clue yet as to who would be behind such savagery, one possibility might be found in last week's brief appearance by the Saviors.
While robbing Carol and Henry, the Savior group referenced some kind of major incident that occurred at the Sanctuary during the time jump. If this involved an attempted rebellion, similar to what transpires in the comics, then it might be logical to assume that the Saviors would adopt Negan's favored punishment of branding and use it on those they felt had wronged them in the past. Some viewers might wonder why a rebelling Savior group wouldn't just kill the likes of Daryl and Michonne but, given their current food predicament, perhaps they were foolishly attempting to whip the Alexandrians back into obedience.
Why Is Michonne So Cautious And Guarded?
Before the time jump, Michonne was fully on board with Rick's desire to bring all the communities together and build a more civilized future, so it's been hugely surprising to see her attitude flip around completely in the past two episodes. Since Rick left, Michonne has been suspicious of newcomers, cut communication with the other communities and fallen out entirely with Maggie. She also isn't afraid to cut an expensive violin in half just to be on the safe side.
Since this stance is completely at odds with the wishes of Michonne's deceased loved ones, something major must have happened to force such a radical change of approach. If another fight with the Saviors went down in the time jump, it's plausible that Michonne's sense of kindness towards others might have been soured. However, it's also possible that every currently dangling plot thread is connected. The scars, Maggie's departure, Daryl's self-imposed exile and the rogue Saviors perhaps all trace back to a single, currently unknown, event that occurred in the aftermath of Rick's explosive farewell.
Why Did Maggie Leave Hilltop?
Michonne isn't the only one who appears to have had a tough time during the skipped years, as it was confirmed in "Stradivarius" that Maggie has finally left Hilltop and joined Georgie in developing a different, unnamed, community. Putting story aside, this situation was forced upon The Walking Dead due to actress Lauren Cohan wishing to take a leave of absence from the show. In-narrative however, what could possibly have convinced Maggie to leave the community she fought so fiercely to protect, firstly against Negan and then again in the first part of The Walking Dead season 9?
Since Maggie had time to fall out with Michonne, her exit can't simply be an immediate reaction to losing Rick and prior to the time jump. She also seemed to come to terms with keeping Negan alive, so he seemingly can't be the reason either. Once again, the answer behind this mystery can likely be found in events that have been skipped over by The Walking Dead's leap into the future.
Unlike some of these questions, however, viewers do at least have a clue to work with in this case. When Siddiq tells Michonne that Maggie has moved away from Hilltop, she responds with shock and claims to have had no idea. This scene heavily implies that Maggie moved as a direct result of her dispute with Michonne and, if true, this would also explain why Jesus still harbors hope that Maggie will return; he's always been a supporter of inter-community relations and, in the event of an argument, would likely always seek reconciliation.