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The Walking Dead: Everything you need to know before tonight’s episode, ‘Guardians’

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Young love can make one do foolish things as Henry, drunk on a single kiss, plays the role of Romeo on The Walking Dead’s latest episode.

Are they truly star-crossed lovers or is the idealistic ‘Juliet’ that Henry imagines in Lydia just an illusion of his own creation? Henry desperately needs his pedestaled iteration of Lydia to match reality, as any divergent path spells agony. His own life teeters on the brink of eternal pitch black every time he opens his eyes if he’s wrong. Sloshed on the fleeting memory of a kiss, a tipsy Henry will venture forth on tonight’s The Walking Dead, risking life and limb. All chasing after the dopamine hit now imprinted on his brain, forever not being able to live without a sequel.

Henry is unable to think rationally about the consequences of playing Romeo, what happened in the original ending, or if Lydia is even a willing Juliet. Fueled by hormones that not long ago had him subtly trying to setup dinner with Enid, he will continue to do their bidding. Even to his own potential detriment and that of others tasked with saving Henry from himself.

In his mind, he is but a hero of Disney lore saving his perceived damsel in distress. Rebelling against the cynical, bureaucratic authority figures whose feet are rigidly stuck in cement from moving to action. It’s those that sit at the thrones of both households that don’t understand wrong from right to Henry. This devoted courtship ends with Lydia’s hand in marriage or Henry without a hand… Or worse.

The Balled of Negan

Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan – The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 12 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

On tonight’s The Walking Dead, Negan tells us all why he decided to step back into purgatory. Why he condemned himself to a future seen through a window and Judith’s ‘visitation’ hours instead of being experienced.

If a leader holds ‘Lucille’ up top the balcony of Sanctuary, and no one is around to hear it, can he truly lead? To Negan, the answer is undoubtedly no, screamed in roaring silence. Even his ‘Lucille’ paled in comparison to the original, reduced to a pipe as homage. A trademark symbol of Negan’s that once held power and respect, now just a story to be lost by the next generation. Forgotten by the sands of time, returning to his home and seeing ruins in its place. Negan chose to voluntarily surrender his one shot at freedom after witnessing what became of Sanctuary.

The reality of the ‘new world order’ ironically hit Negan hard. Slapping him in the face with the truth that time had not stood still while he was away. Negan decided to go back to the inferno he knew, the hades that had tormented him so. A 4-by-4 jail cell and a bed pan back in Alexandria, rather than attempt to rebuild what once was. Acceptance.

Practically Stockholm Syndrome, as he’s become accustomed to his punishment’s inflictors. Alive but not really living, just existing. A public symbol no different than the village pillories and stocks used to punish in medieval times. Is returning all part of a larger scheme, one step ahead of the curve? Or is The Walking Dead’s one time fearsome lead antagonist have us saying, ‘Et Tu, Negan?”

Major Plot Points for tonight’s The Walking Dead:
  • Henry’s lone wolf mission seemingly ends in disaster as he’s caught by Alpha’s group.  Will he feel Lydia’s embrace or her wrath?
  • Will Daryl, Connie, and ‘Dog’ (as Daryl affectionately calls him), be taken as hostages themselves during a haphazard rescue attempt?
  • Did Lydia pull the wool over Henry and Daryl’s eyes? Was her entire tale a sap story, a ruse to gain their trust?
  • Does Lydia feel the same way about Henry that he feels about her?
  • Negan is back in his cell in Alexandria on his own accord after tasting freedom. Why did he choose to return?
  • Michonne is questioned by Gabriel about her isolationist policy.
How to watch The Walking Dead season 9, episode 12 live stream online

The Walking Dead airs on AMC tonight at 9 p.m. ET / 8 p.m. Central. You can catch the episode live online with AMC’s official live stream or with a seven-day free trial at FuboTV.

Date: Sunday, March 3
Start Time: 9:00 p.m. ET
Episode: “Guardians”
TV Channel: AMC
Live Stream: AMC’s official live stream or with a seven-day free trial at FuboTV.

New Cast/Character Spotlight: Ryan Hurst as Beta
Ryan Hurst as Beta, Samantha Morton as Alpha - The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 12 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Ryan Hurst as Beta, Samantha Morton as Alpha – The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 12 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Actor Ryan Hurst [Sons of Anarchy] will debut on The Walking Dead’s latest chapter tonight as Beta. Hurst will play Alpha’s terrifying second-in-command and in the preview trailer below for this week’s episode, is the one to capture Henry.

The Walking Dead’s newest big-name addition is best known for his role on Sons of Anarchy as Harry ‘Opie’ Winston, Gerry Bertier in Remember the Titans, Tom Clarke in Taken, Chick Hogan in Bates Motel and Sergeant Ernie Savage in We Were Soldiers. It’s not the first time Sons of Anarchy had an alumni in The Walking Dead universe with actor Dayton Callie appearing on Fear the Walking Dead. Not to mention former Fear the Walking Dead showrunner and co-creator Dave Erickson.

The Walking Dead ‘Guardians’ Sneak Peek

In the sneak peek for tonight’s Walking Dead episode Alpha tells her daughter why ‘she trusts animals’ in a subtly threatening manner. “You know why I trust animals? Because they don’t lie.” Alpha appears to be a devout believer in the natural order, the hierarchy of the food chain. As seen when she motioned a crying baby to a potential death sentence at the hands of walkers last episode.

Alpha speaks of the human folly of lying and not to fall into the trap of sweet verbiage from her captors at Hilltop. “Just words. Remember that.”

Official Episode Preview Trailer: Next on ‘Guardians’

This week’s official episode trailer has Henry getting caught and just with his emotions. Beta secures his prey and it looks like Alpha has a sinister plan in mind for the lovestruck Romeo. Alpha throws a sharp-edged knife on the ground in-between Lydia and Henry at 0:26 while Beta holds him back. You can see where this concept is going… There is no door #3 as Negan once said.

Though it’s possible Alpha might just be asserting dominance over Henry to test Lydia’s honesty with her. Will Daryl and Connie be too late or arrive in the nick of time to free Henry from the costliest decision of his life?

Meanwhile, Gabriel looks to discuss Michonne’s isolationist policy much to her openly furious dismay. Gabriel seems to have had enough of the fortified lockdown and wants Alexandria to participate with the greater world. In his own words, “Who are we supposed to turn to when we need help?”

* At the end of this article you’ll find photos of Gabriel and Eugene having a one-on-one conversation… Presumably, it likely means the two will have a man-to-man talk about Rosita. Will the discussion remain civil or become heated if Eugene reveals his feelings toward Gabriel’s girlfriend?

Rosita is pregnant with Siddiq’s baby (they had a fling before she dated Gabriel) while actively dating Gabriel, and having Eugene admit his feelings for her recently.

Impact Moment Last Episode: Alpha reacts to crying baby

Without a doubt, the top impact moment last episode was Alpha motioning for a mother from her group to lay down her crying child. A walker horde had noticed the noise from a distance, attracting it toward the baby, and sealing the youngster’s fate in the eyes of Alpha. “If a mother can’t quiet the child, then the dead will. Natural selection.”

The ruthlessness of the move combined with a lack of noticeable empathy showed everything you needed to know about Alpha. It didn’t appear to be a bluff either, as Negan once did with Maggie and Carl back in the iconic season 6 finale. If it wasn’t for Connie leaping out heroically, the baby would have faced certain doom.

Be sure to check out 10 Details you might have missed on last week’s Walking Dead episode!

Who directed tonight’s Walking Dead episode?
Embed from Getty Images

Tonight’s episode “Guardians” is directed by Michael E. Satrazemis, known for prior directing work on The Walking Dead (15 episodes), Fear the Walking Dead (7 episodes), and Lore (1 episode). This will be the second episode he directs this season with season 9, episode 8 “Evolution” being the first.

Satrazemis was notably a camera operator on Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, Texas Chainsaw 3D, and The Vampire Diaries. He was also the camera second assistant on The Crow.

Who wrote tonight’s Walking Dead episode?
Embed from Getty Images

LaToya Morgan penned the script for “Guardians” and is known for her work on other high profile AMC projects.

Among her credits are AMC’s Into the Badlands (4 episodes written), TURN: Washington’s Spies (4 episodes as writer, 19 as executive story editor), Showtime’s Shameless (12 episodes as a staff writer, 1 story), and NBC’s Parenthood (15 episodes as a staff writer).

Morgan has also been the producer for AMC’s Into the Badlands (10 episodes as supervising producer, 8 episodes as co-executive producer), and TURN: Washington’s Spies (10 episodes as producer, 2 as co-executive producer).

“Guardians” will be Morgan’s first script for The Walking Dead.

The Walking Dead’s latest episode told in Select Photos

  • Samantha Morton as Alpha, Cassady McClincy as Lydia - The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 12 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

    Samantha Morton as Alpha, Cassady McClincy as Lydia - The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 12 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

  • Cassady McClincy as Lydia, Samantha Morton as Alpha - The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 12 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

    Cassady McClincy as Lydia, Samantha Morton as Alpha - The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 12 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

  • Matt Lintz as Henry - The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 12 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

    Matt Lintz as Henry - The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 12 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

  • Cassady McClincy as Lydia - The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 12 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

    Cassady McClincy as Lydia - The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 12 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

  •  - The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 12 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

     - The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 12 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

  • Ryan Hurst as Beta, Samantha Morton as Alpha - The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 12 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

    Ryan Hurst as Beta, Samantha Morton as Alpha - The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 12 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

  • Samantha Morton as Alpha, Ryan Hurst as Beta, Cassady McClincy as Lydia - The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 12 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

    Samantha Morton as Alpha, Ryan Hurst as Beta, Cassady McClincy as Lydia - The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 12 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

  •  -The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 12 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

     -The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 12 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

  • Ryan Hurst as Beta - The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 12 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

    Ryan Hurst as Beta - The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 12 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

  • Samantha Morton as Alpha - The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 12 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

    Samantha Morton as Alpha - The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 12 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

  • Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan - The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 12 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

    Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan - The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 12 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

  • Seth Gilliam as Father Gabriel Stokes, Josh McDermitt as Dr. Eugene Porter - The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 12 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

    Seth Gilliam as Father Gabriel Stokes, Josh McDermitt as Dr. Eugene Porter - The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 12 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

  • Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan - The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 12 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

    Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan - The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 12 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

  • Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan, Danai Gurira as Michonne - The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 12 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

    Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan, Danai Gurira as Michonne - The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 12 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

  • Danai Gurira as Michonne, Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan - The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 12 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

    Danai Gurira as Michonne, Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan - The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 12 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

  • Seth Gilliam as Father Gabriel Stokes, Josh McDermitt as Dr. Eugene Porter - The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 12 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

    Seth Gilliam as Father Gabriel Stokes, Josh McDermitt as Dr. Eugene Porter - The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 12 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

  • Samantha Morton as Alpha, Cassady McClincy as Lydia - The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 12 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC
  • Cassady McClincy as Lydia, Samantha Morton as Alpha - The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 12 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC
  • Matt Lintz as Henry - The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 12 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC
  • Cassady McClincy as Lydia - The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 12 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC
  •  - The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 12 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC
  • Ryan Hurst as Beta, Samantha Morton as Alpha - The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 12 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC
  • Samantha Morton as Alpha, Ryan Hurst as Beta, Cassady McClincy as Lydia - The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 12 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC
  •  -The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 12 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC
  • Ryan Hurst as Beta - The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 12 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC
  • Samantha Morton as Alpha - The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 12 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC
  • Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan - The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 12 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC
  • Seth Gilliam as Father Gabriel Stokes, Josh McDermitt as Dr. Eugene Porter - The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 12 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC
  • Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan - The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 12 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC
  • Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan, Danai Gurira as Michonne - The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 12 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC
  • Danai Gurira as Michonne, Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan - The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 12 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC
  • Seth Gilliam as Father Gabriel Stokes, Josh McDermitt as Dr. Eugene Porter - The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 12 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Nir Regev is the founder of The Natural Aristocrat. You can directly contact him at nir.regev@thenaturalaristocrat.com for coverage consideration, interview opportunties, or general comments.

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