The Walking Dead returned from its mid-season hiatus with episode 9, "The Rock in the Road."

This episode follows Rick as he petitions The Hilltop and The Kingdom to stand with Alexandria in fighting Negan and the Saviors.  So far no such luck.  Gregory doesn't trust them enough to get the job done.  Which make sense as they've already failed him once.  (At the satellite station.)  Granted they took the station but were ill-informed as they didn't know the true numbers of Negan's organization.  So all they succeeded in doing was rousing the beast, and targeting themselves on the Savior's map.

We start by watching Father Gabriel steal every lick of food and a few tools from Alexandria's cupboards, before he drives off, presumably in pursuits of greener pastures.  Just when we thought he was trustworthy, Father Judas rears his ugly head. Does he really think he'll be better off on his own?  Doesn't he he realize that the most valuable resource these days is people?  What does one man do when he runs across a wolf-pack?  Granted the pack's been thinned out, but there are at least six of them left; certainly more than one turncoat can handle alone.

I loved watching the Alexandrians meeting King Eziekel for the first time.  He can definitely be a bit much.  Especially when you add a full grown tiger to the mix.  Morgan upheld his word about not telling the group that Carol is still around.  Ultimately King Ezekiel decides now is not the time to engage the Saviors.  He has an albeit tenuous peace with the Saviors, and while there is a peace, he's not willing to jeopardize it, for full blown war.  Which I fully understand.  Choosing to fight will cost lives and who knows what else.  It's not worth the risk in Ezekiel's eyes.  He's a man who hasn't reached his limit yet but something tells me, "a change gone come."  Just you watch.

Finally on the hunt for Gabriel, Rick thinks Gabriel left a clue referring to the boat Rick and Aaron found while scavenging for the Saviors.  But how would Gabriel know where that was?  And what would be the point of taking all their food there?  I'm glad Rick isn't so quick to write Gabriel off, but I don't see any answer more obvious.  I even wondered what Gabriel was doing until I saw all the food was gone.  That told me he really did peace out on the group without concern for anyone but himself.

At the boat they find tracks but they don't lead to Gabriel.  They lead to an entirely new group.  They look to be holding up in a junkyard.  Either way Rick seems to be happy to meet them.  I don't know if he saw someone he recognizes or if he's just happy to have found a new potential ally.  Regardless, come back next week to find out.  And I'll see you here after.