First Aired December 10th, 2017
Rick (played by Andrew Lincoln) and Jadis (played by Pollyanna McIntosh) are hit by gunfire while attempting to storm the Sanctuary. Jadis and the Scavengers flee but Rick is rescued by Carol (played by Melissa McBride) and they go to warn the others the Saviors will retaliate.
Aaron (played by Ross Marquand) and Enid (played by Katelyn Nacon) drive to Oceanside hoping to recruit them for the war. Daryl (played by Norman Reedus) and Michonne (played by Danai Gurira) prepare to head to the Sanctuary to force the Saviors to surrender, unaware his plan backfired and the Sanctuary is functional again. When night falls Aaron is jumped and Enid kills his attacker who turns out to be Natania (played by ).
Meanwhile Negan (played by Jeffery Dean Morgan) arrives at Alexandria demanding to be let in and to kill Rick. The Kingdom is also attacked by Saviors who take it over forcing Ezekiel (played by Khary Payton) to hide. While driving on the road Maggie (played by Lauren Cohan) and Jesus (played by Tom Payne) fall into a trap and are captured by Simon (played by Steven Ogg). With few options Carl (played by Chandler Riggs) organizes everyone in Alexandria to evacuate and distracts Negan by offering himself as a sacrifice while they escape. An enraged Negan starts bombing Alexandria and burning it down while searching for Carl.
With the Saviors on the loose it was expected to be high energy and lots of action and in that aspect it didn’t disappoint. The Saviors struck back hard and from start to finish we waited to see what would happen and more importantly who would/wouldn’t survive. However there were a few loose ends introduced in the beginning that I felt should have been resolved or at the very least elaborated on.
Jadis and the Scavengers changed allegiances again but they disappeared in the first two minutes, will they run back to Negan or stay with Rick? Aaron and Enid’s surprise trip to Oceanside seemed to be a major plot for the episode but it was abandoned early on, after they murdered the leader no less. As the episode continued I hoped for at least one more scene to further these two storylines, we’ll likely get them in the midseason premiere but it was an odd choice to have put them in the beginning rather than toward the end of the episode.
Simon kills one of Maggie’s men and threatens to have the entire Hilltop killed forcing her to surrender to him. Dwight (played by Austin Amelio) leads the Saviors into a trap set by Daryl and the others, Dwight fights against the Saviors and gets shot outing himself as the traitor at the same time. Feeling guilty for helping the Saviors get their revenge Eugene (played by Josh McDermitt) visits Gabriel (played by Seth Gilliam) and decides to help Doctor Carson (played by R Keith Harris) back to Hilltop. Gabriel tries to get Eugene to join them but he refuses to leave.
At the Hilltop, Ezekiel creates a distraction to let everyone escape. Carol arrives in time to see him lock himself inside to surrender over her objections. Maggie returns to Hilltop and kills one of the captured Saviors before ordering everyone to fortify Hilltop’s fences in hopes survivors from the other communities might join them. She makes a sign for the Saviors along with the body of the man she killed warning they have dozens more hostage. Dwight tells the others how Eugene helped the Saviors escape the Sanctuary and with his betrayal known to the Saviors they hesitantly accept him.
Everyone tries to downplay Daryl’s role in the Saviors escaping the Sanctuary but I doubt people like Rick will let it go that easily. There was very little Carol in this episode and we didn’t get to see her fight, benching Carol from a fight is never a good idea. Speaking of characters beyond forgiveness Eugene’s small act of letting Gabriel go is nowhere near enough to redeem him in the eyes of everyone. Sure his actions are motivated by guilt but they also put everyone in danger and now that they know this the only kindness Eugene could expect is a quick death. Dwight at least has actively tried to help Rick and the others and while there is clear animosity his actions clearly show he’s with them, at least until they can stand to have him.
While the others retreat into a sewer Michonne stays behind while Rick reaches Alexandria and finds it in ruins. He goes to his house and is attacked by Negan who hopes to make an example of Rick for people who may want to fight in the future. After a brutal fight Rick manages to escape and finds a distraught Michonne killing a Savior and join the others underground. They find Carl who has brought Siddiq (played by Avi Nash) with the group and he reveals he was bitten by a walker in the process, devastating Rick and Michonne. Carl revealing that bite was a game changer for the season, it’s one of those dramatic departures from the comics that shake up the whole narrative. It sets a tone for the second half of the season that people you least expect to die can and maybe will. Whether or not that happens the death of Rick’s son will launch him into a renewed determination to take down Negan once and for all.
“You ever shut the hell up?” “Nope.”
Carl was nearly bitten once saving Siddiq and is dying because he saved him again, I doubt Rick is going to warm up to him anytime soon.
“If you care you do something, you don’t just hope. It takes more than that.”
Main character deaths are expected on this show but it’s nice to see they can still surprise us with them.
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