Previously on The Walking Dead: Rick and Michonne were still dealing with Carl’s death and made one last attempt to join forces with Jadis and the Not-At-All-Affiliated-With-Bill Cosby Junkyard Gang, only to change his mind after finding out that all of them (except for Jadis) have them killed by Simon and his accompanying Saviors as punishment for them trying to help Rick.
THE STORY SO FAR: Daryl, Tara, Rosita, Dwight, and others are making their way to the Hilltop, while avoiding both the Saviors and the hordes of Walkers, even if it includes going through a swamp with water infested with Walkers. Gabriel and Dr. Carson are making their own trip to the Hilltop, but Gabriel’s health and declining eyesight is only making their trip more difficult. Maggie is still keeping the Saviors prisoner at the Hilltop and dealing with ever-declining rations, all while making sure to remind them that her tolerance level for their bullshit is zero. Negan is demanding to know from Eugene just how the two of them escaped, while also giving him his own output so that he can continue making bullets for the Saviors to use on Rick and company. And Tara’s trigger finger is getting really itchy the longer she and Dwight are forced to work together, and it eventually gets to the point where she finally attempts to bust a cap in his ass, only for Dwight to end up running back over to The Saviors to keep her, Daryl, and everyone else alive and from being found.
WHAT’S GOOD ABOUT THIS EPISODE: Seeing Lauren Cohan onscreen as Maggie is always a plus, even if we do have to keep relying on Memento-style tattoos to remind ourselves that this character is supposed to be pregnant. Which makes the recent news about her strongly considering joining Scott Foley over on ABC for Whiskey Cavalier all the more worrisome as to how this season will turn out for Maggie and her unborn child.
The wordless reunion between Daryl and company and everyone at the Hilltop as they learn the horrible news about what happened to Carl. Granted, this kind of scene has been done on Lost many times before, but it’s still just as effective here, even if it does seem as if Enid is the only one breaking down and crying their eyes out over the news of Carl’s death.
WHAT’S NOT SO GOOD ABOUT THIS EPISODE: The fact that we had to sit through all of Gabriel and Dr. Carson on the run together and having numerous discussions about faith and belief that were about as deep as a shot glass, only to have the Saviors pop out of nowhere right before the end of the episode and kill Dr. Carson, all so Gabriel (with his weakening eyesight that makes it look as if he’s peering through a telescope made of candy corn) can get dragged back to the Saviors’ home base and help Eugene manufacture more bullets.
So we’re now expected to believe that Negan’s master plan which will tilt the scales in his favor is to take Eugene’s advice and start using catapults to launch Walker guts and body parts at Rick and company with the intention of infecting them and turning them into Walkers? Despite the fact that, other than Gabriel’s oh-so-convenient sickness that just reared its head this season, no one has ever been seen getting infected as a result of being covered by Walker blood and guts. Not even the people who have purposefully covered themselves in Walker blood and guts to avoid being detected by other Walkers.
OK, sure, let’s go with that. Whatever keeps this All-Out War storyline going this season, even if it does have me looking at the screen like so:
IS NEGAN IN THIS EPISODE?: He sure is, and he’s back to being his usual profane and hipdippin’self.
CARL?: Exactly how many times do I have to tell you that Carl is dead?
MORGAN?: He is, but his appearance in tonight’s episode was barely worth remembering.
IS DARYL STILL ALIVE? BECAUSE IF NOT, THEN WE’LL
PROBABLY RIOT IF WE HAVE NOTHING ELSE TO DO: Yes, he’s still alive and doing all he can to look after his people, keep them alive, keep Tara from trying to kill Dwight, and look as grungy and unshowered as ever while doing so.
TO SUM IT ALL UP: Negan and Eugene’s “master plan” certainly is one way to keep stretching out the All-Out War storyline for another five episodes, and with Rick and Michonne back at the Hilltop with Maggie, I expect things to get even more intense between Rick and company and The Saviors with only five episodes remaining this season.
This episode of The Walking Dead has been brought to you by “Down With The Sickness” by Richard Cheese and Lounge Against The Machine: