Previously on The Walking Dead: Rick and Negan confronted each other both physically and verbally after Negan was ambushed in his vehicle by Rick and separated from the rest of the Saviors. Maggie made a deal with a trio of strangers to provide them with albums on vinyl in exchange for valuable information to guarantee a brighter future for everyone at the Hilltop. The Saviors, led by Simon in Negan’s absence, decided that covering their weapons with Walker blood and guts to scare Rick and company was no longer an option and decided to kill every last one of them. Negan escaped from his fight with Rick, only to lose consciousness and end up getting captured by Jadis.
THE STORY SO FAR: Maggie and the rest of the Hilltop gang prepare themselves for an assault by Simon and the Saviors. Despite Maggie’s threats to kill every Savior that are being held captive by her, Simon makes it crystal-clear that he doesn’t give a shit about any Saviors held in captivity who allow themselves to be caught and aren’t smart enough to escape. The ambush begins, and thanks to Daryl laying down machine-gun fire on his motorcycle and Rick appearing at the last second to take out a few Saviors of his own, the assault by the Saviors ends with more of them dead and having to make a run for it back to home base. And yet despite their victory, several members of the Hilltop gang end up injured, including Tobin, who hooked up with Carol back in Season 6 (a.k.a. The Season I Didn’t Watch And Had To Consult The Walking Dead Wikia About So I’d Know Who This Person Is). He ends up dying from his injuries in the infirmary and transforming into a Walker, and then begins feasting on as many people as he can quietly sneak up on, despite the fact that he’s a Walker and Walkers aren’t exactly know for being stealthy. Once Tobin and the other two Hilltop residents-turned-Walkers are killed, Rick, Maggie, and company start wondering how Walkers got inside until they realize that somehow they’ve been infected by Negan, the Saviors, and their weapons and that they’ve found a way to turn them into Walkers without them getting bit. And seeing as how Tara took an arrow to the shoulder from Dwight to protect her from getting a bullet in the head from Simon, she begins to fear that she will soon be next in becoming a Walker herself.
Oh yeah, and Henry is determined to keep the show’s tradition of ‘children not listening to instructions given to them by adults and doing dumb shit as a result of not listening to said instructions’ by stealing an assault rifle, opening the gate where the Saviors are being held, and threatening to kill them all unless he finds out which one of them killed his brother. Unfortunately for Henry, a Walker begins feasting on a couple of the Saviors. Which causes everyone to freak out, knock Henry over, and take his assault rifle from him as they run and make their escape from the Hilltop. Only a few of the Saviors remain behind, as they’re now determined to prove their loyalty to Maggie seeing as how there is clearly no loyalty to be found among the Saviors.
WHAT’S GOOD ABOUT THIS EPISODE: Seeing Rick, Maggie, and company use their ingenuity to trick The Saviors into letting their guard down by shutting off all lights (their own lights as well as The Saviors’) as they grew closer to approaching the houses, only to end up getting shot and watching their numbers drop as a result.
Seeing Maggie struggle to cope with the ever-increasing and incredibly painful costs of being a leader (while also coping with her people thinking that she’s a good leader, even though she clearly has her doubts as to whether that’s true), and seeing her own people lose their lives because of decisions she makes and decisions she chooses not to make.
WHAT’S NOT SO GOOD ABOUT THIS EPISODE: The fact that this All-Out War has been going on all season long, and yet everyone on both sides still insists on using their machine guns and assault rifles on full auto, as if their weapons are garden hoses they can spray at anyone and everyone and they just have crates upon crates of ammunition to fall back on.
Rick implying that because Lucille was covered in blood when he came across Negan, he must have done something to it and covered it in Walker blood along with his other weapons to infect everyone else.
Okay, Rick. A few things I’d like to ask…
1) How exactly does Rick know that?
2) How exactly does Rick not know that Negan killed someone else with Lucille recently and that’s why it’s covered in blood? Did he look inside Negan’s car when it was overturned and somehow differentiate that the bucket of blood in the passenger seat was Walker blood and not human blood?
3) I know it’s been several seasons, but how exactly do you forget that everyone is already infected and that when you die, you will turn into a Walker, regardless of whether you’ve been bitten by a Walker or not? This all-important piece of information is what the finales of Seasons 1 and 2 practically revolved around!
IS NEGAN IN THIS EPISODE?: No, he’s still being held captive by Jadis, and she doesn’t appear in this episode either.
MICHONNE?: Yes. She’s doing what she can to show her support for Rick and let him know that she’s here.
CARL?: Still dead.
JUDITH?: Still…somewhere, but not in this episode.
MORGAN?: Yes, and he’s now haunted by visions of Gavin, who keeps appearing (with the same fatal puncture wound in his neck that Henry gave him with his staff) and asking Morgan, “You know what it is.” We don’t know what the hell he’s talking about, but Gavin seemingly does.
JESUS?: He and his luxurious hair suddenly reappear at the Hilltop with no announcement or fanfare, just popping up in the crowd with everyone else as if he has’t been gone and scavenging for supplies these last couple of weeks.
IS DARYL STILL ALIVE? BECAUSE IF NOT, THEN WE’LL
PROBABLY RIOT IF WE HAVE NOTHING ELSE TO DO: He’s still here, still alive, still pissed at Dwight for running back to the Saviors, and also pissed at Tara for seemingly willing to grant him forgiveness despite the fact that he killed his girlfriend.
TO SUM IT ALL UP:So…in order to introduce more suspense into the series and make us wonder even more than usual as to who’s going to die, we’re going to have the characters forget and ignore the very rules of the show and pretend as if they don’t already know about the fact that everyone is already infected and will turn into a Walker when they die no matter what happens? And also ignore the fact that many of them have willingly covered themselves in Walker blood and guts to avoid detection and have also eaten pigs who have consumed Walkers and have never gotten infected before (excpet for Gabriel this season, because you know, plot reasons)? Sure, why the fuck not? It wouldn’t be the worst or most nonsensical thing to happen on The Walking Dead.
This episode of The Walking Dead is brought to you by “Kick In The Door” by The Notorious B.I.G.: