Previously on The Walking Dead: Daryl’s contempt for the formerly-known-as-the-Saviors and their involvement in helping rebuild the bridge was given plenty of reason to grow after Justin, a former Savior, not only assaults Henry for water, but fails to do his job in diverting a herd of Walkers, which results in Aaron being badly injured and having his arm amputated as a result. And when Rick orders him to leave camp, Justin ends up being yet another Savior who ends up being captured by unseen assailants …
THE STORY SO FAR: The communities continue working together to rebuild and restore the bridge, only for tensions to rise and things to fall apart when Justin is found dead, and the formerly-known-as-the Saviors demand answers and sling accusations as to who is responsible. Gabriel learns the truth about what Jadis/Anne has really been up to and what her plans are. And Daryl and Maggie decide that they’re done following Rick’s rules after they discover who has really been kidnapping and killing the Saviors and why.
WHAT’S GOOD ABOUT THIS EPISODE?: Seeing Rick, Michonne, and Judith spending time together as a family. Rick’s conversation with Carol, in which he reveals that he has been and still remains tempted to kill every Savior in sight, much like Daryl, but he knows that he can’t go down that particular road as he knows that it wouldn’t lead to anything good. Rick’s conversation with Daryl, in which he admits that he knows how much Daryl doesn’t agree with his ideas, but he is still asking him to give them a chance the same way he gave Rick a chance even after he cuffed Merle to a rooftop and left him to die. (Just the very mention of Merle’s name took me all the way back like a damn car seat). And Daryl and Maggie finding out that it wasn’t The Whisperers who took Arat or Justin or any other Savior, but it was Cyndie (yes, Dustin , you were right. Now be quiet and stop gloating before I throw a can of Goya at the back of your head) and the other Not-Amazons, taking revenge on them for killing their loved ones not too long ago, and then ignoring Arat’s pleas of mercy as they both walk away.
WHAT’S NOT SO GOOD ABOUT THIS EPISODE?: Rick and Carol not busting a cap in the asses of the two Saviors who snuck up on them and held them at knifepoint. But that’s really about it.
IS NEGAN IN THIS EPISODE?: No.
MICHONNE?: Yes, and just hearing Rick ask her if she’d willing to have a child with him is more than enough to make her happy, and more than enough to make me nervous about Rick’s eventual departure. (Which, according to AMC’s promos, is going to come in the next two episodes)
CARL?: No. Still dead.
JUDITH?: Yes, and she’s seen playing and laughing and reading with Rick and Michonne.
KING EZEKIEL?: No, not that I recall.
JADIS/ANNE?: Yes, and we find out that she knows much more about the black helicopter (and the people who have it) than we originally thought.
IS DARYL STILL ALIVE? BECAUSE IF NOT, THEN WE’LL
PROBABLY RIOT IF WE HAVE NOTHING ELSE TO DO: Yeah, he’s still alive and still eager to take out many a Savior with all of the arrows in his arsenal.
ARE MAGGIE AND DARYL AND JESUS STILL PLOTTING AGAINST RICK AND MICHONNE TO KILL NEGAN?: After nineteen months of waiting and plotting, Maggie and Daryl decide that now is the time to strike and to kill Negan once and for all, especially after realizing that Rick’s way may not be the only way to get things done when it comes to starting a new beginning. As for Jesus’s involvement and how much help they’ll be getting from him in carrying this out, that still remains a mystery.
ANY SIGN OF THE WHISPERERS IN THIS EPISODE?: As much as we may have been led to believe that it was the Whisperers taking out the Saviors and starting to make their presence felt, they’re actually not the guilty party and they don’t make an appearance.
ANY SIGN OF THAT BLACK HELICOPTER FROM LAST SEASON?: No sign of the black helicopter, but we do hear (via a walkie-talkie that Jadis/Anne had hidden in the junkyard) a conversation between Jadis/Anne and an unknown man connected to the helicopter and who expects her to hold up her end of the bargain in getting them either an “A” or a “B,” but preferably an “A.” Which doesn’t bode well for Gabriel when he refuses to play along with her by keeping her actions a secret from Rick, and end up getting knocked the fuck out as a result.
TO SUM IT ALL UP: This was another strong and well-made episode so far this season, and it says a lot about how strong and well-told it was that I wasn’t looking at the clock while watching and I was/am genuinely interested in seeing how this all turns out. As admirable as it is that Rick wants everyone to work together in creating a worthwhile future, it’s impossible to ignore that one community being asked to help create this future caused pain and suffering and so much death for another, and no matter how much that the Saviors may like to pretend that they’re through with the past, the past definitely isn’t through with them, and with the decision that Daryl and Maggie make at episode’s end, Cyndie and the Oceansiders are not the only ones who are willing and able to remind them of this.
This episode of The Walking Dead has been brought to you by “Vengeance” by Zack Hemsey:
Header Image Source: AMC