The Walking Dead returned in Rock in the Road. We pick up right where we left off at the break with someone watching Father Gabriel on duty at the wall. Gabriel, is seen walking around and ends up in the food pantry and you hear a loud ruckus with shelves being tipped over. We see Gabriel packing up canned goods, and weapons in a tub, we see him looking at the inventory book and says I just need to check something. He drops his bible and fills up a car, packs up the goods and leaves, when he drives off we see a figure appear in the car.
The recap of the Hilltop is pretty quick, Gregory still is a worthless shell of a leader. He wants things to get better but he doesn’t want to do anything to make things better. A handful of people volunteer to fight in an upcoming war, and Jesus tells the group about the Kingdom and after telling everyone he has a walkie talkie from the Saviors to hear about when they find Daryl they agree they have time to venture on.
They make it to the Kingdom, Richard the guard is very skeptical of another group and doesn’t seem to like the group until he hears the plan they have for Ezekiel to fight the Saviors. Richard is all about that. Ezekiel doesn’t like the idea and is a bit upset that Jesus told others about the deal with the Saviors when his people don’t even know about an arrangement. Ezekiel asks Morgan what his opinion is even though he isn’t a member. Morgan thinks that besides an all out war that they could just perhaps capture Negan that it will stop everything. Shockingly even after he is told that the Saviors killed Abraham, Glenn, Spencer and Denise. His resistance to fighting Ezekiel doesn’t want to fight, he says that they have lost arms and legs to get where they are now and he doesn’t think they need to fight as they have an ok arrangement with the Saviors. With that though we see the children are practicing archery. The Saviors do not set fit inside the Kingdom so far as part of the arrangement and Ezekiel allows Daryl to stay in refuge for safety, even though Daryl doesn’t want to stay. Rick tells Daryl they will be back, and to talk to Ezekiel, or stare him into submission.
On the way back they decide to head to where the Saviors compound is, they are stopped by a group of parked cars on the highway stopping progress. So they start moving cars away quietly so they can get through, on the other side of the highway they notice that a long steel cable is tied between two cards with RPG’s and dynamite attached to the wire used to stop the progress of a large walker horde. Rosita leads the game plan to disarm all the explosives that they need from her previous experience with Abraham. The are able to remove a number of the explosives before a bunch of walkers start approaching. Rosita, Tara and Carl go to put the cars back in order on the other side of the highway, Sasha and Jesus set off to get to the Hilltop on foot. That leaves Michonne and Rick to get the last few explosives but the walkers are approaching to fast, they decide to sync up in the cars on the end of the steel cable and drive at the same speed to mow over a ton of walkers on the way back to the others. They head back to Alexandria as the Saviors know that Daryl is gone and they want to return before they look for him.
Saviors do come looking for Daryl, make a mess of everything, and say that if Daryl ever shows up again he is dead and they are in trouble. The food shelves are very bare and the Saviors are wondering if they are hiding something. Rick finds out that Gabriel is missing, Rosita thinks that Gabriel screwed them all and ran but Rick says that is not how Gabriel is. Something happened to him, Rick knows that Gabriel would never leave his bible behind and that something happened to him, Rick is looking for other clues and on the back of the inventory book you see written clearly, BOAT. Rick shows Aaron the note and they wonder how he would have known. Neither of them knows how, which gets me thinking, was it Gabriel that wrote boat?
That is what I thought at first when I watched the episode, but upon second viewing I think it was the actual abductor who wrote it as a trap. Rick and Aaron lead back to where the boat was, they do not see anyone but find tracks and follow it to what appears to be a dump, where they end up surrounded by a whole LOT of people. The group is surrounded and Rick ends up smiling, as I think he believes he has found the numbers he needs to fight the Saviors.