It isn’t the first time this statement has been uttered, but the Walking Dead has changed the landscape in a way that the show will never be the same again. Much like last time this tactic was tried, I think it’s going to turn out awful.

- The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 8 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Live look in on Scott M. Gimple’s decision making on the Walking Dead. Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Mid season finales typically leave you with a cliff hanger to bring you back in February after the break, so this 90 minute episode had to kick it up from the start. The Saviors got out of the Sanctuary and ready for payback, Rick and his ragtag group made it to the Sanctuary in time to get shot at by some of the Saviors, Rick takes cover while the Heapsters run off and leave him. Jerry and Carol who were going to the Sanctuary as part of the original plan, arrived to see Rick in trouble and gets him in their vehicle. They decide they need to split up and warn the other communities that the Saviors are out and on the move.

We have the first flashback with Carl and Rick, basically Carl tells Rick that he lives. It gets you confused about why this is coming to play. Next snippet with Carl we see him writing a letter to his dad, the camera keeps panned on him for a prolong period of time. Besides the letter we see a note with Enid’s mantra, ‘Just Survive Somehow’, and now we officially have something going on.

Speaking of Enid, her and Aaron are on their way to Oceanside in hopes of getting them to officially get back into the fight. Aaron lets Enid drive, who makes a detour to a distillery. They formulate a plan to take a distillery truck and leave it in the field near Oceanside to flush them out, which works, Aaron and Enid get a jump out of their car, but Aaron gets smacked in the head by the “grandmother” and leader of the Oceanside group, while Enid comes from the other side, she has no chill and shoots her. We don’t see if she dies but we are fairly sure she will pass as the rest of the group has Aaron and Enid surrounded.

Carl is helping someone in the sewers when he is stopped by members of Alexandria asking what he is doing. Negan is at the gate with a megaphone yelling for the people of Alexandria to line up and someone has to pay for what has happened, whoever has the lamest excuse will die first in front of everyone. Carl comes up with a plan on how to survive the night, he tells them that he is in charge of this place they have said so himself, it is his plan and they will all do it. He tells a group to go out the back in vehicles, drive halfway to the quarry and pull over with the lights cut, when the Saviors come to the trap shoot them, gather the weapons and come back. He tells them that they can let the Saviors have this place, or in essence let them think they have this place.

Meanwhile, Rick, Carol and Jerry are heading to the colonies as fast as possible when Jerry gets hit, and ultimately captured. Jerry was heading towards the Hilltop, which was also on the move. After capturing Jerry the Saviors put a tree in the road, Maggie recognizes it as a trap, Jesus, who is so delusional, seems to think that it was a natural occurrence and trees fall in the road all the time. Maggie wants her team to turn around but as she feared it was a Saviors trap as they come from behind. Simon talks to Maggie, tells her that it must be a shock to see them, and the Kingdom and Alexandria are being torn apart, but not The Hilltop, the backbone still gets to live and produce for the group. However Simon needs to make a point that they mean business, he shoots some guy Neil in the car with Jesus and Maggie and says he wants her to smell it. Simon threatens Jesus until Maggie agrees to the terms. She asks for one thing in return, to be able to keep the coffin that was used to intimidate them for a proper burial for Neil, which Simon grants. Back at the Hilltop Maggie means business, she goes to the hold, grabs the Savior that tried to kill Jesus, he thinks she is just trying to make a statement and she murders him in front of everyone. She says they killed one of ours so we killed one, we are not even but it’s closer. Maggie says that the Hilltop might be the last stand and they need people and to be prepared, after shooting the Savior she tries to keep it all together, she has the Savior put in the coffin and writes, ‘we have 38 more stand down’ and asks for it to be left somewhere they will find it.

At the Kingdom, they take control of the people, the leader says he didn’t want to have to feed them shit as he likes them but here he is. All of the able bodied men and women are going to the Sanctuary to help rebuild what they destroyed, while they are going to be staying there in the meantime. Ezekiel is still missing in action and the Saviors want him to pay for this, Ezekiel snaps out of it and fights back, he sets up a diversion with an explosion that gets the Saviors attention, he keeps a step ahead of them by driving a bus to his members. They fight back and escape out of the walls, Carol gets to the door as Ezekiel tells her to save them like she saved him, and locks and chains the door shut with him inside as a sacrifice. Morgan keeps tabs on what’s happening inside by creeping around outside of the walls, looking for his moment.


Carl answers the door like a big boy as Negan knocks. Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Rick isn’t here to answer the door so Carl does, and Negan can’t help but be proud to see Carl acting like a man. Negan says that punishment needs to happen for what has happened. Carl says to kill him. Negan is shocked and a bit upset that Carl says that, he asks if Carl wants to die, which of course he doesn’t, but Carl says if him dying can change things for everyone going forward it’s worth it. To save lives on both sides, kids, his younger sister he will do it. He goes on to ask Negan if this was his plan all along, if this is who he wanted to be. Negan is SHOOOOOOOK! I have never seen Negan like this, it’s crazy to see.

While this is going on out front, Carl’s plan is going on in the back, Daryl, Rosita, Tara and Michonne, take a vehicle and drive through the wall in the back, Dwight had the Saviors put cars against the wall instead of trucks, knowing that it wouldn’t hold even though he was playing it off that it would. The trucks easily drive through the wall and knock the cars around. With all the noise going on, Carl jumps down from his perch up front, he hurts his leg and starts to make his escape through the town with smoke. Negan gets pissed that Carl played him so he has them start destroying Alexandria, when inside he tells his team to find Carl and destroy every other building. If Rick comes send him to Rick’s house he is going to go and make some spaghetti. Dwight and the other Saviors charge towards the escaped convoy, on a long straightaway the group sees the Saviors coming and throws something in the road. Dwight obviously sees it and the Savior next to him says to slow down to stop as it’s a trap. Dwight kept going and led the Saviors into ambush, his cover was blown and he started shooting the Saviors to try to end it. The blonde girl knows that Dwight was the rat, that is the reason he didn’t want to put trucks at the fence, and that is why he drove up to the trap. She shoots him and is able to escape. Dwight yells that it’s over, they are done, when Daryl and company approach Dwight says it was him, he led them to the roadblock knowing what it was, but now his cover is blown he can’t go back. Daryl asks Dwight if the reason the Saviors got out because of what he did, Dwight sort of sidesteps the comment and said the reason is because of something Eugene did.

At the Sanctuary, Eugene decides that others can make a decision for themselves even if he doesn’t agree with it, he lets Dr. and Gabriel go back to the Hilltop for Maggie if they so choose, even though he doesn’t think Gabriel can make the journey. He said he isn’t sure how a spot might be open to leave, and it’s a shame that he dropped keys to an escape vehicle. After the roadside attack, the group head back to Alexandria to go to the sewers as Carl organized. When everyone is getting inside Michonne couldn’t find herself to get in without Rick and seeing how the town is being destroyed.

Rick returns to see the place is in shambles, he instantly goes to his house, which seems like a weird plan, but Negan banked on that and they fight. Negan tells Rick that Carl wants to die, but Negan can fix him and in a few years Carl will be one of his top guys. Negan owned Rick for awhile until Rick landed a huge uppercut that put Negan on his ass. Rick could have bashed Negan but wanted to use the butt of the bat instead. Negan is able to turn the tables and fling Rick out of the window.

Rick runs away, he comes up to Michonne, who killed a walker and was hacking up a Savior. Rick gets Michonne to come down and asks where Carl is. Michonne leads him to the sewers and says that everyone is safe. Rick gets into the sewers and sees Sidiq towards the end of the tunnel and looks a bit confused. Rick sees the town folk are safe, but everyone is pretty quiet and deflated, with a number of them not even able to look at Rick. When Rick gets to the end of the tunnel you hear Carl say that he brought him here, in regards to Sidiq. Carl says that is when it happened, and shows Carl and Michonne the bite mark on his stomach, showing the ultimate end of Carl.