This weeks episode of The Walking Dead really showed me something, it showed that they still have the formula that made it a success in previous years. I hope it wasn’t an accidental storm with the story that made this happen. We had three main story plots, Morgan and Dr. Carson’s escape from the Saviors, The Saviors, and the journey to the Hilltop.
The journey to the Hilltop with the Alexandrians was very dramatic. It’s no secret to anyone that Tara doesn’t like Dwight, and wants him killed for killing Denise. While making the way through the woods Tara throws a walker at Dwight saying it slipped. Dwight who is still recovering was still able to kill the walker. The Saviors catch wind that Dr. Carson and Father Gabriel have left, the Alexandrian group has been staying off the roads and is able to hear the transmission, thinking those two are also headed to The Hilltop.
A short time later, Daryl, Rosita, and Tara are trying to map out the best path to get to the Hilltop with everyone. Dwight suggests a certain section of the swamp that Negan thought was to dangerous to cross would be a good access point. The Saviors planned out the fastest, safest paths to the different colonies and thought that wasn’t worth the risk for the Saviors. Tara wonders why they are thinking of taking a route that was deemed to difficult for the Saviors. Some of the other folk wants to know why he can be trusted, Dwight says that not only did he go against members of the Saviors, he shot and killed them, one got away and he has to find her. But he won’t go back to the Saviors, he hates Negan, he wants to help get rid of him, even though he understands what’s going to happen afterward. Daryl and Rosita make the call to go through the swamps.
Daryl won’t let Dwight help clear a path in the swamps, it is him, Rosita, Saddiq, and some others, Rosita almost gets caught by a walker as there are a ton in the swamp, for reasons I can’t quite understand. It was nice to see Saddiq step up, and glad to see he didn’t die, that would have been an epic insult to Carl’s legacy. Tara and Dwight stay with the group for protection, Tara sees a walker in the distance and asks who will help with that while throwing a knife at Dwight’s feet and says he volunteered. They head off to kill walkers, Tara keeps a gun pointed on Dwight as ‘cover’. Once the walkers are killed Tara mentions that she is going to kill Dwight and fires a shot at him. Dwight takes off with Tara in pursuit, in a clearing she catches him, but they hear voices and hide. A Saviors search party is closing into the woods which would lead them in them in the path of the Saviors. Dwight ends up popping out and asks the Saviors what they are doing, asks if anyone has seen Laura, the one who got away, and to not worry about the swamps he just came from that way and nobody is in there. He tells them to go in the other direction and they follow.
Rosita watched the whole thing and was checking up on Tara as they go back. Tara asks why she didn’t stop her and she said nobody could. Daryl is upset about the whole thing, saying he told her to wait and Dwight could be telling the Saviors and Negan everything. They could be coming here or to Hilltop to wipe everyone out. Rosita says he saved them, she saw it with her own eyes.
So many odd couples have been grouped together, but Dr. Carson and Father Gabriel sure are towards the top of that list. I take it Dr. Carson wasn’t outside of the walls, like ever, he just seems so green and raw out there. Gabriel has been tested, but his infection has gotten much worse and his eye sight is shot. To make a somewhat, drawn-out situation more compact, Dr. Carson doesn’t have faith that things will work out, Gabriel thinks that a higher power is still controlling things and that things are working out because of that. Things do seem to be working out in their favor, they find shelter, they find a radio station, they find some medicine from the deceased that can help save Gabriel’s life. Gabriel’s bad eyesight even led to them discovering a map and keys to the jeep. While heading across the field, Gabriel noticed to late that the banging sign, which led him there in the first place with a heightened sense of sound, says something like Warning traps in the field. Carson got his leg stuck in a bear trap, with his screams, walkers, gunshots, even one from Gabriel who was able to concentrate and get a kill shot. The Saviors obviously heard that noise and headed in that direction, when the two were finally ready to plan their escape, the Saviors were there to stop and recapture them. Dr. Carson felt that he still sees a sign, which is a gun on the holster of a Savior and goes for it, but is shot and killed. Gabriel starts to break down knowing that maybe his father is for nothing. He is captured, going blind, the Dr. is dead and also can’t help Maggie and being taken back to the Saviors.
Saviors are always up to no good. Eugene is called in to talk with Negan, Negan is upset that the creepy priest and doctor have escaped and he wonders if Eugene knows anything about it. Eugene plays it off enough where Negan thinks that is was Carson. He thinks he is a sneaky rat like his brother was. He tells Eugene he will catch them, and get the truth out of them one way or another. But in the meantime, Eugene has been promoted to his very own outpost. He will have workers, and security, and people who make food for him at the factory he found earlier to make bullets. Negan needs Eugene to make enough bullets so he can end this with Rick once and for all. Eugene thinks about it after trying to get Negan to acknowledge his prior stance that people are resources, if the outpost will have wine, it will so Eugene seems good to go.
As we have been made aware, Gabriel IS captured by the Saviors and brought back, since Gabriel’s eyes are shot, Negan decides he might be a good use for shell case sorting at the new outpost. He brings him there shocking Eugene that the escape attempt didn’t work to help deliver Glenn and Maggie’s baby. Negan says he found out the truth, as Gabriel says it was all Dr. Carson, as Negan thought. Gabriel thought he found his purpose, and Eugene tells him that he did while moving the casings in his direction. Negan was looking for some product and an update. Eugene didn’t have anything for his use just yet and said it would take a little more time, which Negan wasn’t happy with. But Eugene was saying they could make some old weapons like a catapult, and you can fill it with walker arms and guts, and blood and launch it over the wall, really gross stuff. Negan got a brainstorm out of that pile.
Negan gathers his men and says that if people get any of the walkers in them, they will eventually turn, so if you get your weapons full of walker blood and guts and use that on the enemy, they will get infected and turn. He has changed the game of war in one swift move. He wants to tangle with the Hilltop, not to kill anyone but essentially tag some with the weapons and wait for them to turn and create chaos, which is a great plan, let the enemy implode from within.
At the Hilltop the only things that happened was Morgan and Carol lied to the boy, in an attempt to try to save him from his downward spiral that he killed the person who killed his brother in Gavin. The rations have gotten so bad, that the Saviors were going to be without rations for a bit, while everyone else was at a 1/4 ration. Maggie changed it to Saviors could work in pairs, or could get medical attention a chance to stretch the legs for 1/4″ rations like everyone else. The Alexandrian group arrived at Hilltop, and it was very quickly evident that it wasn’t a great visit. Enid took the news of Carl’s death harder than anyone else with good reason. Maggie tried her best to console her, it gave Saddiq a raw view of how important Carl was, and in some ways is, to the group as a whole. He also got to see as an outsider how tight-knit the communities are. A little later he went to Maggie to thank her for her hospitality, commenting on what they have here when she says it wasn’t much. He also asked if they have any medical facility, not because he is hurt but he has some training he could use to help others. She advised him where to go, and got a chance to look at everyone at the Hilltop as Saddiq did, and it seemed to give her strength. A strong motivated Maggie is a tough thing to overcome.