AMC’s The Walking Dead
Season 8, Episode 6: “The King, the Widow, and Rick”
Directed by John Polson
Written by Angela Kang & Corey Reed
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “The Big Scary U” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Time for After” – click here
On the road, Rick (Andrew Lincoln) walks alone, and Daryl (Norman Reedus) speeds off on his own path. Back at Alexandria, Carl (Chandler Riggs) and Michonne (Danai Gurira) take care of things, and at the Kingdom, Carol (Melissa McBride) readies herself. At the Hilltop, Maggie (Lauren Cohan) receives Aaron (Ross Marquand) with little baby Gracie. And through a series of letters along the roads, left by everyone to each other, the good and bad news travels between the various outposts.
Although things aren’t going as perfectly planned, they still do have a plan, they’re still succeeding just enough. They have to keep going, Rick says. The Sanctuary, the Saviors, Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), they’re surrounded. Just means the survivors are going to have to push a bit harder to take care of things.
Rick: “All of it, it‘s scarier than I thought it‘d be, but we‘re doing it. We have to.”
And so that’s why Rick has gone again to see Jadis (Pollyanna McIntosh) and her nihilist garbage people, even after she put a bullet in him last they met. Wonder what’s about to happen.
Jesus (Tom Payne) is still taking care of the Saviors, feeding them, doesn’t sit quite right with Maggie. Not sure where their relationship is headed, he keeps trying to save these people, who aren’t worth saving; I don’t care, it’s true. Gregory (Xander Berkeley) is still trying to keep his voice heard, though he’s definitely relegated to the background. Jesus questions what they’re “fighting for,” but he’s discounting all the people others have lost, and so brutally. Eye for an eye is not always the best way. Sometimes it’s the only way.
At the Kingdom, there’s a crisis. Ezekiel (Khary Payton) is cutting himself off. Jerry (Cooper Andrews) is completely disheartened by the change in his King, so it’s left to Carol to fix the situation. Of course! She’s one kick ass character.
Face to face again, Rick is talking with Jadis. And boy, is it tense. They’re pretty sceptical, paranoid, after Jadis “grazed” him with a bullet. But he’s there alone, he’s come to seek their help genuinely. Those pictures he took? For proof to bring the garbage people and Jadis, showing that Negan and his Saviors are weakened, trapped. Rick wants to start that “next world” in which they all can live. Or else they destroy Jadis and her community. Will his hubris work? No, it seems. The deal’s denied. Off he’s sent to be locked up.
Gregory: “People who aren‘t leaders always think they know better”
At the same time, Daryl goes to talk with Tara (Alanna Masterson), she says it was right not to kill Dwight (Austin Amelio). For the time being. Afterwards, the two of them agree they’ll kill him, together. “And maybe we don‘t gotta wait so long,” Daryl tells her. Uh oh. While I want to see our friends get lots of revenge, I worry that splitting apart in terms of goals, et cetera, might put them all in a compromised position. We’ll see.
At Alexandria, Jesus finds that having those Saviors hostage isn’t as easy as he’d initially thought. Especially when some of them love to blab, and there’s walkers growling in the darkness, just past the line of sight; anywhere, everywhere. “Don‘t pretend that any of us are innocent,” Jesus tells the talkative Savior. But chilling enough, the guy knows that already. Those madmen aren’t under any delusions, they know they’re horrible.
Rosita (Christian Serratos) and Michonne are both recovering from their own wounds. They’re off together on the road in a car, trying to talk through their troubles. Michonne’s anxious, wanting to put that anxiety to rest. Her friend understands that completely. In the middle of the forest on a road they hear opera music, loud and echoing. Whoa. Then there’s a crackle over a speaker, the music’s gone. Our ladies head through some trees, coming across a building nearby; the music starts again. Oh, shit.
Elsewhere in the woods, Carl stumbles onto the guy he saw before, Siddiq (Avi Nash). He apologises for his dad rushing in last time, scaring him. Young Grimes has brought him a bit of food and water, because of the words of his mother Lori, believing he should help others. Even if it could’ve been dangerous, it’s admirable to see Carl not losing himself completely, as once I feared was happening. We see him ask Siddiq those familiar questions, the ones his dad would ask. Siddiq’s killed “237” roundabout; only one person.
There have been developments at the Kingdom. Inside, Maggie’s built a pen, not the gallows Jesus was expecting. She’s agreed to house them in a makeshift prison. I worry, though. Lord, I worry. I know Maggie’s got her shit on lock. However, every bit they give these human monsters is another inch they can take and use to their advantage. At least Gregory’s being thrown in with them, too. He grovels like a child before she does. Maggie doesn’t take any shit from those Saviors, all the same.
In the woods, Carl and Siddiq take on a group of walkers. Foolishly. Soon, Carl is nearly bitten, toppled by a couple of the zombies. When Siddiq rushes in, they’re able to finish them off. We see a lot of moments where young Grimes takes his father’s route, but also an equal amount of times where he’s figuring this new world out for himself. Being a kid turning into a grown up in the post-zombie apocalypse has to be shit. He’s doing okay, in my books.
Michonne and Rosita go into the building where they heard the music. They hear voices, talking about Negan, the Sanctuary, “Rick the Prick” and all that other stuff. An honest little slip up alerts them when Michonne starts moving in. Before long the gunfire is popping off, and the situation gets fucking serious. The woman and Michonne go head to head, even with the latter’s wounds still fresh. The guy runs into Rosita, calling her “baby girl” and getting blasted LITERALLY TO VAPOURS by a grenade launcher; MY WOMAN! The woman gets away, her truck blasting opera. Who saves the day? Daryl, driving a truck right into her, along with Tara. God DAMN. What a scene.
Carol goes back to see the King, though Ezekiel is deep in a depression. He knows that he’s failing the people who need him out there, but he’s also feeling guilty for leading them, many of them, into a massacre. Now he wants to give up. Carol brings up the fact he kept going to see her, out at her house, and she tells him he is not “a fiction,” he is very real. He is the leader who inspired the Kingdom to be built. He can’t abandon his people. Only, he’s a broken man.
At the Hilltop, Maggie makes it known that if the Saviors they have held hostage can’t be used to bargain for something, they can’t live. And outside the Sanctuary, Michonne gets her up close look at things, whereas Daryl’s more concerned with taking action, here and now.
Oh, don’t forget about Rick! He’s locked in a container out in that trash heap with Jadis keeping an eye on him, marking an A with chalk on its door. Hmm.
This was an emotional episode, there’s a lot going on. Some of the secondary characters got extra time tonight, and I dig that. Plus there was some great stuff with Michonne and Rosita, the latter deserving more than she often gets.
“Time for After” is next week. Excited to see what that’ll bring.