The Walking Dead – Season 8, Episode 5: “The Big Scary U”

AMC’s The Walking Dead
Season 8, Episode 5: “The Big Scary U”
Directed by Michael E. Strazemis
Written by David Leslie Johnson & Angela Kang

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Some Guy” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “The King, the Widow, and Rick” – click here
Screen Shot 2017-11-20 at 1.16.56 AMIn the dark of that trailer where we last left him, Father Gabriel Stokes (Seth Gilliam) is living out who knows what sort of terror. We skip back to a time before, when he prayed at his church for God to show him the way.
What I fear is a fruitless death. And what I ask for, after you have given me so much, is purpose.”
Back at the compound, Simon (Steven Ogg) treats Gregory (Xander Berkeley) to a decent breakfast. He’s always poking, though. He worries about the problems at Hilltop, Alexandria, the Kingdom. He presses the weaker man, the former leader at Hilltop, who’s so easily manipulated.
A little while later Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and the Saviors sit at their table, listening to Gregory ramble on about “the big scary U,” as in “the unknown.” He does what he can to stay in the favour of the man holding Lucille. They talk about killing; Negan digs killing, long as it’s the right people. This is before Gregory went back to Hilltop, trying to “exile people” if they don’t agree to work with Negan and the Saviors. But the leader believes he’s a “thin dicked politician” offering nothing but lip service. And he doesn’t take too kindly to Simon trying to stick up for his cowardly buddy.
Therefore, he says they need to get the widow – Maggie (Lauren Cohan) – King “Assface” Ezekiel (Khary Payton), and Rick (Andrew Lincoln). Kill them in a horrible way for all to see. Make an example. Yikes.
Screen Shot 2017-11-20 at 1.20.02 AMAnd now we’re back to a different perspective of what occurred after Rick and the rest of them came crashing down.
Skip ahead to Negan and Gabriel in that trailer. The latter’s rushed by the former, though there isn’t a lot of fight. They’re stuck in there together, so I guess at least until they’re out of the predicament the horde of zombies is posing right outside, Negan might do well to keep an extra pair of hands around. Very compelling to see a sort of ‘big evil’ stuck in close quarters with a devout, righteous sort of character like Father Gabriel.
Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Rick interrogate the Savior they’ve run down on the road, who tells them it was a massacre, everyone is dead. This leads them to believe their friends have been killed, as well. Meanwhile, Simon and the gang are inside the compound wondering whether their leader’s been killed. This leads us to wonder, as Negan suggests to Gabriel, if the leader is, in a sick sense, a safeguard against even worse atrocities? If he wasn’t around, would they devolve into utter chaotic violence? Well the Saviors are also starting to suspect a rat in their midst helped the assault from Rick and his friends. This puts Dwight (Austin Amelio) on the offensive, suggesting he’ll lead their people out of there; he’s not suspected, of course, it’s mostly Eugene (Josh McDermitt). Mr. Smarty Pants stops by later with a thank you for Dwight, for getting the heat off him. What an odd little situation.
Screen Shot 2017-11-20 at 1.34.13 AMScreen Shot 2017-11-20 at 1.41.50 AMIn that trailer, Negan rants about his strengths, his leadership qualities. This prompts Gabriel to reveal he was at the satellite station when Saviors were murdered. The priest pushes more, wanting the man to confess and beg forgiveness of God, of his fellow man. He pleads to whatever humanity’s left in him. “I havent killed anyone who didnt need it,” Negan says. He’s a microcosm of the leaders people let rule them out of fear, fear of the unknown, fear of something else, fear of the other; he saves people by using them, bending them to his will, by force yet pretending it isn’t by force at all. Soon we end up with Gabriel attacking Negan from behind, slipping away into the back of the trailer with a gun.
On the road Daryl and Rick search the truck run off the road, finding dynamite. Daryl wants to blow a whole in the compound, let walkers do the job. But Rick is afraid it’ll cause families to die, people stuck under the thumb of the Saviors and their leader. He doesn’t want to risk.
We see more of the divide between Daryl and Rick, the former not willing to let people die anymore, he wants to kill first. The two friends get into a fight of their own. Now THAT is a goddamn fist fight right there, two tough bastards. They nearly blow each other up after Rick tosses the dynamite and the truck explodes. All that for, essentially, nothing. Plus now they’re both pissed off.
Most intense is that trailer, where Negan tries coaxing the priest out of that room. Gabriel confesses about what he did at his church, locking people out during the beginning of the zombie epidemic. He knows redemption is possible, he’s living it every single day. I don’t think there’s any redemption for Negan. Although he talks about his first “real wife.” She got sick, before the fall of society. And when she died he couldn’t put her out of her misery. This gets Gabriel out of the room. Two men against a horde of zombies. They’re doing the old cover-yourself-in-guts-routine; when in doubt!
They get outside and the dead are everywhere. The place is covered, completely. Like a rock concert, bodies mashed together. Things get dicey, then they’re forced to start swinging and firing to make it out alive, each protecting the other as much as possible.


Inside, the Saviors are still arguing about what’s gone on. They’ve got bigger problems, all the workers are gathering and near rebellion. Without Negan around, who’s to stop them? Things are shit. Nobody has any answers, and it’s starting to make the class division amongst this little society more clear than ever.
It all changes once the leader himself arrives, his signature whistle putting everyone on their knees bowing. He’s arrived. Negan and Gabriel together. The whole situation with how things got like this is going to be a lot scarier, too. I know Eugene’s pissing his pants pretty right about now. What’s worse is Gabriel is looking very sick; is he bitten, or just ill? Shit, I didn’t expect that.
Well, heres a little refresher on who the hell I am: I wear a leather jacket, I have Lucille, and my nutsack is made of steel. I am not dyinuntil Im damn good and ready.”
Out in the woods, Rick thinks he sees a helicopter in the air. Does he? Or is it him hallucinating? Hard to tell. He’s heading to speak with Jadis (Pollyanna McIntosh) and her trash people in the nihilist garbage dump.
Screen Shot 2017-11-20 at 2.06.16 AMMAAAAN, this was a lowkey episode, yet it was incredible. Loved seeing a different side of Negan, even if only for a brief few moments. He showed a tiny bit of vulnerability, and somehow that makes him really unsettling, knowing there WAS a human down in there somewhere, at some point.
“The King, the Widow, and Rick” is next week. Bring it on.

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The Walking Dead – Season 8, Episode 4: “Some Guy”

AMC’s The Walking Dead
Season 8, Episode 4: “Some Guy”
Directed by Dan Liu
Written by David Leslie Johnson

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Monsters” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “The Big Scary U” – click here


We see Ezekiel (Khary Peyton) transform in front of the mirror, from a regular man to a King. He heads out ready to walk into battle as the Kingdom joins the Hilltop, Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and Maggie (Lauren Cohan), to fight against Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and the Saviors. People may find the King a bit odd in this post-zombie apocalypse, however, he does bring hope to others in a dark time.
We will fight, and we will bleed, and yet I smile.”
Cut to the aftermath. Bodies, blood everywhere. Many from the Kingdom dead, including those who toppled on the King to keep him safe. He emerges from a pile of his dead friends, wounded, yet alive. He’s left in the wreckage. Some of them start reanimating. Will the wasteland finally break his spirit after such sacrifice? Will he survive with that fucked up leg? Our King is in a tough spot.
Luckily he makes it to a weapon, though that only lasts so long. Zombie friends everywhere. One of his men is still around and helps him out before anything worse happens. Meanwhile, in the towers nearby, the machine guns are packed up after a successful massacre. Sneaking in behind the men there is my lady Carol (Melissa McBride). She waits for the perfect time and pumps them all full of holes from the ceiling. Yeah, she bad! She escapes just in time before more men show up.
Screen Shot 2017-11-13 at 2.30.10 AMScreen Shot 2017-11-13 at 2.33.15 AMOne of the Saviors comes across the King taking him back. Oh, damn. They get back to the compound, as Carol starts a war inside the fences, firing on everybody, though she’s a bit in over her head. Ezekiel tries getting free of his captor, but it’s to no avail. And when it’s convenient, the guy leaves the King to the horde of walkers nearby. He’s about to kill him, before Ezekiel’s saved by his main man Jerry (Cooper Andrews). But the King is still shaken by his captor, who challenged the authority of his little ruse of royalty. He tries to regain his confidence fighting the horde side by side with Jerry as they laid siege upon by the dead.
Carol gives herself up to the Saviors, coming out from cover unarmed. When one man gets close enough she takes him by knifepoint at the throat. The other Saviors shoot him, and Carol manages to hit the gate’s button, letting zombies in at the Saviors.
Zombies, zombies, everywhere! Everyone is surrounded. Carol’s got the men outside in a predicament., She wants the weaponry, the ammo, and she’s pushing to see if they’ll walk away, if she can keep them scared. But then she also sees Ezekiel and Jerry, nearly swallowed whole by all those walkers. Will she leave them to die and go for the weapons? Nah. I don’t think so.
We quickly cut back to before the madness, with Ezekiel and Carol talking. She questions if he’s fought much before. He says that he’ll will himself into what is required. The catalyst of his becoming is borne of when he saw Shiva trapped, needing help: “I wanted to be the one who leapt.” There are big similarities between Carol and Ezekiel; she, most certainly, went through SO MUCH to become the person she is now at this point, and she is tougher than most of the men around her.
Screen Shot 2017-11-13 at 2.43.05 AMScreen Shot 2017-11-13 at 2.51.57 AMCarol chooses to save her friend rather than get the guns. Morals over necessity; good woman. Jerry, Ezekiel, and Carol get away, and she’s got a good feeling those guns aren’t getting away. Because Daryl (Norman Reedus) is on those guys, with Rick not far behind. They don’t anticipate a machine gun in the back, and Daryl nearly gets gunned down. Former sheriff Grimes doesn’t fuck around, he goes after them. Balls to the wall. He and Daryl are a great team, taking out machine guy dude and throwing the driver off his game. Rick pulls a sick action movie move, jumping into the vehicle as they drive, stabbing the driver and trying to take the wheel. This sends him flying off the road. Not as slick as possible; effective, nonetheless. They’ve got themselves some guns, baby!
On the road, Carol and her buddies are going strong. Except there’s a nasty spill of sewage from a drain pipe along a canal, a bunch of gross zombies. They get past, except Ezekiel believes he’s got to face a bunch of them alone. He’s having a crisis of identity, a breakdown. Well, that is before Shiva shows up tearing a bunch of walkers to bits, letting her friends get free. She dies underneath a pack of them; and I cried a bunch, honestly.
I aint no King. Im just some guy.”
Screen Shot 2017-11-13 at 2.55.30 AMWhat a whopper of an episode. So sad Shiva died, that truly broke me up hard. What a beast, a beautiful creature who died defending her friend. A heartbreaking moment, especially for Ezekiel, whose crisis of identity will only get worse. Wow. Emotionally heavy and a bunch of action.
“The Big Scary U” is next week, looks like a familiar face may return for a flashback? Maybe? We’ll see.

The Walking Dead – Season 8, Episode 3: “Monsters”

AMC’s The Walking Dead
Season 8, Episode 3: “Monsters”
Directed by Greg Nicotero
Written by Matthew Negrete & Channing Powell

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “The Damned” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Some Guy” – click here
Screen Shot 2017-11-06 at 1.22.39 AMEzekiel (Khary Payton), Carol (Melissa McBride), and their trusty friends move through the forest. They eventually hear the whistles of the Saviors who surround them at all angles, guns drawn. But it isn’t all of them. Ezekiel and the others put their hands up, as Carol and the others gun down the threat.
We will lose not one of our ranks
Back to Rick (Andrew Lincoln), at the end of a gun Morales (Juan Pareja) is holding. He’s surprised to see the man he once knew in Atlanta. They’ve both been through some shit. We discover Negan’s (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) orders are to leave several of them alive, including our former sheriff, the widow Maggie (Lauren Cohan), and the king. Meanwhile, outside the guns are still raging, as people from Hilltop and the Kingdom continue laying down fire. Poor Eric (Jordan Woods-Robinson) has been shot, he isn’t doing well, and Aaron (Ross Marquand) doesn’t want to leave his boyfriend alone, bleeding. Yet in the post-zombie apocalypse, everybody’s gotta do what they gotta do.
Screen Shot 2017-11-06 at 1.26.11 AMOn the road, Tara (Alanna Masterson) is helping Morgan (Lennie James) and the gang march their Saviors prisoners towards Hilltop. Jesus (Tom Payne) is continually determined on not killing these men, whereas Morgan isn’t conflicted; he’s just towing the line, for now. They’re waiting to get back to Maggie, to see what she intends on doing.
Jesus: “Theres many kinds of dangers, many kinds of dying. I kill, Ive killed. You do, you have. But we dont execute.”
Morgan: “I have
Alone in that room together, Rick tells Morales about his own journey, the deaths of Lori, Shane, and Glenn – the last surprises his old buddy, especially considering he’s the death that made Lauren become a widow. We hear about Morales waiting to die, he believes they saved him, thought him worthy of something. He “is Negan.” Just like everyone else around that place. So, what matters ultimately to people in the wasteland: morality, or necessity? Morales, he chose necessity. Before he can do anything worse, Daryl (Norman Reedus) saves him. Of course Rick isn’t sure how he feels about it, but his close friend knows it was the right decision. And just as back-up is coming for them, too.
More on the road, when a ton of walkers scramble over a nearby hill and roll into the road. The tied Saviors are terrified, some of them are eaten alive. Morgan and friends do their best gunning down and stabbing whatever zombies they can manage. This also gives some of the Saviors time to try making a getaway, so Morgan gives chase. He kills one before Jesus stops him, convinced they’ve got to keep these people alive. For what reason? Why would Maggie want to keep these men alive after what Negan and his pals allowed to happen to their people?
This argument between the men turns into a violent confrontation when Morgan pulls his staff from its sheath to fight Jesus. Simultaneously, Carol, Ezekiel, and their crew move deeper into Saviors territory. One victory to the next. Just as Rick and Daryl are laid siege upon by Negan’s lads. We cut back and forth between the various fights. Nobody’s backing down, either. Not Jesus or Morgan. Not the Saviors bearing down on Rick and Daryl, both of whom are getting low on ammo; they’re able to get the upper hand until Aaron shows up. When things calm down between Morgan and Jesus, the former’s clearly having mental troubles, even he knows that: “Im not right, I know that, but that doesnt make me wrong.” At least Tara’s got his back.
Screen Shot 2017-11-06 at 1.48.35 AMBack at Hilltop, Gregory (Xander Berkeley) shows up at the gates, asking for help. Not sure anybody’s inclined to be too helpful. They may let him in, eventually, though I’m not sure Maggie’s happy to see him. She wonders why Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) isn’t along for the ride while his car’s arrived with Gregory. Doesn’t look too good for the ole lad. He gives Maggie a bunch of horse shit talk about trying to save lives. Although she soon agrees to let him inside: “Hes not worth killing. Not yet, anyway.”
Right behind is Jesus and all those Saviors hostages. Maggie doesn’t see any safe option for keeping those people there. Jesus still insists they don’t execute them. But you just know there’s only a bad situation that can come from keeping them alive. Undeniable.
In the wreckage left behind at the battle, Daryl and the rest clean up, gather ammo, and Rick takes a few Polaroids of the dead for good measure; eerily similar to how Negan took pictures of those he bashed. Wonder exactly what these photos are for, Sheriff Grimes. Saddest is Aaron, who can’t find Eric’s body where he left him at the tree; and he sees it, reanimated, heading towards a horde of the undead in the distance. A nice moment? Rick saves the baby Gracie he found in that building, and Aaron agrees to take her to safety at Hilltop.
When Daryl and Rick are about to leave, a shot rings close. The latter asks the person to surrender and they can have a vehicle, just go their separate ways. It’s a young man who tells Rick about where all their weapons went, recently sent to another outpost. Instead of letting him live Daryl puts a bullet in his head. We keep seeing Rick give him that look, but what he needs to realise is everyone’s fed up, they’re not going to be killed, not anymore. Not if they can help it, and certainly not Daryl!
And just when Ezekiel thinks they’ve completed their mission, no one dead, guns begin shooting at them from a nearby building. Several men jump on him to protect the king; will they die, or will he?
Screen Shot 2017-11-06 at 1.53.20 AMScreen Shot 2017-11-06 at 2.00.23 AMEnjoyed this episode, especially some of the quieter moments. Great little cliffhanger; saw it coming, but still loved it. There’s also an interesting dynamic happening between Rick and Daryl that I hope we see play out, because it’d help switch things up to have a couple close friends sort of warring over morality, et cetera. Can’t wait for more.
“Some Guy” comes next Sunday.

The Walking Dead – Season 8, Episode 2: “The Damned”

AMC’s The Walking Dead
Season 8, Episode 2: “The Damned”
Directed by Rosemary Rodriguez
Written by Matthew Negrete & Channing Powell

* For a recap & review of the Season 8 premiere, “Mercy” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Monsters” – click here
Screen Shot 2017-10-30 at 1.56.28 AMJesus (Tom Payne) and Morgan (Lennie James), Tara (Alanna Masterson) and the others all stand in the trees close one of the Saviors’ compounds. They begin heading into the building, as Morgan goes off on his own to do the zen warrior shit.
Morgan: “I dont die
In the meantime, Ezekiel (Khary Payton), Carol (Melissa McBride), they’re caught in the road and the wreckage. They fight by sword and pistol alongside others from the Kingdom as “the damned” come down upon them. They manage to get out alive, heading onto the next step of their insurrection. Although Carol doesn’t seem like she’s too happy, always getting her cynic on, especially when everybody else is too confident.
Our friends keep moving further. Rick (Andrew Lincoln), Daryl (Norman Reedus), and a few others lay siege to one of the main buildings, searching for weaponry, ammo. Outside, gunfire continues erupting. Seemingly the place is surrounded, everybody from Rick’s  group, the Hilltop, and the Kingdom are at the exterior, as well as the interior. Saviors fall at the end of more bullets, and soon enough they’re within the inner sanctum.
Screen Shot 2017-10-30 at 2.05.43 AMBullets fly. Aaron (Ross Marquand), Eric (Jordan Woods-Robinson), and others push hard on the outside, tightening their grip on the Saviors. Jesus and Morgan lead an assault deeper into the building. Except Morgan and a couple other men are met with a hail of bullets themselves behind one door. Could the zen warrior have jinxed himself with earlier, near superheroic statement? I hope not.
Tara and Jesus find a guy named Dean (Adam Fristoe) in a closet, hiding, hangs in the air. She wants to kill him, but Jesus disagrees. He lets Dean out, as the rest keep fighting. Dean insists he isn’t a Savior, just a guy working for them, cleaning, the grunt work. Jesus doesn’t want it to be “about revenge.” And he near pays the price when the guy grabs a gun, puts it to Jesus’ head, stomping on prenatal vitamins just in case we weren’t sure Tara’s right. They disarm him, but it’s clear that our long haired buddy has a ways to go before he’s come to grips with how the world is now, in post-zombie apocalypse life. He still won’t kill the guy, choosing to tie him up. Another fucking mistake, guaranteed.
And rejoice! Morgan is alive. He doesn’t die; not yet, anyway. Lying next to dead bodies isn’t exactly a novelty in this new world. But at least now he’s got more motivation to drop the zen nonsense, and get back to killing when killing’s needed.
Screen Shot 2017-10-30 at 2.13.35 AMScreen Shot 2017-10-30 at 2.17.31 AMThings are getting dicey outside, after people are dying and reanimating. This helps with the Saviors a bit, though it makes for a messy situation for anybody out in the surrounding areas of the compound. Then there’s Ezekiel and Carol and the crew, moving through the woods. “Fake ittill you make it, baby,” the King gives his fierce friend advice while they push towards a perhaps impossible goal that she keeps questioning every step of the way. “Therell be no fantasies of failure this day,” he tells her.
Ezekiel: “We move forward, as we move the very world forward.”
Rick stumbles onto a Savior, they fight viciously, neither able to grab a weapon quick enough, it’s fist to fist. They slam one another around the room. Our man wants to know where the guns are kept, but the guy won’t give him an answer. So the former sheriff chokes him near lifeless before impaling him at the wall. Meanwhile, Morgan’s having more troubles with killing. He gets it done, but it’s having an adverse effect on his psyche.
We’re getting further divide between Jesus and Tara, as he still insists on going against the group mandate, letting Saviors keep living rather than putting them down. This is where there’s another level of cognitive dissonance for Morgan, who comes upon Jesus letting all those guys stay alive. So, where does the line get drawn? Is Morgan going to keep killing? Does he slip back into his wannabe zen living? And what about Jesus, how does he fit into the overarching plan Rick and the others are going through with if he isn’t willing to do what must be done?
A brutal reckoning comes for Rick. In the room next to where he violently killed a Savior is a crib, little baby Gracie lying in it left alone. A mirror on the wall juxtaposes a child’s mobile with a bloody Rick; two starkly different images, of life and death.
Screen Shot 2017-10-30 at 2.24.11 AMScreen Shot 2017-10-30 at 2.32.02 AMUnfortunately, outside Eric is hit with a bullet, and Aaron tries getting him to safety. Whereas inside Rick further sees the cost of human life in what they’re doing. But he also finds himself confronted with someone he hasn’t seen in a long time: Morales (Juan Gabriel Pareja), from back in Atlanta. He’s called the Saviors back to take Rick. Everybody’s in a bad way, even those safe are only safe for this moment. Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and the Saviors won’t take any of this lying down, you can be sure.
Big, bad things are coming.
Screen Shot 2017-10-30 at 2.39.14 AM“Monsters” is next week. Should be interesting!

The Walking Dead – Season 8, Episode 1: “Mercy”

AMC’s The Walking Dead
Season 8, Episode 1: “Mercy”
Directed by Greg Nicotero
Written by Scott M. Gimple

* For a recap & review of the Season 7 finale, “The First Day of the Rest of Your Life”  – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “The Damned” – click here
Screen Shot 2017-10-23 at 12.37.20 AMRick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) daydreams, he imagines a place filled with light, the image of a cane resting in a doorway and what sounds like “Another One Rides the Bus” by Weird Al Yankovic. He’s old, as well. But he’s very much rooted in reality, preparing for whatever comes next in the escalating war against Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan).
Rick speaks to his people, cobbled together with his longtime friends like Maggie (Lauren Cohan) and those from the Kingdom, the friends of Ezekiel (Khary Payton). He rallies them under the banner of doing what is necessary: no need to “celebrate” and no “shame” in it, either. They must “end them” – Negan, the Saviors, all those who want to take the world only for themselves, leaving nothing for anyone else. Maggie and Ezekeil say their piece, too.
What’s clear is they’re all coming together, as one united front, in order to take what is theirs, and to destroy Negan’s effect on the post-zombie apocalypse world.
And then we keep making the world bigger, together.”
But everything’s not perfect. It never is on The Walking Dead.
Screen Shot 2017-10-23 at 12.43.47 AMScreen Shot 2017-10-23 at 12.44.04 AMBig Carl (Chandler Riggs), still wearing that stinky old sheriff’s hat, is out looking for fuel with his gas can. He hears someone call out from near a gas station. The guy doesn’t shut up, yapping and yapping about what he’s been through. Carl gets the jump on him, then shots come out of nowhere – it’s dad, of course, running the dude off. Can’t be too careful, the Saviors will do anything to lure prey into their web.
My man Daryl (Norman Reedus) is systematically taking down Saviors, as is Morgan (Lennie James), getting the road clear of various posts along the way where Negan has his men waiting, watching. Back home, Rick is gearing up for the next phase of their plan. Out on the highway, Daryl links up with Morgan – who looks like he’s having trouble getting back to killing people again, even if it’s a necessity – Carol (Melissa McBride), and Tara (Alanna Masterson). Michonne (Danai Gurira) has to stay behind, putting her faith in Carl that he’s running the show while his dad is gone.
Father Gabriel: “It always starts with one person
While Dwight (Austin Amelio) does his part on the Saviors’ side, Daryl, Rick, and the others roll up with their armoured vehicles. They fire off shots to draw attention. Soon enough, Negan appears through the doors to greet them.
Screen Shot 2017-10-23 at 12.50.32 AMRick dreams of waking up to Weird Al, a slightly older man, Michonne and Carl happily listening to the Queen cover, going about their morning; Rick slept in, they playfully shut off his alarm, everyone is “playing hooky.”
Quickly, back to reality. Negan speaks with Rick, the latter telling the former and his people they can live. Except it’s a one-time offer, expires momentarily. Naturally the leader of the Saviors talks a good game, now and then speaking actual sense. Yet the kicker is Gregory (Xander Berkeley), even if Jesus (Tom Payne) isn’t surprised. The cowardly leader bows to Negan in the name of Hilltop. Everyone must follow suit, else they’re tossed out into the wasteland. Jesus then declares, in defiance: “The Hilltop stands with Maggie.” Daaaamn, Jesus. Boy is representing.
Eventually, Saviors head back towards their compound. On the road, they meet with the traps set by Daryl and friends. An explosion in the road, visible all the way up to where Rick and Negan face off, only sheet metal dividing them. For the first time in a long while it feels as if, even for a moment, Rick and Co. have the upper hand. So he gives Negan and his crew to the count of ten to decide what they’ll do. He only counts from 10 to 7 before firing at them, a vicious look on his face. They pelt the whole compound with bullets, relentlessly.
On the road, Carol, Daryl, and the others prepare for their next tasks, going their own ways. Our lad on the bike has the pleasure of diverting the horde drawn by the explosion.
Screen Shot 2017-10-23 at 1.09.12 AMScreen Shot 2017-10-23 at 1.13.34 AMRick sets off an explosion using their RV, crippling the gates and the front of the compound. He gets a bit lost in the gunfire, in his quest for revenge, until Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) calls him back to reality; something Rick requires now and then. Before leaving, Gabriel sees Gregory, injured and lost on his own, so he feels compelled to help. But the cowardly asshole fucks the priest over, taking the car from him and driving off. I hate Gregory.
The others regroup, Rick and Daryl head in further. Carol and Ezekiel go another route with their group only to meet with nearly getting blown up with a grenade. And at the main Saviors compound the place swarms with the dead, Father Gabriel forced to find shelter in a nearby trailer.
Who else is in there? Oh, you know it’s Negan. He hopes the priest has his “shittinpants on.” Because he’s “about to shit” them. Oh, god. Is Gabriel going to die? Will he make it out of there alive?
Screen Shot 2017-10-23 at 1.25.28 AMGreat opener. Interesting to see Negan stuck, even if it puts Gabriel in a precarious situation. Usually it’s Rick or Daryl or someone we love. Now, we see Negan between the rock and the hard place. “The Damned” comes next week, excited to see where things head from here.