Rick and the gang return to Alexandria this week and plan how to best deal with Negan and his group of Saviors. While a lot of this episode of ‘The Walking Dead’ is setup for next week, we still get a whole lot of action to enjoy.
As the episode gets underway, Carol is making cookies once again. Because she’s out of nuts, she goes outside the Alexandria walls to gather some acorns. She isn’t out there long before she has to dispose of a female Walker. While her shirt gets covered with zombie blood, I don’t think any got onto the acorns, but I’m not 100% sure. When Carol bakes and passes out the cookies, Tobin asks why they’re pink. Carol says she used beets. Did she?!
Rick returns from the Hilltop in the RV and calls a town meeting in the church. This is where he lays out his plan to attack Negan, but leaves it up to the community to decide if they should go through with it. If anyone has an objection, now’s the time to speak up. Naturally, Morgan gets up and tells everyone he thinks they should talk to Negan and the Saviors first. However, no one sides with Morgan, not even Gabriel, so the plan is still on.
Carol has trouble sleeping that night. After writing and circling the number 18 in a diary she keeps (I’d love to hear theories on exactly what this means; is it the number of humans Carol has killed?), she heads outside and runs into Tobin, who’s also restless. While Carol is going out to fight Negan, he’s staying behind. He takes the opportunity to tell Carol that she’s like a mother to most of the people in Alexandria… but not to him. To him, she’s something different. The two then share a kiss.
Despite being pregnant, Maggie is going along on the Negan raid as well. Carol tells Rick she’s not happy about that, and asks him if she can stay close to Maggie.
Rick’s plan involves approaching Negan’s camp a few hours before sunrise, when most of the Saviors will be asleep and those keeping guard will be tired. Glenn and Heath cut the heads off several Walkers so Eddie can trick the guards at Negan’s complex (which looks like some sort of military base or observatory with a pair of huge satellite dishes behind the main building) into thinking he killed Gregor, the leader of the Hilltop.
The ruse works, and gives the group enough distraction to kill the guards and start their raid on the building. Things go smoothly at first, and they’re able to sneak into the sleeping quarters and kill several of Negan’s men. Glenn has to take his first human life. Abe and Sasha get into a fight with a guard. (I should probably mention that Abe dumped Rosita before leaving Alexandria, telling her that the only reason he was with her was because he thought she was the last woman on Earth. Ouch.) Sasha stabs the guard, but he’s able to set off a fire alarm. Away from the complex and hearing the alarm go off, Maggie insists that she has to go inside to fight, but Carol won’t let her go.
The last part of this episode consists of a huge firefight between Rick’s group and the Saviors, which makes me wonder when was the last time we saw this big of a shootout between humans on ‘The Walking Dead’. I’m thinking it may have been way back when the Governor attacked the prison. Even then, I’m not sure we’ve ever seen a machine gun fight this big on the show.
After a lot of bloodletting – and no apparent losses to Rick’s group – our heroes emerge from the compound the next morning and congratulate each other on their victory. Rick wonders which one of the victims was Neegan. Then, all of a sudden, a Savior tries to escape on a motorcycle. Daryl is able to stop the bike and tackle him, but the guy is carrying a walkie-talkie. A female voice comes over it and tells everyone to drop their weapons. The voice says that she has both Carol and Maggie. Uh oh.
With two of the show’s main female characters in the hands of the bad guys (we’re not sure yet if Negan has them or some different group we haven’t been introduced to) and only four episodes left in the season, is this a bad sign that either Carol or Maggie’s days might be numbered?