In what will probably be the only good news this episode, Morgan finds the missing horse from the last episode. Miles, the bloodied driver from last episode, is still trailing him looking for Carol. How is it that Rick missed this guy on the way out? We see a man running through the woods, unsuccessfully, trying to escape the whistling, well coordinated, saviors. At camp, Enid and Carl are fighting as he gears up to go to the Hilltop Colony (with Maggie, whose medical condition has not improved). Enid knows that he is not worried about an attack on Alexandria or he wouldn’t be leaving. Carl tells her that he wants to stop the saviors before they get to her, at camp. She knows that he just wants to fight and is hoping to run into them on the road. Outside – Rick, Eugene, and the self-proclaimed “packaged deal” of Sasha and Abraham load up on the RV. All I can think of is how will the Alexandrians survive with our #TWDFamily scattered outside the gates. Who will protect Judith?
Enid is adamant that Carl will not leave without her, but he locks the closet door after telling her to go in there to grab pistols and join him. He is already stopping her from making her own choices despite the fact that she has been trained to fight. When she wonders aloud what she is supposed to do if he doesn’t return, he reminds her to “JSS.” Alexandria is dealt another blow as Aaron joins Rick’s crew. The Judith question is answered when a militarized FatherG lets Rick know what the security plans are and vows that she will be his first priority if anything goes wrong, asking if Rick trusts him with Judith. The skies open and angels sing as Rick says that he does. Spencer wants to know what happens if the saviors show and they have to make a deal. He tells Spencer to tell them to wait for his return, he has a deal for them. Hubris looks good on Rick. Whatever happens, I hope that the writers are seriously deviating from the graphic novels and that Negan won’t be around, long. Just saying. If this guy lasts as long as The Governor, I might not make it. I have always hated this character.
FatherG is giving an “X-Men” worthy “warning face” from the guard tower while Morgan is riding into a town on horseback. If ever I believed that the writers were sending a “stay calm and breathe” signal, this is it. Morgan even finds Carol behind a gate with dead walkers on the ground before her. She restates that she doesn’t want him there. He tells her that he will listen to her, soon – just as he spots the wound on her side. I hope it is from a bullet from the earlier fight, not from a bite. The stranger from earlier is no safer than our Carol. He is caught and is being dragged through the woods, claiming that his people are all dead, presumably saving them from this group of savages. In the RV, Rick is promising to save Maggie as the group continues its journey, but she doesn’t seem to be buying it. He tells her that as long as they are all together, they can do anything.
Back to Morgan and Carol: the wound is not a bite. On the road to the Hilltop, more saviors block the road, with the outstretched stranger from the woods lying before them. The saviors want everything the group has, and one life, to teach them the way things are. Rick says that he will take all of their stuff without killing any more of them, but his deal is rejected. They argue back and forth about who is having their last day on earth when Rick and his group leave the stranger on the ground and take a different route. Even I find it suspicious that the saviors have let them go. Why doesn’t the group? (Question to the writers.)
Morgan lets Carol know that Daryl and others left before knowing she was gone or they would have joined him and Rick in the search for her. He thinks they will be back before they return. She is not a kid, like Enid, and tells him she is not simply being dramatic and she is not going back. She is afraid that being tired of killing means she needs to get away from the group, no matter how much she loves them. Morgan warns her that on her own, she will die. He may beat her to is when he refuses to leave her and she pulls a gun. She tells him that caring for other people causes you to pay a price and she is tired of it. He knows she won’t shoot and stays. Abe and Sasha are well beyond the price they’ve paid by loving others – in the past. They have “the talk” and decide that they can see themselves having a family.They are ready. The sweet realization is cut short when Abe yells out “bitch nuts” as another group of saviors is blocking the new road. Rick realizes that they need a game plan, now is not the time to start a war, given the fact that the saviors have been waiting for them. They pick up another route. The saviors fire in the air, but don’t give chase… clearly our survivors are being herded.
Morgan is out checking for the walker who keeps making clanging noises, a walker Carol couldn’t reach earlier. He is someone who tried hanging himself from a tower, which Morgan climbs to end him and then cut him down. Carol is gone by the time Morgan returns so he jumps on horseback to try it find her. It reminds me of Rick on horseback riding into Atlanta, looking for signs of life. Better luck to this horse! In the RV, the crew realizes the men blocking the other road were different from the first crew. How large is this group? As they are talking, there is a new risk – a chained wall of walkers – some of whom are wearing Michonne’s and Daryl’s things (her braids, his arrows).
Rick looks physically sick. They are sitting on a valley road, and are fired on from the tops of the hills just as they try to finish the walkers to get through. Rick sends everyone back to the RV – though Eugene started heading that way even before hearing the command. Rick hacks the arm of the walker in the middle and moves the severed groups to each side of the road so the RV can pass through. Rick knows that they weren’t trying to kill them, just shooting at their feet. The saviors are moving them in the direction they want them. He stares at the bullet holes left from the deaths of the wolves who attacked him in the RV when the group was moving the massive walker herd. Like a scene from “Wrong Turn,” an even larger group of saviors have piled at the end of the road blocking them from moving forward. They have nowhere to go but back.
A weakened Carol barely fends off a walker, and doesn’t see Miles when he sneaks up on her. He realizes he is dying and wants to finish her off before he goes. He shoots her in the arm to watch her die slowly, like his friends did. All evening we have been seeing flashes of light in a dark container, much like the container our survivors were held in at Terminus.
We see it again just as Rick tells a weakened and feverish Maggie that the saviors are gone and the group is getting closer to Hilltop – that she and the baby will be ok. Are the flashing lights Maggie’s last sight before dying? Or are they Carol’s? Miles wants to know why she is smiling, what is wrong with her. She tells him she is dying so nothing is wrong. He decides he doesn’t like the answer and shoots her in the leg. He wants her to feel pain. He walks away but she wants him to come back and finish her off. Just then Morgan pulls a gun on him to stop him, but has to unload the full round when Miles refuses the request to leave her alone. Carol now begs Morgan to let her go and he tells her, as he was told, that she will come back from this, it’s not her time. New players are on the scene. The man who lost the horse. He and another geared up man show up like the calvary. They help our survivors. Who are they?
Hopefully they are not friends of the stranger from the woods since he was just thrown over a bridge, to hang from a chain. The savage saviors set fire to a wall of fallen trees blocking the road. how does that get put out? They again let the group go, but Rick gets it. Eugene, the group’s master tactician, realizes that they have to go on foot until they find transportation. He knows that the saviors are looking for the RV. He plans to drive the RV in one direction and let them find and load a car and keep going in the other direction. His parting gift is to give them the “recipe” for making bullets. He and Abe have a final, touching, moment where he tells Eugene that he was always a survivor, they just didn’t know it. Eugene is a hero, once more. When they leave, Eugene seems resigned to his fate. This may be the end. His smile tells us that he is proud to go out, his way. If you’re not crying right now, I didn’t do the scene justice.
On the long walk, Carl is determined to not let anyone else die, like Denise. Viewers are probably imagining Maggie (Glenn, Rosita, Daryl and Michonne) back at camp, safe, had Denise lived. Just as Rick is about to talk to Carl, the savior’s whistling starts. The group runs, but it is too late. They are trapped, surrounded by at least 100 saviors. We see the RV, but not Eugene – until later. He has been badly beaten. The brave-in-a-crowd savior who argued with Rick, earlier, welcomes them and takes their weapons. WHY didn’t Rick clear the first road and keep going? ARGH! Frustration. They are all put on their knees after placing Maggie on the ground. She joins them. The flashing lights are explained. It is the view from inside of the van where Michonne, Glenn, Rosita, and Daryl (who was shot in the shoulder) were being held.
And out of the darkness of the RV comes Negan, and his baseball bat, Lucille. I hate this prick and can’t stand the thought of having to deal with this character. He is mocking them for heading toward “pee pee pants city” soon. They identify Rick as the leader. He does not appreciate Rick killing his people. It’s “not cool” and Rick is going to regret crossing him, in a few minutes. He tells Rick to not mess with the new world order, no matter what. The new world order is to give him their shit. He says that today was career day, the chance for Rick to find out who he is and what he can do. He tells him that they now work for him, as he menacingly walks the line of survivors. He knows it is a nasty pill to swallow, as a leader who built something and thought he was safe. It is hard to find out that you don’t know anything at all. Not since the first episode has Rick looked this terrified.
Negan tells Rick he has to be punished, he doesn’t want to kill them because they have to work for him, but someone has to die. Glenn tries to save Maggie as Negan starts in her direction. He warns them all not to get out of line, again. Rick yells out when Negan seems to be selecting Carl (whom he calls the future serial killer. What nerve). Negan uses nursery rhymes to select his target. It is not Carl or Rick.
How do we know they are safe (sorta)? Negan threatens to take out Carl’s other eye and feed it to Rick if anyone moves. The gruesome beating by Lucille begins. Blood falls on the face of the unidentified victim looking up at Negan. The screen fades to black. Season 7 will be painful.