In The Walking Dead recap, Daryl leads the Alexandrians to the Hilltop, Tara wants Dwight dead and Negan comes up with a brand new plan of attack…
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
Three episodes into the second half of The Walking Dead season 8 and admittedly not a lot has happened — at least until now.
Daryl, Rosita and Tara are leading the remaining Alexandrians away from their bombarded compound with hopes of reuniting with Maggie at the Hilltop. Maggie may have shown her defiance in the face of threats from Negan but that hasn’t helped her gain any supplies with food beginning to run short.
Meanwhile, Dr. Carson and Father Gabriel are doing a really poor job of escaping the Sanctuary to make it to the Hilltop and Negan is getting a little fed up with these fights and he’s anxious to put an end to the war.
To do that, Negan is going to put his trust in Eugene, the man who was responsible for the plan that cleared out the horde of zombies attacking the Sanctuary in the first place. Now Negan needs Eugene to get down to the business of making bullets so his army has something to fire at Rick and the rest of the survivors.
By the end of the episode, Negan realizes that he may have another strategy in mind that ends up with the same amount of dead bodies but it won’t require a single bullet to be fired.
With that said, let’s recap the latest episode of The Walking Dead titled ‘Dead or Alive Or’….
I Come From the Water
As the Alexandrians attempt to evade the Savior scavenging party on the hunt for him, Dwight suggests a new course that will help get them to the Hilltop but not without facing some serious danger along the way. According to the former Savior, the swamp is a part of this area that Negan won’t even travel through because it’s such a perilous route.
Of course that means all of the survivors from Alexandria will be at great risk but at least they won’t have to fight off the zombies and the Saviors at the same time.
Dwight’s suggestion doesn’t go without some blowback from Tara, who not only doesn’t trust the guy who killed her girlfriend Denise but she believes they should just kill him already and be done with it. Daryl refuses to let Dwight die while he’s still useful but Tara has a look in her eye that he might not make it to the Hilltop with everybody else.
Daryl finally decides that the swamp will be the best course of action so he leads a scouting party with Rosita and Siddiq to kill off as many walkers as possible before bringing everybody else through the muck.
While everyone waits in the woods for Daryl to return, Tara enlists Dwight to help her clear out the few walkers that are still rambling towards them. Dwight does his job and even stops after killing the last zombie to apologies to Tara for killing Denise. That only further enrages her so Tara puts her gun on Dwight and prepares to pull the trigger.
Dwight says he’s known this would only end one way but he hoped it would be after Negan and the Saviors were defeated. Just as Tara flinches for a second before pulling the trigger, Dwight sprints out into the woods in an attempt to get away.
Unfortunately, Dwight’s injured arm prevents him from making it very far and it looks like Tara is finally going to get revenge when they hear noise coming from the other side of the trees. It turns out the Savior hunting party is closing in on the Alexandrians as Tara and Dwight jut back into the woods to avoid them.
Tara wants to run back to warn everybody but the slightest noise will alert the Saviors of her presence. That’s when Dwight proves his worth yet again by jumping out of the woods and reuniting with the other Saviors. Dwight’s biggest worry was that Laura — the Savior who figured out that he was a traitor — would have informed on him already but it turns out she disappeared after the bombing on Alexandria.
Dwight rejoins his old team and then leads them in a different direction away from the Alexandrians so they can escape.
When Tara turns around she sees Rosita was behind her the entire time. They head back to the camp where Daryl erupts at Tara for attempting to kill Dwight in the first place but then she has to tell him that the former Savior did right by them when he led the hunting party away from the rest of the survivors.
Tara may not like Dwight but if not for him, the Alexandrians may have been discovered and slaughtered by the Saviors. Unfortunately that means Dwight is now back where he didn’t want to be while hoping that Laura never resurfaces to rat him out.
Walk By Faith, Not By Sight
After escaping the Sanctuary, Dr. Carson and Father Gabriel have been driving in circles, unable to navigate a path to the Hilltop. Gabriel is getting sicker and sicker as the virus continues to burn inside of him, but he believes that God will lead them in the right direction.
It almost seems like Jesus is listening when Gabriel stumbles upon an abandoned cabin in the woods that gives them a place to hold up until they figure out where they are going next.
Things get even better when they find the guy who used to occupy the cabin is dead in his bedroom but inside they find a pile of medication — including antibiotics that may help fight off the infection that’s ravaging Father Gabriel’s body. Even if the medicine works. Gabriel’s eyesight is being affected by the illness and may never recover.
Still, Gabriel walks by faith and when he accidentally knocks over a piggy bank, they find a set of keys inside along with a map that lets them know they are only a few miles away from the Hilltop. So far Gabriel is really buying into God leading them where they need to go.
Unfortunately, Gabriel’s prayers aren’t answered a few minutes later when Dr. Carson goes outside the cabin to find the car and that’s when he spots a sign that says ‘danger traps’ and he realizes that the former resident had this place rigged for invaders. A moment later, Dr. Carson’s leg is snared in a bear trap and the zombies begin closing in on them.
Dr. Carson is able to fight off a few off them by using his gun but Gabriel isn’t much help considering he can’t see anything right now. Instead of trusting his eyes, Gabriel closes them and just fires based on faith — and he kills the last walker going after Dr. Carson.
It seems like all is right with the world and with God but that’s when the bottom falls out.
A moment later, Father Gabriel and Dr. Carson are recaptured by a different Savior hunting party that were sent to find them. Rather than go back to being Negan’s slave, Dr. Carson makes one last attempt to escape by grabbing one of the soldier’s guns but instead he gets shot dead. Father Gabriel is horrified because now Dr. Carson is dead, Maggie won’t have any help for the birth of her baby and the preacher is going back to being enslaved by Negan.
Gabriel walked by faith and he still ended up being captured and Dr. Carson is dead.
I’m Going Hungry
At the Hilltop, Maggie is running into a place where she’s going to have to make some very hard decisions soon. Rations are running short with everybody going hungry and that includes the 38 Saviors she’s holding hostage as a threat against Negan.
To make matters worse, one of the Saviors is asking Maggie for more humane treatment like exercise or at least the chance to work so they can get outside this caged area for a few hours. Maggie isn’t willing to budge, especially considering these prisoners are siphoning away at the community’s supplies and time is running out to gain more.
Meanwhile, Morgan and Carol are serving as guards for the prisoners along with Henry, the little boy who killed Gavin in an act of vengeance for the death of his brother Benjamin. Henry killed the man in charge but now he wants the man responsible for Benjamin’s death.
Morgan ponders if maybe he should just tell the boy the truth but Carol tries to get him to reconsider, especially with the damage Henry may already suffer from killing a person at this young an age. Morgan finally comes around to Carol’s way of thinking when he lies to Henry and says that he already killed the man responsible for Benjamin’s death when he shoved his bo staff through the back of Gavin’s threat.
Henry seems satisfied while Carol offers a sly smile for Morgan doing the right thing.
Maggie finally comes to a decision about the Saviors when she offers each of them time outside the confinement area to work around the Hilltop — surrounded by arm guards of course — and that’s when they get a knock at the door.
Daryl and the rest of the survivors have made it to the Hilltop — and they soon have to share the sad news that Carl didn’t make it out alive. That devastates Enid, who made her way back after leaving Oceanside a week ago. Everybody is rocked by the news while also glad to know that the Alexandrians survived the onslaught from the Saviors.
Inside, Siddiq offers a helping hand with whatever medical needs the community might need as he has medical experience, which seems like a blessing in disguise considering Dr. Carson will never make it to the Hilltop to help deliver Maggie’s baby.
A few hours after the rest of the Alexandrians arrive, another shout is heard from the outlook posts — Rick has arrived at the Hilltop but what plan does he have in mind to fight back against the Saviors?
Join the Club
After the all out assault on Alexandria and the Kingdom, Negan is formulating his next plan of attack to finish off Rick and the other communities rising up against him. He informs Eugene about Dr. Carson and Father Gabriel escaping — but he has no idea who actually let them out. Eugene is understandably nervous but Negan clearly doesn’t know his new right hand man betrayed him.
Negan then informs Eugene that he will be leading his own outpost where he will oversee the manufacture of bullets that they will need to defeat Rick and the rest of the survivors.
At the outpost, Eugene is starting to have his own Negan-complex as he orders people around — including a woman that was sent there to serve him. She tries to cater to his ego but instead Eugene makes her a servant to his every need.
A moment later, Negan storms into the outpost with a new helping hand — it’s Father Gabriel.
Negan informs Eugene that Gabriel confessed — it was Dr. Carson who helped him escape but now the good doctor is dead. As for Gabriel, sickness has invade his body as well as his eyes but he can still serve a purpose by separating the ammunition to help speed up the process of making new bullets.
Eugene tells Negan that it’s going to take some time to get these bullets made but he suggests an alternate plan of attack — using catapults to fling zombies and even dead body parts at their enemies as a piece of mental warfare. That won’t work for Negan but Eugene’s idea gives him a brain storm of his own.
A few minute later, Negan gathers his troops — including Dwight who has now returned — as he explains the new course of action.
As he digs his barbed-wire covered baseball bat through a walker tied to the fence behind him, Negan explains to his soldiers that anything from the zombies that gets inside a living person and they get to join the club — the club of the undead.
Negan decides his new form of attack will include the Saviors gunking up their weapons — bats, knives, arrows, etc — with zombie blood and guts. That way even if they don’t kill one of the survivors, the slightest scratch will get infected and then that person is bound to die anyways.
Negan is playing for keeps and that means he’s willing to turn his enemies into zombies if that will help him win the war. Dwight looks on in horror as he realizes that Rick and his survivors have no idea what they’re up against.
The Walking Dead returns next Sunday night at 9pm ET on AMC and you can see a sneak preview below.