In ‘The Walking Dead’ recap, Rick visits the Scavengers, Maggie makes a decision on her prisoners and King Ezekiel remains in hiding…
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer — @DamonMartin
The latest episode of ‘The Walking Dead’ landed in several different locations — Alexandria, the Hilltop, the Kingdom as well as the trash heap where the Scavengers reside — as several different stories unfolded this week.
Perhaps the most interesting part of the episode was the start where we begin to realize why everyone was taking Polaroid pictures at the site of all the battles — it’s because the plan between the three communities waging war against Negan and the Saviors was to leave those photos along with notes that could be passed along for updates on how the fight was progressing.
The latest series of notes including news that Rick, Maggie and Ezekiel are expected to meet at the Sanctuary in two days time to make one final surge against Negan and the Saviors in hopes of ending the war once and for all.
Rick speaks about the sacrifices that have already been made but notes that the fight isn’t over yet and more sacrifices may be required. Rick adds that they’ve left lookouts outside the Sanctuary with sniper rifles just in case anyone opens the doors on the buildings so they can open fire. Right now, the Sanctuary is still surrounded by walkers all trying to claw their way inside with no signs of anyone coming back out again or supplies going in.
Maggie explains how her community has taken in a group of prisoners from one of the Savior outposts and how she’s still contemplating what to do with them.
Unfortunately news from the Kingdom isn’t nearly as good after their entire fighting force was wiped out in a matter of seconds after they attacked a Savior outpost and were gunned down by machine gun fire.
Rick hopes that these will be the final days of this war as everyone is gearing up for another massive battle to crush Negan once and for all. As defeated as the Saviors might look right now, something tells me this fight is far from over.
With that said, let’s recap the latest episode of ‘The Walking Dead’ titled ‘The King, The Widow and Rick’…
Prisoners of War
At the Hilltop, the debate rages on whether or not to keep the Saviors who surrendered captive or to kill them all. Jesus obviously falls on the side of keeping them alive as he feeds them leftover turnips from the pantry basement at the Hilltop that no one seems to like very much.
Of course, Gregory argues vehemently against keeping the Saviors alive but Maggie is forced to put him back in his place after he willingly tried to sacrifice everybody to the Saviors just a matter of days ago.
Aaron also returns to the Hilltop with the newest member of the community — baby Gracie — and he hands over news from the latest outpost fight where they defeatd the Saviors but his boyfriend Eric was killed.
While the Saviors await word on their fate, Maggie endures a meeting with Gregory where he once again tries to remind her that he once ran this place so she should listen to his advice, especially when it comes to these prisoners of war.
Gregory sees them all as wolves and if they are allowed to enter the gates at the Hilltop, it only takes one of them getting free to slaughter the sheep living inside. Maggie takes those words to heart before making her decision.
The next morning after the Saviors hear construction noises through the wall all night long, the gates open and Maggie proceeds to welcome them inside. Instead of finding a gallows built where they will all be executed, the Saviors find that the people of the Hilltop have built a giant prison cell where they will all reside from here on out.
Maggie explains to them that they will be given food and water, but an uprising by any one of them would be ill advised because the punishment will be severe. Gregory objects to the plan and that’s when Maggie reveals that she absolutely listened to his story about wolves and sheep — and that’s when she orders him tossed in the cell alongside the Saviors.
Gregory can’t be trusted and he shouldn’t be allowed to roam around at the Hilltop with the people he just tried to turn over to Negan.
Inside the cell, Jared — the Savior guard who butted heads with Morgan — attempts to grab a gun from one of the guards but gets smacked with the end of a rifle by Maggie. She’s not playing games with this new idea to keep them prisoner. When Jared later tries to cut off his restraints, one of the other Saviors knocks the rock from his hand and reminds him that they are being treated well enough — don’t rock the boat.
Upstairs, Maggie reconvenes with Aaron and Enid when Jesus shows up to thank her for not slaughtering the Saviors. Maggie regrets to inform Jesus that while she spared their lives, she’s actually keeping them alive just in case they need bargaining chips during the war with Negan. Should he capture any of their people, Maggie will use them as a way to make an exchange.
Maggie then says if no exchange is ever needed, then the prisoners will probably be killed when the war is over.
Finally, Aaron gets ready to head back out for this final fight planned against Negan at the Sanctuary and he gets a road trip buddy this time around. Enid decides it’s time for her to join the fight and she hops in the car with him as they leave with plans to help Rick end the war once and for all.
After a brief encounter during the season debut, Carl goes on the hunt looking for the man he ran into at the gas station looking for food that Rick eventually scared away with a couple of warning shots from his gun.
Why Carl felt so compelled to find this guy, we’ll never know but his name is Siddiq and he’s been surviving out in the woods with little food or water and killing zombies to release their souls, which is something his mother told him before she met her own untimely death.
Carl decides to use Rick’s three question test on Siddiq to see if he’s worthy of being allowed behind the gates at Alexandria. Siddiq says all the right things and seems like a stand up guy so Carl decides to lead him back to the safe zone where he will be allowed to join their community.
Along the way, Carl and Siddiq run into a larger than expected group of walkers that they must defeat before returning to Alexandria. While both of them get into some trouble, Carl and Siddiq survive, neither abandons the other one and now they have a better sense of trust as they continue the journey back to Alexandria.
Siddiq is surprised to find kindness in this horrible new world and Carl replies by saying that he’s now his responsibility as they walk back to the safe zone together.
Michonne is finally up and moving after she was severely beaten when the Saviors showed up at Alexandria just before the war started and she’s anxious to see what has been done thus far in the war. She takes a car to drive to the Sanctuary to see the damage done but Rosita refuses to allow her to go alone.
They end up driving to reach the Sanctuary but along the way they keep hearing these loud bursts of opera music blaring through the wooded area on the road. Michonne and Rosita stop the car and wander into the woods to investigate.
Meanwhile back in Alexandria, Daryl talks to Tara about the plans to end the war. Tara tells him that she’s happy he didn’t allow her to kill Dwight when he first arrived offering to help them fight against Negan because without his inside knowledge, they would have never gotten as far as they are in the fight with the Saviors.
Still, Tara promises once the war is won that she will be the person to kill Dwight.
Daryl doesn’t disagree with her plan of action but instead offers a different solution. He tells Tara that they can end the war together, right now, if she’s willing to follow along with his plan. It’s the same plan Daryl told Rick about last week where they would drop in several sticks of dynamite, destroying the walls left standing at the Sanctuary and the zombie herd outside would pour in.
Rick was against it because he felt too many innocent people would be killed as many of them are just there for safety and security and aren’t necessarily fighting Negan’s war. Daryl obviously disagrees and he’s still thinking about blowing the place up and now he has a partner willing to back his idea.
Back in the woods, Michonne and Rosita discover a Savior outpost that is still standing. Inside, they find a pair of Saviors building a giant truck filled with speakers and that’s where they were hearing the opera music. The Saviors are planning on taking that truck to the Sanctuary, turning up the music and hopefully luring the walkers away from the doors to allow everyone to escape unharmed.
Before Michonne and Rosita can ambush them, the Saviors hear them crawling around and they open fire as fight breaks out in the warehouse. Rosita ends up using a rocket launcher to kill one of the Saviors on the attack. Unfortunately, Michonne can’t do the same to the Savior she’s fighting because her injuries are still severe enough that she can’t move very well.
The last remaining Savior is able to get into the truck and drive away just as Rosita and Michonne emerge, obviously disappointed that they filed to stop them. A second later, a garbage truck comes out of nowhere and blasts the Savior’s vehicle, crushing the speakers into a million pieces.
Daryl jumps out of the garbage truck, kills the Savior and then runs into Michonne and Rosita as she explains her need to see the Sanctuary after the initial attack from the three communities.
They finally arrive just outside the Sanctuary walls as Daryl and Michonne look through a scope to find that the zombie horde is still clawing away trying to get inside and nobody from the Saviors appears ready to come out and stop it.
Daryl seems more than ready to sacrifice the rest of the the people living at the Sanctuary — including Dwight — to put an end to this war right now instead of later.
King Without a Crown
At the Kingdom, Carol is putting together plans to meet Rick and Maggie at the Sanctuary to put an end to the war but King Ezekiel is nowhere to be found. He’s been locked up in seclusion inside his home ever since they returned from the fight that saw the majority of the soldiers from the Kingdom slaughtered by the Saviors.
Carol continues her battle plans when Benjamin’s little brother Henry offers to help her fight. Carol tried to tell Ezekiel and Jerry that they needed to mount whatever forces are left from the Kingdom to help this fight, but the king isn’t taking any visitors and time is running short.
Henry is determined to help and he even follows Carol into the woods where he ends up fighting a pair of walkers until both are cut down by gunfire. Carol scolds the boy for not listening to her but he insists on helping so she hands him a gun and tells him to stay close.
Finally, Carol confronts King Ezekiel and tells him that it’s finally time for him to truly lead because his people need him more than ever right now. Unfortunately, Ezekiel feels like an even bigger fraud now that he led his soldiers into certain doom and he can’t face their families as he’s the one responsible for allowing them to get killed.
Carol tries to tell him that these people believe in him — whether he believes in himself or not — and while his accent and over the top behavior might seem cartoonish, the people living in the Kingdom have come to count on him and now he needs to be there for them. Still, Ezekiel refuses the call and can’t crawl out of his home to face the people he feels he let down as much as she might need him to rally them for the remainder of this war.
One Last Try
Following his fight with Daryl last week, Rick finally arrives at his destination on foot as he shows up at the garbage heap that Jadis and her Scavengers call home.
Rick is allowed inside where he explains the fight against the Saviors and how they are winning the war and he’s extended an olive branch one last time to the Scavengers offering them to join the fight. Rick doesn’t seem to mind much that the Scavengers betrayed them or that Jadis grazed him with a bullet — for some reason he’s dead set on adding them to his army despite telling her over and over again that they are going to win and if she doesn’t join, they will be crushed when the war is over.
Jadis declines his invitation and ultimately strips Rick down to his underwear and places him in a storage container she marks with an ‘A’ — much like the letters we saw back at Terminus a few seasons ago. Rick is left sweating inside the box waiting for Jadis to make her next move. Perhaps she intends on handing him over to Negan as everyone has been instructed for the king, the widow and Rick.
On paper, Rick’s arrival to ask the Scavengers to join them seemed rather stupid and pointless. After all, Rick tells them numerous times that the war is effectively over already and the Scavengers will be crushed if they don’t join. That leads me to believe Rick has a plan that will not only free him from that cell but perhaps he’s going to put down Jadis and her people for good.
Otherwise, Rick might just be the worst strategist since Custer at the Battle of Little Big Horn.
‘The Walking Dead’ returns next Sunday night at 9pm ET for a brand new episode on AMC. Take a look at the preview below.