Last night’s The Walking Dead was a bit of a mixture. We saw the Saviors attack the Hilltop, there was gun fights, hordes of dead, and a lot of interesting developments, all of which I had totally called… of course this is only because they stuck so close to the comics. I do sometimes wonder what it would be like to live in a world where I didn’t know what was coming on this show. How I pity you puny mortals.
There was a lot I did predict that was not from the comics (I don’t mean to blow my own horn all the time, but it does make a point about how predictable the show actually is). Such as we did not get to see any of what happened to Negan when we last saw him with Jadis at gunpoint. As well as that random bloke who Carol was friends with, and who fancied her, and who was a much better father to Judith than Rick would ever be, would be the one who was infected with a zombie-guts coated bullet, resulting in him turning with the walls of the Hilltop. I hope I did mention this in a previous review so I don’t look like a colossal liar.
In the comics (again with this!) it was a character called Nicolas who suffered the same fate as this guy (I have no idea what his name is, but he has been in it for a number of seasons now), and as we all know the show used the character of Nicolas as that guy who Glenn had beef with and shot himself on top of the dumpster, making us believe that Glenn had copped it.
So anyway, the episode began with Morgan being a bit of a weirdo. I haven’t really bought into Morgan’s mental breakdown, as it seems a bit sudden and out of the blue. The character has had so many dramatic changes over the years that I am actually struggling to keep up with him.
Throughout this episode he was visited by Gavin, who was previously killed by that kid at the Kingdom by driving a spear through the back of his neck and out the other side. Here he is appearing to Morgan as some kind of Force Ghost to tell him something that I have no idea what the hell he is actually going on about. Thankfully he is just as unenthusiastic as ever, as I really did miss him for that.
This is not the first time dead characters have reappeared. Shane appeared in Woodbury to Rick, Lori appeared as the woman in the white dress to Rick, Tyresse saw the Governor before he met his maker, and in a similar way, Gavin is spouting some convoluted nonsense that I have no clue as to what it is referring to.
This happened a couple of times throughout the episode, and personally I could not care one single bit.
Other than that, and a few stupid tactics Rick pulls off towards the end of the episode I will get to in a moment, I actually quite enjoyed the episode. I didn’t really care much for the gunfight, as all Walking Dead gunfights have started to turn the same, where they have infinity ammo and no one of importance ever dies, but a section in the middle of the episode, which actually felt quite horror like (which for me is the one thing that is usually missing from ‘zombie’ relating media), and I really enjoyed it for it.
But before we get to that, Simon shows up at the Hilltop with his men (flying under Negan’s banner). Maggie (referring herself as the Widow… maybe in an attempt to remind Negan that he has taken her husband from her, but I did find it a bit strange the way she introduced herself as this), speaks to Simon on a walkie talkie, telling him that she has 38 of his men here as prisoners and that she will kill them if they do not leave. Simon is not in the mood for any more of this bollocks, especially not now that he is running the show, and says that they got themselves into this mess and that they are now damaged goods. Thankfully this is overheard by the captive Saviors who, some, seem to be annoyed at this. Maybe this was Maggie’s plan; to rally more of them on her side.
But then suddenly Daryl appears, as I said he would do soon doing something cool on his motorcycle, and he has mounted an assault rifle to it, and as the Hilltop opens the gates, the Saviors drive straight in.
If this was Game of Thrones, Simon would have known to wait it out and starve out the Hilltop, as they knew they didn’t have much food. But instead he rushes in there with his men, resulting in them being bottlenecked in the doorway, then fighting in the unknown, then the dark. It was all just a terrible assault.
There is a point when Simon some how survives being in the middle of the open with about a hundred guns pointed at him and his men, yet somehow he manages to survive. No one of importance ever dies during these fights. It is never dramatic enough for the show.
At this point I’d like to throw out that the guy Carol was mates with (I want to say his name is Tobin?) gets slashed, but is thankfully saved by Carol and worked on by Siddiq. All of this is important for later.
So during the battle, Daryl witnesses Dwight and Simon sneaking up on Tara, and just as Simon is about to shoot her, Daryl pops her in the arm with his crossbow and the two leg it. Daryl sees this as Dwight being on the other side once again! But the truth is that Dwight’s crossbow bolts are not coated in zombie goo, so he did that to make himself look like he is still on the Saviors’ side to the Saviors, but kept her from being killed by Simon.
I know this does ruin this big moment later on in the episode when they work out the weapons are covered in zombie muck, and that Tara’s days are possibly up, but we all know that this was not going to happen. And the less I talk about Tara the bloody better!
So Rick and the rearguard show up as some of the Saviors are trying to escape and cut their way through them to get inside. The kill a bunch of them, but stupidly move away from the front gate, allowing Simon, Dwight and about two trucks worth of Saviors to escape.
Now, if it was me. I would have had my men watching that one tiny exit and blast whoever comes outside, while Maggie, Ezekiel and everyone else, had the inside, resulting in the Saviors being completely trapped and easy to slaughter, instead Rick let them go. Good one Dick.
The next day after the battle, the sick are treated in the field hospital, and the dead are buried.
I am curious as to why they bury the dead inside. Surely this takes up a lot of space, especially after this episode. It would make more sense to bury them in the fields surrounding the Hilltop and some living accommodation can go there? I dunno… I am not in charge I guess.
It is during this clean up that Daryl and Tara speak of their views on Dwight. Tara seems like she has forgiving him, but Daryl is out for his blood after what he had seen… and everything else.
It was funny as the last time Tara was talking about Dwight in a previous episode, she mentioned that “You don’t just switch sides” and suddenly on Instagram there were loads of Memes about her standing side by side with the Governor. Well this conversation addressed that and Tara quickly brushed this aside.
Meanwhile Tobin (?) is recovering and Carol and him have a little random moment (despite the fact that this storyline has not been mentioned for about 3 seasons) and she leaves him with the other wounded people to get better.
There is hints that more death is on the horizon, as we see people who were injured with the Saviors’ zombie weapons resting all over the place, and that night… shit goes down.
Tobin is probably the first to die in his sleep and reanimate. The show actually did a good job of building up the suspense as we witness his death rattle, followed by a brief passage of time before he returned. He feeds on one of the other patients, and soon the entire place is slaughter. Some woman (who we have never seen before so clearly she is going to die) comes to check on them, only to be mauled by Tobin, who must now be on a 10 kill streak. The horde moves over to the manor, where inside more people are starting to reanimate.
Eventually the dead feed on people just sleep in the manor’s hallway, and a massacre erupts.
Rick and everyone then fight against the dead, as well as chopping off limbs of people who have been bit, and eventually the slaughter is stopped. They manage to work out how this happened (I am not sure how. I would have never jumped to this conclusion), and they have to deal with anyone who was injured by a Saviors’ weapon.
Now, during this, just before the shit hit the fan and the screams and gunfire went off, that little turd who killed Gavin and is sort of Morgan’s student, takes it upon himself to go and speak to Gregory to find out if any of the captive Saviors were the one who killed his brother. This was a subplot I had completely forgotten about, and I can’t help but the show suddenly remembers these out of the blue and decides that now is a good time to use this to make something interesting happen.
Well Gregory tries to talk him down, saying that killing the Saviors won’t help him, but at the same time asks the kid to let them out. That good guy Savior comes over and tries to get involved, saying how his brother died as well and yadda yadda yadda, but the kid doesn’t listen as he heads over to the gate and opens the pen.
Meanwhile that bastard rat-like Savior gets involved, yet hides behind a fatter (bullet sponge) Savior, and when the screams and that come from the manor, distracting the boy, the rat Savior tackles him and takes the gun, allowing all the prisoners to escape.
When Maggie and the others find the good guy Savior, who has just helped Siddiq, he says that he wants to fight with them, along with some of the other Saviors, while most of them fled during the commotion and escaped the Hilltop to return back to Sanctuary.
I can’t really remember if anything of importance happened after that. So I am going to say that this was the end of the episode.
Overall the episode was actually quite good. I found myself intrigue to see what would happen when the injured people turned within the Hilltop, and I was not disappointed.
Although the episode was littered with stupid mistakes, some of which I do not think people would actually be stupid enough to make, but I have come to accept this about the show (sort of. I still moan a lot).
But it was an enjoyable episode and one that is a good lead up to the season finale, now that we enter the final three episodes.
Maybe next week we will see what happened with Negan and Jadis, and we are left wondering how the season will actually end, now that the Saviors have assaulted Hilltop, so doing it again might seem a little lame.