Sunday, March 11th, 2018
*WARNING: THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS EXPLICIT DETAIL FROM SUNDAY NIGHT'S EPISODE "DEAD OR ALIVE OR." IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN IT, TURN BACK NOW. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!*
Sunday's episode of The Walking Dead started out with a Saviors stakeout somewhere beyond the Hilltop walls. When a radio call comes through about a possible lead on Dr. Carson, and Father Gabriel leads them elsewhere, Daryl and Co appear. They head into the woods per Daryl's order. Along the way, Tara jumps a walker, quickly turning it over to Dwight. Angry, Daryl warns Tara and tells her to lead the people. They head toward Hilltop. The frame changes to a chain dragging the ground. Upon first personal thought, I speculated a walker-ridden Shiva was amidst Gabriel and Carson's presence. But, it was a typical walker dragging a chain. They map out, Gabriel's sight visibly damaged. Carson mentions this. Carson worries that if the infection spreads, he could be blind forever. Ignoring the doctor's concern, they drive.
When the commercials end, the doctor is evaluating Gabriel's sight. It's very bad. He blames himself for leaving the Sanctuary instead of treating him. Gabriel is not bothered by that but by a sound. A bell. Gabriel pursues, and Carson follows. Shortly after, a mesh type fence is found followed by a house. Daryl and Rosita talk. The people need to rest. Tara insists on knowing what the plan is for Dwight. Daryl says they need him for now. Rosita backs him up. Tara isn't happy. The Hilltop is busy at work. Morgan and Henry are watching over the prisoners. Henry wants to know which savior killed his brother. Carol comes and tells him he should get with Jerry and grab something to eat. Morgan tells Carol that Henry will be okay. Carol doesn't believe, but she keeps watch over the prisoners.
Negan has called Eugene in for a meeting. He is disappointed to hear that on his watch, the only doctor at the Sanctuary has gone missing along with the Father. Eugene is very nervous. Negan promises to find out every detail. Eugene requests to know what happened at Alexandria. Negan angrily asks if he cares. Then, he promotes him to his very own bullet-making outpost. He'll have his crew plus security and two of the wives to cook and give him massages. The only request that Eugene cares about is wine. Will there be wine? (Yes). Carson and Gabriel rifle through the house. The Doctor wants him to rest, but he refuses. Carson isn't optimistic, but Gabriel is.
Daryl, Tara, and Rosita map out their best route of travel. Dwight chimes in, saying the swamps won't be traveled by the Saviors because Negan deemed it too dangerous. Tara doesn't like the idea. She thinks he'll turn on them as he turned on the Saviors, but he says he chose his side. He wants Negan dead, and that's all there is to it. Daryl says they'll try the swamps. Maggie babysits the infant Rick found at the outpost. A woman comes in and informs her that the inventory is low. Rations have to be cut by a third to sustain through the week, and that doesn't include the prisoners. Carson finds a gun. Instead of resting, Gabriel is scrimmaging through. He just so happens to find antibiotics. Daryl tells Dwight that nothing has changed. Dwight says he did it for Cherry. They enter the swamp, and Swamp Walkers begin to appear. Daryl, Rosita, and two others begin to make a path.
Maggie visits the prisoners. She informs them about the rations having to be cut. She tells them that they wont be receiving any good for a few days, maybe even a week. A Savior comes forward, saying that she doesn't have to do that. Perhaps a deal can be made, one prisoner may walk around, guarded to stretch in exchange for the weapons they have. She declines.
Daryl, Rosita, and two others begin to clear out the swamp. So far, everything is clear. Checking with sticks, they clear a half arc in front of them. Rosita finds the first of the Swamp Walkers. She kills it quickly. Daryl and Siddiq find a patch of about twenty. They begin to clear them out one by one. Tara keeps watch along with Dwight. She sees a walker and asks for a volunteer knowing we'll enough she was going to choose Dwight. She throws the blade at him, and they walk towards it. Gabriel can barely see yet he is completely optimistic. He tells Carson he won't say anything, but he found this place on purpose, the meds, then he knocks over a piggy bank that has keys and a map. Their luck just got even better. Dwight apologizes to Denise. Tara gets angry. He says he should stay back. Anger is getting the better of her; she aims at Dwight and shoots. He dodges. He runs until he can't and then she finds him. Holding him at gunpoint, she's ready to fire, but they hear voices. So, they duck into the shrubs.
Gabriel and Carson search the surrounding area following the map. Gabriel instinctively stops, hearing a creaking sound. He looks up and sees a sign then warns the doctor. But, it's too late. A snare has grabbed him, and he is riving in pain. Walkers surround. Gabriel freezes in fear. Carson fights the incoming walkers, some becoming trapped like he. One falls atop him, and he wrestles with it. Gabriel gets to his knees and crawls for the gun. He grabs it and stands. He can't see so how's he doing to shoot? With closed eyes. And, he makes his mark. He gets the walker with a headshot and saves the day. Tara and Dwight hide. He is at her gunpoint. He doesn't have much he can do so he ducks out and raises his hands. They become him back and ask where he'd gone to. He says he has been scrounging. He asks about Laura, but they haven't seen her. So, he plays the role and says he's been searching for the escapees. He leads them away. Rosita finds her and brings her back. Daryl is irate. He goes off on her, but Tara believes Dwight won't rat. He calms at the sight of Judith. They cross the swamp. Gabriel and Carson get into the garage. As they're about to start the car, they're surrounded by Saviors. They're rounded up. Carson follows his gun and goes for the gun but ends up paying for it with his life. They drop him from the bed and Gabriel softly sobs his name.
Daryl and Co arrive at the Hilltop. Judith is in proud uncle Daryl's arms. Daryl gives a solum look then tells them about Carl. Enid is crushed, falling to her knees. Maggie embraces her as the other reunited yet torn souls embrace as well. Henry asks about Carl. She tells him that amidst everything, he died helping someone else. Morgan tells Henry that Gavin killed Benjamin. Siddiq visits Maggie, thanking her. She says it isn't much, but he corrects her. He asks about a medical center, and she wonders if he is hurt. He isn't, but he would like to contribute with his medical knowledge. She directs him to the medic trailer, and she sees a thriving community at work.
Eugene is busy at work in his fancy new outpost when one of the wives Negan selected to cater to him comes up and congratulates him. He shakes her off, taking his crew's dinner order. Then, Negan visits. Gabriel is with him. Eugene is nervous. Negan tells Eugene that Carson was behind it all. Then, he tells Eugene that Gabriel can't see, but he is an extra pair of hands. Eugene babbles, and it makes Negan happy, promoting the response of: "Thank you. And I do believe a rose just sprang from a pile of shit." then he says that tomorrow is a big day. He leaves. Then Gabriel whispers "I believe I may have found my purpose."
Maggie visits the prisoners. She says that they may come out in pairs for work and medical attention. Their rations will be cut to a fourth. Gregory tries to implement an evacuation into her mind. She isn't doing that. Negan has assembled a crew at the walker wall. Dwight appears. He says that the Hilltop people WILL be of use to them one way or another. They're gonna learn to tow their end of the line by spike or being alive or...any kind of shit in between...
Wow! What did you think of this week's episode? Will Negan and his Saviors finally become victorious and get what they want? Will Rick and Michonne arrive in enough time and is Dwight truly safe back at the Sanctuary? Let me know in the comments below!
Author/Editor: Joeleen Gatlin