If you would like to read my recap of the last episode, click here. We are now back. This season started with a lot of fanfare with the introduction of Negan. I won’t spoil for those who haven’t yet watched Season 7. It was a great start but all subsequent episodes were unable to sustain that level because of its overreliance on Negan. This season so far has been brutal to say the least so let’s see what happens for the rest of the season.
Synopsis: Jesus leads the group to the Kingdom, to convince King Ezekiel to help them and the Hilltop against the Saviors. Back at Alexandria, Father Gabriel falls into a trap.(IMDB)
Writer: Angela Kang
Director: Greg Nicotero
Running Time: 51mins
The episode started off with Father Gabriel basically packing up as many supplies as he could before leaving. Why was he leaving? Maybe something is coming? Who knows? More on that later. The last episode ended with Rick and the team heading to the Hilltop to recruit people for their army to take on the Saviors. Their meeting with Gregory pretty much went as expected with him not wanting anything to do with them or their plan because he’s a coward. Luckily he did not speak for the rest of the people because Enid was able to roundup a group of willing participants but they just had to be trained. Now who’s going to do that?
Their next stop was the Kingdom. Jesus was already close to the people there so their arrival was uneventful. It’s nice to finally see these others communities beginning to matter and it was kind of cool to see Rick and the gang in the Kingdom for the first time. This meant a reunion with Morgan but unfortunately not Carol, she only got one scene where she spotted Ben trekking through the woods while no subtly checking up on Carol. The first thing they asked Morgan was what happened to Carol and he told them what happened and the fact that he killed people which was noteworthy.
Their arrival at the Kingdom also meant meeting King Ezekiel and Shiva. Their reaction wasn’t exactly what I expected because Shiva is a tiger after all. They should’ve played this up a little more. Rick pleaded his case, explaining what the Saviors did to them. There Morgan heard about what happened while he was gone. Despite the Kingdom’s tactical advantage, Ezekiel was still apprehensive about helping Rick, no thanks to Morgan and his anti-violence stance. Just like Gregory, he did not offer help but allowed Daryl to stay to protect him from the Saviors. Now it is up to Daryl to convince Ezekiel to help them.
On their way back, they encountered a vehicle blockade on the road and also a chain of barbed wire fitted with various explosives. Seeing their obvious use, the gang went about disarming the explosives in order to later use them against the Saviors. There we witnessed some animosity between Sasha and Rosita over Abraham which felt out of place. While they were disarming the explosives, a herd of Walkers had to show up and Rick being who he was, pushed it to the very last second in order to get as much as possible. This didn’t come as much of a surprise but what did was an awesome sequence involving Rick and Michonne driving the cars connected by barbed wire across most of the herd of Walkers.
Thanks to Jesus swiping a radio from the Saviors, they were able to hear that they were looking for Daryl after having escaped so they raced back to Alexandria to try and get there before the Saviors but the Saviors got there not too long afterwards. They didn’t want stuff but just Daryl. They tore up Alexandria in looking for Daryl but didn’t find them. What they did find was a lot of stuff missing because Gabriel took it all. The group was split as to why he might have done it. Either he had a good reason or he just ran away.
Gabriel left some evidence behind, leading them to believe that he was going to that boat where Rick and Aaron were earlier. So they decided to venture out with Aaron’s departure causing problems with Eric. They found strange footprints and in wandering around, they did not find Gabriel but rather found a large group of people surrounding them at gunpoint and Rick just smiled for some reason. They appeared to be similar to the person who was observing Alexandria in the post-credit scene of the midseason finale.
Overall, this was a good episode which was a little slower which was expected but built up as it went on. It was a little scattered tone wise but that was okay. It didn’t come as much of a surprise that Gregory and Ezekiel said no but one or both will inevitably change their minds. The reveal at the end was interesting and I can’t wait to see how it goes and no Negan was nice (we only got his voice).