Synopsis of 6×12: Jason Bourne meets The Walking Dead in an incredibly intense raid on the Saviors’ compound.
The best episode of The Walking Dead in a while starts with Carol going through the food pantry, and ultimately foraging for acorns, to make some kind of beet-and-acorn cookie that she hands out to the Alexandrians – including Tobin, whom she flirts with out of seemingly nowhere.
Rick comes back bearing bad news and then Morgan approaches Carol about the cover-up of his trying to domesticate a wolf. Somehow, not telling people is protecting Denise? He tries to tell her that it’s partially her fault if she doesn’t tell people and she easily dismisses that claim, sending him away from her. Carol then proceeds to put a final cookie on Sam’s grave, kicking off a look at most of our characters’ compassions and humanity in this episode.
In the church where everyone gathered, Rick is giving a blasphemous speech about how this is the only way to feed Alexandria. It’s startlingly similar to the Termites’ state of mind when they turned to cannibalism to feed themselves, but Rick insists this must be a group decision. Morgan, of course, has to question the attack first, ask questions later option and is skeptical that they can beat this unknown group.
Luckily, Rick is sure and wants nothing to do with Morgan’s thoughts on giving them a choice. Morgan wants to talk to them, but Rick says that they’ll lose their advantage that way. Surprisingly, a savagely calm Aaron stands up to claim that what happened in Alexandria, won’t happen again. He’s clearly still feeling the guilt of being the one to lead the Wolves to their door. In the end, Rick settles on telling everyone that they don’t have to kill, but they have to accept what’s going to be done.
Carol gets up in the night and writes out a list of all of her kills – eighteen in total (Ryan Samuels, Lizzie and Mika’s dad, Karen and David from the prison, people from Terminus and the courtyard, the candlewoman in Terminus, and a bunch of Wolves). She finds herself wandering and smoking and ends up at Tobin’s stoop. I’m not sure I can ever remember another scene the two character’s shared before this episode, but they flirt some more, he worries about her safety, tells her what a great mom to the community she is, and they kiss.
Meanwhile, Abraham is pretty indelicately breaking up with Rosita, who only finds out when she sees him packing his stuff. She asks why and he gives us another dolphin smooth line with, “Why are dingleberries brown? It’s just the way shit is!” And when that doesn’t work, he does the whole it’s-not-me-it’s-you thing with, “When I first met you, I thought you were the last woman on earth. You’re not.” Ouch.
The man from the Hilltop, who has been inside the Saviors compound, is grilled about the layout and does his best to draw the compound and gives the details of what he remembers to Rick. Meanwhile, Maggie and Glenn talk about how it’s important to her that she be there, even as just a perimeter lookout. And Tara and Denise are discussing the impending battle and Tara blurts out that she loves her.
When the plan is settled, Rick’s group goes out into the woods in search of a walker head that resembles Gregory’s. Rick and Gabriel have a small heart to heart, while an angry Rosita lays into Carol about keeping Morgan’s pet Wolf a secret. Glenn and Heath also get a chance to discuss how they’ve been lucky enough to avoid killing a human being so far. Again, it’s a look into how everyone’s humanity is slowly eroding away.
Rick goes over the plan again – they’re going to hit the compound a few hours before dawn when everyone is tired or sleeping and if they don’t like what they see, they’ll regroup. He drives home that this is how they eat and then Carol privately argues with him about where Maggie should be in this fight. Ultimately, she decides to stay on the perimeter with Maggie when everything goes down, even though Rick would prefer her in there with them going after the guns.
After looking at their pick of heads, they decide on one that is almost perfect. It’s just the nose is kind of wrong. To fix this, Rick proceeds to pick up their chosen head and punch it violently a few times. Horrified, the man from the Hilltop explains, “The Saviors, they’re scary, but this prick’s got nothing on you.”
Bludgeoned head in tow, the same guy presents it to the Saviors and nervously passes the test. I feel like they’re priming us for Negan with shitbrains and needledick, but I’ll take it. When one of the guards goes to get their hostage, Rick’s group swoops in and kills the guard left behind. They hide and, as soon as the other guy comes back with the Hilltop survivor, they converge on him as well – killing him and getting into the building.
They begin ruthlessly and efficiently sweeping the building for people. Rick kills a man in his sleep with no hesitation, while Glenn does it in another room and nearly cries. He proceeds to stop Heath from making his first human kill and kills a second man in his sleep. Glenn also finds a disturbing amount of Polaroids with pictures of smashed in heads.
Waiting in a vehicle is Tara, Gabriel, and Jesus and she thinks it’s the right time to confess her earlier indiscretions. Tara tells them that she told Denise she loved her to distract her from what she was really thinking. Jesus explains that she knows what she’s fighting for now, as long as she meant it.
Inside, Sasha and Abraham find a locked door. While she’s trying to jimmy it open, another guy comes out of a room across the hall and attacks Abraham. Sasha stabs him, but doesn’t kill him before he trips the fire alarm – alerting everyone else in the place to the invasion.
Hearing it, Maggie wants to rush in and help them, but Carol stops her. They have a heated argument about what Maggie’s role should be and how she should be handling things while being pregnant. It’s clear that Carol is projecting.
With shit hitting the fan, the two Hilltop guys head for home while Jesus opts to stay behind and help them fight. It’s essentially a nonstop few minutes of gunfire and chaos while everyone in the group is threatened. Glenn and Heath don’t hesitate to rain bullets through a door at their attackers, Gabriel speaks with someone for a moment before shooting him and dropping a hilarious, “Amen.”
By the time the group makes it out of the compound – miraculously all of them have survived! – it’s morning and they’re regrouping well. Tara and Heath leave in an RV that’s found on the property, while Rick and Michonne talk about what happened. While she wonders which one was Negan, they stop a Savior from escaping on a motorcycle.
As he begs them to kill him, the walkie talkie he had on him orders them all to drop their weapons. It’s a female voice, who informs them that they’ve got a Carol and a Maggie and the episode ends. Things can only get worse from here, folks.