Synopsis of 8×02: It’s a shoot ’em up episode where almost nothing happens until the very end.
Aaron leads a raid on one of the outposts, keeping the Saviors pinned in place until their fallen companions began coming back to life and attacking them. Their cars shielded them somewhat, but boy did they have a lot of bullets. And by the end of the episode, there are a few possible casualties on Rick’s side: Tobin and Aaron’s boyfriend, Eric.
Elsewhere, Morgan, Tara, Jesus, and Diane the archer are at another outpost, debating the best way to clear up a moat of walkers. When a few guys offer to back up Morgan, he gives them the ominous statement of, “I don’t die,” insisting to call the walkers to himself alone. He calls them to himself on the fence line and Diane ensures the alerted Saviors are taken care of.
After the explosion last week, things don’t go exactly as planned for the Kingdom. Walkers spill out of the outpost building while everyone is still disoriented from the blast, but no one gets bitten in the ensuing fight. Unfortunately, the Savior did escape while they were distracted and the rest of the episode is Carol, Ezekiel, and the Kingdom traipsing through the woods after him.
When Jesus and Tara kick in a door and find a cowering man in a closet, Jesus wants to spare him while Tara wants to get the job done. But while they are distracted by arguing, the man gets the better of Jesus and holds a gun to his head. He fights off the man and knocks him out, but Tara still wants to kill him. Before they can decide what to do with him, they’re called to continue their mission.
To prove his point, the two men with Morgan were gunned down and died, but he survived. The Morgan of “Clear” seems to be back as he moves efficiently through the Savior’s building, gunning them down with ease. He’s having flashbacks to a discussion with Rick, when they were at odds ideologically about letting people live. Obviously, he’s changed his mind now.
The Kingdom catches up to the lone Savior trying to warn the rest of them and Shiva takes him down. They weren’t fast enough, though, and they march forward knowing that they’re walking into a fight that the Saviors have been alerted to.
Rick and Daryl lead a group into the building, attempting to find the Saviors’ gun stash, when they are forced to split up. Daryl finds the room he’d been held captive in, while Rick gets into a brutal fight with a Savior. He chokes the man and then impales him on a shelf spike.
Morgan catches up with Jesus’ group, as they have a group of surrendering Saviors at gunpoint. He wants to kill the man who killed Benjamin, essentially forcing the Kingdom to enter All Out War, but Jesus stops him. Jesus also stops Tara, saying that Maggie will listen to what he has to say about sparing people, while Tara thinks that Rick will listen to her about killing them and getting the job done.
After dispatching of the Savior, Rick enters the room he was so desperate to protect and finds… a baby. He has an obvious moment of crisis before another Savior confronts him… a Savior he recognizes. Morales, last seen in the first season of The Walking Dead leaving in an RV with his family, has alerted the Saviors to Rick’s presence and they’re coming.
This was definitely done to reward long-time viewers of the show, who have been asking what happened to him since he left in season one – some 90 episodes ago – and I’m definitely on this hype train. Choo choo!