Synopsis of 8×06: No one wants to stick to the plan on this week’s episode, leading to a lot more dangerous circumstances than if everyone just kept to their mission.
Through the use of voice-overs and elaborately planned delivery systems, this Walking Dead opener was one of the best in a while. It promised an amazing episode as Rick continued to rally, Maggie explained her new complications on the Hilltop, and Carol delivered the sad news about the Kingdom… and then Rick walked into the stronghold of the trash people without any backup.
Jesus is handing out radishes to the saviors, who still haven’t been let into the Hilltop, when Maggie confronts him about giving away their food. She, Jesus, and Gregory have a disagreement on how to handle their guests – right in front of them – that ends with Jesus reminding Maggie that they need to be able to salvage what is left when the dust settles. Jared, the Savior who is going to continue to be an issue until killed, is predictably annoying.
Rick’s grand plan seems to be to convince the trash people, who have already double-crossed them once and made it clear that they don’t bother, to join up with them against the Saviors. He uses the polaroids he’s been taking all season as evidence of their power, but Jadis is unmoved. She outright declines his offer, stating the obvious: he talks too much.
Meanwhile, Carol wants to speak to Ezekiel, who has closed himself away while Jerry willingly stands guard outside. When Jerry warns her off of confronting the King, she goes to leave and a little boy offers to fight alongside her. She declines and storms off. Carol later finds the kid fending off a walker on his own, having followed her in hopes to avenge his brother’s death. She hands him a gun and lets him tag along.
Gregory meets with Maggie in what used to be his office, telling her that she should kill the Saviors for the good of the community. Outside, Jesus begins talking to the Saviors and learns why one of them joined the group. It’s not quite bonding, but it appears that Jesus is gaining an understanding just as they are.
In Alexandria, Michonne and Rosita decide that they have to see the remnants of the Sanctuary for themselves. It isn’t until they’re on the road that they hear music in the distance and follow it towards a warehouse. At the same time, Daryl and Tara discuss letting Dwight live to assist them. Tara wants to kill him when everything is over and Daryl doesn’t think they’ll need to wait that long to exact revenge.
Carl, having also left Alexandria again, watches the man from the gas station kill a walker that looked caught in a trap. He confronts the man and learns that his name is Siddiq, tossing him food and water and asking him the standard questions for entry into Alexandria. Siddiq answers them and also explains that his mother thought killing the walkers would free their souls.
On their way back to Alexandria, Siddiq and Carl come across some walkers feasting on a deer. In honor of Siddiq’s mom, they go to free their souls, but there are more than expected and Carl gets quickly overrun. After a tough struggle, they manage to survive and Carl explains to Siddiq that he’s responsible for him now, so the whole event is a non-issue.
Enid has Jesus bring the Saviors inside the walls of the Hilltop at Maggie’s request. Instead of a gallows, there’s a penned in area for the Saviors to stay. Gregory throws a fit at Maggie’s show of mercy before she puts him inside the cage with the Saviors. Jared causes a fuss, but instead of killing him, Maggie just puts him in his place temporarily.
In the warehouse, Michonne and Rosita spot two Saviors who have built a giant truck full of speakers meant to lure the walkers away from the Sanctuary. Michonne accidentally alerts them of their presence and what follows is a slapstick-level ridiculous fight. She struggles to wield her katana and Rosita drops her gun, but manages to pick up a rocket launcher?
The Savior taunts Rosita, claiming she won’t use the rocket launcher, but without hesitation she fires and we’re all graced with some spectacularly bad CGI explosions that only manage to evaporate the man and nothing else around him. The female savior manages to make an escape though – driving out of the warehouse where she’s t-boned by Daryl and Tara in a garbage truck.
Having had enough, Carol returns to the Kingdom to confront Ezekiel. Jerry stops her from needlessly shooting an unlocked door and she storms in full of fury. Holding Shiva’s chains, Ezekiel explains to her about how he feels lost and how only Carol made him feel real. She encourages him to continue leading his people and it’s another nice moment of character development in the episode.
Jared tries to cut his bindings with a rock, but one of the other Saviors stops him as Gregory looks on. Inside, Aaron is telling Enid and Maggie about Eric’s death when Jesus comes to thank her for sparing the Saviors. Maggie explains to him that they might be bargaining chips for their own people in the future, but that if they don’t need them, they’ll have to kill them later. It’s all strategy to her. Afterwards, Aaron and Enid leave the Hilltop for destinations unknown.
Having been caught, Rosita and Michonne explain why they’re outside of Alexandria and Daryl and Tara simply tell them that they’re there to do work. At least they take Michonne and Rosita to the Sanctuary so that they can see it for themselves.
Back with the trash people, a naked Rick is locked in a shipping container – one that Jadis writes an A on before the episode ends.