Synopsis of 8×12: Maggie may have found a surprising new ally, Rick continues to pursue his revenge against Negan, and Simon sees an opportunity to shake up the Saviors.

If you didn’t want to start your episode with a bunch of Savior-face close-ups… sorry, fast-forward through Negan, Simon, and Dwight. Once that’s done, Negan visits Dwight’s room and welcomes him home with booze. He over-explains how he got back to them and it’s hard to read how Negan takes this news, but he welcomes him back to his top spot regardless.

Later, the Saviors are disemboweling walkers for their Hilltop hello — including Simon, who still seems skeptical of this plan. As they load up, Dwight tries to “scout ahead” presumably to warn the Hilltop about what’s coming. Unfortunately, Simon stops Dwight and tells him to ride with him instead. They have actual scouts, there’s no need for Dwight to go ahead. With no other choice, he climbs into Simon’s car. He really wanted this time to try to gauge Dwight’s feelings on Negan’s leadership.

Rick and Michonne finally make it to the Hilltop themselves, where Rick says hello to his daughter and then visits Glenn and Abraham’s graves. Daryl finds him there and apologizes for his actions in trying to end the Sanctuary feud quickly. Rick admits that he should have only cared about his own people and not the innocent Saviors. Daryl offers to go with him when they head out again, but Rick insists that they should split up and that he’ll be okay in the wake of Carl’s death.

Rosita and Maggie are discussing what will come after Negan is dead when Maggie notices a crate outside the Hilltop. When Rosita brings it inside, it’s a request for records and a meeting location. Michonne wants to meet with the people and Maggie, Rosita, and Enid decide to go with her in case it’s a trap.

While scouting, Rick spots the Saviors’ caravan headed towards the Hilltop. He uses the opportunity to slam his SUV into Negan’s car (which Simon saw coming and didn’t prevent) to knock him off the path and separate him from his group. In the aftermath, Simon takes charge by having everyone wait it out while he and Dwight go find Negan.

Negan wakes up in the car on its side and covered in walker guts. As he gets his bearings, Rick climbs out of his own smashed up car and starts shooting. Negan runs into a building to escape him as he gives chase. When he runs out of bullets, Negan starts to get cocky, but Rick only hurls his axe at his head. He trips while dodging it and falls through the railing of the second floor, leaving him hanging dangerously down. As Rick runs up to hack his fingers off with an axe, Negan opts to drop down through the floor instead.

Michonne, Maggie, and Enid take the meeting with Georgie and her two guards, Hilda and Midge. Rosita comes from the side as a surprise and Enid proceeds to disarm the guards. Maggie wants everything they have, but Georgie wants records in exchange for food and knowledge. Michonne wants to make the deal, but Maggie decides to take them back to the Hilltop instead.

In the basement, Rick can hear Negan and is surprised to find him alive still. “I’m a goddamn cat!” is the best line of the episode, fight me. Negan tries to talk Rick down from his crazy breakdown and offers up a new deal in honor of Carl: if Rick gets the Hilltop and the Kingdom back in line, Negan will only take 25% of their stuff as long as Rick comes to work for him. Rick doesn’t believe him because of what happened to the garbage people, which is news to Negan.

Simon again tries to engage Dwight in treasonous talk, this time with Dwight sarcastically telling him that he’s never thought about killing Negan — not even after he took his wife or burned his face. He thinks Dwight’s done what he had to in order to survive, something Negan isn’t doing anymore. His grand plan for the Saviors is scorched earth and moving on to a new place. Dwight signals his acceptance of Simon’s plan by lighting Negan’s abandoned car on fire and stopping the search for him.

At the Hilltop, Michonne again argues that they need to make the deal with Georgie and let her go before the Saviors arrive. With a very Savior-mindset, Enid thinks they need to take their stuff because someone else will eventually anyway. Michonne reminds them that Carl rescued Siddiq and now they have a doctor and Enid angrily reminds her that Carl is dead. Maggie agrees with Enid that things don’t just work out.

Rick finds Lucille before Negan does and lights her on fire before an angry Negan tackles him through a door into a room full of walkers. As Rick hits walker and wall alike, they’re slowly set on fire. Negan tells him he’s a psychopath who is going to get them both killed, but he does manage to get Lucille back before escaping out of a window.

Maggie does end up changing her mind and offers a crate full of records to Georgie, who offers them more food than she originally did because of the state of the Hilltop. She also gives Maggie an instruction manual filled with plans for windmills, refining grains, and plenty of ways to survive in a medieval society before they leave.

Dwight and Simon return to the rest of the Saviors with the news that they couldn’t locate Negan. Simon gives a rousing speech about how they’re all still Negan and it’s time to move on from this place after they get rid of the Hilltop community. Meanwhile, the actual Negan wakes up in a car with Jadis…

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