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The show starts with Sheriff Rick (Andrew Lincoln, Jack Davenport's co-star Egg from This Life) on a highway littered with abandoned vehicles ... It looks like some kind of (zombie) apocalypse has happened.
After the credits, we get the sheriff and his sidekick Shane indulging some character-developing sub-Tarantino dialogue. There is a car crash like something out of Mad Max . Then they get in a shoot-out with gunmen, one of whom falls before his chest-squibs blow. But our hero ends up in hospital ...
Morgan (Lennie James, last seen surviving a nuclear war in Jericho ), is a survivor here as well. This is the Deep South of the USA, where guns are everywhere. But that does not make things easier, because the zombies are attracted to loud noises like gunshots.
Elsewhere, our hero's wife ( Sarah Jane Callies ) and son are with another group of survivors. Will he manage to track them down?
Sheriff Egg and the scavengers (including Michael Rooker as Merle the racist skinhead) are surounded by the zombies. They try several desperate schemes to get past The Walkers. Yes, it uses terms from Dave Moody's story Autumn . It also allows the zombies to sprint short distances, when they are attracted by sound or movement.
The zombies have started to wander into the woods, so the survivors could use the bag of guns that Egg dropped on the street.
One of the survivors has a bad dream, and starts digging graves. The others think he has got heat-stroke. They forget what they discovered last week, that the zombies had started to wander into the woods.
The search party follow Merle's trail. Then they go back for the guns, but meet some other survivors ... a latino street-gang!
The survivors tend their wounds - one of them literally. He needs medical treatment, so Egg wants to take him to the CDC.
Egg has his walkie talkie back, so he tries contacting Morgan (Lennie James - Jericho ) again.
The survivors get to the CDC. But it has limited fuel for the generators, plus a pre-set self-destruct mechanism.
The survivors try to make their way down the highway to the next town. Unfortunately the way is still gridlocked with vehicles abandoned by refugees. Shaun of the Dead let its heroes PRETEND to be zombies by walking among them Zombieland used the same trick, with the survivor using make-up. And in Season One, the trick was to cover yourself in zombie gore so the others could not smell you. But now it seems that all you have to do is hold very still and hope they do not see you move. As long as you are not bleeding profusely, they will not pay any attention to you.
The survivors end up going cross-country. They get broken up into smaller groups. The children are more vulnerable than ever. The crossbow-wielding redneck, Darryl (Norman Reedus - Blade 2 ), is turning into a real team player. The spare cop, Deputy Shane (Jon Bernthal - Eastwick ), feels like a spare wheel and is looking to quit the team. The blonde woman Andrea ( Laurie Holden ) wants to go with him - just to get away from the others.
The deputies and Otis the hunter (Pruitt Taylor Vince - Captivity ) take the boy to a nearby farmhouse. The good news is, Hershel (the father of the group) is a doctor of sorts. The bad news is, he is Pa Angel from Stallone's Judge Dredd Movie. He has two daughters, one of whom is Maggie ( Lauren Cohan ).
Deputy Shane (Jon Bernthal - Eastwick ) the sidekick and Otis the hunter go to the local aid station for medical supplies. The place is zombie central, and the foragers do not have a plan. Do they even get an escape route sorted?
The other party get back to the road. Token black guy's wound is infected. Luckily, Darryl the Hillbilly (Norman Reedus - Blade 2 ) has medical supplies. Once again, he saves the day.
Deputy Shane (Jon Bernthal - Eastwick ) and Hunter Otis (Pruitt Taylor Vince - Captivity ) get trapped in the High School. Can they both get out? Will one of them make a heroic sacrifice? After all, it is not the zombies you need to outrun.
The travellers move in with the farmers. It might just be a temporary situation. However, they still have to find the little girl. Also, one Deputy has a twisted ankle and the other donated three pints of blood. They need time to recover.
One of the farm's wells has a zombie in it. They want to pull it out so it does not contaminate the water. However, someone has to act as live bait.
The Asian kid goes scavenging at the local pharmacists with Maggie ( Lauren Cohan , who now has a Texan accent - possibly she only uses the English accent when she plays a villainous character).
Deputy Shane (Jon Bernthal - Eastwick ) wants to keep moving, forget about the missing child.
Darryl (Norman Reedus - Blade 2 ) goes searching again, until the horse he borrowed gets spooked. Then he is left injured and alone. His subconscious manifests itself in the form of his brother (Michael Rooker).
The Asian kid is keeping two sets of secrets. One woman is pregnant, and asks him to get her the Morning After pill. Will she keep the baby?
Rick the Sheriff accompanies Hershel the Doc on a trip to add more zombies to his collection. The old man feels that a cure is possible, despite what the CDC said.
Dale takes Rick's side, and wants to get rid of the guns.
The climax answers something we have been long awaiting - guns or zombies. This show is a drama at its heart; the conflict is internal (like BSG 2003 ), not external (like BSG 1978 ). But it is nice to be reminded of the constant threat the zombies pose. And finally we discover what happened to the little girl.
Hershel is distraught after the events at the barn. He goes into town to drown his sorrows. Sheriff Egg and Glenn the scavenger go looking for him. They discover that they may not be the only survivors, and that the Walking Dead may not be the only threat.
On the bright side, there may be a colony of survivors in Nebraska. Big, wide open spaces, and everyone has a gun.
Sheriff Egg and his companions are trapped in a bar they were trying to loot. Gun-toting rednecks have them penned in, and the gunshots have attracted zombies.
Elsewhere, Egg's wife ( Sarah Jane Callies ) has crashed her car and is vulnerable to passing zombies. Egg's sidekick Deputy Shane (Jon Bernthal - Eastwick ) is willing to do unscrupulous things to protect her, and her unborn child.
The ep starts with a phony cliffhanger, then reverts back to several hours earlier to show us the setup for the climax.
Egg and his sidekick Deputy Shane (Jon Bernthal - Eastwick ) take their prisoner to a distant location where they will let him go ... or murder him. There is much discussion on the subject, along with other topics of debate between Egg and the buddy who left him for dead and then banged his wife ( Sarah Jane Callies ).
Their concern about the prisoner is actually a good point. Winter is closing in, and if the survivors can scavenge enough supplies they should probably outlive most of the zombies. When Spring arrives, about 28 weeks after the initial outbreak, the greatest threat in the post-Apocalyptic era will be rival human scavengers.
The wives are at the country house, where they have joined a couple of new girls. Yep, women can join Egg's harem but new men are not welcome. Maggie ( Lauren Cohan , best known as Bella from Supernatural ) is the level-headed one, while her younger sister ( Emily Kinney ) is suicidal. And Egg's wife has very traditional views on the division of labour - she berates Andrea ( Laurie Holden ) for standing guard with the men, not doing domestic chores with the women.
The young yokel is back in custody, as releasing him seems out of the question. Darryl (Norman Reedus - Blade 2 ) decides to torture him for info. The Sheriff's son is turning into a child soldier, brutalised by the constant violence. Dale is the only one who thinks that murder is bad.
Sheriff Egg decides to fortify the farmhouse for the winter. The zombies will come knocking sooner or later. And any gunshots will attract them.
Deputy Shane (Jon Bernthal - Eastwick ) decides to make a play of his own. He sneaks the prisoner into the woods, supposedly so he can join the brigands. Then Egg, Darryl (Norman Reedus - Blade 2 ) and Glenn start to search the woods. But the real discovery they make concerns the nature of the zombie infection itself!
After last ep, a horde of zombies are on the loose. They overrun the farm, causing a hasty withdrawal. The group takes losses.
This makes a climactic end to the Season. But it also sets up the next Season, by introducing aspects from the comic series that have yet to be explored.
The survivors are running low on supplies. They seem to have driven in a large circle for the last few months, and arrive at an abandoned prison. The natural idea is to copy Dawn of the Dead by securing the building, then taking zombies out one room at a time.
Elsewhere, Andrea ( Laurie Holden ) is still alive. She has teamed up with the mysterious woman who saved her.
The survivors encounter a small band of convicts, who survived by being locked in the canteen for 292 days. But are these potentially violent offenders trustworthy? Or are Rick and his men becoming like the Brigands - willing to kill other survivors merely because it is convenient?
Rick's son is approaching puberty, and begins pushing boundaries. He goes foraging by himself, confident because he can take out the occasional solitary walker. But his overconfidence may end up getting him in trouble. Worse, he rebels against his mother's overprotectiveness.
Michonne is suspicious of the strangers - but then, she is not a very trusting person.
Does the Governor have a deep, dark secret? Of course! The real question is ... is there only one secret?
The prison is overrun with zombies again. These are not convicts - they are outsiders, let in because a saboteur deliberately opened a gate. Worse, the alarm system is activated, summoning even more zombies. Rick and the others fight their way through the labyrinth of corridors to find and disable the emergency generator.
Rick's wife ( Sarah Jane Callies ) is heavily pregnant. She must have an emergency c-section.
In Woodbury, Michonne wants to leave ASAP. But Andrea ( Laurie Holden ) is warming up to the Governor (David Morrissey - The Reaping ). Even Merle (Michael Rooker) is less of an asshole than he used to be.
Michonne's paranoia about the Governor (David Morrissey - The Reaping ) and his men leads to a confrontation. Will she be allowed to leave? Will Andrea ( Laurie Holden ) choose her or the Governor (David Morrissey - The Reaping )?
Back in the Prison, Rick's psychosis leads him to clear out the Walkers single-handed. The convicts help dig the graves, while Darryl (Norman Reedus - Blade 2 ) takes Maggie ( Lauren Cohan ) scavenging for baby supplies.
Last week the Governor (David Morrissey - The Reaping ) had Merle (Michael Rooker) release Michonne. But it was all a ploy - Merle and a trio of goons are now out to hunt her down. Unfortunately for them, she uses her Ninja skills to solve her problems.
Back in the town, Andrea ( Laurie Holden ) comes to terms with how she feels about the Governor.
Rick has to come to terms with what has happened. He talks to the voices on the phone, but they may not have the answers he wants to hear.
Glenn the Asian kid and Maggie ( Lauren Cohan ) the farm-girl are interrogated by Merle. He is a ruthless son of a bitch, but his methods are amateurish.
Rick and the others stage a rescue mission. They are armed with M-16 assault rifles and smoke grenades. They have to shoot their way out, but at least they use decent small unit tactics (like in Heat).
Michonne goes after the Governor (David Morrissey - The Reaping ). She uncovers his nasty little secrets, and he is left the worse for wear. But the attack will have consequences, for the Governor's wrath is a terrible thing.
Rick wanders off, seeing Lori's ghost. This leaves Glenn the Korean kid trying to keep things under control.
Darryl (Norman Reedus - Blade 2 ) and Merle (Michael Rooker) are wandering in the forest,
The newcomer group are all gone, which is a dumb move on Rick's part considering they need the extra manpower to cover the broken perimeter. The only question is, when will the next attack on the prison happen?
Rick decides to arm up, before the Governor (David Morrissey - The Reaping ) attacks. The best place to get a stockpile of weapons is from his old police station. So he takes Carl and Michonne on a road trip.
Our merry band of survivors are not the only humans left alive. They spot a hitch-hiker on the road. Somehow, without weapons or backup, he managed to survive. Of course, our heroes do not trust strangers so they leave him to his fate.
The last time Rick was in town, the only other living humans there were Morgan (Lennie James - Jericho ) and his son. Whatever could have happened to them?
The Governor (David Morrissey - The Reaping ) holds a sit-down with Rick. But will he set reasonable conditions, and can he be trusted to uphold them?
Rick plans to hand Michonne over. He has made some tough decisions - will he go through with it? Merle (Michael Rooker) has plans of his own.
The Governor (David Morrissey - The Reaping ) decides to throw EVERYTHING he has against the prison. He is pretty much insane by this stage, so it is not a good idea to be near him.
Andrea ( Laurie Holden ) is still a prisoner. Will she escape before a biter gets her?
The group are adapting as well as they can. They now have a ruling council, while Rick has tried to become a pig-farmer. Darryl (Norman Reedus - Blade 2 ) takes a unit out foraging.
Animals in the forest are falling ill, as does Rick's pig. One of the humans starts showing symptoms.
A lethal epidemic has started in the prison. And when a person dies, they become a zombie.
Darryl (Norman Reedus - Blade 2 ) leads a unit of foragers to find some medical supplies. The sick have been segregated, but nobody in the prison is safe.
Rick and Carol go out looking for Daryl's foraging group. They meet a couple of delightful young hippies, one of whom is Robin Lord Taylor ( Gotham ).
The fences are near breaking point - literally. Rick and his son have to hold off an invading herd of walkers.
The Governor (David Morrissey - The Reaping ) is abandoned by his surviving followers. He wanders around on foot, until he is taken in by a couple of attractive young women ...
The Governor (David Morrissey - The Reaping ) and his new-found friends learn that there are scavengers in the area, killing off other groups of survivors. Their camp will not be secure, so the Governor suggests they take the prison. All they have to do is kill Rick and the others.
The Governor (David Morrissey - The Reaping ) leads his new army against the Prison. But if they penetrate the perimeter fence, the security of the complex will be compromised and it will be un-livable again.
The group's morality in in question. Carl got his gun confiscated for executing one of the Governor's soldiers last time. But we get a couple more cold-blooded killings this time.
The plan to sit out the winter and let the Walkers die from the cold may not work. One of them has been buried for a reasonable amount of time, and is still dangerous.
Michonne is back on her own, and goes back to her solo survivor tactics. Unfortunately, she still feels the loss of her friends. She starts to have flashbacks to her old life, but is nearer to a breakdown than ever.
Rick and Carl manage to find a nice suburban house to crash in. Unfortunately, Rick has come down with the flu and may soon become one of the Walking Dead himself. Carl is straining at the leash, blaming his dad for everything that went wrong. But can the kid manage to do things without getting himself killed?
The four-act structure allows the viewers ten minutes with each group of survivors. Please note, they are not necessarily in chronological order so the characters may not survive the episode.
Carl the kid and Michonne go exploring. While Rick the Sheriff holds the house, it is invaded by Jeff Kober ( Buffy: Season 6 ) and his gang of cut-throat survivalists.
Glen meets a team who want to get a scientist to DC. He does not mention his trip to the CDC, or the info that Rick got there.
Darryl (Norman Reedus - Blade 2 ) and the blonde girl ( Emily Kinney ) hide out in a disused Golf Club. This is a great piece of character drama, and Norman Reedus ( Boondock Saints ) really steals the show.
Reedus is not the only amazing actor in the episode. The blonde girl is a teenager, but like most teenage characters in US High School shows the actress who plays her is really a decade older. The thing is, this actress is actually convincing!
Maggie ( Lauren Cohan ) wants to go to the Terminus, because she realises Glenn may be going there too. The others are divided as to whether this is a good idea or not. Would they be better to find a tall building in a town? After all, a building would take a lot of work to clear and secure? Also, towns are full of zombies and easy targets for brigands.
Jeff Kober ( Buffy: Season 6 ) and his band of merry men make an appearance at the end. About time we finally saw them. Are they the same gang the heroes were hiding from in Season Two?
Tyrese, Carol and the children are following the train tracks. They discover an abandoned house, out in the woods. It is an idyllic setting, but this only makes the events seem so much worse. Even after the Governor's attack on the prison, and everything that preceeded it, this has got to be the bleakest episode so far.
Darryl (Norman Reedus - Blade 2 ) manages to get along with the other hunters. Well, most of them, anyway. One of them takes every opportunity to bait him. And only one will survive ...
Glenn and his companions come to a railway tunnel. But there is no light at the end of it - only the hissing and snarling of walking corpses. Glen and the rookie cop girl Tara ( Alanna Masterson ) try to risk it, because Glen is in such a hurry to find Maggie ( Lauren Cohan ). The others prefer to go back and try the long way round.
Rick, Carl and Michonne are still following the tracks. But Jeff Kober ( Buffy: Season 6 ) and his gang are still out for payback.
The survivors head to Terminus. It is run by the friendly-looking Andrew J. West ( Once Upon A Time: Season 7 ). But is it too good to be true? Rick's gang in the prison took in strangers, but so did the Governor (David Morrissey - The Reaping ) in Woodbury.
The show takes up where it left off at the end of last Season. Most of the survivors of the Prison are together again. We even get to see the blond-haired Robin Lord Taylor ( Gotham ), last seen in Walking Dead [Season 4, Episode 4] Indifference . However, that is the good news. They are in a tight spot. And when they discover the true purpose of Terminus, it looks like things cannot get any worse.
While Terminus seems to have impregnable defences, it turns out that a single person can take them out in a few minutes. Seriously, despite a lack of planning or backup the main threat is over by the end of the episode. However, the get the nerd to Washington DC plot is still alive.
The survivors are on the road again, looking for shelter and supplies. They rescue a man dressed like a preacher, who claims he survived by locking himself in the church with a stack of supplies from the canned food drive. However, Rick has his doubts about the man. He is Seth Gilliam, the vet from Teen Wolf , so he is helpful ... too damn helpful!
The Military man wants the group to go to DC to end the virus. Can he persuade the others to join him?
Darryl (Norman Reedus - Blade 2 ) still wants to track down the mysterious black car that abducted the girl. But what are the chances of it driving past while he is near a car that is fuelled up and ready to give chase?
Finally, nobody has given a second thought to Andrew J. West ( Once Upon A Time: Season 7 ) and the survivors from Terminus. They did not finish the last ones off, or even disguise their own trail to prevent anyone from stalking them.
Rick’s team know something is wrong – three of them have not come back. They interrogate the preacher (Seth Gilliam - Teen Wolf ), but after the previous episode it is obvious that his sins are unrelated to this.
The military man wants to go straight to DC, risking everything in the darkness despite not knowing the enemy’s disposition. Rick prefers to risk everything on a pre-emptive strike on the enemy’s camp, despite the enemy knowing a lot more about his forces’ disposition than he knows about the enemy’s.
We get to find out what happened to the blonde girl Beth ( Emily Kinney ) after she got separated from Darryl (Norman Reedus - Blade 2 ). One of the other inmates – oops, interns – is the young boy from Lost . He is all grown up now, but wants to get out and find his father.
The city folk are civilised, led by cops and including a doctor amongst their number. But while they appear much nicer than the Terminus folks, there is a nasty undercurrent of fear present. Keisha Castle-Hughes tries to kill herself, apparently because she was mistreated by one of the cops.
The story runs parallel to the entire terminus plotline. As a result, the ep’s ending comes after Darryl (Norman Reedus - Blade 2 ) and Carol started chasing the patrol car.
Since the survivors have split into three groups, this episode features the third – Glenn and the team heading for Washington DC. The bus gets fifteen miles up the road before it crashes. Any survivors have to fight their way through the nearby walking dead.
The flashbacks are of the military guy Abraham, trying to survive and protect his family. Unfortunately his violent nature, so useful at defending them from zombies and brigands, scares them and drives them away.
The wind changes, and they smell something horrible in front of them. Like thousands of zombies, all coming towards them. Of course, the military guy insists they keep going towards the zombies. He has no plan, no super-weapon, just a blind insistence that they keep going. He is going to get someone killed.
Darryl (Norman Reedus - Blade 2 ) and Carol get to the Big City, but their car runs out of gas before they can find out where the white-cross cars are coming from. They run into a straggler, who steals their weapons. However, they have the skills to survive in the city. If only they had the skills to spot a tail and avoid an ambush, they would have had an easier time of it.
The ep ends where two of the previous episodes ended. Hopefully this will bring together three of the four plot threads.
Rick and the team head off to the big city. He leaves Michonne to look after Carl and the Reverend (Seth Gilliam - Teen Wolf ). Unfortunately, the Reverend seems to have ideas of his own. The bloodstains all over his smashed-up church have not improved his state of mind.
Rick has a plan – a sneak attack on the Hospital, inflicting multiple fatalities on the cops. The others offer a different plan – kidnap a couple of cops, then do a hostage exchange.
We see the results of a napalm attack on zombies in a previous battle.
Glenn and the others have no viable transportation. Worse, with one of their number concussed and possibly with spinal damage, they cannot move him. Maggie ( Lauren Cohan ) stands guard while Glenn and the other two girls go looking for fresh water.
Rick and the team finally stage the hostage exchange. Will it go well? Do they all get to live happily ever after? On a completely different show, perhaps.
The Reverend (Seth Gilliam - Teen Wolf ) realises the mistake he has made by leaving the sanctuary of the church. Can he get back to it before he gets eaten? Will Michonne and Carl let him in? Will the Church itself get overrun?
The crew find the black kid's home, a suburban fortress that was overrun. It is full of walking dead now, but someone smashed the rear wall in. Yes, it was human brigands who did the real damage.
This ep is from Tyrese's perspective. He has been a supporting character for a couple of Seasons now, but he gets a lot more to do this time.
Rick and the others are on their last legs. They are caught in a heatwave, with no water supply. Rick gives a rousing speach, pointing out the fact that the survivors can only continue if the regard themselves as being The Walking Dead ...
Someone leaves a pile of water bottles on the road. Is Morgan (Lennie James - Jericho ) finally going to join the group for good?
The newcomer, Aaron, is taken captive by Rick’s gang. They frisk him, search his bag and interrogate him. However, his story remains straight. He claims to represent a community of survivors, and he offers Rick’s group sanctuary. After Woodsboro and Terminus, Rick and the others are less than trusting.
Rick decides to do the opposite of everything Aaron suggests. Instead of taking the safe and predictable route, Rick decides to drive along the zombie-infested back-roads. Instead of going by daylight, when you can see the zombies before you run into them, Rick decides to drive at night with the lights off.
What is unusual about this episode is that, half way through the fifth season, we finally have the first openly homosexual characters!
Rick and the others arrive at the settlement. They meet a few of the locals, including the lady who runs things. Carl tries to mix with kids his own age, but he has nothing in common with them. All except a mysterious girl, who survived alone on the outside for months alone.
Glenn goes on patrol with the locals. Unfortunately, they are sloppy and tend to play stupid games with the zombies.
Carol has a plan to get hold of some pistols, just in case things turn bad. This involves breaking into the house where the chocolate is hidden. Will she get distracted? Will it all go wrong?
Darryl (Norman Reedus - Blade 2 ) goes out hunting. He bumps into the recruiter, and they go hunting together. Hunting for a horse, to be specific. The recruiter has special plans for Darryl, too.
Rick investigates his first big case – the mystery of the smashed-up owl sculpture. It is property of Alexandra Breckenridge , the nice lady who did Rick’s laundry, who is married to the suspicious doctor and is mother to the annoying brat. The brat is also a partner in crime of Carol’s – after all, someone has to steal chocolate for her. She was a mother and a battered wife, so she sees things that others might miss.
Abraham the big lumberjack earns a promotion.
The preacher (Seth Gilliam - Teen Wolf ) has a crisis of faith, and takes it upon himself to undermine the mayor's faith in Rick's group.
The Mayor's son and his sidekick lead a mission to get new processors for the electricity generator. They discover a fenced-in area with some zombies in it, but do not bother to kill the monsters when they have the chance.
The Lady Mayor is grieving at the loss of her incompetent son, but she is also beginning to show hostility towards the newcomers.
Rick uses the chain of command, and tells the Lady Mayor about the wife-beater. She knows everything (after all, she is good at reading people), but does not care. After all, they only have one doctor and no death penalty. Rick then takes it upon himself to confront the suspect.
Darryl (Norman Reedus - Blade 2 ) and his fellow recruiter discover a campsite, and signs of cannibalism. This is the very reason that exiling people is a bad idea. The marauders are killing others survivors, and carving a W into their foreheads.
Sasha spent the night on overwatch, but when her 12-hour shift ended she went hunting in the woods.
Morgan (Lennie James – Jericho ) is on Rick’s trail again. Somehow he has walked all the way from Georgia to Virginia, probably a thousand miles. Now he runs into trouble. But somehow he became an expert at Bo-Jutsu (quarter-staff fighting).
Darryl (Norman Reedus - Blade 2 ) and the other recruiter discover a warehouse full of food. But as always in this show, things are bound to go wrong for them.
Rick is in solitary. The Senator lady wants a public debate on what to do with him. Her gun-control policy (in the middle of a zombie apocalypse!) takes precedence over wife-beating and other forms of disorder.
The climax involves three storylines intertwining. Glenn follows the annoying guy into the woods, unaware that the creep has a pistol to go along with his grudge. Sasha the sniper girl, suffering PTSD since the death of her brother, seeks help from the preacher (Seth Gilliam - Teen Wolf ) – who has also got PTSD. Finally, Rick wants to confront the Senator lady – but the compound has been invaded by zombies!
The new Season starts by dropping us right into the action. There is an enormous quarry filled with zombies, and they are about to break free. Rick has a plan to lure them all away from the sanctuary. The exact plan is not explained to us, we are left to work it out for ourselves as the plot hurtles along at breakneck speed.
In a series of flashbacks, We are given exposition that covers the time period between the arrival of Morgan (Lennie James – Jericho ) and current events. To simplify things for viewers the flashbacks are monochrome, unlike the flashback segments in Lost less than a decade ago. It looks like visual storytelling has taken a major step backwards in the last few years.
Rick is now grudgingly accepted as the protector of the self-sustaining suburb. The villainous or incompetent characters who were responsible for events in last Season’s climax have apparently been more or less forgiven. A new antagonist appears this episode – Ethan Embry, who exists merely to disagree with everything Rick says. He has been molly-coddled by the sanctuary for far too long, and finds Rick’s methods too extreme for comfort. How long will it take the suburbanites to grow up and realise the hell that they are living in?
Unfortunately, there is something they forgot about. Morgan does not seem to have told them about the two Wolves he met in the woods.
Carol and the other women try to get some domestic chores sorted out. Unfortunately this is the day that Rick tries to reroute the Walker army, so the regulars (AKA most of the combat characters) are out of town. The Wolves (the villains who were foreshadowed in the previous Season) have returned, and in greater numbers than before!
The good news is, the Wolves do not use the foghorn from the previous episode to deliberately summon the walkers. However, the onslaught is murderously swift. The only one who can defend the entire camp is Carol, who rescued the entire group from Terminus with minimum of effort.
The episode takes place in real time, with the attack happening within the time it takes to cook a casserole.
Back on the open road, the herd has begun to disperse. Rick has to divide his forces immediately to contain the situation. The car crew and Darryl (Norman Reedus - Blade 2 ) must lead the main herd away. Rick will go back and get the caravanette.
Michonne and Glenn must take the rookie crew back towards the sanctuary, and delay or divert the herd back on track. Naturally, the rookies start to get picked off one at a time. But the regular team are also vulnerable.
Morgan (Lenny James – Jericho ) bookends a flashback episode where we see how he transformed from the angry gun-toting psycho of previous Seasons to the serene stick-fighting master we know him as today.
Morgan encountered a man named Eastman, a serene and monk-like man who lived a life of simple contemplation. Eventually, Eastman brings Morgan around to his way of thinking. They have a lot in common, more than one might assume at first glance.
The standout performance of the show is from Eastman. Despite playing against type (he is best known as a rent-a-villain) he is able to hold his own in dramatic performance against Lennie James, who is probably the best actor to have ever appeared on the TV show.
The inhabitants of Alexandria have to get used to living in a post-Apocalyptic universe. They think that recent events are the end of the world - but for everyone else, the world ended over a year ago and they have already adjusted. The fat double-chinned people decide to loot the food stores, risking a winner-takes-all situation that would ultimately force everyone to fight to the death for a few scraps of food. Luckily the Lady Mayor has a few loyal supporters who are willing to stand up and keep order. She is still in a state of shock herself, and cannot function as a leader.
Glenn has still not returned or signalled. Maggie ( Lauren Cohan ) wants to go after him, and plans to do it alone. Aaron the gay dude, despite having a spouse of his own, decides to go with her. He shows her a secret sally port, via the storm drains. Unfortunately this means an encounter with two of the most disgustingly decomposed zombies we have ever seen. This raises the question, just how long will it take for the zombie horde to decompose naturally to a level where they are no longer a threat to anyone?
While Rick was dodging Walkers and the others were fighting the Wolves, Darryl (Norman Reedus - Blade 2 ) and the car crew kept leading the walker herd away. Unfortunately they run into a few car-loads of gun-toting idiots. Our heroes shoot their way out of the ambush, but they get separated. Sasha and Abraham the lumberjack find a secure location, but Darryl is on his own.
Darryl bumps into some civilians in the woods. They are on the run from the gun crew, and they think he is one of them. Can he convince the strangers to team up with him?
Less than a day has passed from the opening scene at the start of the Season. We have seen the same events from the perspectives of a number of different characters. Now we see the consequences of the Wolves raid and the Walker Herd’s rerouting.
Maggie ( Lauren Cohan ) was unable to find out what happened to Glenn, but the teenage JSS girl is already outside the walls. She goes looking for the aftermath of the botched re-routing.
The sanctuary is surrounded, and the Walker crush is growing. Rick suggests getting someone over the wall, off to find a car and draw some of the walkers away. But nobody bothers to formulate a plan and get organised.
The teenage son of Alexandra Breckenridge gets Rick to show him how to use a gun. The youngster is obsessive, and Rick seems to sense that something is off about him. Will the boy attempt to take some kind of revenge on Rick or Carl?
The younger son of Alexandra Breckenridge is still a little mommy's boy, who hides in his bedroom to escape the real world. Presumably he never watched scary movies, played with army toys or aspired to any form of masculinity. He leaves his dinner un-eaten, and it gets swarmed by ants. This is a nice metaphor, because the suburb itself is now overrun by the mega-herd. To get some phony jeopardy, when confronted with shambling slow-moving zombies our heroes all trip and fall. They get split up into different groups. Poor Maggie ( Lauren Cohan ) is stuck up on the fence's watch-tower.
Deanna, the Mayor of Sanctuary, gets injured while helping Rick. She has a circular pattern of teeth-marks on her flank. Everyone assumes it is a zombie bite, and she starts to show symptoms. However, they could just be psychosomatic; we the audience saw her fall onto the teeth of a circular saw. Will she shoot herself, or will she forget to save the last bullet?
Morgan (Lenny James – Jericho ) and Carol get stuck in the same house as the Wolf prisoner. They have the inevitable violent confrontation. Carol is intent on killing him, and she will risk killing anyone who gets in her way. This is all counter-productive - she may become a bigger killer than the Wolf.
Carl has to deal with the teenage git. Is he the old Carl who shot the Governor's soldier in cold blood, or is he mature and forgiving like Glenn? And worse, is the younger kid an even bigger liability than the teenager?
In the after-credits sequence, we see what happened to Darryl (Norman Reedus - Blade 2 ), Sasha and Abraham the big guy. There is a biker gang on the loose.
In the pre-credits sequence, we see what happened to Darryl (Norman Reedus - Blade 2 ), Sasha and the big guy when they met the biker gang. Darryl's crossbow is gone, but he has a new signature weapon!
Since the previous episode was the mid-Season finale, it ended on a number of cliffhangers. The younger son of Alexandra Breckenridge is haunted by Carol's threat of feeding him to the walkers. His brother still wants to kill Rick and Carl. In fact, the whole family is dead weight. Will they all live happily ever after?
With Alexandria overrun and occupied by the Walking Dead, will the survivors be able to retake their town? Well, Rick starts by doing a one-man slash-and-stab attack on the horde. Luckily someone else has a plan involving a lake of gasoline.
It is two months since the events of the previous episode. Alexandria has been cleared up since the zombie invasion, and Neegan's crew have not been seen since the incident with the rocket-launcher. Michonne stands guard, and she sees Spencer walk into the woods with a shovel. Carl and the teenage girl are also going walkabout in the woods. Strange how this show tends to pair off the survivors, no matter how much the couples fail to excude any chemistry together.
Rick and Darryl (Norman Reedus - Blade 2 ) go on a scavenging trip together. They find a truck loaded with food and supplies - just what they need. However, on the way home they get distracted. They run into a long-haired beardy white man, but that is all he has in common with Jesus (except for his nickname). The result is a Butch Cassiday and the Sundance Kid series of scenes. Jesus is a real bag of tricks, and the dynamic duo get easily distracted instead of getting the truck home ASAP.
Abraham wants to keep patrolling with Sasha. However, she decides to swap with Eugene instead. Also, Abraham is still in a relationship with the Latina girl. This episode focuses on his personal problems, and as we all know that means he will end up in mortal jeopardy.
Jesus scopes out the layout of Alexandria, and realises that the locals might be suitable to trade with his own settlement. He leads Rick and a group of Rick's friends to his home, a Virginia mansion House with a colonial stockade fence. The locals have a blacksmith who makes spears and daggers, but they seem to be living a medieval existence. The good news is, they are successful at growing crops. The bad news is, they have few medical supplies and no real weapons. The good news is, this makes them a great trading partner for Alexandria.
The local boss, Gregory (Xander Berkley - Barb Wire ), is a tough negotiator. However, he has other problems. The villainous Neegan is extorting half the settlement's food and supplies. Worse, his own guards seem unwilling to protect him, and even threaten Rick and his crew when they help out. Are these iron-age farmers more trouble than they are worth?
Carol goes back to baking cookies. She is the deadliest killer of the bunch, but now we see a more vulnerable side to her. It seems like the whole homemaker act is just a charade, to cover the toll that the incredible strain is taking on her.
Rick puts his plan into action. Well, perhaps the word plan is an overstatement. He leads his team to attach the enemy bunker. It is reasonably well-guarded and well-defended. However, Rick's team are equipped for both silent killing and a noisy shootout. They even display some basic skills at the start, although they are basically a bunch of bumling amateurs.
The main problem is, Rick has not taken a few things into account. He makes no allowance for perimeter patrols or other enemy forces. As a result, the episode ends on a brutal cliffhanger.
We take up where the previous episode left off. Maggie ( Lauren Cohan ) and Carol are in the hands of Paula ( Alicia Witt ) and her crew. As the episode develops, we discover that the captors are mirror versions of the prisoners. After all, Rick's crew have started to make a few dubious decisions. If Maggie and Carol had met Neegan before Rick, perhaps the positions would have been reversed.
Carol seems to be suffering a mild case of PTSD. This becomes apparent when we learn that her counterpart, Paula, is okay with all the human kills she has made. And Maggie does not make things better. Maggie is always looking for a fight, charging into danger and never watching Carol's back. As a result, Carol is dragged along into danger and left exposed as a result. Small wonder that Carol has to get her hands bloody, cleaning up Maggie's mess all the time.
A few days or weeks seem to have passed since the events of the previous two episodes. Once again, the Alexandria people have fallen into a malaise of laxity. They have a few people on guard, and a crew is repairing the damaged perimeter wall. However, they seem to have forgotten that they are now at war with Neegan's well-trained army.
Eugene takes Abraham on an excursion. He has a plan to start industrialising Alexandria, to make it more self-sufficient - especially in terms of defence. At least someone is doing some thinking. However, Eugene also feels the need to declare his personal self-reliance. This will come back to bite him, so to speak.
The town medic asks Darryl (Norman Reedus - Blade 2 ) and the Latina soldier to accompany her on a scavenger run to get pharmaceuticals. The road is blocked, so they decide to go for a walk. Naturally they show no situational awareness, and leave themselves open to all kinds of potential ambush. The medic repeatedly wanders off by herself, as if she is deliberately looking for trouble.
The episode's theme is to give is two background characters, Eugene and the Medic, the chance to make the audience care about them. In television shows such as Lost , this method of storytelling is used to make us care about a character so that their death has more emotional impact. Since there are two potential victims in this episode, it is obvious that the writers are aware of this trope. Speaking of tropes, remember the way that when a character delivers a long-winded monologue while standing on railroad tracks it means that they will get hit by a train?
There is a good side to this all. Several episodes ago, Darryl got his motorbike back. Now he discovers what happened to his crossbow too. He reflects to Carol on how he should have killed the strangers before they robbed him. In contrast, Morgan (Lennie James - Jericho ) has turned his own basement into a professional-looking jail cell so they do not have to summarily execute all their prisoners next time. Will Carol choose to keep being a killer?
Carol goes walkabout. Rick and Morgan (Lennie James - Jericho ) go looking for her.
Darryl (Norman Reedus - Blade 2 ) also goes walkabout. Glenn and a couple of others go looking for him. It is obvious where he is going - to get revenge on the guy who stole his crossbow. However, he seems to have forgotten a few things. Firstly, the Saviours have predicted his moves so far, and they will expect him to be coming. Secondly, standing around in an exposed position while loudly declaring your Soap Opera emotions is a good way to get yourself ambushed.
Carol is still walkabout. Morgan (Lennie James - Jericho ) is looking for her, as is one of the Saviours.
Back at Alexandria, Maggie ( Lauren Cohan ) needs medical attention. Rick decides to take her to the doctor at Hilltop. However, this has got to be the worst idea possible. It means dividing his forces, leaving Alexandria in the hands of the B-Team. Worse, all the surviving regular characters are stuck together in a road trip. After all, Darryl (Norman Reedus - Blade 2 ) and Glenn never made it back after the previous episode.
Rick and his team take the direct route. Naturally, the Saviours have a roadblock waiting. Our heroes try to reroute, but the Saviours have planned ahead. Unfortunately our heroes do not have much of a plan at all. The Saviours, on the other hand, have an apparently limitless supply of manpower. They are well-organised, co-ordinated (presumably by radio) and they probably have a lot of maps. In fairness, Eugene the genius gets a map as well - but this is only as a backup plan, because they did not bother to plan their route in advance. One can only wonder how they survived this long, although long-time viewers will know that it is by brute force and ignorance.
The climax is breathtaking. We finally get to meet Neegan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan - Supernatural ) for the first time. This looks like the toughest spot our heroes have ever been in. However, the Terminus scene in Walking Dead [Season 5, Episode 1] No Sanctuary beats it in terms of pure suspense.
Neegan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan - Supernatural ) takes Rick off in the caravanette for a private face-to-face. The cliffhanger execution scene is shown in flashback, and the identity of the victim is revealed. Is it Maggie ( Lauren Cohan )? If she lives through it, she will still need medical attention - after all, it was for her benefit that they went right into Neegan's ambush. Also of note, this scene is the first time that Bella and John Winchester have been on-screen together. CORRECTION - they recently played a married couple: Bruce Wayne's parents in Batman vs Superman .
The entire episode pretty much consists of Neegan mentally and physically torturing his victims. This would be considered depressing if it happened on any other show. Luckily, there is no hint of sexual violence so as far as Feminists are concerned it is all good clean fun.
Morgan (Lennie James - Jericho ) and Carol are taken to the compound of a group of survivors. Their leader, King Ezekiel, is a man with dreadlocks and a pet tiger. Carol plays along and pretends to be impressed. However, she thinks the situation is utterly ridiculous. Ezekiel is theatrical, but in a world without a chain of command a leader needs the theatrics in order to impress the people he leads.
The survivors are mostly vegetarian. They hunt wild pigs, but these are a surplus food. Unfortunately the local economic system does not facilitate trade between settlements, but they do have to pay protection to the Saviors. Yes, Neegan's gang has Ezekiel's kingdom in their grasp.
While the other groups have been busy, Dwight has been holding Darryl (Norman Reedus - Blade 2 ) prisoner. Dwight's life is one of relative privilege in the secure compound they use as a base. Serfs do the manual labour and grow the food, while Dwight and the warrior class carry the weapons. All in all, this is more of a feudal system than Ezekiel's mock medieval kingdom.
Darryl is held in solitary confinement, the victim of psychological torture techniques like those shown in The Men Who Stare At Goats . Neegan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan - Supernatural ) sees his potential, and wants to recruit him as a henchman.
Neegan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan - Supernatural ) decides to pay the team a visit. He brings a small army of helpers, including Darryl (Norman Reedus - Blade 2 ), to do all the heavy lifting. The aim is to demoralize Rick and his crew. To start with, the Saviors take most of the furniture. This is clearly an act of psychological warfare aimed at intimidating the victims. After all, Neegan has the manpower and fire-power to control and loot any shopping mall in the area. Better still, he could take one over and fortify it. However, he does not want beds - he wants RICK's bed! This is all made clear in a somewhat obtuse scene at the end, when Michonne discovers something that looks like a pile of tombstones.
Dwight sends Rosita and one of the red-shirts to get Darryl's motorbike. Rosita is keen to arm up again, because when Dwight takes her guns she realises the Saviors will take ALL the guns. Michonne has the same idea, training with a sniper rifle so she can take a shot at Neegan. Carl almost lost an arm to go with his missing eye, but he is still dumb enough to pull a pistol on one of Neegan's goons. Of course, Rick is the only one who realises that resistance is futile.
With the group all split into different camps, now we get to see what happened to Maggie ( Lauren Cohan ) and Sasha. They are at Hilltop, where they bury their dead and get free medical treatment. However, what is blindingly obvious is that the Saviours will be back for revenge.
The leader, Gregory (Xander Berkeley - Barb Wire ) is in a tough spot. He knows that the girls will do something to annoy the Saviours and bring down violent repercussions. His own policy is one of conflict avoidance - he will not even push an argument with Maggie if he can change the subject. When it comes to Neegan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan - Supernatural ) and his team of well-armed bullies, this is obviously the best policy. Even Rick did whatever Neegan wanted in the previous episode.
The teenage girl from Alexandria decides to walk all the way to Hilltop. Not only would this be an exhausting trek, since walking speed is only three miles an hour, she could easily run into a herd of walkers or just get lost. However, somehow she seems to know the route and it is only a few miles. Carl decides to keep her company. However, he has an ulterior motive. His lost eye means he has no depth perception, which means that when playing a game of darts he misses the board entirely. However, this does not stop him from trying to drive a car. His plan seems to be to kill Neegan. Unfortunately he has not learned what it took two deaths to teach Rick. Neegan is from the Vengeance Demon school of management. He will not kill his enemy, he will kill his enemy's friend. Carl's action is endangering Rick and anyone else Carl knows, but Carl does not seem to care about anyone or anything except revenge.
Tara ( Alanna Masterson ) is washed ashore, victim of a violent encounter. She has not been seen in nine episodes - it turns out she and an Alexandrian were sent off on a scouting mission. They ran into some walkers on a bridge - some dehydrated-looking zombies that look like something out of the 1970s classic Italian movie Zombie Flesh Eaters . If Tara looks out of shape it is because the actress just had a baby a few months previously.
Tara finds herself in a remote, isolated commune of farmers. The good news, especially for the show's last surviving out-of-the-closet lesbian, is that the population is entirely female. The bad news is that they have a standing policy of killing all strangers on sight. Will she be able to negotiate a trade deal with them?
Tara needs to win their trust, but she starts by telling blatant lies. Also, she does not ask the right questions. They claim their men were murdered by another group. She never asks what that group was called. Was it the Saviours - or did the men just end up in the stew pot like at Terminus?
Carl's insane quest for revenge on Neegan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan - Supernatural ) takes its next step. He goes after him single-handed, in a suicide mission. However, Neegan has a better plan than simply killing the boy. Instead he gives him a tour of the Saviours' headquarters.
Rosita ought to know better, but just like Carl she wants to stage a suicidal revenge attack on Neegan. Carl may be forgiven because he is a traumatized adolescent, but Rosita is an adult and a soldier. She gets Eugene to help her make a single bullet. This is more than self-loading, he has to create a new primer for a spent cartridge. An awful lot of trouble to go to, considering that Carroll and Carl both get access to guns relatively easily.
Rick is not running things at Alexandria, and does not appear to have left anyone in charge in his absence. No wonder everyone is wandering around on revenge missions. He has taken it upon himself to locate and retrieve a survivalist's stash of gear. Unfortunately the gear is in a well-protected location, so he will probably spend most of the next episode looking for it.
Maggie ( Lauren Cohan ) and Sasha are popular in Hilltop. Gregory (Xander Berkley - Barb Wire ) is less than happy about the prospect of being replaced as leader. Maggie seems enthused at the idea of power, despite having no skill or experience at anything except driving tractors and killing zombies. Also, she takes the opportunity to start eating for two.
Rick and Aaron complete their scavenging mission. The Saviours should be grateful, but the truth is they are just a bunch of violent thugs.
Carol settles down to a comfortable retirement. Morgan (Lennie James - Jericho ) drops by to deliver some fresh fruit for her to live on. The Kingdom's top soldier also drops by, to ask them for their help with a delicate matter. He wants them to convince King Ezekiel to launch a pre-emptive attack on the Saviours. Carol and Morgan do not bother to tell him that Rick already tried that, and all it got him was a humiliating defeat.
Back at Alexandria, Spencer tries to befriend Neegan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan - Supernatural ). It seems like a good idea, since Neegan is in a good mood. Spencer blames Rick for everything falling apart. This ignores the fact that his father's death at the hands of a wife-beater was the fault of his mother's lax attitude to policing. His mother's death at the hands of the quarry herd of zombies was the fault of her own lack of interest in the world outside her walls. Finally, his brother's death was due to his own incompetence. Will Spencer fall victim to the same overconfidence and ignorance that killed the rest of his family?
As of last week there were no less than FOUR of Rick's crew who all had active plans to kill Neegan. Yes, out of the survivors of the massacre there are four idiots who do not seem to understand what happened. Sasha roped Jesus into spying out Neegan's base. Michonne took a Saviour hostage in order to find Neegan's base, and seems surprised that he has a massive army of followers. Was she not paying attention when his army surrounded them in the woods? Carl took his shot last week, and Rosita still has her home-loaded bullet. The obvious backlash to this will be the deaths of two innocent Alexandrians. They evidently do not remember that Neegan does not kill the person who offends him, he always kills the one standing beside the offender!
Rick and his team try to talk Gregory (Xander Berkley - Barb Wire ) into sending his farmers to certain death. Predictably, Gregory is a coward and declines martyrdom. However, some of the farmers drink the cool-aid and agree to let Maggie ( Lauren Cohan ) train them in fighting skills.
The next stop for Rick's team is at Ezekiel's Kingdom. The good news is they meet up with their old friend Morgan (Lennie James - Jericho ) and they find a safe place that Darryl (Norman Reedus - Blade 2 ) can hide out at. The bad news is that while Ezekiel despises Gregory, he is no keener for unnecessary death.
Third stop is the route to the Saviours' secret HQ. In an example of complete amateurishness, Rick decides to start interfering with a complicated system of defences on the highway. Somehow he assumes that his team will be able to put everything back the way they found it before anyone comes along and catches them in the act. Worse, it never occurs to him that there might be boobytraps. Of course, when they discover the boobytrap - a massive series of bombs made with potentially unstable dynamite - he decides to dismantle it and take it home with him. The Saviours had set it up to wipe out a massive herd of zombies. And just on cue, the zombies make their appearance.
Finally, they have to find Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam - Teen Wolf ) who has gone walkabout. Somehow, this links up with the previous episode's cliffhanger.
In Ezekiel's Kingdom, Morgan (Lennie James - Jericho ) gets another reminder of how unpleasant the Saviours can be. However, for the moment he is still unwilling to start a war. Darryl (Norman Reedus - Blade 2 ) is keen to fight, but will he drag Carol into it as well?
Rick and his team are in the clutches of a group of strangers. These newcomers have the strange dialect of a Mad Max movie, and their initiation for Rick is more like something out of Z Nation . In contrast, Neegan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan - Supernatural ) is down-to-earth and only got Rick to fight NORMAL zombies. And while Neegan did execute a couple of Rick's friends, he spared the lives of the others - even though they killed a lot of people in their sleep.
Rick has been criticised for rushing into the war with the Saviours. However, now he is willing to do the same thing again - and now he has made an alliance with the strangers, about whom he knows less than he origianlly did about the Saviours.
Eugene arrives at Neegan's headquarters, and tries to get used to things. His first job is to improve the defences, and his suggestion is to steal an idea from Z Nation . His reward is to hang out with Neegan's wives - no sex, just conversation. He teaches them some High School chemistry tricks, and they ask him a favour.
Dwight has problems of his own. Neegan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan - Supernatural ) knows that someone let Darryl out on purpose. Sherie has gone MIA, so she is the main suspect. Will someone else get scapegoated?
Rick and Michone go on a long-range scavenging trip. They are not after items to appease Neegan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan - Supernatural ), they want to find a massive haul of weapons so they can betray him. Also, they are still willing to rob other survivors just for some batteries and snack food. Their luck improves when they find an emergency camp set up by the US Army. The good news is, there are lots of guns and ready-packed meals. The bad news is, the soldiers are now all zombies too.
Our heroes end up having to clear the entire camp of zombies. The action spills over into the carnival next door, perhaps a reference to Zombieland . There are a lot of call-outs to previous episodes - a collapsing roof, a close call with death and so on. This is exactly the kind of thing that illustrates when a show has jumped the shark.
Back at Alexandria, Tara ( Alanna Masterson ) feels conflicted about holding out on Rick. She knows the secret armoury at the community in Waterside. However, since anyone who goes there to negotiate is likely to be shot on sight, she is doing everyone a favour by keeping them well away from it.
Rosita the Latina girl took a shot at Neegan a few episodes, which only made him angry and cost Alexandria two residents. Naturally she blames the Preacher instead of taking responsibility herself. Worse, despite knowing that Rick has a plan she decides to make ANOTHER suicide attack against Neegan. This time she gets Sasha involved in her idiotic death wish.
In Ezekiel's Kingdom, Morgan (Lennie James - Jericho ) helps with the weekly delivery. Unfortunately his trigger-happy comrade is still keen to start a war.
The saviours pay a visit to Hilltop. They get Gregory (Xander Berkeley - Barb Wire ) to hand over his doctor, after Neegan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan - Supernatural ) fired his own one. Also, they take anything else they take a liking to.
Rosita and Sasha go off on their mission of murder. Somehow they have picked up a walkie talkie that is tuned into the Saviour frequency, which turns out to be useful.
Sasha tried to assassinate Neegan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan - Supernatural ). Now she has to suffer the consequences. Luckily, Neegan believes life is cheap but lady-parts are like gold-dust.
Tara ( Alanna Masterson ) leads Rick and his crew to Oceanside. Their plan is to take every single gun, and leave the women and children virtually Despite having several good female soldiers Rick deploys Darryl (Norman Reedus - Blade 2 ) as leader of the assault team.
Rick's team in Alexandria are well armed with the guns they stole from Oceanside. They are reinforced by the scavengers who live on a garbage heap. The strangest thing about the scavengers is their dialect. In the time since the start of the Zom-Pocalypse, a couple of years at most, they have developed their own strange dialect and culture.
Neegan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan - Supernatural ) told Sasha that he knows Rick is up to something. He takes precautions against potential ambushes. These include a new personal weapon - a MAC-10 Ingram with scope and silencer, just like Snake Plissken's sub-machinegun in Escape from New York .
The previous Season ended on a suspenseful cliffhanger. This ends with a massive battle, and instead of fear and dispair we are left with hope.
This is not only the first episode of a new Season, it is also the hundredth episode of the show. What started as a slow-burning, atmospheric drama set in a post-apocalyptic world is now a shoot-em-up.
Rick has got his team to armour some cars. They only do one side, but they use corrigated iron which is about as bulletproof as tissue paper so it does not matter.
Rick's selling point on his scheme is that only one person needs to die. Once Neegan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan - Supernatural ) is dead, the good guys will make a peace deal with his replacement. After all, Dwight and Eugene will fold easily enough. Gregory (Xander Berkley - Barb Wire ) just wants to be on the winning side, preferably if he gets to maintain his status.
Rick and his gang are still on a kill-crazy rampage. Since their full frontal assault on The Sanctuary failed, they have now split up to launch multiple simultaneous attacks. Rick and Darryl (Norman Reedus - Blade 2 ) go after Neegan's secret stash.
Aaron and a group of Hilltop gunmen attack some Saviours. They are led by a woman who is reminiscent of Paula from Season 6 . This is not the only familiar aspect re-used from that Season.
Tara ( Alanna Masterson ), Morgan (Lennie James - Jericho ) and Jesus lead a team to raid the Outpost. This is the second time that the Outpost has been hit, and the tactics are the same as last time. They want to catch the enemy unarmed, and kill as many as possible. Tara wants revenge, even though she was once the Governor's soldier. Morgan is a killing machine, even though he once believed every life is sacred. Luckily Jesus still has some human decency.
There is a major problem with the war that Rick has started. There are five thousand zombies for every living human being. Now, if there are a thousand humans still alive in Virginia that means there are five million zombies. If half the humans are Saviors, and Rick kills all of them - while only losing two hundred of his own number - then he has three hundred humans against five million zombies.
Rick begins to realise that going on a kill-crazy rampage will not make the post-Apocalyptic world a better place. This becomes especially apparent to him when he sees that Darryl (Norman Reedus - Blade 2 ) is obsessed with taking bloody revenge.
Morgan (Lennie James - Jericho ) reluctantly escorts the POWs back to the Hilltop. He has totally forgotten his old philosophy of every life is sacred. Luckily Jesus is there, to save souls.
Gregory (Xander Berkley - Barb Wire ) makes it back to Hilltop. But what will happen to him then?
King Ezekiel ran into trouble at the ends of the previous episode. It turns out that he was not up against a lone sniper. Neegan's men had deployed the belt-fed .50-cal machine-guns that Rick had failed to find elsewhere. As a main character, Ezekiel became the sole survivor of his men. How he lured the Saviours into the open in order to wipe them out is not explained. However, he made the same mistake - perhaps the Saviors did a human wave attack as a decoy move. Now Ezekiel finds himself in the same situation that Rick inflicted on the Saviours a couple of weeks ago - surrounded by the bodies of fallen comrades. And just like them, he forgets to give the dead headshots before they rise again.
The Saviours made one mistake. They failed to make certain Carol was the first one they killed. Now she launches a one-woman counter-attack. Of course, this means abandoning Ezekiel and the others. Will she get the guns or save her friend?
Rick swerves his jeep in order to avoid zombies in the road. After all, they might crack the windshield or something. However, it turns out that the jeep can take a .50-cal hit to the radiator (only one, even though the gun is a belt-fed automatic weapon) and still keep going unhindered.
Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam - Teen Wolf ) is stuck in a portacabin with Neegan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan - Supernatural ). The Saviours have abandoned them both for dead, so they must work out an escape plan for themselves. But before Gabe agrees to help Neegan, he insists on hearing Neegan's confession. In a religious sense, that is - not a legal one.
Neegan's senior staff try to sort things out among themselves. Unfortunately the fact they are surrounded by a herd of zombies is a major problem. The Sanctuary is running short on both water and fuel, so hydration and air conditioning are both problematic. All the senior staff can do is argue among themselves and worry about having a mole in their midst.
Elsewhere, Rick and Darryl (Norman Reedus - Blade 2 ) try to recover the .50-cal machine guns. However, Darryl has become obsessed with wiping out the Saviours. He is willing to risk wiping out the civilian workers at the Sanctuary. Will Rick agree to wage Total War on the rest of the human species?
Rick goes to the Whisperers to make a deal with their leader ( Pollyanna McIntosh ). Unfortunately he has nothing to offer her.
King Ezekiel is deeply depressed after the events of the previous episode. His battle-cry of losing not one of our number was exposed as nothing but hyperbole. However, he is the only leader that the people of the Kingdom have. Carol will not let him abdicate his responsibilities.
Maggie ( Lauren Cohan ) is unhappy about having a group of POWs on her hands. Jesus wants to feed them spare turnips, while Gregory (Xander Berkley - Barb Wire ) wants to lynch them all. Will Maggie listen to the angel or the demon?
Michonne and the Latina girl go on patrol in a car, armed with nothing more than pistols and a katana. Most of the Saviors may be trapped within the Sanctuary, a prison of their own making, but they are not the only danger out there. It is the height of stupidity to go out without a rifle, but they do so anyway.
Carl goes walkabout in the woods, looking for the homeless man that he and his father encountered a few episodes ago. The man has had a high walker kill-count, killing them in order to release their souls. Well, everyone needs a hobby.
There are three different plot threads this episode. The timeline is uncertain at the start, until they intersect.
Rick is still with the Whisperers. He still wants to make a deal with their leader, Jadis ( Pollyanna McIntosh ). Unfortunately he does not have the option of leaving.
Darryl (Norman Reedus - Blade 2 ) and the others do not want to wait for Rick and the Whisperers. They have got the Saviours trapped in the sanctuary, surrounded by a horde of zombies. However, this is not enough for them. They want to smash a garbage truck through the sanctuary's wall, and allow the zombie horde access to the inner building. Darryl claims that the workers will be safe, but he is obsessed with revenge.
Eugene is trapped inside the sanctuary. Neegan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan - Supernatural ) and the Saviours are relying on him to get rid of the zombies. Dwight and Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam - Teen Wolf ) urge him to let Rick defeat Neegan. Everyone tells him to do the right thing. But Rick's minions are the ones killing everyone. Any person with a conscience would have to pick Neegan, because he is the lesser of two evils.
This is the mid-Season finale. Generally at this point one of the major characters dies, and unfortunately this tends to be a male person of colour. Will it be Ezekiel or Morgan (Lennie James - Jericho )?
The Saviours are out of the Sanctuary. Well, it was only a matter of time. While Rick was off negotiating with the Whisperers, he sent a couple of non-combatants to try and recruit Oceanside. Yes, the times were obviously getting desperate.
Neegan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan - Supernatural ) personally goes to Alexandria in search of Rick and Carl. Dwight is in charge of blockading the rear door in case of an escape attempt. He does a suspiciously poor job of it, as neck-tattoo points out to him.
Simon catches Maggie and Jesus, along with the Hilltop's tiny army. He is merciful, especially considering the circumstances. In fact he lets her go, even though he has orders to bring Maggie to Neegan alive. She repays him by becoming as murderous as she believes the Saviours to be.
Let us think of the fate of the Terminus crew. Rick did not just kill the leader and then let the rest go. In comparison, Neegan is a more honorable and humane man.
This starts with the Saviours escaping from the Sanctuary. Then we flash foward to a bookend sequence of Rick some time in the future, hosting a barbecue for his friends at Alexandria.
The Kingdom has been taken. Gavin has Ezekiel as his prisoner, and plans to take him back to Neegan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan - Supernatural ). Unfortunately, night is beginning to fall. Gavin allows his men to linger around the area, but does not bother to secure a perimeter. As such, it is easy for Carol and Morgan (Lennie James - Jericho ) to infiltrate and wipe the poor bastards out, one at a time. Morgan is very careful not to take prisoners, so the human species will die out all the sooner.
Meanwhile, Rick and the others are hiding out in the storm drain under Alexandria. Above them, the saviours destroy the whole settlement. It is a pity that the most peaceful place in the post-apocalyptic world is now gone, but their lack of security in a zombie apocalypse meant they had already suffered multiple incursions. In other words, it was as much a trap as a paradise.
Morgan's murderous rampage is contrasted with Carl's slow demise. The boy recounts to his father the time he murdered a boy whose only crime was to follow the Governor into battle. It seems that Carl has recently been haunted by his own actions. Perhaps Morgan will, for the second time, feel remorse and take responsibility for his actions. Rick confesses that everything he has done since he woke from the coma was for Carl, so that their world would have a future. How sad that Rick, by starting a war that will kill up to ninety percent of the zompocalypse survivors.
The show has a convoluted series of interwoven storylines, so every episode flips between different viewpoint characters. This episode has title cards, to indicate who the viewpoint character is.
Michonne and Rick deal with the aftermath of the previous episode.
Neegan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan - Supernatural ) sends Simon out to punish the Whisperers. Of course, Simon is keen on killing everyone - just to be on the safe side. His mood is not improved when Maggie's gift arrives from Hilltop.
Jadis learns that Simon is a merciless bastard. Well, we always knew that because he is basically an archetypal villain. However, Rick is certainly not a hero. How ironic that Jadis is now the most sympathetic character in the episode.
Dwight has been leading Darryl (Norman Reedus - Blade 2 ) and the other Alexandrian survivors to the Hilltop. The good news is, he knows that Neegan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan - Supernatural ) has only posted guards on the roads but the swamp is unguarded. It is still filled with fungus-infected zombies, which further proves that survival is not simply a matter of waiting till they all die. The bad news is, the lesbian girl still blames Dwight for accidentally killing the only other lesbian in Alexandria.
Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam - Teen Wolf ) is still severely infected after his escape from the zombie herd. He and the Doctor discover an isolated bungalow. This is the first in a series of fortuitous coincidences that causes the preacher to re-discover his lost faith. Perhaps there really is a supernatural element to the show. After all, movies like [Rec] have Fast Zombies that are the result of demonic possession.
Neegan still has no idea who has been stabbing him in the back. Will Eugene and/or Dwight get ratted out?
Thanks to Eugene, Neegan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan - Supernatural ) has a new plan. He loads the vans with gut-buckets, and has a team of shooters drive out with him to attack the Hilltop. However, they get ambushed by Rick on a one-man revenge mission. This turns into a grudge match between the two of them.
Simon gets Dwight to ride in the truck with him. They are both unhappy about the way Neegan is running things. It is only a matter of time before the Saviours are under new management.
Meanwhile, Maggie gets a message about a travelling saleswoman. She takes a gew gunslinging girls along to investigate. Yes, even though the Saviours should have blocked all the roads there is still a way out. The saleswoman is interested in building a trading network between settlements and eventually rebuilding civilisation. This is the kind of thing that Eugene should have masterminded, and could have urged Neegan to start. Instead we get the JSS girl seriously contemplating literal highway robbery.
Simon and Dwight get to the Hilltop. Maggie and Darryl stage a half-hearted ambush, but the lack of military planning and tactics is distractingly bad. It seems that the whole idea was to lure the saviours into a killing zone ... but for sentimental reasons, Maggie put the killing zone near Glenn's grave. Yes, she put it INSIDE her perimeter!
The saviours take a lot of losses. They do not manage to free the thirty-eight hostages, but Simon does not seem to have much of a plan. He is on a kill-crazy rampage, and uses human wave tactics against a well dug-in enemy who have automatic weapons.
Tara and Darryl have a discussion about Dwight. Tara reminds him that she was one of the Governor's soldiers. Somehow she also heard about Darryl's brother, Merle, who was the Governor's henchman.
The little boy, Henry, is a bloodthirsty little piece of work. He refuses to believe Morgan and the others when they told him that Gavin killed his brother. Instead he goes hassling the hostages. The murderous one is strangely silent for a change.
The battle against the Saviours ended quickly enough. However, Maggie's security still sucks. Nobody remembers that when people die they turn into zombies, even though they used that trick on the Saviours a few episodes ago. She and Carol do not seem to remember the flu outbreak in the prison.
Rick and Morgan (Lennie James - Jericho ) go after the Saviours who escaped. The plan is to hunt them down and slaughter every single one of them. Has Rick gone completely over the edge? Everyone claims that Neegan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan - Supernatural ) is the murderous one, but he only killed two of Rick's crew when he could have killed them all. In comparison, Rick killed all of the Terminus crew.
Neegan is in the hands of Jadis, who blames him personally for the massacre. She has something typically artistic in mind for him. However, she is distracted by something else. Before the massacre, Simon mentioned a helicopter pad nearby. It turns out that this was Chekov's gun.
Neegan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan - Supernatural ) is back home. He discovered what Simon got up to, and it was not the first time. It turns out that Simon was to blame for the Waterside massacre, and it was before Neegan's time as leader. Has Neegan become redeemed as a heroic character?
Eugene is targeted for kidnapping by Darryl (Norman Reedus - Blade 2 ). Once again, Rick's gang are less forgiving than Neegan.
Neegan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan - Supernatural ) tries to trick Rick into a trap. The plan is to get Rick's team to take a short-cut cross-country, then surround them with a massive number of Saviours. Eugene has supplied enough re-loaded ammo to do the job.
From a hilltop, our heroes spot a massive blur in the distance. It is apparently meant to be a massive herd of walkers, the largest ever seen on the show. However, the human survivors are too busy killing each other to worry about zombies. Does this final battle mean the end of the human species?