|Photo Credit: The Walking Dead / Gene Page|
When Aaron and Rick scavenged the houseboat full of supplies in Hearts Still Beating, they couldn't even reap the benefits of their labor. Negan's saviors rounded up what the pair collected, Aaron was nearly beaten to death, and that was the tip of the iceberg. In the middle of the night as Rick and the group camped over at The Hilltop Colony, Gabriel was on watch, took all of the supplies from the food pantry, loaded up a car and hit the road, in what we assumed never to come back.
What Alexandria had salvaged for themselves or the Saviors was back to zero. There wasn't a lot adding up to his sudden escape until Rick followed his last 'Boat' message and was swarmed by unknown assailants - plenty of them in a gigantic junk heap.
Once Rick and the group (Michonne, Tara, Rosita, Aaron) were surrounded by a new leader and her Urban Outfitters crew, things began to unravel: they discovered the houseboat before and let another survivor come along willing to risk their lives for the supplies, and then went to take from them what they claimed. So, Gabriel was held hostage to help them take the supplies to their camp.
While one piece of the puzzle was answered, Rick attempted to make a proposition to their possible allies, that they share something in common with serving the Saviors and they need help wiping out their enemy. Before Jadis committed to anything, she wanted to ensure Rick was worthy, and shoved him into a heap of junk to face-off against Winslow aka my new lawn ornament, a spiked and armored walker. Strange but a bit exciting, the Gladiator games caused Rick to take a spike through the hand and cut his leg before using the garbage on top of the walker and managing to nearly kill him.
You can't help but love the leg who defeats a metalhead walker and comes out looking victorious and could pass out from the pain at any second. It's certainly a win-win you got there Rick.
There's not a whole of easy going making friends in the apocalypse, but Rick's survival in the walker gladiator games proved he and fellow Alexandrians weren't all that bad. The victor perhaps made another promise he can't keep by exchanging weapons and guns for Jadis help in overthrowing Negan. Clearly, one-half of their next plan is to rescue Eugene from the Saviors to make bullets, but that is not going to be an easy feat.
On top of which, Rick asked Tara for assistance on where they could go looking for supplies, and more importantly, areas to avoid. This brings back the issue of whether the latter will tell Rick of the Oceanside crew she came in contact with in Swear - who are absolutely loaded with supplies.
This half of the episode satiated the intrigue about this new group called the Scavengers, greatly due to the special effects of Winslow and the cult-like presence of Jadis. It wouldn't be nothing if weren't for the subtly of how important Gabriel has become to the group, his faith in Rick, as well as a little parallel moment to season four between Rick and Michonne, where he gave a wired cat sculpture to her to replace the one she lost when the prison fell.
So we got a probable new pact going on but nothing is set in stone. More importantly, the episode finally brought back to lovebirds together after nearly a season and a half of separation. OF COURSE, WE'RE TALKING ABOUT CARYL.
Daryl was ready to hit the road with Richard to ambush the Saviors. The latter was been thinking of how to decimate Negan's cronies for a while - timing their schedules on the road and when to attack them from out of sight. However, in sharing his plan to Daryl, he didn't count on that revealing Carol in her cabin could be a casualty by the Saviors or Walkers. Richard made a huge mistake in threatening her life and even conceding that her living on her own means that she is as good as dead. It's an even scarier thought that Richard is willing to sacrifice anyone to achieve his goals - but does he include himself in that category? if the time calls for it, will he save his own skin over one of Alexandria or the Kingdom's people when this war escalates?
Richard's cowardice move only infuriates Daryl even more, but nothing will keep our Asskicker from her. After beating Dick to a pulp, and threatened him in the most beautiful way possible if any harm comes to her, Daryl made his way to Carol's cabin, and FINALLY WE HAD A REUNION.
But so much rested between the two coming together again - how would she explain leaving him and Alexandria? how could or would Daryl reveal what's happened to everyone back home?
Finally having an evening by the fireside and candlelight, Carol confided in Daryl all that's taken her to live by herself. Since the deaths of Lizzie and Mika in Coda, killing the Termites in No Sanctuary, sharing in bloodshed to protect Alexandria in JSS, and ultimately being unable to fight against the Saviors in The Same Boat, Carol's shoulders have been burdened with killing. It's not necessarily the acts themselves that make her question what lengths she'll go to protect her family, but what will become of her after it's all said and done.
Norman and Melissa's acting and chemistry is what made this scene worth going through and taking so long to get there. They both were subtle in dealing with what both Carol and Daryl need from each other, why their relationship works, and understanding that being away from her family isn't easy but she needs to put herself back together. Her relief when he told her that nobody got hurt and everything was fine is a clear sign of the weight that she'd carry if he had answered differently.
Daryl had an opportunity to reveal everyone who has died in Alexandria since the attack on the outpost - Denise, Glenn, Abraham, Olivia and Spencer's death as well as Daryl getting captured and Eugene taking his place now. In retrospect, obviously we want Carol to learn of all of these things because being in the dark is heartbreaking, but it's a lot of pile on not just in one conversation, but also to question if Carol would feel guilty that she didn't do more when she and Maggie were captured, or to have witnessed the line-up.
The fact that Carol still doesn't know is hard to contend with; there's such a big part that feels like she's missing out. When that time comes, whether it's the Saviors knocking on her door or finding out through the grapevine, no one could blame Daryl from trying to shield her, but will the emotional impact of the story still be relevant if too much more time passes before she finds out?
UNTIL THEN. THEY REUNITED AND IT FELT SO GOOD.
- I MADE A CAMEO. YEP. My name is on Richard's backpack. My name spelt Katy is not short for Katharine or an alternative to Katie. IT'S KATY. SO YEP. I'M ON THE SHOW.
- MVP of the week: Jerry. This guy is so funny and his smile lights up the apocalypse.
- Please, people, stop hating on Seth Gilliam. Father Gabriel redeemed himself two seasons ago.
- I love Rick is back on his high horse - just ripping the cat off of its stand because he defeated Winslow. Sure it's a nice gesture for Michonne but what if a Scavenger artiste made that and is super pissed you stole it.
- The Kingdom's Diana didn't shoot her walker sister in the beginning. I'm pretty sure she's Tamiel from the Scavengers. PROOF. We'll see.