This review contains spoilers.
Starting off this episode with Maggie was such a relief. We haven’t seen her since the first episode and we haven’t seen Hill Top at all this season. It was pretty clear during the last episode that she wasn’t really dead and that’s just something they told Negan to keep her safe, but that didn’t mean she was okay. Of course after Glenn she’s not going to be a hundred percent, but we do know that she’s as healthy as she can be and (hopefully) isn’t going to leave us any time soon.
Sasha, Maggie, and Jesus (Hill Top)
It can’t be easy for either of them to stay in Hill Top when their friends and family are back in Alexandria, but it was a very touching moment when Sasha said “then we’ll stay” after Maggie says she’s been told it’s better for her to stick around until after the baby is born. It’s nice to see that they’re sticking together after everything that’s happened, and I can only hope that their friendships develops more and more throughout the season.
When Jesus showed up I was so happy! He’s one of the people I’ve been looking forward to seeing this season. The fact that he’s been putting flowers on Abraham and Glenn’s graves and leaving some by Maggie’s bedside was the sweetest and most thoughtful thing. Clearly from last season (and the previews of this season) we know he can fight and he’s tough in many other ways, but seeing this kind and gentle side of him was needed. I know I’m not the only one who loves him and I hope he sticks around for a bit, but if he does we need to see different sides to him so we can really invest in him as a character.
Also, Jesus defending Maggie when she’s called Marsha. and Sasha’s disgusted look when Gregory is telling her she’d be better off staying away from Maggie, was really appreciated. I really can’t stand Gregory and it appears no one else can either. You could just feel the growing anger and resent towards him as the episode went on. I can understand some of his behaviour, living in fear of Negan must be hard, but sometimes he took it way too far.
Seeing him interact with the Saviors showed that he is capable of handling things, but only just. You can tell it’s a struggle, and eventually he plans to give away Maggie and Sasha. Luckily they weren’t in the closest, but it was the final nail in the coffin to know that Gregory couldn’t be trusted. I want to believe that he did it to protect the people of Hill Top, but it’s more likely he did it for himself. When the car playing the music comes into Hill Top you see him backing away in his office, clearly not going to help the people he claims to be protecting.
Also that scene where Gregory is forced to give up his drink so he doesn’t look like he’s wasting the Saviors’ time was hilarious. Especially Jesus’ “I told you not to show him the closet” face. When Maggie punched Gregory I felt so much relief, I’m sure we all did. Especially when her speech followed by the fact that she’s chosen to take the name “Maggie Rhee.” That whole build up, and the indication that she might become to new Hill Top leader, was all very well done.
I liked that Jesus had in his own personal struggle of not feeling like a leader and not knowing exactly what he wants for the community, but still wanting to help Maggie and Sasha to stay in Hill Top. When he gives Sasha the necklace that Rosita gave Abraham it made me worry, will there be conflict between the two woman? There’s bound to be something there because they both dated Abraham (and he did leave Rosita to be with Sasha), but I don’t want it to turn into some giant feud. I’m hoping that instead it’ll bring them closer together and make them realise that they both loved Abraham and they both need to cope together.
When Jesus spoke about what he liked about Abraham it showed that he cares an awful lot about people, enough to notice little things about them. When he says that they have themselves to remember the dead instead of graves it becomes apparent that Jesus most likely tries to remember as much about the people he meets as possible so that if they die he is able to preserve their memory and remember them in a deserving manner. Overall I just think it shows that he cares.
One thing I have to give credit to the show for is that it does a great job at having different communities. Every single community we’ve come across works differently, has different ideas. For example, while Alexandria (/Rick’s group) bury their dead, Hill Top burn theirs. Everyone handles situations (in this case the apocalypse) differently, so it’s nice to see that showcased.
When it comes to the fires and the music from the car at Hill Top (which I mentioned earlier) my first thought was what the hell? I kept trying to come up with scenarios, but sometimes communities do do wacky things, but I just wasn’t sure. The fact that Sasha and Maggie were locked inside made me think it was something by Hill Top to stop them from getting in the way of whatever it is they were doing. The one thing I knew for sure and was excited about was that I knew, from previews, that we’d get to see Jesus fight. I was relieved, however, to find out it wasn’t some weird community thing, and instead was a message from Negan’s group. The locks on the windows and that must have been protection.
I loved the fact that when Maggie calls to Jesus and tells him that Sasha is down there alone he goes straight away. He doesn’t hesitate, he climbs down immediately. I never got the impression that he was going to treat her like she was vulnerable. Instead we got to see him help, not overtake. I mean, let’s just appreciate what a great team Maggie, Sasha, and Jesus make! More of that in the future please. And also we need more scenes of them Sasha and Jesus fighting, because that was really fun to watch, and of Maggie being a badass. Not only did we see her punch Gregory, but she also took down some Walkers and a car with a tractor. A tractor!
Carl And Enid (Alexandria).
Poor Carl trying to practice his aim and not wanting to go with Rick and the others. You can understand. I know it was mostly so he could sneak off later and track down Negan, but I think a small part of it was not wanting to be a liability and put people in danger.
The kiss between Rick and Michonne. I’m so glad that relationship hasn’t been left behind. Them getting together was one of the best scenes/episodes of last season so I have a lot invested in their dynamic/relationship and I hope it’s not wasted or forgotten about. They don’t seem to be going overboard with it, just moments here and there, but sometimes that’s just enough. Also Michonne talking to Carl, and their conversation ending with her reminding him to change his bandages, you can just feel the family dynamic and how far she has come with not just Rick, but the Grimes family as a whole.
The Endid and Carl relationship is one of the best! The show manages to treat them like teenagers, while still maintaining the fact that they’ve had to grow up fast and hard because of the apocalypse. I liked the fact that he tried to stop her because he cares, but when it was clear that she really wanted to go, that she needed to go, he backed off and let her. Of course we know that he later leaves Alexandria and ends up travelling with her anyway.
Can we talk about that car scene for a moment? Because that was epic! It was nice to see that they seemed to take into account that he’s probably never learnt to drive and he’s only got one eye, he drives pretty poorly and it doesn’t do the best job in the world at eliminating the Walkers, but it was still badass. I love how he showed up out of nowhere. And did he hot wire that car? I hope so.
“What are you doing here?” “Felt like a drive.” I love this, kid.
You can see Enid and Carl’s relationship grow over the course of the episode. The fact that the start of their major scenes (outside of Alexandria) is them walking on opposite sides of the road, but builds up to them kissing. With moments like hand holding and heart-to-hearts in between. Going back to the fact that the show creates this good middle ground between them being teenagers and growing up in apocalypse, the rollerblading scene was so good! It perfectly showed this.
Other things (the clash of story lines).
I really appreciate the fact that Enid used the green balloons she was trying to stop the Saviors from taking to put on Glenn’s grave (even if it was the wrong one), to remember him by. I feel like if there wasn’t a grave she would have let them float away.
And when Maggie gave Enid the stopwatch, I was hoping! I could get behind the idea of Maggie using it to mark Glenn’s grave, but I was hoping that she would pass it on to Enid. I know Maggie is expecting a baby, but you can argue that Enid became like a daughter to them and it was just perfect that Maggie would pass it down to her child. I’m sure if she had never met or grown close to Enid she would have kept it for her baby. Also, quoting Jesus about the whole “we have us to remember them by” thing just added to the fact that Maggie (and Sasha) are prepared to stick around and make Hill Top work. I hope Enid sticks with them too (I really don’t see them letting her go back, especially by herself), although I need her to be reunited with Carl at some point!
Also, let’s appreciate that moment between Carl and Jesus. It’s a teaming up I never thought I needed until now, so let’s hope for more of that in the future!
Overall this episode was probably one of the best! I would argue it’s a great example of a perfect episode. That doesn’t mean there weren’t problems, but any I had were small or simply dealt with in a sufficient and timely manner. If 80-90% of the the Walking Dead episodes were like this one I would be so happy. It gives me hope that the show is on its way to being as good as it once was. From the promo for next week (which can be found on youtube) it seems like we’re getting to see a lot of different characters instead of just focusing on one particular group, it’ll be interesting to see how they handle that. Mostly I’m excited to see Tara again!
If you’ve seen the episode feel free to let me know what you think of it! And also if there’s anything you’re looking forward to for next week’s episode.