The Walking Dead Recap: You Can Smile!

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By Emily Offshack (@CanadianEmily)
 
SPOILERS AHEAD! You have been warned.
 
Recipe to defeat Negan: one cranky Daryl, a few bunches of stolen dynamite, and plenty of citizens from allied communities. A tiger is also recommended.
 
In the midseason premiere of The Walking Dead, our survivors are finally putting together a plan to take down Negan. No more pasta dinners or lemonade for the dictator!
 
But Alexandria can’t do this fight alone. They need numbers.
 

Rhetorical!

 
Gregory doesn’t care if his people at The Hilltop can be trained to fight. He wants no part of it, because he is a naive coward. He’s unaware the community doesn’t belong to him anymore. It belongs to Enid–er, Maggie.
 
Unlike Gregory, the citizens of The Hilltop are more than willing to help those who helped them. Enid gathers up a brave crew, but it’s still not enough.
 
What’s that, Jesus? There’s a kingdom?
 

Hey there, Shiva! Here kitty!

 
Hey, uh, Rick? There’s a kingdom, which means there’s a king. He has a tiger and a sidekick named Jerry. Cool dudes, though, really. Tell them the story about the rock; Jerry will love it.
 
As ridiculous as The Kingdom is, it’s awesome to lighten the mood in the zombie apocalypse. Plus, the ridiculousness is working for them.
 
At The Kingdom, Morgan is reunited with our group and tells them that Carol is okay but gone, and he had to kill to save her. Later, we see Carol run into Benjamin in the woods. He tells her that she’s still being checked on (aka stalked) because Ezekiel cares about her. She gives Benjamin a tip about walking heel to toe because she can’t help but be motherly.
 
Rick tries to convince Ezekiel to join the war against the Saviors, but Ezekiel continues to be determined to hide the threat from his people. Morgan doesn’t help the matter by suggesting there might be a way to only capture Negan. Morgan might have killed for Carol, but that doesn’t mean he’s ready for mass slaughters.
 
Later, Benjamin tries to convince Ezekiel to join the war. They’ll go whether we join or not, Benjamin says. They won’t win without us. We should choose to be heroes. Ezekiel tells him how proud he is of him, then goes to sleep, wakes up, and tells Rick they’re not joining them. Heroes shmeroes.
 

Stare him into submission

 
Since Ezekiel doesn’t want Daryl’s fans to riot, he grants Daryl refugee status at The Kingdom, where he will be safe from Negan. In theory.
 
Rick would like Daryl to work on getting Ezekiel to join the war. But since Daryl did nothing but shout angry one liners the entire episode, Rick seems to know he’s leaving behind their least effective negotiator. We’ll see.
 

You’ve got some Arzt on you

 
Remember the episode of Lost where they were trying to transport dynamite and everyone ended up with Arzt on them? No? Well, anyway, that didn’t happen on The Walking Dead. Our crew has previously unknown skills for disassembling detonators and dynamite. The Saviors had carefully rigged up a trap for walker herds, and thanks to that, our survivors are now the proud owners of explosives. Win!
 

Limbo!

 
Of course, a walker herd shows up just as the trap designed for them has been disassembled. So Rick pulls Michonne aside and asks if she wants to partake in the best walker slaughter scene in the history of The Walking Dead. All you need is two cars and a heavy wire to clothesline an entire herd. Or half of one, anyway. Somehow, they get mauled but not bitten by the rest of the walkers. Lazy zombies. Win!
 

Gabriel, the shadow, and the smile

 
Now let’s talk about the two bookends of the episode. At the opening, Gabriel is stealing food and weapons from Alexandria. He packs it into a car, and the scariest moment of the entire episode is when the shadow of another figure pops up in the car as he drives away. Let’s assume it’s the mystery person in boots from the mid-season finale.
 
At the end of the episode, when the Saviors have arrived in Alexandria to hunt down Daryl (literally), Rick’s crew learns that the pantry is empty and Gabriel is missing. They locate his bible and a note that says “BOAT”. Rick and Aaron figure that Gabriel must have known about their fishing trip to Walker Lake, so they pack up and head there, much to the exasperation of Eric. The couple parts in a manner that makes me worried that they won’t see each other alive again.
 
Rick’s crew arrives at the boat location, and it doesn’t take long before a group of people in dark-but-neutral colored clothing ascends on them. How do you react to guns pointed at your face? Well, if you’re Rick Grimes, you smile. For now, we’ll trust Rick and call this encounter a win.
 
Zombie death toll: half a herd
Human death toll: 0
 
What I want next week: Carol reunited with Daryl at The Kingdom


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