The penultimate episode of this season begins with dripping blood, a pointy stick, a dropped rosary, and what sounds like Carol and someone else in a standoff, then gunfire. Oh lord, here we go again…
Tobin pays a visit to Carol, and they have one last night together before she slips away. Elsewhere in Alexandria, Sasha and Rosita grudgingly stand watch together, Carl finds a handgun with an interesting engraving on the grip, and Glenn and Maggie enjoy a moment of wedded bliss. Daryl is still pained over Denise’s murder, and methinks he’s contemplating some payback. Abraham, ladies’ man of the apocalypse, makes things weirder for Sasha and Rosita when he comes to relieve Sasha of guard duty. But at least they have the decency to not play tongue hockey in front of the poor woman.
While Rick and Michonne get cozy, Rick makes a fairly haughty proclamation that should the Saviors attack Alexandria, they’ll be dispatched with ease. Time and time again our heroes have pulled off some stunning victories against some pretty nasty guys and girls, but cockiness does not suit Rick. As Maggie and Glenn go over how to reinforce the town’s defenses, Daryl rashly heads out alone in pursuit of Dwight. Glenn, Maggie and Rosita give chase in the van. I get fairly nervous whenever anyone leaves Alexandria now, because not only has Negan not showed up yet, but the rest of the Saviors are seasoned bushwhackers and potentially just as dangerous and vengeful. Daryl puts several lives at risk for a shot at revenge. Things in general start to unravel a bit once Rick finds out Carol ran off, as well as Daryl and his pursuers. He and Morgan (rightfully so) set off to find her and I believe the stage is set for the season finale. Our heroes have their pieces on the board, it just remains to be seen what moves Negan will make.
If there’s one mistake Carol has made (or the writers perhaps) is that she took a car that looks like it was used on the goddamn Fury Road. Soon enough she’s accosted by more Saviors, and while she tries to bluff with her frightened rabbit act, they won’t be fooled. They know she’s from Alexandria and the car is the dead giveaway. It’s tough to tell if Carol is genuinely scared or just upset that her savage hand is being forced. Either way, the Saviors find out the hard way that she had an automatic pistol up her sleeve. One survivor is impaled with one of the pikes from Carol’s Mad Max-mobile and the other, Hiro, tries to bum rush her and we’re, of course, left hanging while we check back in at Alexandria. A cliffhanger or unnecessary trolling? You be the judge.
On Carol’s trail, Rick and Morgan have a contentious conversation and it seems that Rick might be a little tired of hearing about Morgan’s theory on life, the universe and everything. Eventually they come upon the remains of her handiwork and set off following a trail of blood, presumably left by Miles, the last survivor of the battle. Yet another mistake made by Carol, leaving anyone alive.
The Daryl Recovery Team eventually catches up with him but can’t convince him to come back, indeed, Rosita joins his cause and Glenn and Michonne are left to fend for themselves. Sure enough, they’re ambushed by Dwight and the gang, and I slapped my forehead and sighed “I fucking knew it.” Thanks, Daryl. Meanwhile, the Carol Rescue Team follows the trail of blood and they come to a barn where a man is being harrowed by walkers, possibly a Savior. Morgan stops Rick from shooting him and the two have another talk about the value of life. Here Morgan confesses that he took mercy on Alpha Wolf, who in a backwards way saved Denise who saved Carl, and thus the circle of life is complete. Of course, if they just killed Alpha he wouldn’t have taken Denise hostage in the first place. A moot point now, but still. Somehow this makes sense to Rick and he allows Morgan to seek Carol on his own. The two part as friends and Rick heads back home.
Now they tend to cram a lot of things into the last few minutes of this show, and it’s gotten to be pretty damn nerve wracking. While Abraham finally gets the answer he wanted about being afraid to get close to someone from Rick, Maggie gets a haircut and out of nowhere doubles over in pain, and she is possibly having a miscarriage. Meanwhile Daryl and Rosita botch a rescue attempt and Dwight shoots Daryl.
Perhaps it’s just a symptom of being a fan, but it’s getting exhausting to have so many balls being juggled here. Some things are resolved, others are purposely drawn out far longer than they should be, and we’re smacked in the face with new threats and complications while waiting to see how everything else plays out. If Maggie is having pregnancy complications then she has to go to Hilltop, obviously not alone, and that puts more people in Negan’s crosshairs. If our captured group of heroes are being held specifically for Negan then his first victim is narrowed down for us and once again Glenn isn’t safe. But if Carol and/or Morgan cross his path, Morgan’s “life is precious” speech pretty much serves him up on a silver platter. Only one episode to go before the season finale, and I’m really biting my nails here. Whatever happens, I promise no one is going to like it, and I predict a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth on the internet.
Written by A Play On Nerds contributor, Jerry Herrera - Lover of horror, sci fi, and fantasy in that order. Semi-permanent Disneyland resident. I'm at least one of the droids you're looking for. Twitter: @FrankenJerry - Instagram: @GeraldoPedro