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Sunday, March 18, 2018

[RECAP] Season 8, Episode 11 of The Walking Dead, "Dead or Alive Or"

By Carolina Gallardo (@carolgallardo)

This week's episode of Walking Dead entitled "Dead or Alive or" we got a seemingly filler episode focusing on mostly Daryl and the now refugee Alexandrians and a Father Gabriel/Dr. Carson team now on the run.  At first glance, the episode appears to be a filler episode but there were plenty of Easter eggs that could potentially develop into something much larger.

In the case of the Alexandrians, our group is on their way to the Hilltop, the last remaining beacon of hope.  With Daryl is Tara, Dwight and Rosita and there is an uneasy alliance to eventually comes to a head.  Dwight has now completely turned his back on The Saviors and is fully supporting Rick's cause, however Tara is still incredibly mistrustful of Dwight and would like to see him eliminated immediately.  Daryl at least has enough sense to understand that Dwight is incredibly useful to their team but Tara cannot put aside her emotions to see this.  Which quite frankly is surprising and hypocritical considering that we MET Tara via her alliance to The Governor.  But I digress.

Eventually Dwight leads them to a swamp that if they can make their way through, they will be on track to get to the Hilltop as well as not be detected by Negan and his team, since the area was deemed "too dangerous". 
As Daryl and Rosita work toward executing all the swamp walkers (some with growing mushrooms...gross), Tara finally cannot hold herself back any longer and decides to take a shot at Dwight, forcing him to flee.  She chases and they find themselves hiding in a bush from a group of Saviors, patrolling the area for the Alexandrians.  Dwight eventually pops out and fools the Saviors as being just one of them and being wounded.  The group of Saviors is none the wiser and they all go off, Dwight having essentially saved their lives.  Daryl is livid with Tara that Dwight got away but Tara now realizes that Dwight can in fact be trusted. 
The group eventually arrives to the Hilltop with the news of what happened at Alexandria as well as Carl's death.  As viewers we do not exactly hear what is said, but we can read Daryl's lips and understand that he says the word "Carl".  We see Maggie and Enid eventually crumple to the ground, weeping at the news.

In another area, we see that Dr. Carson and Father Gabriel have escaped from the Sanctuary and are trying to figure out how to get to Rick and his group.  They are in a car but they are very much lost.  Eventually they stumble upon a random house that contains (3) very important elements that could potentially become factors in the future:

  • Antibiotics that curb Father Gabriel's infection (A possible link to a potential cure?)
  • A map to the Hilltop hidden in a piggy bank (Why the Hilltop?  And why would the map to the area be hidden?)
  • A ham radio (***SPOILER ALERT***: For those that have read the comic, I'm sure that many viewers' eyes enlarged at the site and reference to that ham radio; $20 says that that ham radio is affiliated with the mysterious black helicopter; Just sayin')

Beyond these elements, we realize that sadly Father Gabriel's infection has done serious damage to his eye sight and he is slowly going blind.  This is a sad and horrifying premise for existence in this world: How can one survive this apocalyptic environment as a disabled person?

Finding all these elements however, further makes Father Gabriel feel that God has a purpose for them and that these are all signs that they are on the right track.  It's interesting to see the dynamic between this Man-of-Faith vs. Man-of-Science relationship.  At a certain point, after Father Gabriel finds the strength to be able to miraculously shoot off a walker from an already injured Dr. Carson, the good doctor starts to come around to this positive way of thinking...until they are ultimately recaptured by Saviors.  In a seemingly act of suicide-by-cop, Dr. Carson grabs a Savior's gun which gets him immediately shot and killed.  They drive off with Father Gabriel weeping throughout the car ride back to The Sanctuary.

Meanwhile back at the Sanctuary, Negan is putting the pressure on Eugene to get his Armory outpost up and running and making bullets to replenish their supply.  Eugene is not working fast enough and during a confrontation when Negan brings him a captured Gabriel as extra help, Eugene suggests using walker parts as weapons (throw the bodies over the wall to the Alexandrians to slow them down).  Hearing this and seeing Father Gabriel's state gets Negan's brain immediately working and we can tell he's come up with an idea.  They are to coat all of their weapons in walker blood so that just a cut or scrape or touch with an infected weapon will be enough to do just that: Infect the enemy and turn them into weapons themselves.  He gathers all his men together and informs them that they will be utilizing the might of the walker illness to their advantage.

Post-Apocalyptic Bio-warfare if you will.

With all all of our heroes now gathered at the Hilltop, expect next week's episode to be action packed with many of our main characters on center stage.

THE WALKING DEAD AIRS SUNDAYS, AT 9PM EST ON AMC.

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