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Thursday, November 15, 2018

[RECAP] Season 9, Episode 6 of The Walking Dead, "Who Are You Now"

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After last week’s climatic episode five of The Walking Dead, Rick Grimes’ highly anticipated “final” episode, the season could’ve potentially ended right there (or at least have served as the mid-season finale).  But in fact, we are only a quarter of the way through season 9, with still three more episodes left until the mid-season break.  The sixth episode entitled “Who are you Now” deals with the aftermath of life AFTER Rick Grimes (six years into the future to be exact).  There are many developments, but also many more questions that hopefully will start to be answered as we continue to go through the season.

This episode very closely follows Michonne mostly, and we get the impression that this episode will largely center on her in this new time period, particularly as we start to see that she spends ample time speaking to Rick at the destroyed bridge where she assumes he died as well as in her bedroom (although it’s not abundantly clear if she’s talking to Rick and/or Carl).  Michonne is incredibly skeptical of the new visitors that have been brought back to Alexandria by Rosita, Eugene and Aaron, led primarily by Judith.  She immediately pats down Magna (the assumed leader) and seems to express how letting new people in the gates of Alexandria is against all protocol (with Michonne seemingly to be the assumed leader of Alexandria).  Judith however, defends her position and they decide that whatever decision needs to be made will need to be presented to the council and voted on, in an apparent democratic fashion (good on Michonne, former lawyer that she is).

At this council meeting, each people of the new group (with the exception of Yumiko who is being tended to at the infirmary) has to essentially introduce themselves and explain who they were then and who they are now, in this post-apocalyptic world.  We learn that this new group of survivors is a lot like our veterans were way back when: A tight knit motley crew of survivors, willing to do whatever it takes to survive.  It seems that most of the members of Alexandria who attend this Town Hall (a record number due to the fact that apparently they have not had any newcomers in a significant amount of time) as well as the council are moved by the stories from these survivors, particularly by Luke.  Everyone that is…except Michonne.  She is incredibly skeptical and confronts Magna, exposing one of her tattoos as being a prison tattoo (perhaps from her time in the legal system) and justifying why the group cannot be trusted.  She also goes on to mention how they’ve gone through this before and questions if they want to go through all “that” again.

Hmmmm.  It’s starting to become more and more clear that SOMETHING significant happened in the six years that have gone by that has hardened Michonne from helping others, beyond Rick’s assumed death.  What that is however, is still a question by the end of the episode (although this podcaster/blogger has her theories).

In any case, Magna’s crew criticizes her for her defiance in the face of Michonne and potentially screwing up their chances at a life at Alexandria.  No matter, Magna feels that this fancy society can’t be totally trusted and she needs to maintain some sort of defense in case she needs to protect herself (reminiscent of Rick Grimes and crew when they FIRST arrived at Alexandria and met Deana).  She takes it a step further by coming to Michonne’s door (how fancy is Michonne’s home by the way? Construction in the apocalypse is pretty on point), in apparent potential attempt to take her down (possibly kill her).  That is until, she sees a small young child, a male, run into a happy Michonne’s arms.  Michonne and Rick’s son, RJ. 

OH MY GOD.  That was like a punch in the stomach.  Talk about ALL the feels.  ALL OF THE FEELS.

We also get a heart to heart with Judith, who reminds her of what her father and her brother would’ve wanted her to do (which is probably not turning people away).  While Michonne is skeptical of Judith (as she is, you know, a child), it appears to make an impression as well as Magna knocking on her door and instead, handing over her last remaining weapon.  This all leads Michonne to change her mind and decide that they will be taken to the Hilltop where the woman leader there (likely an older Enid, in Maggie’s absence) will be able to take them in

Before all this though, we have a moment where we see that Michonne has a perfect “X” carved into the left hand side of her back.  Too perfect to be a wound, so it must be an intentional branding sort of mark…but why?  And who inflicted that on her?  We are getting more and more clues that something nefarious occurred in the past six years that has led to a very on-guard Michonne.  Also, Judith apparently is having daily conversations with a MUCH rejuvenated Negan, still in his cell, but now groomed and with a renewed light in his eyes.  Also a result of what occurred during this six year time jump?

At the same time, we see that Carol and Ezekiel are the official King and Queen of the Kingdom.  They are happy in their kingdom with their (pseudo) adopted teenage son Henry but the kingdom is very much falling apart.  Henry pleads that he’s old enough to get an apprenticeship with the blacksmith at the Hilltop and he could use those skills to better assist the Kingdom with the current infrastructure needs.  Eventually, Ezekiel and Carol concede and allow it with Ezekiel mentioning that perhaps that they should even develop a sort of Fair to bring ALL the communities together.

HUH.  NOW.  If you’re a comic book reader, at the mention of the word “Fair” your hair likely stood up, at the knowledge of what HAPPENS at said fair.  But we’re not going to get into that right now…

In any case, Carol decides to essentially chauffeur Henry to the Hilltop but they are sidetracked with they cross paths with (believe it or not) Saviors that apparently survived since the skirmish at the tent camp, led by Jed and Regina primarily.  Since the Sanctuary went bust (hmmm) they have been living off what they can scavenge and they are looking to take their goods but Jed assures them that he’s allowing them to keep their cart and horses and their lives (what a guy).  Unfortunately, this does not fly with Henry and he tangles with Jed, still using his Akido stick moves, but is quickly overpowered.  Carol, knowing they are outnumbered, backs down immediately, protecting Henry and even gives up her wedding ring which Jed wants, for no other reason other than to be a douche. 

This comes back to back him in the you-know-what however because as Henry sleeps in their tent setup for the night, unbeknownst to him, Carol approaches the Saviors' tent camp set up and confronts Jed.  She tells him how while she could forgive stealing her ring, he stole from her people (hmmm) and he hurt her son and for that he needs to pay.  He swears that he never took anything (again, are we talking about something that happened in the past?) and that she’ll never see him again.  She says that she knows…and drops a match on a gas soaked camp site and burns all the Saviors alive, as she calmly walks away.  

SAVAGE.  And my hero.

The next day, Carol and Henry continue on their journey and Henry notices Carol has her ring back.  He doesn’t need to ask what happened.  Carol leads the horses off the map on a detour and we soon see why…she has led them right to Daryl’s apparent new home.

Our last story is concerning Rosita, Eugene and Father Gabriel.  Father Gabriel is showing Rosita in a sort of home office, if you will, maps of the area and a HAM RADIO (comic book readers, this should also set off alarms in her head).  That seems to be the same ham radio that he came across in the home that he inhabited with the former Savior Doctor who administered antibiotics to him that saved part of his vision.  He’s explaining to Rosita that if they could place one of the mechanisms in a certain area beyond their self-inflicted boundaries (or boundaries enforced by Michonne at least), that they might be able to pick up a signal and see who else may be out there.  Rosita agrees that she and Eugene can handle it…and gives him a romantic kiss before heading off. 

WTF.  So Father Gabriel is a player?  When in the world is Daryl ever going to get some?

Anyway, Rosita and Eugene venture out (as Eugene tries to make the subtle moves on Rosita…sad) but things start to go downhill very quickly.  Eugene, while at the top of a Water Tank (again, red flag comic book readers) in an attempt to secure the equipment, notices a horde of walkers heading their way.  He runs down the ladder and injures himself, spooking the horses (these freaking horses) and they both have to make a run for it.  What this leads to is the much hyped about scene from the original Comic Con trailer where we see Eugene and Rosita covered in mud, hiding in a ditch, all the while hearing the walker herd walk by, u
ttering an ominous “Whhheeeeereee arreeeee theeeeyyyy?”.

So are the herds evolving?  Will both Eugene and Rosita make it back to tell the tale?  And what happened in those six years that has hardened Michonne but has rejuvenated Negan?  And what has Daryl been up to all these years?

We have only two more episodes to hopefully get closer to some answers.


Wednesday, November 7, 2018

[RECAP] Season 9, Episode 5 of The Walking Dead, "What Comes After"

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By Carolina Gallardo (@carolgallardo)

Well, after much marketing and hype by AMC, we have finally arrived at what has been continuously billed as "Rick Grimes' Final Episode". is and it isn't his final episode.  And what's more?  It was probably the best, most exciting episode in YEARS.  Confused?  Let's elaborate.

When we last left off our hero, Rick Grimes was left lying on a piece of concrete, impaled on a some rebar, as two converging herds slowly neared.  We can see that he is dipping in and out of consciousness with the phase "What is your wound?" being asked by a male voice, popping in and out throughout the episode.  He eventually comes to after hallucinating that he was talking to his comatose self at the hospital and telling himself to "WAKE UP" (and seeing a swarm helicopters, *hint hint*).  When he comes to, he sees the looming heard and he uses his belt to throw it on a higher piece of rebar and (ugh, I want to close my eyes just typing this) pull himself off the piece that impaled him.  That was without a doubt one of the most cringe worthy, painful scenes ever filmed on this show that I had to watch.  And listen, when your own husband has to turn his head because he cant stomach watching the scene, you KNOW it's intense.

In any case, he's able to get off, hold his wound to prevent himself from completely bleeding out and hoists himself onto his white horse, starting to lead the herd away from the area.  And so begins, Rick Grimes' journey to find and protect his family.  What follows are a series of hallucinations during his route, that occur at points where Rick is losing strength and is knocking on death's door.  These are the moments where he has contact with some of his lost loved ones, who provide guidance, support and remind him to "WAKE UP".

But before we get to Rick's story (obviously the significant story), we need to address the Maggie-Negan confrontation.  Maggie ends up arriving at Alexandria and eventually ends up convincing Michonne to allow her to see Negan, even though Michonne knows that Maggie simply wants to kill Negan.  Maggie enters Negan's quarters and he immediately starts egging her on, trying to incite her anger.  This begins to work but Maggie wants to see his face and asks him to step into the light and get on his knees.  Losing her patience, she grabs him and flings him against a wall.  It's at this point that Negan breaks down into tears and implores Maggie TO kill him.  That this is something he is not able to do himself and that her killing him would finally set him free and would allow him to be his loved one, his wife Lucille.  Maggie then realizes Negan is in a far worse place mentally than she ever could've imagined and therefore she leaves him to suffer in his own personal hell.  The absolute tearful, broken site of Negan in this scene was utterly heartbreaking but again, I am a Negan apologist so do with that information what you will. Regardless, Jeffrey Dean Morgan was incredible in this scene and it needs to be said and noted.

Now back to Rick: The first hallucination comes when Rick takes a break in a cabin to tend to his wound and it involves *gasp* Shane!  YES.  Shane Walsh himself, the original bad ass.  Rick and Shane sit in their old police car and catch up and joke, just the way they would've done back when they were partners.  Shane even goes so far as to ask Rick how's his little girl and does she have my eyes?  OUCH.  Shane bold as hell, even in the afterlife.  Seriously though, Shane fully acknowledges that Rick needed to do what he did, after Rick apologizes for of course, being the one that killed him.  Shane tells him that he understands and that he takes full credit for the evolution of Rick Grimes from Officer Friendly to a savage beast that would bite a man's throat out and hack threatening forces in a church (yes, Rick Grimes did all that), if need be.  He tells him he always knew he had it in him and those situations prove it.  When Rick tries to tell him that he's just a guy looking for his family, Shane tells him that he shouldn't be here and he needs to WAKE UP

Rick wakes up just in the nick of time, since walkers start to descend on the cabin and he narrowly escapes and climbs back on the horse.  He continues on and his next hallucination involves *tear* Hershel.  Rick is back on the farm with Hershel and he is especially emotional, apologizing for not doing more to be able to save his life.  Hershel assures him that he's fine and that he knows his daughter (Maggie) is strong and now with a child, she is even stronger.  Rick talks about being tired and continues to insist about seeing his family but Hershel assures him that this is not the place he needs to be and that he needs to WAKE UP.

Again, Rick wakes up and continues on, still losing a significant amount of blood and still slipping in out of consciousness.  We see that he's on a trajectory heading to the bridge, as Daryl recommended that he should.  As he starts to slip again, he has another hallucination where he is back at the hospital (IE the pilot episode).  He is walking down the same hallways but this time he unlocks and opens the doors labeled "DO NOT OPEN; DEAD OUTSIDE".  Upon opening the door, he is greeted with a bright light and he finds himself standing on a horizon completely filled with bodies.  Bodies of some that have already passed, bodies of people he knows are alive right now.  Eventually, Sasha stands up from the sea of bodies and talks to Rick.  He is again apologetic but Sasha reassures him that it is all a cycle and that everything that we all learn and help each other and pass that along.  But most importantly, he needs to WAKE UP.

He finally does and he is back at the campsite, horse now gone.  The campsite is deserted (seriously, what happened after the firefight?  Well, I guess it doesn't really matter now) but the walkers are overrunning it.  Rick manages to get a few head shots in, even while mortally wounded (what a bad ass) but then realizes he needs to get out of there and fast.

He then begins the slow arduous task of dragging himself, limping, toward the infamous bridge. It's at this point that we see the whole cavalry squad arrive and run over the bridge and start taking out all the walkers.  Michonne embraces the wounded Rick and tells him that she loves him because he is such a fighter but...none of this is real.  And he needs to WAKE UP.

He then finally comes to, alone, on the bridge.  The walkers start advancing over the bridge but unfortunately the bridge does not give and they just keep on coming.  This time, however, the cavalry really DOES show up and it is REAL.  They are not on the bridge but rather below the bridge and Daryl starts shooting walkers to prevent Rick from getting bit.  Michonne, Carol and Maggie on their part, run with a terrified urgency to try to get to Rick before it's too late.  Unfortunately, Rick notes the dynamite on the bridge that had been used in a previous episode to clear an area.  He utters that he "found them", his family, and he then shoots the dynamite which promptly triggers a huge explosion, blowing up the bridge and, we assume, himself in the process.  Michonne is devastated and her crumbling on the ground, being restrained by Maggie and Carol was utterly wrenching to watch.  And if that wasn't enough, Daryl's face crumpling into tears and dejectedly walking away likely put you over the edge.'s not over yet.  Rule #1 of The Walking Dead: Until you see a body, it's not official.  

We then see Jadis, in communication via her walkie talkie with the helicopter again, and this time, she is by the river stream flowing with walkers from the bridge.  Not only that, the camera pans and we then see Rick Grimes STILL ALIVE, but obviously insured, washed ashore by the river.  Jadis sees him and immediately radios the helicopter stating that she doesn't have an A but she does have a B and this B is a friend who desperately needs aid.  The helicopter obliges her deal and it touches down and we even start hearing the song "Space Junk" from the end of the pilot episode when Rick was stuck in the tank (did you catch that?).  While in the helicopter (where he is asked what his wound is), Jadis accompanies him and assures him that he will be in excellent shape and that he's going to a place with all the resources he needs.  Rick gives her a quizzical look but considering he has an oxygen tank hooked up to him and he is in a comfortable helicopter, what CAN he say?  The helicopter then whisks them away to...well, that is a question that apparently will be answered at a future date.

The episode could've ended here and it would've been totally acceptable but instead, we see the landscape change and we get the impression that time has passed.  At this point, we are not clear on how much time exactly.  We then see a new group of survivors fighting against a group of walkers that have them effectively surrounded.  All of a sudden though, shots ring out and the walkers start to drop.  A young girl's voice instructs them to follow her into the clearing in the woods and they promptly do.  Once there, they see that the voice came from a little girl, likely no more than 10 years old...but she has Rick's gun, Michonne's katana and Carl's hat.  Her name, as she introduces herself, is Judith.  JUDITH GRIMES.


The episode ends here with some previews to the remaining three episodes until the mid-season finale.  It is clear that the departure of Rick Grimes is obviously something to be missed.  However, it needs to be said, that Angela Kang and her team of writers found a way to write the character of Rick Grimes out of the show, majestically and honorably...but not out of the story.  His story will continue in another medium which will allow the further development of the current story line and characters which definitely feels incredibly exciting, particularly with "Little Ass Kicker" at the helm.

Dare I say it, has "The Walking Dead" become Sunday night's Must See TV again?  I think it actually has.


Tuesday, November 6, 2018

[RECAP] Season 9, Episode 4 of The Walking Dead, "The Obliged"

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By Carolina Gallardo (@carolgallardo)

Episode 4 of the "The Walking Dead" entitled "The Obliged" centers around the various obligations that many of our character's are begrudgingly going along with, even when they aren't necessarily fully convinced themselves.  We also see what happens when vigilante justice mentality takes full reign and...the beginning of the end of Rick Grimes???  Where to start??  I suppose from the beginning...

We get to see before the credits even roll, an opening sequence of a day in the life of Michonne.  We get to see that during the day, Michonne is fulfilling her daily obligations of working on a new government charter (remember, Michonne WAS a lawyer in her previous life), taking care of toddler Judith as well as general governing of Alexandria.  This includes tending to the sick, breaking up petty squabbles and the like.  But at night, we see a restless Michonne unable to sleep.  It's at this point that she grabs her katana, goes outside (all unbeknownst to Rick) and unleashes her warrior self toward walkers that she purposely attracts.  We've seen this from Michonne before when they FIRST arrived at Alexandria and she still felt the need to keep her fighting skills sharp (no pun intended) by battling walkers at night, behind everyone's back. 

In any case we see that this has become a (seemingly) daily habit, culminating in one evening when she is momentarily distracted by a walker hung from a tree.  The walker seems relatively fresh and his hands are bound which leads me to wonder WHO hung this person from the tree BEFORE they turned into a walker?  Clearly this was no accident.  Michonne seems to be thinking the same thing and as a result, a walker sneaks up on her and the katana falls to the ground, as she battles against the walker, she grabs the nearest thing to her which just HAPPENS to be a baseball bat.  The visual of the bloody bat seems to bring back horrific memories (ie, Negan) and she immediately drops it on site and runs.

Now.  My question is: Was THAT Lucille?  Or was that another random bat that was left behind?  Something to think about.

Back at the Hilltop, Maggie's informed that she's received another letter from Georgie.  She quickly disregards and says that she'll read it later.  She leaves baby Hershel with help and asks Jesus to watch over the community while she goes attend to some business (after she packs a crowbar in her knapsack).  Jesus is no fool and knows EXACTLY where Maggie is headed and what her intentions are but as much as he pleads with her, Maggie's mind is set and she's off.  Jesus then alerts the Calvary essentially, which results in Jerry contacting Rick to let him know that Maggie's on her way.  And that's ALL that has to be said to understand what that means.  Rick immediately radioed one the posts, stating that she is not allowed entry without permission and escorting.  Unfortunately, that all falls on deaf ears since the post is manned by a member of Oceanside/a Maggie Sympathizer.  She ignores his warning and goes back to her magazine (can you imagine reading an old magazine during the apocalypse?  Talk about nostalgia).  Daryl then of all people (red flag) offers to give Rick a ride to Alexandria, which Rick of course takes him up on.  In the meantime, the river is rising and the bridge will likely not hold for much longer, especially in light of the incoming walker herds, according to Eugene.

Back at Alexandria however, Michonne is forced to have some one on one time with Negan.  She's informed by one of the members of the community that Negan is on a hunger strike and is not eating.  She visits his cell to ensure that he eats but what ends up happening is a discussion between these two warriors.  Negan correctly identifies that Michonne IS a warrior and that this domestic goddess role is not who she truly is.  They also confide in each other about their past: Negan's wife passing away from cancer without them ever being able to have a child of their own, something he always wanted.  Michonne's own son Andre passing away when the Apocalypse hit, simply "not making it".  This is company that Negan DEEPLY relishes, since he is basically relegated to solitary confinement (poor guy...yes, I am a Negan apologist).  Eventually though, he hits a raw nerve with her, stating that it was probably for the best that his wife and her son passed away because they would've held them back from being strong.  At this comment, Michonne bristles and storms out...only to eventually return and resume her conversations with Negan.  She ensures him that she is not like him and she doesn't relish fighting but she wants to make the world better for her daughter (IE, Judith).  He then begins to question her on the whereabouts of his Lucille, to which Michonne replies that she likely is still out there but she's not clear on her whereabouts.  This sends Negan into a frenzy, wailing about wanting to be reunited with his "Lucille" (more likely his wife, then the bat itself).  He then begins beating his head against the wall, in a sort of attempt to knock himself out, perhaps sadly even kill himself and put himself out of his own torture.

Meanwhile, we return to the junkyard where we see that Father Gabriel has been tied to a gurney, much like Negan was when he was held by Jadis at the junkyard.  He comes to and sees that Jadis is about to unleash a walker on Gabriel to finish him off and kill him.  He then puts his heart on his sleeve and pleads with Jadis, appealing to her better judgement, while also coming to terms with what is about to happen.  Jadis ends up tearfully changing her mind...but drugs Gabriel with some sort of chlorophyll cloth, effectively knocking him out.  Yet again.  When he comes to, he finds a note simply stating:

If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.  I need to go fast.

Father Gabriel is left devastated and alone.

Finally, Daryl and Rick are (supposedly) en route to Alexandria, until Rick finally realizes that this is not the route to Alexandria.  Long overdue, the two men hop off the bike and confront each other.  It's made abundantly clear that Daryl is trying to prevent Rick from getting to Alexandria and stopping Maggie and that the post is also in firm agreement with them.  Push comes to shove (literally) and the two men come to blows, eventually landing in a sort of sinkhole.  During this time in the hole, the two men hash out their conflicting positions.  Daryl states emphatically that he would've died for Carl or for Rick, but Rick's mission to "save" everyone including Negan isn't doing any justice to Carl's memory and is actually sullying the memory of Glenn, Abraham and Sasha.  As much as Rick protests against Daryl's points, Daryl insists that he just needs to "Let it Go".  This heartfelt conversation is cut short due to the sound of gunshots coming back from the camp.  Unbeknownst to them, a faction of the Saviors have come to incite their revenge on Carol and her crew, which breaks out into gunfire.  This gunfire in turn, attracts the walker herds that Eugene has been warning them all about for some time.  As  result, these walkers start stumbling into the sinkhole, ramping up the sense of urgency to get out of there.  Rick uses a tree root to help leverage him out of the hole and Daryl then uses some of the walkers he's able to kill as building blocks to climb higher but it's still not quite enough.  Rick leverages a nearby wiry branch to hold on to and asks Daryl, his pseudo-brother, to take his hand, to essentially trust him.  Daryl luckily does and he is pulled into safety.  They then take out a few walkers before realizing that the massive herds are coming and they need to divert them as well as warn the others.  Rick mounts his white horse (subliminal messaging much?) and informs Daryl that he'll work on diverting the herd and that he needs to go back and warn the others.  Against all of Daryl's warnings, he chooses to lead the herd away from the bridge to, well, someplace else.

Unfortunately, Rick's plan falls apart when his horse is spooked by the trailing walkers, causing Rick to fall off and land on some concrete, in the process impaling him on a piece of rebar.  UGH.  To say that scene was uncomfortable to watch would be an understatement.

So that's where we leave off.  Rick lying impaled on the floor, as the two massive herds slowly shuffle closer and closer.  This.  Does.  Not.  Look.  Good.


[RECAP] Season 9, Episode 3 of The Walking Dead, "Warning Signs"

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By Carolina Gallardo (@carolgallardo)

Warning Signs" deals with the heavy and quite grim topic of honoring the dead...And how that all means very different things to many different people.
The third installment of the new season of "The Walking Dead" labeled "

We start the episode immediately where we left off and we see that our long haired Savior Justin has become Walker food and once turned, rises up, a now reanimated walker.  This allows us to see that his death was caused by some sort of puncture wound through the torso.  Hmmmm...the plot thickens.  I kind of thought that Justin was going to last longer than he did, but there you have it.

In the meantime, Rick is more than happy to just play house with Michonne and Judith for the day (aww) by turning Judith's doctor's appointment with Siddiq into a fun filled family day full of activities.  At the same time, in far contrast, we also have a group of menacing Saviors approach and question Maggie while on her way to deliver food to the Sanctuary.  Dead Justin hasn't been uncovered at his point and this group (that includes Arat) are on a mission to find him, hence them questing Maggie.  Eventually dead Justin is found and this leads to a frenzy of accusations back at the campsite, with the fingers pointing mostly to Oceanside, Jadis/Anne and Daryl.  Things escalate very quickly when Daryl raises his crossbow to answer to the looming threat but Rick rides in just in the nick of time to break it up.  From there on out, Rick puts back on his sheriff hat, figuratively, and starts trying to unravel the mystery of who the potential killer may be.  He acknowledges that Daryl COULD potentially be the culprit and goes so far as to "question" this potential suspect.  Daryl of course, denies it, but goes as far to say that if it WAS him, he wouldn't hide it for one minute.  He's right of course.  Rick also questions Gabriel on if he thinks Jadis/Anne is potentially up to anything but Gabe defends Jadis, especially since he knows where she was last night (*wink wink*).  After meeting as a group to determine next steps and how they will treat the perpetrator (will they receive a "Negan" punishment or a "Gregory" punishment),
everyone partners up for safety reasons and to attempt to uncover who's behind the Savior murders.

Among these couplings, we have Maggie and Cyndie from Oceanside who walk over to an abandoned cabin that Cyndie comments used to be an area where they once set up camp before having to scramble to the shore.  They attempt to clear out some of the walkers by the cabin but are quickly overwhelmed by the extent of walkers.  Fortunately for them, Rosita and Daryl quickly show up and save Cyndie in particular, who was barely keeping a walker at bay.  They wonder what happened with the other group that should've been in the area and they end up finding Beatrice apparently knocked out in the woods with her partner, Arat, now missing.  Yet another Savior abducted.

But in the midst of all this, we cant forget about our good friend Jadis/Anne (Anne just doesn't work for me, personally) who revisits the junkyard, her old stomping grounds.  And here's where things get very interesting: We see her grab a Walkie Talkie from the same concealed safe where she once got apple sauce after all her people were killed.  She then begins to communicate with a male voice on the other end who begins to question her on whether she has an "A" or whether she has a "B".  The more we hear, we can start to infer that they are talking about people and certain people fall into category "A" and some fall into category "B".  It appears that Jadis can obtain supplies or some sort of escape perhaps, if she can supply the people on the other end (who are the ones operating the looming helicopter) with human resources.  Until she can guarantee an A or B, however, she is out of luck.  Father Gabriel followed her and overhears this exchange and immediately confronts her.  She doesn't divulge much but she does acknowledge that this is some sort of human trafficking and she actually pleads for Father Gabriel to come with her and escape with these people to apparently much better circumstances.  Much to her dismay, he refuses and informs her that he has to let Rick know about this development.  Faced with this situation, Jadis states that she thought he was a B and knocks him out cold.

The mystery around Jadis and the helicopter continues and I am 100% HERE FOR IT.  The idea of Jadis being a covert secret agent or double agent is an exciting and intriguing one and we'll have to wait to see how this further develops.

The search for Arat goes on, however, and that leads to Rick and Carol to having a heart-to-heart on their thoughts on the Saviors and how regardless of the past, they are resources.  They are then confronted by the same group that confronted Maggie on her way to deliver food, led by Savior Judd.  He ends up taking Carol at knife point and threatening her but at Rick's urging, he lowers his gun and Carol stabs him in the shoulder (just a surface wound though, no biggie).  He's told to put some pressure on it and that he's been spared because "Every Life Counts".  Carol practically rolls her eyes 180 degrees into the back of her head as she utters those words.

Finally, in the episode's most heart wrenching moment, Maggie and Daryl come across an area with a walker that's been taken down and has a spear/arrow through them. Daryl immediately knows who's responsible for the Savior murders and Arat's disappearance.  They come back to the house where Maggie and Cyndie were before and they find some of the Oceanside women, lead by Beatrice and Cyndie, holding Arat at gunpoint, with her on her knees begging for her life.  Everyone is in tears and when Maggie and Daryl ask Cyndie if they were responsible for the Savior murders they admit that indeed they were, but solely because these particular Saviors were the ones that conducted the raid on their community and murdered all their husbands and sons.  Cyndie says that when Maggie gave the order to hang Gregory, they realized that some things truly are unforgivable and Rick's stance on forgiveness isn't necessarily the law of land.  Beatrice mentions how Justin murdered her husband and Cyndie tearfully retells the story of her 11 year old brother, how he was also held at gunpoint and how Cyndie begged for his life...from Arat.  Arat who was the one who coldly murdered her little brother because even a child was not above being murdered.  No exceptions.  Maggie asks Arat to verify if this story is true and once Arat tearfully takes ownership of her actions, while at the same time pleading with Maggie and Daryl that she had no choice and she is now a changed person, Maggie takes a moment to think about this...and then she slowly turns around and walks way.  Effectively giving Oceanside the order to execute.  Which they promptly do, as Arat continues to cry out to Maggie and Daryl for help.  Oceanside's revenge has been waged and is now over.

This situation leads Maggie to tell Daryl that as much she wants to believe in Rick's Utopian vision, she can't quite get past her OWN feelings of anger and revenge.  She states that they gave Rick's vision a chance but it's time to go visit Negan.  Daryl agrees.

The idea of "turning the other cheek" is an ideal that is difficult to hold up in today's society, never mind under the circumstances of what Maggie, Daryl and everyone at large has experienced.  So are they wrong for not being able to let go of that rage?  I, for one, can't say that they're wrong for feeling how they feel...but are they justified in wanting to go kill Negan?