Previously, on The Walking Dead…
Maggie made a deal with Gregory, the leader of Hilltop Colony, to take out the Saviors in exchange for supplies. Later, Carl locked Enid in a closet in Alexandria to keep her from going with the group to take a sick and pregnant Maggie to Hilltop. On the way there, Rick promised Maggie that the doctor could make her condition better. Following Negan’s line-up, Rick and the group helped Maggie and Sasha with the bodies of Glenn and Abraham. Sasha promised to get Maggie to Hilltop safely.
The episode begins with a close-up on Maggie’s face. She wakes up to a vase of blue flowers, which are sitting on a small table next to her. Dr. Carson enters, confirming that she made it Hilltop. He tells her that she suffered from abruptio placentae, an unusual condition where the placenta separates itself from the uterus. However, the separation was small, and relief sets in as he confirms that Maggie has not lost the baby. He lets her listen to the baby’s heart rate and advises that she rest for the next few days in order to heal properly, telling her that she should plan on staying at Hilltop for the remainder of her pregnancy in case of further complications.
Outside, Sasha sits on the doorstep of a trailer. Maggie emerges and Sasha rises, asking if she is okay. Maggie nods and asks where the bodies are.
Sasha takes her to Glenn and Abraham’s graves, somewhere off to the side on Hilltop’s soil. Green bouquets of flowers sit on top of each one. As Maggie kneels by Glenn’s grave, Sasha kneels next to her and hands her a watch, telling her that it was found in Glenn’s pocket – the same watch that Hershel gave him back in season 2. “All Abraham had was a cigar,” she says, smiling. Maggie kisses the watch, putting it on Glenn’s grave as the two women have a teary-eyed moment.
“It feels like everything is wrong,” Sasha says. “Not everything,” Maggie responds. Sasha reveals that she has heard from Dr. Carson that Maggie will be fine with a few days’ rest, and Maggie tells her about his suggestion that she stay there until the baby is born. Though she is hesitant to remain at Hilltop, it is not up for debate where Sasha is concerned; they will both stay.
Jesus arrives, remarking that he is glad to see Maggie awake. He replaces the flowers on the graves with fresh ones. Sasha says he also placed the flowers by Maggie’s bed. Jesus says that the blue flowers represent “strength and calming” for her, while the green ones represent “release” for Glenn and Abe. Maggie smiles.
Gregory quickly interrupts the scene. “You people said you got them all,” he says to Maggie, clearly unhappy that the Alexandrians did not take care of the Saviors quite as planned. Maggie confirms that it turns out that they just took care of an outpost, and there could be hundreds of Saviors still out there. Calling Maggie by the wrong name (in this case, “Marsha”), Gregory voices concern that they might know of the deal that Hilltop struck with Alexandria. Maggie tells him that the Saviors don’t know anything about it…but Gregory insists that she should leave, even after she tells him that Dr. Carson thinks she should stay. Believing Sasha lives at Hilltop, he tells her to stay away from Maggie, saying that they will be safer once she’s gone. He goes on to scold her for burying Glenn and Abe, telling her that they burn their dead. It is up to Jesus to explain that Sasha is from Alexandria and that she arrived there with Maggie. “I don’t have time to keep track of everybody,” Gregory huffs. “I’ve been recuperating too, Jesus – from a stab wound.” Boohoo.
Continuing to voice his concern that the Saviors will see Maggie there and put two and two together, Gregory claims that he will have “plausible deniability” if the two women leave. Jesus protests that it will be night soon, and Gregory agrees that they can stay the night but must leave in the morning. When Jesus says that they should discuss it further, Gregory threatens to make him leave, too. Sasha is ready to argue, but Maggie tells her to wait.
Back at Alexandria, Rick attempts to convince Carl to come look for supplies for the Saviors. Carl refuses, opting to stay behind instead. As Rick and Aaron begin to head out, Rick tells Michonne that they will be heading north if she changes her mind, implying that she will not be going, either. She wishes Rick luck, and he leans in to kiss her cheek – but she stops him, kissing him on the lips instead. He thanks her and heads out.
Carl questions Michonne as to why she didn’t head out with Rick, and she claims that she needs to figure for herself out how – and if – they can serve the Saviors. Carl tells her that Rick is wrong to think they can live like this, but Michonne says that even if she thinks the same, she doesn’t know for sure.
As Michonne heads out with her own agenda, Carl’s attention is drawn out the window: Enid is escaping over the wall. He goes to question her, and she reveals that she’s heading to Hilltop to see Maggie. Carl protests that it’s far, but Enid tells him that she’ll be fine, saying, “I have better aim than you.” Carl tells her that he won’t save her anymore and implies that she couldn’t have lived with witnessing firsthand what Negan did to Glenn and Abe. Enid tells him that she is sorry he saw it, but Carl says, “I’m not.”
At Hilltop, Sasha and Jesus set up a trailer that she and Maggie can stay in overnight. Jesus says that he’s glad that Sasha and Maggie are there, and Sasha asks him to change Gregory’s mind. He says he’ll try – though they both agree that it won’t be good enough. Sasha asks if Gregory would allow her to leave and pay for Maggie’s stay by scavenging for Hilltop, but Jesus claims that he doesn’t want that. Sasha suggests that he might need to start doing more for Hilltop than simply trying to help. Jesus sighs and gives her Abraham’s necklace, which he previously found on their grounds – the same one that Rosita made for him back in season 6. He tells Sasha that he liked Abraham, remarking, “He was one of the only people I’d ever met who could say things that could make you smile and wince at the same time.” Never have words been more true!
Maggie enters the trailer, and Jesus tells her that he is going to see what can be done about Gregory. Maggie asks him why they burn the dead bodies of their loved ones at Hilltop; Jesus responds that it helps to keep the community going, saying that their survivors keep the memories of the dead alive. He exits, and Sasha and Maggie ponder what they should do next. Sasha suggests that they should stay because Gregory is an idiot and can’t do much. However, Maggie says, “He’s a coward. They’re more dangerous.” Her words ring true – after all, Nicholas was a coward, and I think we all remember what happened with Noah, and with the dumpster last season!
On the road, Enid comes upon an old gas station, where she encounters two walkers. Suddenly, a car pulls up, running over the walker in front of it and crashing into one of the air pumps. The car backs up, running over the other walker behind it. The driver is none other than Carl, who decided to follow Enid after all.
While Maggie and Sasha sleep at Hilltop, music begins playing loudly, waking them. They check out the window, where they see that the music is coming from a car parked in the center of the grounds. The gates have also been opened and fires have been lit. Sasha urges Maggie to sit and stay put as she exits through the roof to stop the music. As she stands on top of the trailer, a horde of walkers begins to enter the community, drawn by the sound and the light.
Sasha jumps down to enter the fight as Maggie emerges on the rooftop, taking in the scene. She calls to Jesus, whom she sees standing on a nearby porch, telling him that Sasha needs his help. Sasha and Jesus fight off the walkers (the latter using some serious karate-type moves), and Sasha eventually arrives at the car – but all of its openings are gated off. Gregory watches the scene from behind a window.
Suddenly, an engine begins to rev, and we see that Maggie is backing a tractor up towards the car, running over walkers in the process. As Sasha and Jesus continue to fight the walkers and make their way towards the gate, Maggie backs over the car, completely destroying it (but hey, she stopped the music!).
The next morning at Hilltop, Gregory is still refusing to let Maggie and Sasha stay, despite the fact that they protected the community the night before. Jesus protests, and Gregory challenges him to ask for control of Hilltop. Sasha and Maggie enter Gregory’s study, and he advises them to leave as soon as possible. Sasha tries to strike the same deal with him that she suggested to Jesus the night before, but Gregory still refuses. As they argue, trucks are suddenly heard approaching; the Saviors have arrived. Gregory tells Jesus to hide Maggie and Sasha in the foyer’s closet, while Simon (AKA Negan’s “right-hand man”) and the large group of Saviors begin to exit their vehicles and enter the community.
On the road, Carl reveals to Enid that he didn’t look away from either Abraham’s or Glenn’s deaths so that he could always remember what Negan did in case the chance to kill him ever came up. Enid says that she would kill Negan if she had a chance too, claiming, “You do things for the ones you love(d).” Carl implies that his killing Negan would actually be for himself, and he apologies for locking Enid in the closet.
Carl discovers two pairs of roller skates. He and Enid laugh and hold hands as they skate their way to Hilltop.
Meanwhile, Simon and the Saviors enter Gregory’s foyer as he welcomes them to Hilltop. Smiling, Simon says that they need to talk privately in Gregory’s study, telling him that the Saviors that Hilltop used to deal with are no longer “in play.”
Inside the study, Gregory tells Simon that the message sent by the Saviors the night before – the car, the music, the fires, and the open gates – was received. Simon tells Gregory that the Saviors were providing Hilltop an example of their power. He is impressed that they took care of the walkers themselves, to which Gregory responds by using attempted flattery: “We must have picked up some skills from your people.” Right.
Simon explains that the Saviors Gregory used to deal with are dead, but that their killers (AKA, Rick and the Alexandrians) work for them now, so all is okay. He claims that Gregory is still alive because he understands the way things are and asks if there is anything else he should know. Clearly affected by Simon’s presence, Gregory says that there is something. He heads to the closet in the hallway to reveal Maggie and Sasha to Simon, Jesus shaking his head as the two make eye contact.
Gregory opens the door – only the women are not there. To cover his tracks, he offers Simon a bottle of scotch from a box of liquor in the closet. Simon says that Negan will love the gesture and takes not just the scotch, but the entire box, telling the other Saviors to put it in Negan’s truck. Jesus smirks as Gregory is clearly peeved by this, and Simon declares that they will be taking half of Hilltop’s supplies. Before he and the Saviors leave to do so, he commands Gregory to kneel. He does.
Carl and Enid finally arrive at Hilltop, watching the Saviors load up their trucks from the trees. Enid realizes why Carl is really there – to track Negan down and kill him. She begs him not to go through with it since his motives are selfish, and the two kiss. She asks him to just come to Hilltop with her, but he insists on following the Saviors.
Inside Gregory’s bedroom, Maggie and Sasha emerge from the closet Jesus actually hid them in, making it clear that Jesus didn’t trust Gregory’s motives. Again, Jesus and Gregory argue about Maggie and Sasha’s presence at Hilltop but this time, Jesus comes down with a firm answer: they are staying, and Gregory will no longer be in charge…or Jesus will make the deal he made with Alexandria public.
Gregory finally gives in and approaches Maggie, claiming that the Saviors can be reasonable if everyone plays “nice.” Maggie punches him in the face, taking the watch she left on Glenn’s grave out of his coat pocket (because, being the stand-up guy he is, he apparently took it). “This is our home now,” she says. “So you’ll learn to start to call me by my name. Not Marsha, not ‘dear,’ not ‘honey.’ Maggie. Maggie Rhee.” HELL, YEAH!
Later, Maggie, Sasha, and Jesus all look out the window as the Saviors start to head out. Jesus reveals that Gregory was already in charge of Hilltop when he arrived. Jesus didn’t like the way he ran things, but couldn’t imagine anyone else taking over the role…until now. “Who?” asks Maggie, and Jesus says they will discuss it at a later point, implying that he’d like to see her in charge. He apologizes for not putting his foot down in response to Gregory sooner and promises to make it up to them.
Maggie leaves, and Sasha asks if Jesus can find where Negan lives; Jesus, knowing that the truck containing the box of liquor is headed Negan’s way, says that he can. Sasha asks him to keep it between the just two of them; he agrees, though both state that they don’t like keeping it from Maggie.
As Maggie comes upon the graves with the watch in hand, she sees green balloons placed on one of them, Enid sitting nearby. Maggie tells Enid that she’s not okay but that she will be. They hug.
Inside Maggie and Sasha’s trailer, Enid helps with dinner. She questions Maggie about the tractor incident, and Maggie tells her that it wasn’t the first time she’d done something like that; when she was in high school, she once ran over a boy’s car with a tractor (don’t mess with Maggie!). Sasha enters, surprised to see Enid. When questioned, Enid tells Sasha that she came alone, and the viewer knows that she is purposely leaving Carl out of the picture. Sasha then asks why there are balloons on Abe’s grave – oops! Enid apologizes and says that the graves don’t have markers. Maggie gives Enid Glenn’s watch, saying, “We don’t need anything to remember them by. We have us.” The three hold hands as Maggie says a prayer before dinner.
Outside, the Saviors head out with their new supplies from Hilltop. Sasha sits on the trailer’s doorstep, sharpening a knife as she holds Abe’s last cigar in her mouth.
As the truck headed for the Sanctuary moves down the road, Jesus hops in, taking a swig of the scotch taken from Gregory. As he begins to dump the rest of the bottle out of the back of the truck, a voice says, “Hey.” He looks up to see that Carl is on the truck too, and Jesus begins to smile.
Overall, I enjoyed this episode, my favorite aspect being the relationship between Maggie and Sasha and the strength that the two are displaying following Glenn and Abraham’s deaths. The two characters have run in a somewhat parallel direction for some time now, and it is beautiful to see both women holding each other up in their times of need. Moreover, the fact that both have been inspired to fight rather than to submit to Negan shows an admirable amount of resilience…particularly in Maggie’s case. Though her main concern right now is to keep the baby safe from harm, I feel like Negan has lit a fire inside her that can’t be put out. Maggie has become a leader in her own right, and I’m intrigued to see where the story takes her next.
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