In the final moments of last week's episode, D-Bag Dwight snuck up behind Daryl and pointed a gun at him, then fired, and blood squirted all over the lens, obscuring our view of what happened. If you thought that DRAMATIC CLIFFHANGER would pay off in this episode, HAHA YOU WERE WRONG and what were you even thinking?! This is The Walking Dead, not some show that treats its viewers with respect!
This episode picks up the same three threads from last week, with Morgan trying to persuade Carol to go back to Aarontown; Michonne, Daryl, Glenn, and Rosita Espinosa being held hostage by The Saviors; and Optimus Grimes, Pirate Carl, Aaron, Sasha, Sgt. Redbull, and Doctor Mulletsworth fixing to try to get Maggie and her PREGNANCY PERIL! to the doctor at the Hilltop.
We open on light streaming through holes in a dark room and the sound of breathing. It's supposed to be a Big Mystery, but if you're familiar with the cheap bullshit this show pulls on the regular, you've already figured out it's Daryl. (P.S. It's Daryl.)
But that won't be confirmed until much, much later in this supersized episode, approximately at the time you've even forgotten that Daryl was supposed to have been shot anyway.
In the meantime, we traipse around with Morgan, who finds a horse, and he rides around until he finds Carol. They have some more cool conversations about how Carol's agency should be thrown in a dumpster, and Carol continues to say stupid things written by terrible writers about how she doesn't want to go back because she doesn't want to kill people anymore, despite the fact that even staying alive on her own for 24 hours has necessitated a mass murder spree.
For some reason, Morgan leaves, and when he comes back, Carol is gone. He takes off on his new horse friend to find her. She's found first by The Savior who survived her killing spree and has been tracking her. He gives a cool speech about how he wants to watch her die slowly and then shoots her in the arm, and then in the leg. Carol is relieved that he's killing her. Then Morgan shows up and shoots The Savior. SO MUCH PERFECT TIMING IN THE ZOMBIEPOCALYPSE! Carol begs Morgan to let her die, but Morgan is all, "I think we've had this discussion about how your agency is not relevant, little lady," and just then two dudes wearing LARP armor show up, looking for their missing horse, and they offer to get Carol the medical assistance she doesn't want.
Morgan shakes hands with one of them, and in that handshake, we can safely assume that a crucial alliance has been forged to defeat the Big Bad next season. Thank goodness wise men never respect women's choices!
Speaking of which, back at Aarontown, Grimes Gang Alpha is preparing to pile into the RV to save Maggie. Enid wants to go, but Pirate Carl doesn't want her to go, so he locks her in a closet. The perfect move by the perfect little patriarch-in-training! Enid shout-asks what the hell she's supposed to do if he doesn't come back, and he tells her to "just survive somehow," throwing her personal mantra back in her face, and it's like, I'm pretty sure she was just asking how the fuck she's going to get out of the closet, you little shit.
Anyway. Optimus Grimes leaves Gabriel in charge (sure), and off they go. Maggie is totally stressed out, but is, unaccountably, comforted when Optimus Grimes tells her, "As long as it's all of us, we can do anything." If I were Maggie, I would have replied, "Tell that to my dad's severed zombie head!" But instead, she tells Optimus Grimes: "I believe in you, Rick."
That was your first mistake, Maggie! And most of your subsequent mistakes, too!
Elsewhere in the RV, people have cool conversations about how cool they are. Aaron owes Maggie. Pirate Carl owes The Saviors. Sgt. Redbull would totes have a baby with Sasha. Etc.
Throughout the day, Optimus Grimes & Co. continually hit roadblocks put up by The Saviors. A blockade of waiting Saviors who demand "all their stuff," but doesn't kill them, allowing them to retreat. Another, larger group of Saviors blocking a different road, who again allow them to retreat. A line of zombies chained together across yet a different road, one of whom has been shot with some of Daryl's arrows and another one of whom has some of Michonne's dreadlocks stapled to its head. A dam of logs, which is set ablaze, down still another path. All roads to the Hilltop are being blocked. Maggie gets even sicker.
They debate what their next move should be, and Doctor Mulletsworth suggests that The Saviors are looking for the RV at this point and so they might be able to sneak through the woods on foot. They wait for the cover of darkness after nightfall, then Doctor Mulletsworth takes the empty RV to try to fake out The Saviors, while the rest of Grimes Gang make for the Hilltop, carrying Maggie on a stretcher.
And, in typical good-decision-making fashion, they have loud conversations as they tromp through the forest.
Suddenly they're interrupted by the sound of whistling all around them. Oh no! They are surrounded by Saviors! However did they locate Grimes Gang and foil their fool-proof plan of sneaking loudly through the forest?!
Grimes Gang is forced to their knees. Doctor Mulletsworth has been taken captive, too, and he is on his knees, with no dicks in biting proximity. D-Bag Dwight opens a van, revealing Daryl, Michonne, Rosita Espinosa, and Glenn, who are also forced to their knees.
GRIMES GANG HAS BEEN BROUGHT TO THEIR KNEES. SYMBOLISM.
Finally, at long last, we meet the infamous Negan. It's Jeffrey Dean Morgan looking HOT AS FUCK in a leather jacket and perfectly cut jeans. No flannel shirt for this monster! He's carrying a bat wrapped in barbed wire, to which he refers as Lucille.
I frantically scramble to reset my Jeffrey Dean Morgan meter, as I have been CRUSHING MAJORLY ON HIM on this season's The Good Wife, on which he has been AMAZING AND FABULOUS AND SEXY AND COOL AND DECIDEDLY NON-NEGAN LIKE.
"I'm Negan," says the very hot man who I love so much, while I push away the thought TEAM NEGAN. "You work for me now. You have shit; you give it to me." He delivers an awkward bit of exposition that explains why The Saviors have not just simply killed Grimes Gang: Because he wants them to work for him. He doesn't want to grow a fucking garden! Christ!
Optimus Grimes looks like he's going to barf, and, I have to admit, I don't feel very sorry for him! This is how lots of people have felt as Grimes Gang has murdered them! The murder shoe is on the other murder foot!
Except, Negan doesn't want to murder them, as we've established. He does, however, want to "beat the holy hell" out of one of them, as punishment for killing his people, which made him very unhappy. He tortures them by slowly walking around their group with his heinous fuckbat, trying to choose which one of them to beat within an inch of their lives.
"Eenie, meenie, minie, moe," he says, pointing his heinous fuckbat at them. Eventually he gets to, "And you are it!" and then begins to bash the person who was "it," though, of course, we don't get to see who that person is, because this fucking show.
The heinous fuckbat smashes down again and again, to the sound of screams and crushing bones, and that is the end of the episode. And I guess the moral of this season's story is: Go ahead and be terrible, because there is always someone even more terrible than you out there who will make you look not so bad!
Next week: NOTHING! Because this was the season finale, so you'll have to wait until next year for more of this garbage! See you then!