This article has some content you might find disturbing!Reason Gut-spillage.
On The Walking Dead, It's Time To Rise Up!
...but not until February, actually (womp womp).
Plot Lightning Round
Rather than starting with one big spooky scene, or something where we'll have to work back in time to get to it, the cold open is just a series of scene-setting vignettes to remind us where everybody is because it's getting difficult to keep track of everyone what with four separate villages (five if you count Oceanside). We start with Maggie at Glenn's graveside at The Hilltop, where she pays her respects, then climbs up to the watchtower. That asshole Gregory comes by to ruin the mood by letting Maggie know that people are appreciative that she helped save the town, but not to let it get to her head. Maggie is like, "Sucks to be you," and then someone nearby tells Gregory he should give Maggie the apple he's carrying because she's pregnant. Reluctantly, he does, and Maggie takes a big ol' bite. Maggie is taking a bite out of life!
Daryl has been staring at the note that says "Go now" for hours trying to decipher its intricate, hidden meanings. He decides, after much consideration, the he should probably go. Now.
Negan is getting all domestic, teaching Carl to shave ("Against the grain!") and making spaghetti. Except Carl can't forget that this guy is more like Chef Boyar-death.
Tara does Olivia a solid by providing some powdered lemonade for Negan, and Olivia is scared to death to deliver it. But she promised Rick she'd look after Judith and dammit that's what she intends to do! Please remember her loyalty later.
Rick and Aaron set off in a bullet-hole-ridden little boat to find a stash of weapons across a pond infested with undead. Aaron is smart enough to make some oars out of a sign. Rick thought they were just going to propel across the water on the sheer force of his personality.
Negan demands another table setting, one so that Lucille can have a place of honor at the dinner table. Then Negan asks for rolls and the music amps up like it's the most terrifying thing ever going into the opening credits. Y'all, relax, it's a 90-minute episode and they're just goddamn biscuits.
A Weasel Named Spencer, Part One
Spencer is adjusting to life under Negan by working his ass off to find supplies and impressing the Saviors. One of them congratulates him on his hard work and another offers to buy him a sandwich, and by "sandwich," she means "totally have sex at some time in the future back home." Spencer doesn't refuse, and doesn't stick up for Eugene when he gets picked on by that woman. Nice friend, Spencer.
Fight! Fight! Fight!
Rick and Aaron vs. Pond Zombies
If you think fighting the undead on land is hard, try doing it awkwardly on a leaky boat with some wooden planks and no sense of balance. Rick and Aaron try to make it across on a holey boat to get a sturdier canoe, but once there, Aaron gets knocked out of the boat and is seemingly done for. But he breaks free and swims and the two of them make it to the structure that presumably has a bunch of weapons waiting for them. Hope it was worth all the trouble!
Aaron finds a sign left behind by the owner of the area that says even though they won, they still lost, and unwisely decides to take it. Then he and Rick have a heart-to-heart about how Aaron is totally Team Rick and will do what it takes to keep everyone alive, even if it means appeasing Negan for the time being.
Winner: Aaron, who manages to swim under an attacking group of walkers/swimmers and Rick, who screams after Aaron and hopes for the best.
I Am Not A Crackpot
Dear Mr. Peanut Or Anyone Who Cares: Peanut Butter Out Of A Jar Should Be A Meal Unto Itself. I Am Not A Crackpot!
Daryl finally gets out of his cell and ends up lurking in Dwight's room. He finds a set of painted miniatures that he will eventually flip over in anger (hey, leave the minis alone!) and out of hunger from eating dog food for a while, he finds some peanut butter and goes to town on it. As someone who regularly takes a spoon and eats peanut butter right out of the jar (I don't double dip, relax!), I can only wish I could eat more than one spoonful at a time and make it an entire meal like Daryl does. I mean, I don't want to be starving and tortured and mostly broken to get there, but a whole jar of peanut butter in one sitting is something I would like to try someday.
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Who Wants To Be In A War? Don't All Raise Your Hands At Once, Pacifists
Who called the meeting? Richard.
What's it about? Carol has been chilling out in her home on the outskirts of The Kingdom, getting occasional visits from Ezekiel, learning to eat pomegranate seeds, and telling Morgan she doesn't need the veggies and fruit he's trying to deliver to her (she's got plenty). While the two are discussing that they get a visit from empty-milk-jar-carrying Richard, who tries to warn them that a brokered peace between The Kingdom and The Saviors is likely to fail, and he wants their help convincing Ezekiel to launch a preemptive strike before something goes wrong and The Kingdom is lost.
How'd it go? Dude, this is the wrong crowd for that shit. Morgan doesn't want to kill anyone and Carol has given up the bad-ass life to live like your rich aunt who has terrible taste in furniture. Richard is very emotional, but Morgan is not about wrecking the peace that exists and Carol wants to be a hermit. Sorry, Richard.
Love, Hate & Everything In Between
Let Us Pray, But Maybe Put The Bullet Away
Rosita is still fantasizing that her one bullet is going to defeat Negan and thank goodness Father Gabriel is there to do his one job for once and offer her some guidance. He tries to convince Rosita that she's needed and that killing Negan would only get her killed, too. He also plants the seed for reconciliation with Sasha. Most of all, he tries to offer a little hope. "We'll win," he assures her, if they can just wait for the right moment and create that victory.
The Milk's Run Dry
The Scene: After his disastrous conversation with Carol and Morgan, Richard retreats to a trailer in the woods. He gets very emotional.
The Symbol: One of the empty glass milk jugs in a crate that Richard was carrying around. He throws it in the trailer and it shatters.
The Meaning: Did he lose a baby? Is he lactose intolerant and very sad that there's very little lactose in the world to be upset about? Did he lose a milk delivery business? We won't know until next year, at least.
R.I.P. Fat Joey
Wrong place, wrong time. As Daryl is escaping and trying to get free on his motorcycle, Joey shows up and instantly begs for his life, telling Daryl to just go, he won't tell anyone. Nice try, Joey. Daryl takes a pipe and goes all Negan on his head.
If it's any consolation, Joey, at least Jesus was nearby when it happened and ready to give Daryl a super-judgmental look. Hey, and thanks for hanging on to Rick's handgun, Daryl will be taking that. Yoink!
We Are All Negan, Minus One
Michonne's brief foray into hostage-taking ends when the woman she carjacked who was driving alone shows her the scale of how many people on Team Negan they're dealing with. Michonne is shocked. The woman suggests Michonne use the gun with the silencer in the car, use it, ditch the car, and get back home. Michonne does so, killing a woman who clearly was trying to get away from something and doesn't want to live. Michonne, however, is still determined to win this somehow.
It's A Date
A Weasel Named Spencer: Part Two
Spencer has been practicing in the mirror for this moment: when he'll introduce himself to Negan, offer him a bottle of good liquor, and make best friends forever. Or at least suck up to him enough that he'll be put in charge of Alexandria instead of Rick. And he just asked Rosita on a date and she said yes. Things are finally coming up Spencer!
Who's on a date? Spencer and Negan.
Where has he taken him? Rich's porch is the site of this bromance date.
Are things headed in a horizontal direction? No, but that doesn't mean that Spencer won't get screwed when the time comes. For the time being, though, Negan is acting like he has a new best friend.
Aaron Out Their Grievances
Poor, sweet Aaron is just unlucky this week. He survived falling overboard in a pond full of zombies only to arrive back in Alexandria with Rick and get beaten up for the piece of paper he brought back, which some Saviors misinterpret as some sort of diss. Rick carries off a beaten Aaron, who says that his heart's still beating at least.
R.I.P. Spencer Monroe, Weasel
The last of the Monroes finally dies after Negan sees right through Spencer's attempts to ingratiate himself for exactly what they are: the actions of a man too scared of Rick to take him on directly. As they play a game of billiards on a poll table Negan has put outside, Spencer makes his case for Negan making him head of the town, insisting that Rick will just find a way to screw things up (good point!), but Negan believes that unlike Rick, Spencer has no guts. So Negan makes the point literally, spilling them right on the street.
Guess that date with Rosita is canceled.
If You Come At Negan, You Best Not Miss
Situation: Rosita uses her one bullet and shoots it at Negan.
What makes it awkward? She hits Lucille instead.
How is order restored? Negan is furious, as much because Lucille the bat's surface is damaged as that he was almost killed. He threatens to have Rosita's face cut open and then, recognizing that the bullet was homemade, demands to know who built it. He knows Rosita is lying when she says she made it herself, and it takes a while for Eugene to confess. In the meantime, Negan orders Arat to kill someone. So she swings around and shoots.
After all the shit she took from Negan, revenge was never to be. Olivia, shot by Arat as she stood right next to Carl, dies on Rick's porch, another victim of Rosita's bad decisions and impatience.
Here's An Idea
Keep Your People In Line So Negan Doesn't Look So Sane By Comparison, Rick!
Rick, dragging Aaron along, finally gets to where the action is and is like, "What the fuck, we had a deal!" Only Negan explains that he came back to Alexandria because Carl showed up and shot a bunch of his men. "And I fed him spaghetti!" Negan says. Then, Spencer tried to have Rick killed. "I took him out...for you," Negan explains. Then Rosita took a shot and almost killed him. He even rationalizes killing Olivia as a way of preserving the town's food supply. "That mouth did some major damage!" Negan says. Well, except for the Olivia dig, Negan's actually making a lot of sense to a flabbergasted Rick. Rick hasn't kept his people from doing stupid things and making matters worse, and none of this would have happened if they hadn't all been trying to take out Negan (or cooperate with him, Spencer) and undermining Rick. Sorry, Rick, but a lot of this is on you for being a shitty leader. Negan takes Eugene prisoner (hey, more bullets!) and leaves. "I ain't gonna lie," Negan says on the way out, "your kitchen is a goddamned mess."
Spencer: For Die-er
All right, maybe some of that was worth it just to see Spencer come back as a zombie and Rick take him out with a stab to the head. Smell ya later, Spencer!
Wrap It Up
Michonne returns to tell Rick that they are badly outnumbered against Negan's forces, but that she's still determined to fight back, with Rick. Rick, finally getting the message that things cannot stand, agrees that they'll have to find a way to beat Negan if they want to live. They kiss passionately, finally agreeing on what needs to be done and that they will do it together.
Maggie greets a group that includes Rick, Michonne, Tara, Carl, and Rosita. They've arrived at The Hilltop. "You were right," Rick tells Maggie. He's ready to fight.
Rick and Daryl, reunited, hug like brothers.
Rosita and Sasha finally have a wordless little moment of kindness.
Rick gets his gun back and can maybe retired that tiny hatchet he's been carrying.
Jesus is watching.
They all walk together to prepare for the next half-season. And that's all!
But not really. In a bonus scene, a set of boots has followed Rick and Aaron from the pond and is about to enter Alexandria. See you in 2017!