This episode of The Walking Dead, titled “Monsters,” delves into who the real monsters are and keeps showing the gang debating each other as they continue their attacks on the Saviors. Rick and Daryl come face-to-face with Morales during their battle at the outpost, and Morales argues that Rick changed just like him and that he’s turned into a monster. Daryl also makes some ruthless decisions in the moment. Morgan, Tara and Jesus continue arguing over whether or not it’s right to kill the Saviors. And Maggie has to decide whether she can abandon Gregory or let him back into the Hilltop.
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Ezekiel Keeps Smiling
“Monsters” begins with Ezekiel rallying his troops. The Saviors know they’re there and are coming for them. “And yet I smile,” he says. “…We will lose not one of our ranks.” And they have a foolproof plan. So he, Carol and the others march on. The Saviors rush at a group of them and they pretend to surrender, but then the others from the Kingdom come out of hiding in the woods and shoot all of the Saviors. It works! So they march on with a smile.
After a rousing speech, Ezekiel and his people make it to the compound and kill a bunch of Saviors.
They manage to kill all the Saviors and don’t lose a single person. Ezekiel’s overcome with joy. They start to sweep the compound, but suddenly Ezekiel sees a shooter in the window inside. Shots and explosions go off, and they all take cover. It’s a total ambush. But we all knew this couldn’t be that easy, right?
Will Morales Kill Rick?
Meanwhile, Rick is still face-to-face with Morales. Rick is in shock as he stares down Morales’ gun. Morales forces him to put his guns down and is shocked that he’s the same Rick from Alexandria that he’s heard about and calls him a “monster.” He reveals that the Saviors aren’t supposed to kill Rick, the widow (Maggie) or the king (Ezekiel) if they don’t have to. Then he tells Rick that back-up is coming and Rick and his people are finished.
At the same time, Rick’s people are still fighting outside, but then one of the Saviors calls out to the others that they need to get back inside. Rick’s team doesn’t understand why they’ve stopped shooting.
Aaron, meanwhile, has left to take care of Eric after he’s been shot. He apologizes to Eric for pushing him to fight when he didn’t want to be a part of it, but Eric says he did want to fight in the end. He tells Aaron to go back and fight because their people need him. Aaron gets super emotional, but he does leave Eric. It’s so sad. And you just know Eric’s not going to make it.
Back inside, Morales tells Rick that he and his family never made it to Birmingham. Rick says he lost people too and that Negan killed Glenn in front of him and his pregnant wife. Morales is shocked that Glenn found love in the zombie apocalypse and that Maggie’s the widow they’re supposed to keep alive for Negan.
Morales explains how he joined the Saviors. He was desperate and the Saviors thought that Morales was worth something, so now he’s Negan’s. He claims that he and Rick are the same. They’ll both do whatever they have to do to keep going. The only difference is Morales has a gun, which makes him luckier. If Rick had the gun, Morales would probably be dead by now. Rick claims that’s not true and he’d try to find another way, but Morales doesn’t buy it. “Officer Friendly” Rick died right along with his people. And Rick changed just like Morales. And it’s true. We’ve seen how much Rick has changed. He’d become much more ruthless. But he does seem to be regretting his choices lately.
And Rick’s not the only ruthless one these days. That’s when Daryl shows up from another door and shoots Morales with an arrow. He recognized Morales, but it didn’t matter to him.
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Will Rick and the Gang Escape?
Rick tells Daryl that their intel was wrong and there weren’t any guns. Plus, Morales called the Saviors in and there are even more coming. They need to get out. That’s when they hear some shooting. They’re in trouble!
Rick and Daryl shoot their way through the building. Eventually, Daryl runs out of ammo, so Rick shoots at a fire extinguisher and they attack some Saviors through the smoke.
Rick, Daryl and the others make it back outside, and it’s an absolute horror show. The Saviors they killed have turned into Walkers and are eating each other. And Rick’s taking pictures of it all. They cover their own dead and start to head out. But when Aaron goes back for Eric, he’s gone. He’s devastated to see him as a Walker in the distance. His friend reminds him, “It’s not him,” and they leave.
Thankfully, Rick’s not that much of a monster and goes back into the building and gets the baby he’d found. I would have stopped watching if they just abandoned that baby. Aaron says he’ll take Gracie to the Hilltop. He and Eric had been planning to go up there to update Maggie anyway, so he feels like he has to do this.
Rick and Daryl are the last to leave, and while they’re talking over their plans, they get shot at. They take cover, and Rick warns the shooter that there’s a herd coming. He offers to spare the guy’s life and give him the car if he drops his gun and tells them what they need to know. So the guy comes out and tells them that their weapons were sent to another outpost the day before. Then Daryl shoots him. Even Rick looks shocked. Maybe he’s not such a ruthless monster after all.
Are the Saviors Worth Saving?
Tara, Jesus and the group head back with their hostage Saviors. They all keep having that same debate over whether to save or kill them, and they all decide to ask Maggie what to do with the Saviors. Meanwhile, that one Savior Jared keeps tormenting Morgan.
As they march on, Jared keeps provoking Morgan. He notices that Morgan’s wearing smaller armor. It’s Benjamin’s. Morgan almost loses it and points his gun at Jared, but a group of Walkers starts rolling down a hill and they have to deal with that. And with the Saviors all tied together with no weapons, they’re helpless. Jared and his line of Saviors run away, and Morgan chases them down. He shoots one of them, but Jesus catches up to him and stops him. Morgan says the Saviors would never change, but Jesus says Maggie will find another way. Morgan says she’d want revenge after what they did. Morgan adds that they’re the same as the Saviors and that there’s no choice. Everybody turns bad. But Jesus says there will have to be peace after the war and that they have to find a way to live with the remaining Saviors afterwards. But Morgan attacks him, and they get into a fight.
Jesus keeps trying to reason with Morgan, but he just keeps fighting him. Eventually, Jesus wins and gets Morgan’s stick. He asks Morgan if it’s over and gives him the stick back, but Morgan tries one last time before saying he knows he’s not right, but he’s also not wrong either and he can’t be a part of this anymore. Tara tells Morgan he is right, but he just walks away.
Meanwhile, Gregory makes it back to the Hilltop, pounding on the gate and begging to be let in. Enid and Maggie open it a crack, and they’re furious. They demand to know what he did with Gabriel’s car and where Gabriel is. He claims he doesn’t know Gabriel and that the car was just there, which is a lie. He says he built the Hilltop and that he was trying to save his people’s lives by siding with Negan. Plus, threatening to throw people out of the Hilltop was all Negan’s idea. He even claims he’s a hero.
But Maggie says he went to warn Negan about them and sell them out. Maggie leaves him out there, so Gregory finally yells out and admits that he went to Negan because he was scared and he didn’t think Maggie could win, but now he sees they have to fight. He actually apologizes and says that she has to have mercy and let him in. And she does. “He’s not worth killing. Not yet, anyway,” she says. I can’t believe she’s falling for this. This is such a mistake.
That’s when Jesus, Tara and the Saviors show up. Gregory starts screaming that they won’t let the Saviors in, but Maggie tells him to leave. Maggie tells Jesus that there are families and children inside, but Jesus wants to keep the Saviors in guarded trailers until the war’s over. “We can’t let them go and we can’t kill them. We can’t,” he says.
Do you think Morgan will come back to the group? Was Maggie right to let Gregory in? Should they kill or save the hostages? And was Daryl right to kill Morales and that Savior? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
The Walking Dead season 8 airs Sunday nights at 9/8c on AMC. Want more news? Like our Walking Dead Facebook page.
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Contributing Writer, BuddyTV