Everyone just wants to make it to the Hilltop on The Walking Dead. Once they make it there, they can regroup and figure out their next move against Negan to try and win the war. In this episode, titled “Dead or Alive Or,” the escaped Alexandrians have a tough road ahead of them as they have to dodge the Saviors and stick to the woods to get to the Hilltop. Dwight is a resource, but some don’t trust him and don’t want him around.
Meanwhile, Dr. Carson and Gabriel have some struggles of their own, as Gabriel just wants God to lead the way. And Eugene gets a new role at the Sanctuary and gives Negan a new idea for his own plan to win the war.
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God Leads the Way
After Eugene paves the way to escape, Dr. Carson and Gabriel hit the road. Saviors do go looking for them, but they manage to get a head start. However, it appears that they get lost, especially since Gabriel can’t read the map, as the infection he has is spreading to his eyes. Carson is regretting leaving the Sanctuary, as he feels Gabriel is too sick, but Gabriel is certain that their faith in God will get them to the Hilltop and help them along the way.
Their car stops running, so Carson uses the stop as an opportunity to assess Gabriel, but he has no medicine to help right now. Gabriel somehow hears a random bell and follows it into the woods, where they stumble upon a building that once housed some sort of radio station. Gabriel thinks the radio operator’s notes might help them figure out where they are, but Carson doesn’t have much hope, especially after they find the walker body of the man who lived there.
Carson yells at Gabriel to rest, but Gabriel is trying to read the names of medications on several bottles. Carson is in disbelief as he takes the bottles and realizes that the medication is antibiotics that Gabriel needs to take. Gabriel just smiles as Carson says the man in the house saved his life. Gabriel’s fever breaks, but his vision is still blurry. Carson says his eyesight might be permanently damaged. Gabriel says he’s just letting God lead him. And suddenly, they find car keys and a map in a piggy bank. However, their luck seems to run out when they try to find the car and Carson’s leg gets caught in a bear trap. Somehow, Gabriel manages to shoot the walker that’s attacking Carson, despite his blurry vision. They are high on their luck again, just as the Saviors find them. Gabriel is confident that God is still leading them. But Carson grabs for a Saviors’ gun and gets himself killed.
Road to the Hilltop
Those who escaped from Alexandria are making their way to the Hilltop and have to dodge the random Saviors along the way. Tara is not happy that Dwight is still with them, but both Daryl and Rosita say that now is not the time to kill him, as they just want to get to the Hilltop safe and sound with everyone alive.
At one point, they realize they are basically surrounded by Saviors on the main routes, so Dwight tells them there’s a swamp that Negan deemed too dangerous for his men to take. He says they could risk it because no Saviors will be along that route. Tara thinks it’s too dangerous, while Daryl and Rosita think it’s probably their best option. Others start to think like Tara and wonder why they should trust Dwight. He says that his life is in danger too. He adds that he chose their side and he’s there to help beat Negan. He realizes what will happen after that.
When they reach the swamp, Daryl wants just a few people to head in to clear a path for the rest of the group, but he doesn’t want Dwight’s help. Tara decides to hang back and watch the group. She makes Dwight kill some random walkers in the woods. He apologizes for killing Denise, but she doesn’t want to hear it when she pulls her gun on him, saying he doesn’t get to switch sides and make everything okay. He agrees but thinks killing him is a bad idea right now, as he just wants to see them win. She pulls the trigger, but he runs. She catches up to him, but they hear some Saviors and hide in a bush.
Just as the Saviors are about to head to the swamp, Dwight jumps out and makes up some story about how he ended up there to protect the Alexandrians. He heads off in a different direction with the Saviors to buy more time for the group, and Tara is shocked. However, Daryl gets pissed at her for letting him go with them, as he fears Dwight is going to turn on them and give up their spot. Tara and Rosita tell him that won’t be the case, and they continue on through the swamp.
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Her People Come First
Over at the Hilltop, Maggie struggles and has to make tough decisions when their rations are running really low. When Gregory and another Savior beg her to give them some time outside of their “jail” pen, she turns down their request. And then she informs them that she’s cutting off their rations, as she’s running low and needs to put her people first.
When Daryl and the Alexandrians arrive at the Hilltop, Maggie changes her tune. She tells the captured Saviors that the prisoners will be allowed to leave the pen each day in pairs and will be escorted by an armed guard. They’ll be put to work and will be allowed to exercise and seek medical attention if needed. And they’ll be allowed a quarter rations for food. Of course, Gregory can’t just be thankful, and he suggests that they evacuate the Hilltop before the Saviors arrive. Maggie thinks the Hilltop is something worth fighting for. And just then, Rick arrives back at the Hilltop too.
Negan’s New Plan
At the Sanctuary, Negan grills Eugene about how Carson and Gabriel got loose. He plays dumb, but Negan is still skeptical. He says when Carson and Gabriel get captured again, he’ll find out the truth. Then he tells Eugene that he’s getting his own outpost, complete with a team of people and amenities, to produce bullets, as he wants to be ready for Rick.
Eugene gets pretty bossy at his outpost as he makes some bullets. But that quickly ends, and fear takes its place when Negan shows up with Gabriel. However, Gabriel doesn’t give Eugene up and tells Negan that it was Carson’s doing to escape. Eugene then tells Negan that it’s still going to be a few days before he can produce the supply that he wants, but that’s not going to work for Negan. Eugene then suggests he create some catapults so they can toss over walker parts into the fences of their enemies. Negan seems perplexed at first and then gets an idea and walks out. Later, Negan explains to the Saviors that they’ll be using walker guts and blood as weapons in their war against Rick.
It’s a shame that Dr. Carson got himself killed. I was quite enjoying his time with Gabriel, as they manage to get lucky every time Carson gets down. I guess in the end, it worked out in a way because Gabriel essentially matched Eugene’s story and pinned their escape on Carson. But now Eugene has gone and given Negan his next idea to try and win the war; at this point, I’m not really sure if it’s a great idea or not from Negan. I guess he’s willing to try anything to see if it will work.
Maggie continues to struggle in her role as leader of the Hilltop. I almost wish she was a little bit stronger when she makes decisions. I’m curious what Rick will think of her “prison” pen, especially now that she’s softened to give them their freedom each day. I guess the only way to build the new world, though, is to take ideas from the old one to keep people in line, such as prison.
I wonder what will happen once Negan wages this biological warfare onto the group. I’m curious if it will work or if it will just piss them off even more and make them fight back even harder. Either way, I don’t see this war ending anytime soon.
Were you surprised that Dr. Carson was killed? Do you think Negan’s plan of using walker guts is a good idea? What do you think will happen now that Dwight is back with the Saviors? Will he be able to continue to help the Alexandrians from behind enemy lines? Was Maggie right to give her prisoners a little bit of freedom? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
The Walking Dead season 8 airs Sundays at 9/8c on AMC. Want more news? Like our Walking Dead Facebook page.
(Image courtesy of AMC)