The Saviors have already destroyed Alexandria and the Kingdom — or at least damaged them enough that it will take time to rebuild on The Walking Dead. And in this episode, titled “Do Not Send Us Astray,” the Saviors set their sights on the Hilltop. But Maggie and her group are ready and have a plan. While all the fighting is going on, Morgan is haunted by Gavin. And Negan’s plan to turn his enemies into walkers is put into action, despite him not being around to see it.

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The War on the Hilltop Begins

Rick and friends have managed to destroy or damage most of the Saviors’ outposts, as well as the Sanctuary, so it was only a matter of time before the Saviors did the same to their enemies. Negan destroyed Alexandria. Gavin stripped the Kingdom before he was killed. And now Simon has waged war on the Hilltop. He leads the Saviors there with instructions to kill, not infect as Negan had wanted.

When they arrive, the Hilltop is ready. Maggie pages Negan on the walkie, but Simon informs her that he’s in charge for now. She says she has 38 prisoners who will stay alive if they leave. If they stay, she threatens to kill them all. Of course, Simon doesn’t care about the prisoners. Before they start to head into the Hilltop, Dwight tries to convince Simon that it’s a bad idea. And then Daryl shows up and opens fire. He leads the Saviors into the Hilltop, but a bus stops them from actually driving in. Gunfire ensues, and some Saviors are killed and some at the Hilltop are injured. As Maggie and Kerry take cover in the house with the prisoners, Alden, one of the prisoners, says he wants to help her fight the Saviors, but she doesn’t want his help.

At one point, after Tobin is stabbed and Tara is shot with an arrow by Dwight, everyone at the Hilltop shoots out the headlights of the vehicles and retreats. Simon sees this as his opportunity to move it, but it’s part of Maggie’s plan. As the Saviors get close to the house, other car headlights turn on, blinding them, and the people of the Hilltop shoot from the windows of the house. The Saviors try to retreat, but Rick and friends are there to try and stop them. Eventually, they leave the Hilltop. Maggie tells Rick that she wants Negan dead as he tells her about his experience of trying to kill him himself.

The Aftermath

The next day, everyone cleans up the Hilltop. They also bury the dead. Maggie lets Alden outside the walls with a guard to bury his people, though he assures her that they aren’t his people anymore. As she watches the Hilltop clean up, Kerry assures Maggie that she is a good leader. She says she saved the gates, the community and — most important — lives. Maggie tells her that she only saved the prisoners because Negan is still in play.

Meanwhile, Daryl and Tara disagree about Dwight and if he’s actually back with the Saviors. And Michonne tries to connect with Rick, who is still mourning the loss of his son — and rightfully so. Carol makes things right with Tobin, who is recovering from his stab wounds. Little Henry steals a gun, on a mission to kill the person who killed his brother. At one point, Siddiq offers to treat Rick’s wounds and offers him some advice about grieving Carl, but Rick doesn’t want to hear it. And while all of this is going on, Morgan is haunted by visions of Gavin.

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And Then They Turned

As the day turns into night, everyone is seeking shelter in the big house. Maggie checks in before resting. One of the wounded tells her she’s a better leader than Gregory, as he only cared about himself.

Tobin, who was visibly fine earlier, suddenly dies and turns. He is the first of all of the injured to turn. He bites the doctor as she comes in to check on the sick and injured. Slowly, those newly turned walkers make their way into the main house, where some of the other injured also turn. Soon, it’s a panic as people are running from walkers.

Outside, young Henry wakes up Gregory and demands to know which of the prisoners killed his brother. Gregory tries to level with him, but Henry is insistent. Alden wakes up and also tries to reason with Henry, who says he’ll start killing random people if his brother’s killer doesn’t come forward. Soon, the prisoners hear the screams from inside the main house. But Henry keeps pushing. He unlocks the gate and steps inside with the gun drawn, but Jared, his brother’s killer, won’t step forward. Suddenly, one of the prisoners wakes up as a walker, and panic ensues in the pen. Jared knocks Henry down, grabs his gun and leads the prisoners to their freedom.

After Rick and friends clear the house of walkers, Rick realizes that the weapons were tainted, which is why the injured turned into walkers. They break the news to Tara, who says, “Karma’s a bitch.” But since she was shot with Dwight’s arrow, I’m curious if that arrow was actually doused in walker blood. Perhaps, since he basically grazed her, he was sparing her and just putting up a front for Simon. I guess only time will tell on that.

Outside, Carol and some others race to find Henry, who has disappeared. Meanwhile, Maggie sees that Alden is still there. He explains that while some of the prisoners did escape, others stayed behind to help kill the walkers and get them out of the Hilltop.

Later that day, as Maggie watches Jerry and Jesus bury the dead, she questions her leadership skills and if the fight was worth it.

These past two episodes, though a little slow moving, have certainly moved the war along a bit on The Walking Dead. I find it ironic that Negan’s plan of biological warfare ended up working and he wasn’t there to see it. I have to wonder what Negan will think when he finds out what Simon’s been up to — that is, if Negan is even still alive. The last we saw him, he was with Jadis, but we don’t know where they were headed.

It is upsetting that so many people from the Hilltop had to die after they thought they were in the clear for a bit. Their deaths are weighing heavily on Maggie, who at the end of the day just wants Negan dead.

I wonder what their next move will be now that the Hilltop has suffered somewhat of a blow. With just a few episodes left in season 8, I sure have to hope that the war ends in the finale, and then maybe we’ll get to see some of that world that Carl envisioned — that is, of course, if Rick wins the war.

What did you think of this episode? Were you surprised by everyone who turned? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9/8c on AMC. Want more news? Like our Walking Dead Facebook page.

(Image courtesy of AMC)