‘The Walking Dead’: Boys, bye

The Walking Dead
April 8, 2018

Let’s mix things up and start with the C storyline! Hey, remember how Aaron was out in the woods somewhere, in an attempt to convince the Ocean Amazons to come fight with them? Yeah, apparently that hasn’t been going great, and he’s basically starving in the woods or something. It’s unclear. At one point the Ocean Amazons find him nearly unconscious from hunger. They shrug and are like, “Not my problem.”

And then later? I guess? But I don’t know because bad writing, Aaron wakes up in the woods only to be attacked by a mini-herd. He manages to fend them off but loses his knife in the process. The women find him, again, and he’s like, “LISTEN, I GET IT, THE SAVIORS SUCK, BUT YOU’LL NEVER BE TRULY FREE UNLESS YOU FIGHT BACK.”

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Over in the B storyline, after loading up on some sardine mac and cheese casserole …

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… Dr. Mullet is encouraging his bullet makers to make more bullets per Simon’s orders. He notices that a bullet Father Blindness made is defective and confronts him about it. Gabriel is like, “Yep, I did it BECAUSE I DON’T WANT TO KILL OUR PEOPLE.” So Dr. Mullet makes him sit in timeout and think about what he’s done.

Dr. Mullet then goes outside to test some of the rounds they’ve made and promptly get his ass kidnapped by Daryl and Rosita.

On their walk, Rosita blames Dr. Mullet for helping the Saviors escape during Rick’s raid, but Dr. Mullet blames Rick for starting the whole mess. This does not go over well with Daryl and Rosita, the latter who explains to Dr. Mullet that he’s a traitor and a coward who turned his back on the only friends he ever had. But they’re not going to kill him — instead, they’re going to put him in a dark hole and bring him out anytime they need him to teach them something.

This does not sound like much of a plan to Dr. Mullet. And when Daryl is distracted by a group of walkers, Dr. Mullet promptly shoves his fingers down his throat and throws up that sardine mac and cheese all over Rosita …

kristen rhony gross gag

…. and makes a break for it while she’s distracted. Daryl and Rosita chase after him, but he disguises himself in a pile of ash and manages to escape. OK.

Dr. Mullet returns to the bullet factory — because Daryl and Rosita will never find him there? — where he’s informed that Negan is back and needs bullets by the morning. “ALRIGHT, PEOPLE,” Dr. Mullet bellows, enraged, “LET’S MAKE ALL OF THE BULLETS AND END THIS FIGHT ONCE AND FOR ALL.” But all in Dr. Mulletese, obviously.

As for the main story, we begin with Rick re-reading the Carl letter:

I remember my eighth birthday at the KCC, with that giant cake and Aunt Evie showing up on leave, surprising all of us. I remember mom. I remember Codger. I remember school and going to the movies and Friday night pizza and cartoons and grandma and grandpa and church, the summer barbecues and the kiddie pool you got me. I could’ve used that at the prison.

You told me about the walks we would take when I was 3. You holding my hand around the neighborhood, all the way to Ross’ farm. I didn’t know that I remembered them, but I do, because I see the sun and the corn and that cow that walked up to the fence and looked me in the eye. You told me about all that stuff, but it isn’t just that stuff. It’s how I felt. Holding your hand, I felt happy and special. I felt safe. 

I thought growing up was about getting a job and maybe a family — being an adult. But growing up is about making yourself and the people you love safe. As safe as you can, because things happen. They happened before. You were shot before things went bad. It kind of felt like things went bad because you were shot. I want to make you feel safe, dad. I want you to feel like I felt when you held my hand. Just to feel that way for five minutes … I’d give anything to make you feel that way now. 

I wanted to kill Negan. I wish I did. Maybe it would have been done. I don’t think it’s done now. You went out there again, but I don’t think they surrendered. I don’t think they will surrender. There are workers in there, dad. They’re just regular people: old people, young people, families. You don’t want them to die, dad. We’re so close to starting everything over, and we have friends now. It’s that bigger world you used to talk about: the Kingdom, the Hilltop. There’s got to be more places, more people out there — a chance for everything to change and keep changing. Everyone giving everyone the opportunity to have a life. A real life. 

If they won’t end it, you have to. You have to give them a way out. You have to find peace with Negan. You have to find a way forward somehow. We don’t have to forget what happened, but you can make it so it doesn’t happen again, and nobody has to live this way. That every life is worth something. Start everything over. Show everyone they can be safe again without killing, that it can feel safe again, that it can go back to being birthdays, schools, jobs and even Friday night pizza somehow — and walks with a dad and a 3-year-old, holding hands. Make that come back, dad. And go on those walks with Judith. She’ll remember them.

I love you.

– Carl

Michonne then walks by holding Baby’s hand in case you didn’t get it.

Michonne then goes inside the bedroom and sees the letter to Negan. She has a moment.

Speaking of Negan, back at the Sanctuary, that asshole Gregory suggests to Simon that he could be his political advisor. Simon is like, “I mean, I was thinking about killing you, but if you can make decent coffee …”

Outside, Negan reveals himself to be alive to Dwight and Dwight’s like, “Yay. You’re alive.” Negan’s all, “Yeah, no thanks to you and Simon.” But Dwight’s like, “I’m Negan?” And Negan is all, “Cool.”

At the Saviors’ board meeting, Simon is all, “Dude, I thought you were dead, which is the whole reason I tried to exterminate Hilltop against your wishes, are we cool?” But Negan assures him that they are NOT COOL, reminding him of the time Simon killed all the boys and men over in Oceanamazonia like a psycho back before Negan instituted some discipline. Negan demands Simon get on his knees, which Simon does, but then Negan is all, “PSYCHE!” and doesn’t kill him even though Simon definitely needs some killing.

Negan then pulls out a map and circles a bunch of spots surrounding Hilltop explaining he’s going to send Saviors to these locations where they will snipe anyone leaving the community until Hilltop arrives at “full contrition.” As he concludes the meeting, he asks Dwight to stay behind, where he is all, “Good job staying alive this whole time. I absolutely admire that and have no intentions of harming you and am definitely not playing with you like a cat with captured prey.”

Dwight obviously swipes the map and makes a copy of it, adding a note urging Team Rick to FUCKING HURRY UP AND END NEGAN ALREADY. He’s interrupted by Simon who wants Dwight’s buy-in on an overthrow of Negan, and Dwight is like, “Sure, completely, give me all of the details, please.”

Later, the mutinous Saviors all meet out in the yard for their big “Let’s Kill Negan” meeting, only to have it interrupted by Negan himself. Gunfire erupts from inside the building, killing everyone except Simon, Dwight, and Negan, and Simon quickly figures out that Dwight double-crossed him. Negan is all, “BITCH, YOU’RE THE ONE WHO KILLED ALL THE GARBAGE PEOPLE AGAINST MY EXPRESS ORDERS. YOU DID THIS TO YOURSELF AND THAT’S WHY IT REALLY HURTS.” Which, not to agree with a sociopath, but he kinda has a point here.

But Negan lives under the impression that he’s “fair,” and so rather than Lucilling Simon right then and there, he brings him inside for a fistfight to determine who should rule the Sanctuary. Simon manages to land a few punches — probably because Negan refuses to take off his dumb leather jacket even though it appears to be AUGUST in GEORGIA — but then Negan manages to overtake Simon and choke him to death while yelling about how now he’s going to have to kill everyone in Hilltop thanks to Simon’s shitty failed takeover attempt.

While Negan is busy killing Simon, Dwight takes the opportunity to pull that asshole Gregory aside, give him the copy of the map and instruct him to take it back to Hilltop, which he does, only to be thrown back into the prison for his trouble.

Back at the Sanctuary, Negan walks Dwight back to his apartment, all the while being super-friendly to him, and offering to make Dwight his number two. But then Negan opens the door to Dwight’s room to reveal that the one Savior who saw Dwight betray their team is alive and quite well and full of interesting stories for Negan.

The good news: Negan has no intention to kill Dwight right now. The bad news: The map was a lie and Dwight just fed Team Rick a bunch of bullshit that is going to lead them right into Negan’s trap. Thanks, pal!

Later, Negan receives a radio call from Michonne who wants to read something to him:


This is Carl. I was helping someone. I got bit. Didn’t even have to be doing what we were doing. I was just helping someone, and now I’m gone. You might be gone. Maybe my dad made your people give you up and he killed you, but I don’t think so. I think you’re still around. I think you’re working on a way out. Maybe you got out. Maybe you think we’re a lost cause and you just want to kill all of us. I think you think you have to be who you are. I just wonder if this is what you wanted. I wanted to ask you. I wish I could have. Maybe you’ll beat us. If you do, there will just be someone else to fight. The way out is working together. It’s forgiveness. It’s believing that it doesn’t have to be a fight anymore — because it doesn’t. I hope my dad offers you peace. I hope you take it. I hope everything can change. It did for me. Start over. You still can.

– Carl

In response, Negan’s like, “Cool, but I’m still going to kill all of you,” before stomping on his radio which was just a dumb thing to do because now he’s down one radio.

I don’t have much to say about this episode as it was clearly a “set-up-the-finale” episode and there’s really not that much to plumb here, except to point out that besides Carl’s letters, the plot here diverges pretty significantly from the comics in a way that puts one character’s survival in the finale at risk:

SPOILERS! Hold and scroll over to read:

In the comics, during the attack on Hilltop Alexandria, Negan — who is there for the attack — orders the Saviors to coat their weapons in walker blood, as he does in the series. At one point, Dwight has a clear shot at Rick, which Negan orders him to take. He does, and Negan assumes that it will be a kill shot. However, a very much alive Rick appears at the gates later to talk to Negan, to Negan’s shock and surprise. When Rick and Negan finally come to blows, Dwight orders the other Saviors to stand down. Afer Negan is defeated, Dwight takes possession of Lucille and becomes the Saviors’ leader.

So, yeah, not sure any of that can happen now that Negan already knows about Dwight’s betrayal. I’m still guessing that Dwight will ultimately be saved by Daryl or Tara or both and that he will become the leader of the Saviors. That said, there are some out there pointing out that Daryl doesn’t exist in the comics, and he could take over after Negan if Dwight were to die in the finale, but I have a hard time picturing Daryl choosing to leave Team Rick for such an assignment. Of course, all of this is predicated on the presumption that Negan will lose in his fight with Rick and considering how far out the window the writers have thrown the comic books at this point, nothing should be assumed.


*And side note: I probably will blog this season of Fear, since these assholes decided to set it in my backyard. I intend to get last season — or an abbreviated version of last season — up at some point, but it will have to be sometime later, maybe this summer during the mid-season break. My point is, the premiere of Fear will be going up sometime this week, too, I guess. Probably. Guh.

The Walking Dead airs on AMC on Sundays at 8/9 p.m.

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