This is what we learn about Carol: even though she has become a stone-cold killer, a badass who does what has to be done, when she has enough time to relax, she's still a mom who likes to wear cardigans and make cookies for everyone. In this case, it's acorn and beet cookies (the acorns gathered outside Alexandria's walls; and she brought her machete so she could decapitate zombies when necessary) because of the food shortages. But still. She likes to take care of people without having to shoot.
Rick et als return in the RV with enough food to last them a month. Rick tells Sasha to spread the word: everyone meet in the church in an hour to talk. Carol wants to know what's going on. He tells her, "We're going to have to fight." Before the meeting, Morgan finds Carol, asking her why she - and Rosita, Eugene and Tara - didn't tell anyone about what happened with that Wolf he wouldn't kill. He tells her that she doesn't have to carry that alone but she brushes him off, saying that they just need to forget it and move on. This conversation? Takes place in the small Alexandria graveyard. Carol leaves the last cookie on Sam's grave. (Because she has guilty feelings about her treatment of Sam, obvs.)
At the meeting in the church, Rick lays it out for everyone: the deal they made with Hilltop to take out Negan's Saviors. He says that sooner or later, the Saviors will find Alexandria and, low on food, the Alexandrians might not prevail. But if they go after the Saviors first, they'll have the upper hand. He says that it needs to be a group decision and asks for dissenting opinions. Morgan stands up and says they should approach the other group first, give them an opportunity to coexist peaceably. Rick disagrees, saying that will give away their advantage. He asks if anyone else agrees with Morgan. No one does. "It looks like it's settled ... We don't shy from this, we live. We kill them all." Rick adds that not everyone in Alexandria will be expected to kill, but everyone will have to accept it. Morgan sits down, sad-faced.
That night, Carol can't sleep. She gets a notebook out of the bedside table: in it, she's been keeping track of the people she has killed. Her death count is up to 18 now. Later, she goes walking and finds Tobin (one of the Alexandrian guys) up too, sitting on his porch. They talk about tomorrow. He likes her. He tells her that she is able to do things that just terrify him but the reason she is able to do them is because she's a mom, then and now. Then, for the hell of it, she leans in and he kisses her. Nice! Carol getting some before heading off to battle! (Seems a little out of character but Melissa McBride sells it with a "oh, what the hell" look on her face.)
In other parts of town: Maggie tells Glen that she's going on the raid because it was she who brokered the deal (which is BULLSHIT because she is pregnant and should be thinking about that); Abraham leaves Rosita by telling her that when they met, he thought she was the last woman on earth, but now he knows she's not (which is a BULLSHIT way to break up with her and mean and terribly bad timing); Tara is nervous about going and tells Denise that she loves her but Denise won't say it back, instead saying that she'll say it when Tara gets back from the two-week supply run she's going on with Heath directly after the raid (which is kind of bullshit and I don't understand why Denise does this) (also, is the actress who plays Tara pregnant? because she looks like she's gained weight and they're dressing her in sweatshirts and placing her behind dish racks). Also, Eddie, the non-Jesus Hilltop guy, draws maps of the Saviors' compound, telling Rick, Daryl, Glen, Michonne and Maggie as much as he can about the compound. His information is pretty vague - he only went there to deliver food - but our gang seems confident they can figure it out. And the way they're going to get in without busting down the front door? Rick: "They're going to let us in. They want Gregory's head and we're gonna give it to them."
The next day, the raiding party drives out a ways and parks on the road, honking their horns. They all pile out of the cars and start combing the woods for zombies: they're looking for ones who look kind of like Gregory, of course, because they need a head. Rosita, still smarting from Abraham's abandonment, bitches to Carol about Morgan being such a pussy. Carol is feeling understanding - he doesn't want to kill - and when she can't get a rise out of the older woman, Rosita gives up, pouting a bit. Glen and Heath search together and Heath asks Glen if he's nervous, especially since they'll be killing people instead of zombies. Glen's like, yeah, it's going to be basically the worst thing ever and yeah, he's nervous. When everyone regroups, Rick goes over the plan (Carol is mad that Maggie is even out there with them and says that she's going to stay out on the perimeter with her; Rick wishes she would come inside but doesn't press the issue) and examines the potential heads. One of them is close but the nose is not quite right, according to the Hilltoppers. Rick picks up the head and punches it in the nose a few times. Eddie stares at Rick, who's all, what? Eddie: "The Saviors, they're scary, but those pricks got nothin' on you." Rick: *...*
At midnight, our gang makes their move. Eddie drives up with the purported Gregory-head and after a couple of tense moments, the two Saviors on guard buy it, bringing out the Hilltopper they've had captive. As soon as that captive is handed over, the two guards are promptly killed by Michonne and Daryl. Their bodies are dragged into the tall weeds and then the show totally morphs into an action flick. Our gang infiltrates the compound, silently, opening doors, looking for the armory. It gets VERY tense, especially when first Rick, then Glen find sleeping Saviors and run their knives into the sleeping men's heads. It doesn't matter that these Saviors are obviously horrible people - one has Polaroids of bodies with bashed-in heads tacked to the wall over his bed - our people are murdering other humans while they sleep. It's grim and feels like there's a line being crossed. Glen struggles with it but does it (including killing one that Heath is supposed to do, so Heath doesn't have to); Rick pauses for a moment before his first but seems to deal with it more easily than Glen.
You know it can't go entirely smoothly, however, and as Sasha and Abraham are trying to open a locked door, a Savior finds them. They try to kill him quietly but he is able to pull an alarm and soon the whole compound is awake. Lots and lots of gunfire. Lots and lots. When the alarm sounds, Tara, Gabriel, Jesus and Eddie (plus the rescued captive) hear it. Tara sends Eddie and the captive back to Hilltop, thinking that if he is returned, then Hilltop will have to keep their end of the bargain with Alexandria, not matter what the outcome here at the compound. She, Gabriel and Jesus pick off Saviors coming out the front door, then Jesus slips inside. Out on the perimeter, Maggie and Carol also hear the alarm. Maggie wants to go help but Carol is like, goddamn it, Maggie, you're going to be a mother and you are staying here!
Inside the compound, it is a madhouse. SO MUCH SHOOTING. Amazingly, none of our gang gets hurt badly, much less killed. As the sun comes up, they make their way outside, dully congratulating themselves on the victory. Tara and Heath - who can't meet Glen's eyes - take off on their supply run. Michonne goes up to Rick and says that she wonders which one was Negan. [And of course, the audience is all HE WASN'T THERE YOU DIDN'T GET HIM YOU HAVE NO IDEA THE SHITSTORM THAT'S ABOUT TO RAIN DOWN ON YOU POOR FOOLS.]
They hear an engine and look up to see a Savior making a run for it on a motorcycle - Daryl's motorcycle. They shoot him down - Daryl punching his face for a bit for good measure. He sneers at them but before they can shoot him, a woman's voice comes over the walkie-talkie he was carrying: "Lower your gun, prick. You with the Colt Python. All of you lower your weapons. We've got a Carol and a Maggie - we're thinking that's something you want to chat about." Everyone gives each other OH SHIT looks.
Previously on The Walking Dead / next time on The Walking Dead
27 minutes ago