Abraham and Sasha come back from a patrol, shooting the shit companionably. He's into her. But when he says he'll see her for the next patrol, Sasha tells him that she's changed her shift and Eugene, who wants to take a more active role, will be patrolling with him instead. Abraham is slightly taken aback. I'm guessing this is because he hasn't broken up with Rosita yet. Which we are reminded of in the very next scene, as they are chitchatting post-coitus. Abraham, you can't have your cake and eat it too. Figure it out.
When everyone else in Rick's house gets up, finally, it's time to talk with Jesus. He's tricky - easily getting out of the ropes and slipping out of the house - and has done his homework, reconnoitering Alexandria and noting that while they've got a good weapons stash, they are running dangerously low on food. He says that he comes from a place kind of like this one and they have more food - maybe his community and Alexandria can do some trading. Maggie asks if he is already trading with other groups and Jesus smiles, saying that their world is about to get a whole lot bigger. Which can't be that surprising, really - surely other settlements have cropped up.
As the gang gears up to head out, Denise gives Darryl an oatcake to take with him for sustenance. He's all, are you doing this because I tried to bring you that soda? She says yes, plus it will be healthier than scavenging something out there that could give him rabies. He takes it, grudgingly, saying that he hopes it tastes better than it looks because "it looks like shit." Denise, with an arched eyebrow: Shit's still better than roadkill ... just, just eat it. Cute scene. Denise is quickly growing to be a decent character.
The group taking Jesus back to his settlement is: Rick, Michonne, Glen, Maggie, Abraham and Darryl which, frankly, seems like they've taken an awful lot of the best fighters - hopefully Alexandria will fare well enough in their absence. As they drive, Abraham, obviously working through some stuff, asks Glen: "So, when you were pourin' the Bisquick, were you tryin' to make pancakes?" It takes Glen a minute to figure out WTF Abraham is trying to ask - "Uh ... yes?" But he figures it out and says that he and Maggie - all of them - are trying to build something here, regardless of how tenuous the situation. Speaking of building something, Rick and Michonne hold hands a little as Rick drives. Ick. Just - I don't mind if they're hooking up, or even if they're looking to turn into something real, but I do NOT need giggly, googly-eyed Rick and Michonne.
They stop in a tiny town when they see a recent car wreck. Jesus says it's one of his but the people are nowhere to be found. Everyone is suspicious - "This ain't more firecrackers in a barrel," growls Darryl - but they find a trail of blood leading away from the wreckage. Our gang heads off, looking for survivors, and leaving Jesus outside with Maggie holding a gun on him. Inside a building, they quickly dispatch whatever walkers are staggering around and rescue the four survivors. Abraham actually nearly kills one of them, thinking he's a zombie, but he pulls back just in time. One of the people is hurt from the crash and one of them is a doctor. They all load back into the RV and continue on. Maggie and Glen talk with the doctor a little and find out that he used to be an obstetrician. The doctor grins when he learns Maggie is pregnant, saying that he owes them one for the rescue so they definitely hit the jackpot with him.
They arrive at Jesus's settlement, actually getting stuck in some mud and hoofing the last little distance. The Hilltop is well-fenced in. After some tense moments when the Hilltop guards wave their spears around (Hilltop is out of ammo) and our gang waves their guns around, Jesus brokers some peace and they get inside. The Hilltop used to be a living museum, like Sturbridge Village, with farm animals, crops, a smithy, hand-pumped water, etc., so when civilization collapsed in the face of the zombie apocalypse, it was well set-up to survive. Hilltop's leader, Gregory, comes out, immediately announcing that he's "the boss." I immediately take a disliking to him. He is ensconced in the main house - clean, beautiful and full of antiques - and insists that our gang get cleaned up before discussing anything with him. As Jesus leads them off to their baths, Rick tells Maggie that it is up to her to negotiate with Gregory, with her new diplomacy skills learned from her time with Deanna. Rick is particularly ill-suited to deal with this guy since he'd just shoot him rather than deal with his bullshit.
Maggie's first interaction with Gregory does not go all that well. He is absolutely a tool. But he's sharp too, deducing that they don't have much to trade with. He says that they can work for food and pretty much says that Maggie could work on her back under him to really make it worth their while. She shows amazing restraint in not shooting him in the head, I think. He dismisses her, though, saying that her group doesn't have anything he needs. "We're doing fine," he sneers.
Shortly thereafter, a small group returns to Hilltop. They had been sent to trade with Negan and his Saviors (that thuggish group that Darryl, Sasha and Abraham blew up with the rocket launcher was part of the Saviors). Negan has been extorting the Hilltop, demanding half their food in exchange for not killing them. On this last drop, Negan decided that the Hilltop share was light. He killed one or two Hilltoppers, kept one prisoner and sent the other three back home with a message for Gregory. That message? A knife in the gut. Rick et als. spring into action, ending up breaking one Hilltopper's hand and cutting the throat of the one who stabbed Gregory. The immediate threat diminished, Jesus springs up, calming everyone down. He should be Hilltop's leader, not Gregory. [Note: that wig he is wearing is very, very terrible.]
Jesus and our gang chat a little later, as Jesus explains the Negan situation. Darryl's all, we'll take care of them for you for "food, medicine and one of them cows." Jesus hadn't considered this but then our group points out that they've dealt with people like this before. And now they're dead. [But at what cost? This is Michonne's concern.] As it turns out, Gregory survives, although he is in a fair amount of pain. Pressing the advantage, Maggie goes back to renegotiate. This is the deal she gets: they wipe out Negan and the Saviors in exchange of half of everything they have, right now. Plus she gets an ultrasound of her baby.
After loading up the RV, our gang - plus Jesus and the guy with the broken-hand who knows about the Saviors' compound - drives back to Alexandria to deliver the supplies and make their plan of attack. Maggie and Glen smile at their ultrasound photo; Michonne looks at it with a wistful smile, then passes it to Darryl, who then passes it to Abraham. Abraham gives Glen a genuine grin as he hands the photo back - looks like he has maybe changed his mind about building something in this new world.
Previously on The Walking Dead / next time on The Walking Dead
9 hours ago