The war continues on The Walking Dead.  We’re still on the same day that we started on 4 episodes ago.  So much has happened.  Two Savior outposts have been decimated.  The Sanctuary is overrun with walkers. The Hilltop has a bunch of new residents because Jesus won’t kill anyone. Morgan has taken off. Rick met up with an old friend and Daryl killed him.  Eric is dead and Aaron is distraught.  Aaron took a survivor from the Savior outpost to the Hilltop.  The Kingdom has lost the most lives, including Shiva. Whew…is this day over yet?

‘The Big Scary U’ takes us back before the war started.  Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) praying at his church in Alexandria.  He prays for purpose.  Gregory (Xander Berkeley) is at the Sanctuary as Simon’s (Steven Ogg) guest.  Gregory is babbling about his intentions.  He’s clearly scared of Simon and the Saviors. Simon tells him to relax. He thinks Gregory can help the Saviors in some way.

It’s too bad that Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and his other generals don’t feel the same way. Dwight (Austin Amelio) doesn’t even stick around to listen. Gregory is babbling again. He says the Hilltop belongs to him. He thinks he can stop the war before it even begins.  Gregory’s plan is to tell all of Hilltop if they join Rick (Andrew Lincoln) they are exiled.  Negan questions Gregory’s control at the Hilltop.  He says Gregory has no power because he didn’t know anything about the Widow leading a Hilltop army to Alexandria.  Gregory says he didn’t know because he wasn’t there. Simon backs him up.  He suggests that they stand behind Gregory. And if the Hilltop won’t follow Gregory, then the Saviors will burn it.

Negan doesn’t like the idea.  He says people are a resource.  People are the foundation of what they are doing.  He accuses Simon of forgetting who Negan is. He asks if they backsliding. Simon says they are not.  Negan tells the generals that they have to win it all.   Plan A is to take Rick, the Widow, and the King alive.  They have to kill the right people in the wrong way and make sure everyone can see it. There is gunfire outside.  Rick has arrived.

Read the Full Recap of Last Week’s Episode of THE WALKING DEAD, “Some Guy”

Sanctuary

The generals, Simon, Regina (Traci Dinwiddie), Eugene (Josh McDermitt), Gavin (Jayson Warner Smith) and Dwight discuss what to do. The Sanctuary is surrounded by walkers.  They need to clear out the herd and get to the other outposts to warn them.  Eugene says they don’t have enough soldiers.  They have limited resources.  If they send their soldiers out, the workers will rise up when the resources start to run out.  Dwight agrees with Eugene.  

Gavin is frustrated. He suspects someone inside the Sanctuary helped Rick and his people attack the Sanctuary.  Dwight suggests they take what is theres, and not give up.  He says he’s prepared to lead the Saviors out of the Sanctuary.  Simon agrees with him.  They also need to find out who the traitor is and kill them.

Austin Amelio as Dwight – The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 5 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Eugene visits Dwight in his room. He gives him a jar of pickles for having his back.  Eugene sees the chess set that Dwight has been carving. He picks up one of the soldiers to look at it. Dwight tells him that the paint isn’t dry yet.  The piece leaves red paint on Eugene’s finger. Eugene says he knows he’s probably the #1 traitor suspect. He thanks Dwight for having  his back.   Dwight says he knows Eugene will have his back too. Later, Eugene is playing video games and the power goes out.

The Trailer

Father Gabriel faces Negan for the first time.  Negan takes Gabriel’s gun, but doesn’t shoot him.  He lets him go and tells him to be be quiet. Negan starts talking. He tells Gabriel that Rick gets people killed. Gabriel reminds him that Negan is the one doing the killing. Negan says he wouldn’t have to kill if Rick didn’t make him.

Negan asks Gabriel why he helped Gregory.  He laughs because Gregory left Gabriel behind to die.  Gabriel says he fears a fruitless death.  He says he is there for a reason. And that reason might be to take Negan’s confession. Negan doesn’t want to wait out the walkers. He says if everyone thinks he’s dead then more people will die.  He also says he has nothing to confess.  Negan asks Gabriel why he became a priest.  Gabriel says he loves God, he loves people, and he wanted to help people through rough times and their weaknesses. Negan says he helps people too.  He says people will start dying because he’s not there to stop it.  

Negan tells Gabriel that he used to work with kids. He wanted to set them on the right path. And that’s what he’s trying to do with the people inside the Sanctuary. Gabriel say Negan is weak because he kills the innocent. They are interrupted when the walkers punch a hole in the trailer. Gabriel asks Negan what his weakness is. Negan says he is strong.  He uses his weaknesses to drive his strengths.  That’s how he made the Sanctuary what it is.  Before it was a bunch of little gangs fighting each other under bad leadership. He brought them together.

Negan says he is going to make Gabriel his new project to help him find his strengths.  Gabriel says he is strong.  He admits to being at the satellite station that started the whole thing.  He asks Negan how he is weak.  Negan won’t answer.  Gabriel says they could be dead soon.  He asks if Negan wants forgiveness before he dies?

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Gabriel asks why Negan keeps the people as slaves.  Negan says they all have jobs. They have food. They are not slaves.   Gabriel says that Carl told him about Negan’s wives. He asks why he forces women to marry him.  Negan says it was their choice.  Gabriel asks about the one before all the others. The one he made a promise to.  The one he lied to.  Negan gets angry.  He lunges at Gabriel. Gabriel shoots at Negan, runs into another room and shuts the door.  The walkers have punched a second hole in the trailer.  Negan tells Gabriel that people are a resource. They have to try to make it inside the Sanctuary. They will live if they do.  Negan moves a walker into the trailer.  He is going to use the blood and move as a dead one. He tells Gabriel to go with him or die.

Gabriel tells Negan his greatest sin is locking his congregation out of his church. He failed them and failed God. He has been trying to make up for that ever since.  Gabriel says he will go with Negan.  Working together is the only way they can all survive, but Negan has to confess.  Negan says his first wife was his real wife. He lied to her and cheated on her. She got sick and died during the apocalypse.  He couldn’t put her down.  That’s how he was weak.  

Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan, Seth Gilliam as Father Gabriel Stokes – The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 5 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Gabriel opens the door and forgives Negan.  He hands Negan the gun.  Negan gives it back and says thanks.  Negan opens up the walker. He asks if Gabriel has ever used that tactic. He has. Negan asks if he ever got sick from it. Gabriel says he’s from Georgia.  The two start covering themselves with walker guts. Negan and Gabriel make their way out of the trailer. Gabe falls and the walkers realized he’s not dead.  Negan and Gabe fight their way to the Sanctuary door.  They are overrun by Walkers.

At the Sanctuary, the generals meet again and Gavin is talking about deliveries from the chemical plant. Laura (Lindsley Register) runs in and tells the generals that the workers have come up the stairs.  They go outside of the room and see the hall filled with workers. The workers are hot and need water.  Simon tells them all to go back downstairs. The workers start talking back and ask for Negan. They ask if he’s dead.  Regina pulls a gun and says she is Negan.  

Negan shows up with Gabriel.  Everyone, including Gabriel kneel before Negan. He assures everyone that he’s not dead.  He says he’s going to take a shower and eat, then he will attend to some business.  They have to figure out what has happened and then everything can go back to normal.  One of the workers thanks God for Negan. The guards take Gabriel away as Eugene watches.

Rick and Daryl

Rick and Daryl (Norman Reedus) find the driver of the Savior truck.  He asks the driver about survivors at the chemical plant. The driver says everyone is dead, except for the king, the axeman, and the psycho lady.  The Savior dies.  They unload the boxes from the Savior’s truck.  Daryl takes the explosives.  He says they can blow up the Sanctuary and let the walkers in.  The war can be over that same day.  Rick reminds him that there are families in the Sanctuary.  Daryl says they can blow up the south side; families are on the north side. Rick says no, they could get trapped. Daryl walks away from Rick. Rick tells him to stick to the plan.  

Daryl says the Kingdom is gone, a lot of people are dead.  Things have changed.  It’s the Saviors fault.  They have to look after their own.  Rick tries to stop him. Daryl gets frustrated with Rick and punches him.  He says it’s not Rick’s choice. Rick goes after Daryl and the two start fighting.  Daryl puts Rick in a choke-hold, but Rick is able to grab the bag of explosives.   Rick throws the explosives on the other side of the truck.  A fire starts inside the truck. The two run away before it explodes.  They sit and watch it burn.

Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon, Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes – The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 5 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

The two of them go back to their vehicles, but Rick’s truck won’t start.  Daryl drives up and asks if Rick is sure he still wants to go.  Rick says they have a plan that they have to see through. Daryl says they have to win. Rick says choke holds are illegal.  Rick starts walking one way as Daryl rides the other way.  

The generals inform Negan that Gabriel was carrying one of their guns.  They put Gabriel bag on the table and Eugene sees red paint on it. He looks at his finger with the paint from Dwight’s chess set.  He knows Dwight is the traitor. After the meeting, Negan tells Eugene he is trusting him to come up with a plan to figure everything out. He has his back no matter what that is.

Rick is walking along and hears a helicopter. He looks up and sees one fly by.  Rick continues walking.  He’s heading for the junkyard. One of the Scavengers sees him and alerts the others.

Eugene goes to formally welcome Gabriel to the Sanctuary. He has a pillow and other necessities for him.  Gabriel doesn’t answer.  Eugene opens the door and finds Gabriel sweating and shaking. Gabriel starts mumbling something about his purpose.  Eugene says they have to get him to Dr. Carson immediately.  Gabriel recognizes Dr. Carson as Maggie’s doctor. He says he has to get him out of the Sanctuary.

Read All of the Recaps for Season 8 of THE WALKING DEAD

Thoughts

Again…we have been living the same day for 5 episodes!  I’m exhausted.  This episode was very Negan-centered. I see the logic in Negan’s way of life.  There’s structure and rules that keeps chaos from ensuing. But the rules hinder people from feeling free. The cost of freedom keeps them safe, or, so Negan says.  Using fear to control people is so cliche in an apocalyptic world.  

Rick on the other hand, empowers people to find their strengths and use those to fight and survive.  Yeah, he knows they are afraid, but he is confident in their abilities and that makes them confident. Yes there are rules in Alexandria, but these rules don’t hinder anyone’s freedom.  People work together in Alexandria, not for anyone.  To be honest, if Negan and Rick were to ever find a way to work together, then there would be hope for the human race.  Of course, that can’t happen now…right?

Noetta Harjo
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