We’re almost to the end of season 8 of The Walking Dead. This has been an emotional season, especially with the death of Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs). Rick (Andrew Lincoln) finally reads Carl’s farewell letter. How will Carl’s words affect the outcome of the war? It’s not completely up to Rick. Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) has a part in the outcome as well. After being left behind to fight against Rick, Negan returns to the Sanctuary with some surprises. And, Eugene (Josh McDermitt) has pledged his loyalty to Negan. He’s making bullets so the Saviors can win the war. Is there anything left in his heart for his former friends at the Hilltop? After Enid (Katelyn Nacon) killed the Oceanside leader, Aaron (Ross Marquand) stayed behind. Can Aaron convince Oceanside to join their fight? What is this war “Worth?”
Rick reads Carl’s letter. In it, Carl talks about their life before the apocalypse. He remembers a lot of things, but most of all he remembers feeling safe with his dad. Carl wants Rick to feel safe. He encourages his dad to reach out to Negan and his people. He says Rick has to end it all and find peace. Carl says to make it so everyone feels safe again. And his last instructions are for Rick to go on walks with Judith, like he did with him. Rick looks around and see Michonne (Danai Gurira) walking with Judith. Michonne goes into the house to lay down. She gets up and takes out Negan’s letter from the dresser drawer.
All is Forgiven
Gregory (Xander Berkeley) made it safe and sound to the Sanctuary. Or so he thinks. He meets with Simon (Steven Ogg) who tells Gregory that he made him look like a fool. He can’t let Gregory go unpunished. Gregory pleads his case as to why Simon should keep him around. Simon hits him. He actually wants to kill Gregory, but says he can start redeeming himself by making coffee for him instead.
Dwight (Austin Amelio) goes outside to smoke and Negan is waiting for him. Negan has Dwight help him move a trash can. He tells Dwight that he had a hard time fighting off Rick. And he notices how Dwight had no problem following Simon’s order. Dwight says since Simon is #2, he thought he was acting on Negan’s behalf. Negan says he wants him to remember their talk when the time comes. He wants him remember what they’ve done and can still do together.
Negan talks to Simon next, who says he thought Negan was dead. He owns up to his mistakes saying he lacks discipline. Simon promises to do better for Negan. Negan recalls when he arrived at the Sanctuary. Simon was in charge. He had just killed all of the males from the Oceanside Community. Negan thought that was psychotic. Ever since then, he’s kept a close eye on Simon. Negan tells Simon to get on his knees. He asks Simon if he’s going to make a move. Simon says there’s no move to be made. Negan agrees and says all is forgiven.
Negan has a new plan. He’s going to position teams of people around the Hilltop. Their orders are to shoot anyone that comes out of the Hilltop. Negan dismisses his generals, except for Dwight. He commends Dwight for always doing what he needs to do to survive. He tells him to keep it up.
One Last Try
The Oceanside gang walk through the woods, looking for Aaron. He kills a walker in front of them, but they are not impressed. Cyndie (Syndey Park) says they made their minds up. He can die out there if he wants to.
Aaron has been in the woods for a couple of days without food and water. He set up a can to catch water. He’s asleep near that can and it starts to rain. Aaron wakes up to drink the water and walkers start to come toward him. Aaron fights them off, but he is really weak. He passes out after taking out the last walker. When he wakes up, he sees the Oceanside ladies looking down at him. He tells them that what happened to them, was all because of the Saviors. The Saviors hurt them and now they can’t fully live. He says the Saviors will keep hurting them if they don’t fight back. Aaron passes out and the Oceanside gang look to Cyndie for their next move.
Negan’s wives are making food for Eugene’s people. Eugene tells his people that Negan is missing. Simon is in charge and has asked that they work double time to get the bullets ready. Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) is with Eugene, but he’s still sick. Eugene makes him wear a mask so he won’t infect anyone else.
Eugene inspected the bullets that are already made. He notices a flaw and takes it to Gabriel. Gabriel admits to not securing the bullet. He says he didn’t want any of his people to die by those bullets. Eugene tells him that if the Saviors had used those bullets, it could have backfired on them and seriously injured or killed them. Gabriel says he doesn’t want to work for Eugene. He thinks this is God’s way of telling him that he hasn’t changed. Eugene suspends him from the line.
Eugene leaves the bullet room and someone shoots his guard in the head. He turns around and Rosita (Christian Serratos) is staring at him. Daryl (Norman Reedus) comes out of his hiding place and they take Eugene away. Eugene tries to talk to Rosita about why he’s been taking hostage. He thinks it’s because they used to be friends. Daryl tells him to shut up. Rosita says they have to keep going. His people will come looking for him soon.
Eugene says he told Negan that he made the bullet to save Rosita’s life. He thought they would torture him. They gave him a chance to live. It’s just who he is is to adapt. Rosita says everyone who has died is on Eugene’s hands. She pulls a gun on him and calls him a coward and a traitor. She says they won’t kill him because they need his knowledge. They are going to put him in a hole though.
Daryl and Rosita lead Eugene to their car, but it’s surrounded by Walkers. Eugene looks around and can see two walkers’ reflections in another car. They are around the corner. Eugene sticks his finger in his mouth and turns to throw up on Rosita. He runs away towards the two walkers. Rosita is cut off and Eugene gets away. Daryl and Rosita go after him, but Eugene hides in a pile of ash.
Dwight copies Negan’s map. Simon knocks on his door and says it’s time to gather everyone who thinks Negan is not a good leader. He tells Dwight to think about every bad thing that Negan has done to him. They are going to meet in the courtyard after rounds and make a plan to take out Negan. Dwight say okay and they get ready.
Dwight meets Simon and a handful of Saviors in the courtyard. Simon tells everyone that they need to make Negan’s death quick, quiet and respectable. He says Dwight should take the shot since he has a lot of personal issues with Negan. After they kill Negan, they will go to the Hilltop and wipe them out. Then get on with their lives.
Negan comes out from behind a trash can, whistling. He counts to three and everyone but Simon and Gregory are killed. Men loyal to Negan come out and restrain Simon. Negan says he knows that Simon killed the trash people. He was told not to, but he did it anyway. If Simon wants to be the man, he has to beat the man. And Negan will give him his shot.
The Saviors assemble in the boiler room. Simon says Negan is not a good leader. He says he doesn’t want to fight Negan, but once it’s done, they can all get back to work. Negan and Simon start fighting. Negan strangles Simon. He says that because of Simon, Rick knows they can push back. Now he is forced to kill every person at the Hilltop. Negan snaps Simon’s neck, killing him.
Gregory starts to back away from everyone and Dwight can sense it. Dwight tells Gregory that he needs to get out of the Sanctuary. He gives Gregory the map and instructs him to give it to Rick. Dwight hands Gregory a set of car keys and lets Gregory go.
Gregory makes it back to the Hilltop and gives the map to Maggie (Lauren Cohan). Maggie puts him back in the prisoner pen. She hands the map to Rick.
Negan says Simon was a waste of time. He offers Dwight to be his right hand man. Dwight accepts and promises to finish the conflict with Rick. Negan says he already has. Dwight opens the door to his room and Laura (Lindsley Register) is sitting in his room. Laura says she saw Dwight turn on them and kill their own men. She was injured, but was determined to make it back to the Sanctuary to expose Dwight. Negan is impressed that Dwight was able to send a message through Gregory. He could kill Dwight, but Negan has other plans for him.
Eugene returns to his shop, covered in ashes. He’s not happy. Regina (Traci Dinwiddie) tells him that Negan is back and wants the full bullet order the next morning. Negan has a trap set for Rick. Eugene tells his people that they will fulfill Negan’s order on time. He says they will change Savior history for ever more. Even Gabriel has to pitch in or he can cry and die.
Michonne arrives at the Sanctuary to read Carl’s letter to Negan via her radio. Carl asks Negan if this is what he wanted. The way out is working together. It’s forgiveness…it doesn’t have to be a fight anymore. Carl hopes for peace and everything change. He tells Negan to start over while he still can.
Negan says he won’t accept surrender. Winning isn’t about beating Rick, it’s about killing every last one of the Hilltop community. That’s starting over. Negan says he never wanted it. He says to tell Rick that he made it happen. Negan drops his radio and stomps on it.
Wow! Dwight and Simon were bound to get caught. I assumed that Dwight would get the same treatment as Daryl once he was caught. And from the looks of next week’s trailer, he does. Maybe that will be enough for Daryl to feel bad for him and save him from Negan.
RIP Simon. In some ways, he made a better bad guy than Negan. I actually liked Simon. I think the fans aren’t supposed to like any of the Saviors, but if they had revealed his Oceanside massacre earlier in the season, I might have been happy that he died.
UGH! Eugene. I was kind of hoping he’d have a change of heart…and maybe he will. There’s still time for him to switch sides. It was strange that they pointed out the mistake in the bullets. And he put Father Gabriel back on the assembly line. I don’t know. Rosita was really harsh to him, but what she said was true. Did Eugene really think that he would be seen as a victim and not an enemy after everything he’s done? Maybe her words will stick with him and he will do the right thing.
The season eight finale is next week. I’m so ready for this war to be over with!