This season of The Walking Dead veered away from its usual formula that’s kept the series afloat: It usually starts off with some big action before settling into a slower pace for the foreseeable future. Yes, there have been lulls this time around, but Negan’s kills, the fresh energy of King Ezekiel, and the breaking of Daryl have offered more interesting dynamics. (Though, I still think Abraham deserved more of a to-do.)
Now, whether it’s Maggie and Sasha’s newfound badassery or Jesus’ parkour theatrics, I found the return trip to the Hilltop colony to be one of the more enjoyable episodes.
Maggie was noticeably absent when Negan came to visit Alexandria, but she awakes at Hilltop in the care of Dr. Carson, who’s been monitoring her pregnancy. Being pregnant during an apocalypse isn’t the easiest experience, but Maggie learns she had a placental abruption, which means the placenta has separated itself from the uterus — which is not a good thing. The baby is fine, but the good doctor advises Maggie to stay at Hilltop for the duration of her pregnancy and take it easy, especially for the next few days.
Sasha is waiting just outside the door and takes Maggie to look over Glenn and Abraham’s graves: They were buried near patches of sunflowers with loose rocks as interim headstones. Sasha hands over Glenn’s pocket watch, which was given to him by Hershel, and jokes that all Abraham had in his pocket was (appropriately) a cigar. Maggie lays the watch over Glenn’s grave and tells Sasha what the doctor prescribed, though she’s still thinking about what she wants to do.
Jesus stops by to bring flowers. Maggie noticed he left her blue flowers next to her hospital bed which he says are supposed to inspire strength and calming. The green flowers he brought for the dead are meant to nurture a release.
Hilltop’s leader, Gregory, disrupts this peaceful moment as he rants that Maggie and her people promised to rid his community of its Negan problem but made it worse instead. Adding to his neuroses are the graves, since Hilltop burns their dead. Gregory has a problem remembering names — something we’re reminded of often — and tells Maggie and Sasha to go back home and tell Rich (he means Rick) all Hilltop has done for them. Jesus argues against it, noting Maggie’s pregnancy, but Gregory is worried about maintaining plausible deniability: If the Saviors discover they’re canoodling with the Alexandrians, they’ll have an even bigger problem. He resolves to at least let them stay the night because, as he claims, “I’m a good guy” — which, you might recall, is something Negan typically says before doing something heinous.
At Alexandria, Carl is playing darts while Rick tries to talk him into accompanying them on a scavenging mission for the Saviors. Asserting what little dominance he still has left, Carl stays behind with Michonne. Rick hands her a radio, telling her to head north if she changes her mind. He then goes to kiss her on the cheek, but Michonne grabs his face for a lengthy lip-lock. Last episode they were at odds and their relationship seemed to be falling apart, but Michonne had promised to try and accept this new reality.
NEXT: Surprise attack!