Hello! Funny seeing you here again. You get a haircut? You look great.

I know. This is pretty late. I’ve got a pretty good reason, though: AMC sent me these screeners a bit later than usual AND I’ve been pretty sick for the past couple of weeks. It isn’t the coronavirus; I got tested and the test thankfully came up as negative so I’m fine. While sick I couldn’t really put a sentence together because of the fatigue and headaches. I hope you forgive me.

Back to the show. This episode deals with the battle between the Whisperers and Hilltop, as well as the after-effects that the survivors go through the next day. If you need a reminder of what happened before this, check out my last recap.

“Where’s Judith?”

Hilltop is burning. Alpha’s walkers are threatening to storm the gates, on fire and seemingly pretty hungry. The effort is great but almost futile; Daryl is swinging his weapon, taking down walkers and Whisperers alike. Catapults from within the compound are slinging away, Carol is shooting arrows from the top of the gate, and Ezekiel is trying to get the kids out of the carnage. He notices that Judith isn’t with him.

She’s still inside Hilltop, killing walkers with her sword. She then kills a Whisperer, and only notices when his mask falls off as she’s about to strike the killing blow. He asks for mercy but dies silently anyway; Judith is struck by the magnitude of her action. This is the first person she’s killed.

Back at the front line, the walkers aren’t stopping. Eugene notices that his radio shack is about to burn up. He gives chase with Rosita following him. Yumiko is getting ready to fire arrows into the crowd when she thinks she sees Magna is the herd. And Carol stops firing as the intensity of the situation kicks in, as she realises they may not win this fight.

“I will not stop until I bring her home. To you.” 

The next day, Negan is going around and killing Hilltop survivors with a lethal dose of Lucille to the face. He talks with Alpha and learns of her true goal to finally bring Lydia home once and for all. Beta interrupts, commanding Negan to go gather some walkers since they lost so many the night before.

In the woods, Negan is trying to get a walker to follow him but gets frustrated and kills it. As he tries to gather more, he notices a Hilltop survivor limping away in the distance. He follows. He runs into Aaron who is dragging along an injured Luke on a sled; Aaron freaks out. He’s about to kill Negan when some walkers enter the picture, forcing Aaron to defend Luke instead of getting his revenge. Negan is very apologetic and wants to explain the situation to him, but Aaron won’t have it.

The survivor turns out to be Lydia, and Negan catches up to her. She’s happy to see him for a split second, but notices that he has a Whisperer mask on. She attacks him but he subdues her.

“Let me try.” 

Alden, Kelly, and Mary are heading to the rendezvous point. Alden is carrying a crying baby Adam and refuses to give him to Mary, who’s offering to help calm him down. He eventually relents as Adam is getting louder, and she manages to put him at ease pretty quickly, much to Alden’s delight. He’s finally beginning to warm up to Mary.

Mary hears some sounds in the woods and knows the Whisperers are coming. They all run off, and take shelter inside a van as they’re surrounded by walkers. Mary leaves to distract them and kills off a few. She revels in the peace of the moment, watching the sun sprinkle through the trees, but is then stabbed by Beta in the stomach. She fights back and pulls off half of his mask, but he pulls the blade up her abdomen and instantly kills her. He props her up against a tree, waiting for her to become undead when a Whisperer enters the fray and tells Beta, “It’s you. I know you sounded familiar.” Beta cuts him down.

He watches, and she wakes up. She approaches him and a arrow flies into her forehead from behind Beta, who runs away. It’s Alden who ended her misery, with Kelly watching with little Adam.

“I will say, the nights have been a lot more peaceful.” 

Carol, Eugene, Yumiko, and Magna are resting in the woods. Eugene is holding a bag of supplies, desperate to put his radio back together again. Magna is recounting her story to Yumiko. She and Connie found their way into the horde somehow and got separated. Yumiko spots Carol about to walk away and demands that she begs Magna for forgiveness. She punches Carol when she tries to respond.

I have to say, I feel so little sympathy for Carol at this point. Like Yumiko said, it’s all her fault that Magna and Connie went through hell in the caves.

Carol’s off, alone with her thoughts, when Eugene comes in to see if she’s alright. He begins talking about his meeting with someone, framed as the biggest meeting of his life, and he’s not sure if he should go given Hilltop’s current situation. Without a second of a delay, Carol simply says to go to her. If it’s important, he needs to go. He accepts her advice and leaves her alone. She gets up to join the others and notices Lydia’s staff buried under the leaves below her.

“Don’t come near me again.” 

Daryl, Rosita, Jerry, and a few others made their way to the safehouse rendezvous and spot a walker leaving the house. They hurriedly kill it and check inside, only to find that nobody’s in there. Jerry’s wife is freaking out since Ezekiel apparently has the kids but is nowhere to be found.

It turns out Earl is watching the kids: Judith and many others. They’re in a safehouse and Earl serves them all a cup of water before going into the other room. He slowly staggers his way to the table, hammering a great big nail from under the table so it sticks out from the top. He pulls up his sleeve, revealing a walker bite, and is apparently about to plunge his head into the nail before Judith comes out and asks about what’s going on. Earl begs Judith to take care of the kids and to let them stay away from him. She touches his hand and heads into the other room.

Jerry and Daryl find a just-conscious Ezekiel outside of Hilltop, who then tells them that Earl has the kids.

Back at Earl’s place, he slowly puts his head near the nail. Suddenly, he takes the plunge. Judith approaches him but it turns out it didn’t work exactly as Earl planned; he’s undead and grabs her arm.

Daryl, Jerry, and Ezekiel get to the house and find the kids safe and sound, with Judith sitting near Earl’s body. Daryl approaches her, sits down next to her, and puts his arm around her.

“Took you long enough.” 

Negan tells Alpha that he has Lydia. Meanwhile, Lydia is tied to a chair in a strange house and is fighting like crazy to get out.

Alpha and Negan make their way to where Negan is keeping Lydia, and she reveals her intentions. She wants to kill Lydia, to set her free. Negan tells her the story of how his wife dealt with cancer and chemotherapy, and of how he felt nothing after she died. No happiness, no sadness. Nothing. He tells Alpha that her nonsense show of superiority by claiming all emotions are useless doesn’t make any sense, but that doesn’t sway Alpha any which way.

They finally arrive at the house. Alpha opens the door and finds it empty. Meanwhile, Lydia is finally free and opens the door to where she is. Alpha turns around and Negan cuts her throat. She stares into his eyes as she bleeds out, and then dies.

He tosses her head in front of someone, who turns out to be Carol. She asks Negan what took him so long.

The End 

I guess the implication is that Carol sent Negan out on this mission? If so that changes a lot of things, among them why she was so adamant in killing Alpha when she knew she had a mole in the Whisperers? I don’t know. My recap for the next episode, “What We Become.”