Greeting, salutations, and all that. It’s time for another episode of The Walking Dead.

Before we begin, check out my recap of last week’s episode, “What It Always Is.”

This week, Carol and Daryl head out on a secret mission while Negan makes his presence known within the Whisperers.

“We’re gonna find it, and we’re gonna destroy it.” 

In Alexandria, Carol wakes up and leaves the house, which is a bit of an accomplishment since she’s been recovering from her injuries. Daryl notices this and catches up to her, asking her what she’s up to. Carol flashes her warm smile, which usually means she isn’t being entirely truthful, and tells Daryl that she’s heading out to try and find the escaped Negan. Daryl asks if she wants company, and they head out.

Carol stops them at a vantage point and proclaims this is where they’ll be for the day. Daryl asks her what’s really going on, and Carol confesses: she’s on the lookout for Alpha’s horde, and she wants to destroy it.

“I picked up a few things over the years.” 

Back at Alexandria, Siddiq’s fellow doctor (Dante, according to my research) is performing some check-ups. When Siddiq enters the room, he tells Siddiq that a couple more cases of the stomach bug have sprung up, bringing the total to seven. This is likely the result of Gamma’s poisoning of the water supply via spilling water guts into the river trick she performed last issue, which Aaron seemingly witnessed. The two banter a bit with Dante pushing some boundaries concerning Rosita and her baby, but Siddiq keeps him in check which Dante respects.

Carol is explaining her to plan to Daryl. She’s been tracking small groups of walkers recently and found that they converge in the general area that they’re currently scouting. With this, they’ll be able to find out where the Whisperers are based, in addition to knowing where the horde is.

“Noise. Constant noise.” 

Negan is blindfolded and escorted through the woods by Beta and some Whisperers. Negan’s annoying the hell out of them, assuring them that he wants to join them and asks some questions directed at how exactly these guys blend in with the walkers. Beta puts knives to his throat and threatens to slice his throat. Negan takes the chance to introduce himself, telling Beta that he’s been locked up in Alexandria for eight years and is willing to tell them everything if he’s brought to their leader.

At Hilltop, Jerry’s wife Nabila brings Eugene some supplies he has asked for. She’s apparently been providing assistance to Eugene with the Soviet satellite technology, and he asks to show her how it all works. She’s clearly not very interested and has to get back to her kids, leaving Eugene alone. He activates the radio and finds that Rosita is calling in. She’s in Alexandria, sick with a stomach bug. This means Rosita is going to die, dear viewer.

Recently there’s been a bit of back and forth between these two. Eugene has plainly made clear his feelings for her but Rosita hasn’t reciprocated. It seems that Rosita misses Eugene based on her demeanor in this conversation, which is sad. Because she’s so dead.

“It’s a Whisperer.” 

Carol and Daryl are playing a game, throwing acorns at a can in an attempt to knock it down. None of them are particularly good at this game. Carol finds two acorns stuck together, and gives it to Daryl for luck. He puts it in his pocket and continues playing. I hate to constantly call out what might happen in the future, but I predict a dark fate for Carol this season which will be made sadder when Daryl checks his pocket to find… that double acorn.

Daryl thinks he sees something in the distance. Carol looks through her binoculars and finds that walkers have entered their line of sight, and are walking in an unusual pattern. Which means that Whisperers are leading them.

“Is it finally time for the beta to become the alpha?” 

At the Whisperer camp, Beta vehemently disagrees with the notion that Negan should be trusted with anything. Alpha asks Beta to give Negan the test, where he dies if he fails. Beta eventually submits to Alpha after a brief stare down.

Negan is so gloriously annoying. Since he’s been locked up for a while now we haven’t had the chance to see him in action, but the guy can be just funnyJeffrey Dean Morgan is certainly impressing me with his performance this season. He’s agitating Beta, commenting on how it’s okay that some men get off on kneeling in front of women. Basically, the kind of broad humour you’d expect from a guy like Negan.

“Please respond.” 

Siddiq checks in with Rosita at her place and finds her weakened on her couch. She insists she’s fine but she agrees to go to the infirmary with Siddiq when she tries to get up and feels even worse.

At Hilltop, Eugene is waiting for the call Rosita said she would attend but she isn’t there.

Carol and Daryl watch as the walker herd grows and grows. Carol’s adamant in following the group at night, but Daryl is apprehensive because if they fail he doesn’t want to be responsible for what happens to Alexandria. Carol convinces him that they’re enough, that they don’t need any backup, that they can get the job done. Daryl eventually agrees, and they head out.

“Whatever you say, boss.” 

Beta takes Negan to a secluded area in the woods, and what follows is essentially a dick-measuring contest in montage form. Negan digs and also skins some animals, all the while watching as Beta does everything in a more efficient manner.

Siddiq brings Rosita to the infirmary, only to find it much more full than it was earlier in the day. He calls out to Dante who says the infection must have spread, but he didn’t want to bother Siddiq, which angers him. Rosita calms him down, and Siddiq directs Dante to crush some herbs and get to work.

At the Whisperer camp, everyone’s taking a piece of the boar Negan helped kill and cook. Beta knocks him to the floor when he asks for some; Negan’s about to retaliate when he sees Alpha is watching. He then gives up, and walks over to a log where another Whisperer is sitting. The Whisperer gives him some of his food, which Beta notices.

“Are you really out there?”

At Hilltop, Eugene is communicating on the open channel and wants anybody to check in. All of a sudden, a woman acknowledges him. It seems Eugene’s radio upgrade was a success. They begin chatting and getting to know each other. The woman isn’t comfortable sharing her location with him just yet, nor how many people she’s living with. Eugene tells her he was born in Dallas, Texas, and she’s from Strasburg, Pennsylvania. Eugene says he went there as a kid for a train expo in 1995, which blows her away. They talk about an ice cream place he remembers, and whether she prefers cake or waffle cones.

Carol and Daryl are watching the walker herd from the trees nearby. Daryl signals they should pull back but Carol wants to stay. She accidentally steps on some twigs which attracts the walker’s attention. Daryl is attacked by one of them but snaps its neck and guts it, caking his face in its blood. The walkers pass him by but a lone Whisperer stands in the darkness.

Siddiq apologises to Dante for his outburst earlier, which Dante takes in stride. Siddiq heads to Rosita and finds her sleeping, but Coco is crying so Siddiq comforts her. He begins to doze off and then immediately finds himself, outside near the windmill. He just had a blackout.

“You have got to be shitting me.” 

Negan and Beta are travelling in a group of walkers when Beta finally has it with Negan’s behaviour. He tells him that Negan is never going to become a Whisperer, that he’s loud and weak, and full of ego. Beta kills a Whisperer and leaves Negan alone to deal with the approaching walkers.

Daryl heads to the border and finds that Carol has captured and bound a Whisperer. Daryl asks if this was her plan all along, which she denies. He notices she bound him with cuffs she didn’t have in her bag earlier. Carol wants to take the Whisperer back to Alexandria for questioning.

Eugene is still talking to the woman on the radio. He wants to continue communication but she becomes somewhat distant, not wanting to trust Eugene yet since they don’t really know each other. Eugene gambles and tells her his full name, which she appreciates. She agrees that they should continue talking regularly so they can build a relationship, but it needs to be kept a secret between them. If she hears somebody else on the other line, that’s it. Eugene agrees, and he’s clearly overjoyed by the interaction they just had. He’s been so lonely for a long time and this is the first time he’s had any sort of meaningful connection, even if it’s over the radio with a stranger.

At the Whisperer camp, Beta tells Alpha that Negan is dead. She says she expected more, but Negan struts into the camp, carrying a wooden stick Lucille-style. He submits to her, and Alpha accepts.

The End 

This was a pretty fantastic episode all around. It’s building to the mid-season finale in a rapid way and I think things are going to get pretty intense and exciting over the next couple of episodes.

Negan’s clearly planning to either overthrow Alpha or destroy the Whisperers from within. It just doesn’t make sense that he’d want to join them after escaping Alexandria, which I think he considers his home now. Carol’s deteriorating before our, and Daryl’s, very eyes which is genuinely upsetting. Siddiq’s issues are finally manifesting and Eugene may have made the biggest mistake of his life despite how positive his encounter with the radio woman seemed.

So, all great! Catch me here next week for my recap of the next episode, “Open Your Eyes.”