We look into the Kingdom and also get to know the group Rick and the others encountered last episode.
Let’s start at the Kingdom. Tribute is up and the Saviors come collect. One of them tries to cause trouble by saying it looks like it’s not enough, which is weirdly quickly solved by Ezekiel just insisting it is. Then he goes back to mocking Richard and everything draws their weapon. Ezekiel talks Richard into giving up his gun and as the Savior guy is about to beat him, Morgan hits him with his stick. He freaks out and takes away Morgan’s stick, worse only prevented by his superior. This loss irks Morgan but not enough as Daryl lets him know. He tries to persuade him to convince Ezekiel to join the Alexandrians in fighting the Saviors, in vain.
Richard wants to use Daryl’s hatred towards the Saviors in his plan to force Ezekiel to move against the Saviors. Too bad he slipped and uses the pronoun she when describing the intended martyr. Daryl stops his plan, which would have involved Carol being killed by the Saviors for Ezekiel to realize they have to join the fight, and dares Richard to ever harm Carol. Daryl is in with the plan until it concerned Carol’s safety; was there no possible adaptation that could have been made to the plan?
Anyway, Daryl goes looking for Carol and that’s not hard when you can follow Ezekiel and his minions. The moment that follows is the strongest and most beautiful moment in quite some time on TWD. The temporary reunion between Daryl and Carol and their long hug was a simple but highly emotional character moment after everything the two of them have been through. Daryl asks why she left and Carol explains that she can’t lose anyone else or she will have to avenge them, which would kill the last remnant of humanity in her. After this emotional confession, she asks Daryl if anyone got hurt by the Saviors, if everyone is okay, clearly suspecting something horrible. Daryl, out of respect for her fragile emotional state, lies to her and pretends everyone is alright. After they part ways, Morgan confronts Daryl about not telling her after again declining Daryl’s demand to persuade King Ezekiel. Morgan says it can’t be him so what I think this could amount to is Richard telling Carol and her convincing Ezekiel. Daryl disagrees with Morgan and leaves for the Hilltop in order to become active.
Meanwhile, our group is led onto a junkyard by the group that surrounded them at the end of last episode. It turns out Rick smiled because he was right about Gabriel, as he was there (and apparently was forced to steal all the supplies). Or perhaps he still just smiled because he thought of all these people as potential allies. And then comes the point that most viewers had a problem with: The junkyard/scrapyard gang (apparently called The Scavengers in the comics), who are weirdly ritualistic and somber and communicate in elliptical sentences and with hand gestures. Jadis, the leader, also looks like a discount Milla Jovovich and has no charisma whatsoever. After Rick tells her what he can offer them, he is tested by getting thrown into a pit and fighting Winslow, a walker with a spiked armor.
Somehow Rick manages to defeat it by using all the junk surrounding him (actually, when you think about it, this challenge is not so hard to be suited to prove oneself) after impaling his hand on a spike. They agree on a deal that the Scavengers will help fight the Saviors in exchange for a third of the latter’s supplies, the canned goods Rick and Aaron got from the houseboat and guns – a lot of them. Rick agrees and now they have to find guns. If only one person knew about a location where there are a shit-ton of them. But Tara doesn’t show the slightest indication to tell on Oceanside. Rosita intends to go look on her own as she’s ultra eager to go into war. She is starting to get on my nerves, despite her hotness bonus; I feel she gotta go in the course of the season, especially if she continues to do her own thing.
All in all a well-paced and interesting episode which brings us one step closer to the war against the Saviors. We still have to see Eugene at the Sanctuary and (hopefully) the contact to the Oceanside. Tension is building and I’m ready for it as the first half of the season was slightly dragging.
Images (including title image) © by AMC (Photos: Gene Page), taken from their website