SPOILER ALERT: Do not keep reading if you have not seen Season 8, Episode 6 of “The Walking Dead,” titled “The King, the Widow, and Rick”
“The Walking Dead” jumped between around between several members of the Alexandria-Hilltop-Kingdom coalition this week. Some of the storylines explored this week were definitely more compelling than others, with the episode as a whole coming off as good but not great.
The episode begins with the end of phase one of the coalition’s plans, with the various teams returning to their home bases to recap what has happened to those who stayed behind.
Rick (Andrew Lincoln), Maggie (Lauren Cohan), and Carol (Melissa McBride) describing how they succeeded at the Sanctuary, how Savior prisoners were taken at the satellite outpost, and how most of the Kingdom’s soldiers were cut down.
At the Hilltop, no one is quite sure what to do with the Savior prisoners. Jesus (Tom Payne) earns Maggie’s ire when he gives out food to the prisoners. He tells her they cannot be killed while Gregory (Xander Berkeley) suggests building a gallows. Maggie listens to them both but must take time to contemplate her next move.
At the Kingdom, Carol tries to rouse Ezekiel (Khary Payton) from his depression but he won’t even see her. Jerry (Cooper Andrews) says that Ezekiel told him to no longer stand guard for him but Jerry refuses to abandon the king.
Rick meanwhile has arrived at the junkyard to confront Jadis (Pollyanna McIntosh). He tells her and her fellow Scavengers that they can make a new deal and that the Saviors are finished. He shows them some of the Polaroids he has snapped, but Jadis is unmoved. She directs her people to imprison Rick in the junkyard.
In Alexandria, Michonne (Danai Gurira) is determined to set out and see the Sanctuary for herself, despite still recovering from the beating she took at the end of Season 7. Rosita (Christian Serratos), herself recovering from a gunshot wound, joins her, setting out together in a car. Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Tara (Alanna Masterson) discuss what they will do with Dwight (Austin Amelio) once the war is over, as both are intent on killing him. Daryl says they may not need to wait.
Carl (Chandler Riggs) has ventured out into the woods where he finds Siddiq (Avi Nash), the man he encountered at the gas station at the beginning of the season. Carl offers him food and water before posing to him the questions Rick asks of everyone he is considering for possible entry into Alexandria.
Jesus is told to bring the prisoners inside Hilltop’s walls, where he has heard some kind of structure being erected. He is relieved to find that rather than a gallows, Maggie has had a pen built, surrounded with barbed wire to keep the captive Saviors contained. Heeding advice Gregory gave her earlier about letting a wolf lay among sheep, she also has Gregory thrown into the pen. The Savior Jared (Joshua Mikel) makes a grab for someone’s gun, but Maggie swiftly knocks him to the ground.
Carl and Siddiq make their way through the woods, where the encounter a small group of walkers devouring a deer. They start killing them off, but are overpowered when more arrive. Carl is nearly killed, but Siddiq rescues him.
Out on the road, Michonne and Rosita hear someone singing off in the distance. They pull over to investigate, coming across a warehouse that serves as a Savior weapons cache. The two Saviors inside are strapping large speakers to a truck, planning to use it to lure the walkers away from the Sanctuary. Rosita and Michonne fight them, but their weakened states make it difficult. Rosita gets a leg up when she finds the RPG the Saviors stole from Alexandria, using it to obliterate the male Savior. The female Savior jumps in the truck and peels out. She doesn’t make it far though, as Daryl and Tara appear out of nowhere in a garbage truck. They slam into the speaker truck and kill the driver.
This is the most troubling part of the episode. First of all, it’s at least the third time this season one of the heroes has miraculously shown up at the right time to save somebody else. Secondly, how did Daryl and Tara know that the person behind the wheel of the truck was an enemy? Granted, it’s probably a safe assumption given the circumstances, but still it’s a pretty bold move.
Regardless, the four Alexandrians reunite and decide to set off to the Sanctuary together. Daryl tells them once they arrive that they can end the war right now.
Carol decides she can no longer wait on Ezekiel and barges into his throne room. Ezekiel is sitting on the floor with Shiva’s chain in his hands. Ezekiel begs to be left alone, but Carol won’t hear it. They share an emotional moment as Ezekiel says that Carol made him feel real, rather than the fictional king he has been portraying. She says he is real, both to her and to everyone in the Kingdom as well.
Aaron talks with Maggie at Hilltop, where he mourns the death of his boyfriend. Maggie tells him it helps to take action rather than sit and think on the feelings. She later reveals that she only kept the prisoners alive to use as leverage, as they may need to trade the Saviors’ lives for those of any capture coalition soldiers Negan may be holding.
The episode ends back at the junkyard, where Rick is being held in an old storage container.