SPOILER ALERT: Do not keep reading if you have not seen Season 8, Episode 15 of “The Walking Dead,” titled “Worth”
Once again, Steven Ogg proves himself to be one of the best villains in the game in this week’s episode of “The Walking Dead.” Ogg’s Simon makes his move to take over the Sanctuary, but his timing proves to be a little off.
The episode opens with Rick finally reading the letter Carl wrote to him before his death. The letter is incredibly moving, with Carl recalling fun times he had with his father and mother before the world went to hell. Rick tears up as Carl recounts Friday night pizzas and walks with his father when he was just three years old. Carl tells Rick that Rick has always made him feel safe, and that Carl wishes he could do the same for his father.
At the Sanctuary, Gregory has returned and tells Simon that he wants to serve the Saviors. Simon responds by telling Gregory that Negan is dead and that Simon is now in charge. Gregory tries to ingratiate himself by saying he can help Simon navigate the political turmoil that will no doubt ensue, but Simon instead demands Gregory prepare him some coffee.
Meanwhile, Eugene is hard at work with his bullet making. Simon has demanded they speed up production, but Eugene notices that some of the bullets have imperfections that could cause them to go off even before they’re fired. The blame falls on Gabriel, who says he simply wanted to make sure the bullets wouldn’t work, thus saving lives. Eugene steps outside for a moment with a couple of Saviors, when suddenly Daryl and Rosita kill the Saviors and take Eugene prisoner.
Back at the Sanctuary, Dwight is outside smoking a cigarette when Negan approaches him. The sight of the leader he believed to be dead surprises Dwight, but he plays it as cool as he can, reaffirming his loyalty to the bat-toting boss. Negan then calls a meeting of his lieutenants, with Simon trying his best to apologize to Negan for his actions at Hilltop. Negan tells Simon to get on his knees in a tense moment that seems certain to end in Simon’s demise. Instead, Negan tells him all is forgiven. Negan then lays out his plan on how to handle the Hilltop. He wants to assemble several teams who will position themselves strategically around Rick and the community, pinpointing the positions he wants to use on a map. They will lie in wait and pick people off one by one until there is no one left.
On the road back to Hilltop, Daryl and Rosita escort the captive Eugene. He tries to tell them that he did what he had to do, but they are having none of it. Rosita tells him that they plan to stick him in a deep, dark hole and only let him out when they need his knowledge. They encounter a few walkers, and while Daryl is distracted killing them, Eugene sticks his fingers down his throat and barfs up his lunch onto Rosita before dashing off. She gives chase but is blocked by a couple of walkers that Eugene saw coming in the reflection of a car window. Why he couldn’t just run without barfing on her, we may never know. They chase after him but he avoids them by hiding himself in a giant ash pile. He makes his way back to the bullet factory determined to end the war once and for all.
Far away at Oceanside, Aaron has remained outside the community in the woods, hoping that they will eventually agree to join the fight against the Saviors. Dehydrated and weak, Aaron is barely able to fight off a group of walkers that find him in the woods. But he still manages to pull it off before collapsing. When he comes to, the women of Oceanside have surrounded him. He tells them they will continue living hidden away from the world in fear unless they stand up and fight.
Dwight hides in his room at the Sanctuary and makes a copy of the map Negan made to give to Rick. Simon interrupts him and says that they must assemble everyone who is fed up with Negan and make their move to take over immediately. They assemble their group outside the Sanctuary. Simon says that they must take Negan out quickly and quietly, offering the honor to Dwight. But Negan steps out and reveals that Dwight has betrayed Simon. Negan is angry with his Number Two, but channels Ric Flair when he tells Simon “To be the man, you gotta beat the man.” Woo!
Negan offers Simon a fight to the death, with the winner taking control of the Saviors. In a show filled with gnarly zombie kills and plenty of deaths all around, this fight is especially brutal given that there is no other sound other than the sickening crunch of knuckles on skin. As the fight goes on, Dwight grabs Gregory and hands him the copy of the map he has made. He tells him that he has hid a car for him and tells him to take the map to Rick ASAP. As Dwight returns, Negan wins the fight, choking the life out of him.
Afterwards, Negan tells Dwight that he wants him to be his new right hand man. Dwight accepts, but as he and Negan enter Dwight’s room, Dwight finds a surprise waiting for him. Laura, the Savior who witnessed Dwight’s betrayal at Alexandria, was the mysterious passenger Negan picked up on his way back to the Sanctuary. Negan also reveals that he knew Dwight would give away his plan to Rick, which is why he concocted it as a diversion.
Now firmly back in control, Negan watches as his minions secure the now zombified-Simon to the Sanctuary’s gates. He gets a call on his walkie talkie from Michonne, who tells him that she wants to read Carl’s letter to him. Carl implores Negan to reach a peace with Rick, but Negan is having none of it. He says he will kill everyone at the Hilltop before smashing the walkie talkie with his boot.