Last night’s episode of The Walking Dead was a turning point for everyone in Alexandria because they discovered that they are not the only community that is getting structured their efforts to organize. The new character, Jesus, reveals a new world to them.
The last thing we saw last week was Jesus walking in on Rick and Michonne as they lay naked in bed. Rick and Michonne both jump up as Jesus says that they need to talk. It makes sense that they were taken by surprise when Jesus walks in because they last they knew, he was locked inside an empty house with Daryl keeping guard. If you remember though, Jesus was easily able to get out of the ropes that Rick tied him in when they left him on the side of the road – fast enough that he was able to get onto the roof of the truck. One of Jesus’ main skills seems to be getting himself out of sticky situations!
Jesus leaves the room to let Rick and Michonne get dressed and sits on the stairs looking at a picture that was on the wall. That’s when Carl finds him and points his gun at him. Rick and Michonne come running out of the bedroom after Jesus tells Carl that he is waiting for his “mom and dad” to come out and talk with him. Daryl and a couple others come running up the stairs, guns at the ready, after discovering that Jesus is no longer confined. This is when everyone else finds out about Rick and Michonne. There’s no time to talk about that now, but the looks between people are enough to convey some surprise.
Jesus reveals that he’s actually been untied for longer than everyone thinks. Long enough to take a wander around town and discover what they have and what they don’t have.
He then tells them that he is from a community that is close by and not so different from their own. It is called the Hilltop Colony and they have likewise been seeking out new community members. They have even been trading with other communities.
This peaks Maggie’s interest. There are other communities? Trading? As Jesus mentioned before, the Alexandria community is lacking most in food provisions. Although they are in the process of growing crops, it will be some time before they benefit from them and they need food now. They could benefit from a trading situation. But Rick and Daryl are wary. Jesus invites them all to come back to the Hilltop Colony with them and meet everyone and see what they have.
While loading up the RV, Rick and Carl have a little moment. Carl tells Rick that he won’t be going with them because he thinks that no one needs to see a kid with a messed up face. It’s possible that Carl is just not ready to get into a potentially confrontational situation yet. The conversation turns to Rick and Michonne and for a moment it is a bit awkward. Carl did just find out that his dad is hooking up with the woman that he has just recently had a very mother/son-like moment with. Then Carl tells Rick that it is ok and he’s fine with it and Rick is relieved.
Rick heads off to the Hilltop Colony with Jesus, Maggie, Glen, Abraham, Daryl, and Michonne. As they pass through a small town, they see a car crashed on the side of the road and it looks fresh. Jesus recognizes the car and says that it is his people. There are several walkers trapped in and under the vehicle but no sign of living people. A near by building seems like the most logical place for them to be so they head over to find them. Rick insists on Jesus staying outside, in handcuffs, with Maggie guarding him at gunpoint. Daryl and Rick both suspect that it could be a trap and they proceed into the building carefully.
With the exception of Abraham almost killing one of the Hilltop people, they find Jesus’ friends and bring them back to Hilltop.
At Hilltop, they are met with men at the top of the wall – very similar to Alexandria’s except more rustic looking – with spears. Yes, spears. It appears that they ran out of ammunition at Hilltop some time ago. Rick and his people could have easily have taken them out but Jesus and the people that they rescued vouch for Rick and his gang and the doors are opened.
Inside, there are people tending crops, working with tools and doing various tasks around the yard. There are several FEMA trailers that were brought in with a new group of people that recently joined the community. And then there is Barrington House in the center of the community. It is huge and looks like it has been untouched.
Jesus takes them inside where they meet the Hilltop leader, Gregory. There’s not time for conversation yet though. Gregory insists that they all go clean up first. Rick wants to get right to business but in a very diplomatic manner, Gregory again tells them to clean up and then they will talk. As they walk away, Rick tells Maggie that she should talk to him.
After cleaning up, Maggie goes into Gregory’s office. It’s presidential in appearance. Gregory is polite but calls her Natalie. When she corrects him he says that they sound they same and she says, “Not really.” Gregory seems to be somewhat surprised by her tone and realizes that this is not her first time talking business.
They chat briefly, Gregory treating Maggie like a lesser female, until Gregory offers a proposal. Alexandria people come and work at the Hilltop in exchange for food. This is not at all what Maggie had in mind. She’s not looking for an ongoing relationship. She’s looking for a trade to help get the people in Alexandria back on their feel and self-sustaining. She tells him no deal.
Rick and his people are ready to leave but Jesus convinces Rick to give him a couple days to convince Gregory to make a better deal.
Outside in the yard there is a commotion. They go outside to find a small group returning. They are agitated and Rick is immediate on defense.
The returning people reveal that they have come back from taking goods to Negan but Negan said it was no longer enough. To prove his point, two of the Hilltop people were killed and one is being kept until Ethan, the Hilltop man that is speaking, delivers a message to Gregory. Gregory comes closer to Ethan to hear the message, Ethan apologizes, pulls him closer, and stabs him in the stomach.
Rick and his people immediately pull Ethan away. There’s a fight for a few minutes. One of the Hilltop men has his arm broken by Daryl when he gets too close to killing Abraham. Rick kills Ethan who has him pinned down, putting his knife in his necks and releasing a gush of blood that is even gory for The Walking Dead. It’s only a short time before it is obvious that Rick and his crew have the upper hand.
Jesus jumps between Rick’s gun and one of the Hilltop men holding a spear and says that it’s over. Gregory is taken inside to be tended to by the doctor (the town has an actual doctor – an obstetrician to be specific) and Jesus pulls Rick aside to explain what’s going on.
It turns out that Negan and his crew attacked Hilltop some time ago. They killed a 16 year old by beating him to death (with a baseball bat?) in front of everyone. Then they said that they would not attack them again if they gave them half of everything that they grew and made. The Hilltop people had been abiding by that deal but Negan is apparently not happy with that and now he wants more. Rick asks them why they didn’t just fight back and Jesus says that Negan has more people than them and they don’t have the weapons and ammunition.
Rick is disgusted by it all – especially the fact that they killed a teenager around the same age as Carl – and says that they will take care of Negan and get their man back in exchange for food. Jesus takes it to Gregory and Maggie is sent in to negotiate. Gregory agrees to a deal but Maggie is there to prove a point. She insists on half of everything they currently have. It’s a strict deal but it is still to the benefit of the Hilltop people because if Rick and his crew can get rid of Negan, everything the Hilltop crew grows from that point on will be theirs and they won’t have to share it with anyone unless they choose to.
Gregory agrees and Rick and the others leave with Jesus and one of the Hilltop people to help find Negan’s camp and share info about what is going on there and how it is set up.
Before they leave, Rick asks Michonne if they made the right decision. With a smile that hints at her doubt, she says they will win. Michonne is not the only one that is unsure about how good of an idea this is. Maggie says it will come at a cost.
On the way home, everyone is in the RV. They pass around the ultrasound picture that the Hilltop doctor gave to Glenn and Maggie. Despite the fact that they are about to go into battle, there is hope. Even Abraham seems to feel it.
Note: It was also Oscars night last night. Would people choose The Walking Dead over the Oscars? Here’s what fans said:
Danielle McGaw is a freelance writer and social media professional that has been writing online for 9 years. She lives in a small town in the middle of Canada and drinks too much coffee from her home office. Danielle McGaw also writes at Inquisitr.com and she's a co-owner of this site!