We haven't seen much of Carol recently, so I am pleased to say that this episode began with Carol foraging and then making cookies for the people of Alexandria. I couldn't help but wonder if Carol was going back to playing the role of neighbourhood mom to intentionally deceive people or if this was genuine this time because she has come to peace with her situation. Carol has placed a cookie on Sam's grave. I wonder if this is her request for forgiveness or a sign of her feelings about Sam in general. The truth of the matter is that Carol may make a mean cookie, she not one to stop and see the flowers with. When she gets to Tobin, he balks at the cookie sweetened with beets (not that I blame him). It's clear that there's some chemistry going on here and all I can say is, "go and get it Carol", even if it will makes fan who have been shipping Carol and Darryl for awhile now upset. Later in the episode, we actually see Carol and Tobin share a kiss and it's heavily implied that they spend the night together. I guess Carol isn't missing her vibrator anymore. Tobin tells Carol that she is fierce because she is a mother to the community, though he sees her differently.
Rick returns to drop off the food the group collected from The Hilltop and announces that the people of Alexandria have a decision to make. I have to say that I'm surprised that Rick actually called for a vote on what to do about the Saviours. I guess this means that the Ricktocracy is dead, or at the very least defunct for now. It's Morgan who stands up and suggests trying to negotiate with the Saviours. Morgan wants to avoid violence because he sees his sanity and in fact the humanity of the group at risk. Rick points out that this would be giving up their advantage but agrees to do this if this is what the group wants. The writers then dug Aaron out of the plot box long enough to say absolutely not. Obviously, Aaron is still feeling guilty about the Wolf attack.
Maggie is determined to come along on the mission because she negotiated this deal with Gregory. I suppose Maggie feels responsible for the lives that are at risk. Though everyone clearly has their doubts about Maggie coming along, it's Carol who actively says something. Carol doesn't believe that Maggie should be out there with them, even if she is staying away from the front lines. Maggie pregnancy represents hope to the community and for Carol that's too much to risk. There's also the issue of Carol and her interactions with children. It makes me wonder if she sees Maggie's child as another chance to be a positive role model to a child?
Abraham has finally come to a decision about what to do about his feelings regarding Sasha. He simply starts packing all of things which surprises Rosita because to her, it looks like he's packing a lot of clothing for a mission. Abraham finally lets slip that he is leaving Rosita and she demands to know why before letting him out the door. In what is the coldest thing that Abraham has ever said to date, he explains that when he met Rosita, he thought she was the last woman on earth and now he realises that she isn't. Abraham could have been kinder given all that they have gone through together and it felt like Abraham was throwing Rosita away like cheap garbage. Abraham gets my vote for cast member to die this season.
Speaking of change, Father Gabriel actually decides to go along with the mission. I suppose he took a real turn when he joined the fight to protect Alexandria; however, I didn't expect him to choose to put himself in a position where he actually had to kill someone. Rick questions why he is still wearing his collar and Gabriel explains that he is still a priest. When Father Gabriel corners one of the Saviours trying to escape, he orders the man to put his gun down. He starts to say a prayer promising that there are many rooms in his father's house before killing him. I however would have preferred to see this:
But I suppose that would have been overkill for Father Gabriel. Now that Gabriel has actually stepped up and chosen to be an active member of the team, I'm betting that he will join the T Dog chain shortly.
So the big plan goes forward and Glenn is forced to kill for the first time. He knows that this will change him and that it will be something he can never unsee or undo. Glenn even goes as far as to protect Heath by killing in his stead. Even though they have a little bit of trouble, the group moves through the Saviours base with relatively little trouble. It's only Michonne who pauses to question if they did in fact take out Negan. She was right to question because a moment later, a Saviour tries to escape which is clearly a set up because once they take him down, they find that he has a walkie talkie. The person on the other side informs Rick's group that they are to lower their weapons and when Rick balks, they reveal that they have captured Carol and Maggie.
Fans of the comics know that things are about to get serious. Neegan is not going to easily be defeated and I look forward to see how the show brings the comics to life.