(LOS ANGELES) — (SPOILERS AHEAD) Sunday night’s episode of The Walking Dead was divided into chapters named after various characters. The first, “Michonne,” begins with she and Rick mourning Carl by his grave in the now walker-overrun Alexandria.
Rick initially hangs up Carl’s pistol on the wooden cross marking his plot, but reconsiders and takes it himself. Meanwhile, Michelle kills enough walkers to jam one of the fence doors closed.
Back at their home in Alexandria, Michonne finds the handprints that Carl made with Judith and breaks down.
They pack up their remaining gear into a van, until Michonne grabs a fire extinguisher and tries to save a gazebo that Carl used to like watching from the roof.
Walkers close in as Rick runs to help her in her idle quest, forcing them to abandon the structure when the danger from the undead becomes too great.
In the van, Rick ponders what Carl meant in his final minutes. “Did he want us to surrender to Negan?” He asks. Rick decides that they have to make contact with the Scavengers seeing as they’ll be a target of Negan now, too, for double-crossing his Saviors.
Michonne and Rick get to the Scavengers compound, but soon find themselves surrounded by walkers…
Meanwhile, at the Sanctuary, Negan is trying to find the remaining members of Rick’s crew. His lieutenant Simon however, is having second thoughts about his boss’ strategy — which is not a good thing when it comes to Negan, needless to say. As Rick suspected, Negan shifts his attention to the Scavengers. He dispatches Simon to send them a message — but not to kill them all, like Simon wants to.
Meanwhile Negan’s gang brings in a coffin size box and a nail gun; the box a message from the Hilltop. “We have 38 more, Stand Down” reads a painted message on it. There’s obviously a walker inside.
Negan has Simon open the box and dispatches the walker with the nail gun. The walker was once one of theirs, Dean. Simon flips, as it’s one of his men.
Meanwhile, Aaron and Enid are locked up by the Lakeside ladies, after their attempt to pay them a visit ended up with Enid killing their elder, Natania. Natania’s granddaughter Cindy threatens to execute them both. Enid convinces her otherwise.
Cindy sets them free with a warning to never come back.
Aaron, on the other hand, wants to stay behind to try to convince them to fight.
Simon and company get to the Scavengers’ complex, to find them armed to the teeth. He is looking for an apology from Jadis for their betraying Negan.
They offer to let everybody go in exchange for taking all of the Scavengers’ firearms, and they comply. Simon appreciates the “neighborly” gesture, but notes he’s not feeling remorse. “There is remorse,” Jadis says, before he kills two of her people. She punches him. Smiling, Simon tells his men to “light up” the compound, against Negan’s wishes.
Simon returns to the Sanctuary, and pretends nothing out of the ordinary happened. And that’s when one of the Saviors tells Negan that Rick is on the walkie-talkie…
Next sequence is a flashback to Rick and Michonne escaping the walkers at the Scavengers’ camp. It’s now clear: The walkers were Jadis’ people who were executed by Simon’s men.
They scramble atop a trash heap to safety, and Jadis explains how she came to be at that complex. She’s lost her phony “trash person” dialect.
She offers to join Rick who has decided to make a run for it using a car door as a shield to get through the horde of walkers.
Rick and Michonne scramble out, but leave Jadis begging for help.
Sometime later, Jadis stands at top of trash pile, banging on metal to get the walkers’ attention. They mass onto a platform before she turns on a trash compactor and recycles all her former friends into sludge.
Rick and Michonne are in a van, and pull over so that Rick can read Carl’s letter to Negan. This is why Rick contacts Negan on the walkie-talkie.
Over the walkie, Rick kills Negan that Carl’s dead. The death hits Negan hard. Rick says Carl’s letter explains that he wanted both sides to stop fighting. Rick insists it’s too late for that.
Negan, on the other hand is truly affected by Carl’s death. “That kid was the future,” he tells Rick. “He is dead because of you. You failed as a leader and most of all you failed as a father…Give up because you have already lost.”
The Walking Dead returns Sunday, March 11 at 9 p.m. Eastern time on AMC.
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