This week Jesus led the people to the Hilltop. If you think that sounds like something straight out of the Bible…nope. This is straight out of The Walking Dead. The world just got a whole lot bigger for our survivors, as they learn from the newcomer that there are other communities like Alexandria.
Using what I suspect is military training, we learn Jesus took a gander through Alexandria before walking in on Michonne and Rick. He knows roughly how many people there are in the town, what their food situation looks like, and even how much they have in their armory. Even though we still don’t know much about him, I’m pretty sure Jesus is trustworthy— which is a good thing because with those skills I’d definitely want to him on my team.
Jesus convinces the group to head with him to his community in the hopes they both have something to offer the other—Jesus has food and he knows the Alexandrians need it, while Rick and his people are strong and have a decent amount of weapons. They set out on the road, sans Rick’s hokey car tunes from the week before. Along the way they save some of Jesus’ people from a car crash and one of them just so happens to be an obstetrician. Score one for team Maggie and Glenn!!! When they arrive at the Hilltop they meet Gregory, the pseudo leader of the community. I say pseudo because it’s clear Jesus is the real man in charge. It became evident straight away that Gregory is probably given the official position because he’s just enough of an ass to get in the way if he were doing something else. Rick sends Maggie to talk to Gregory because he knows he’ll probably just punch Gregory in the face. Good Ol’ Greg is definitely one of those men who thinks he can intimidate a woman simply because of her gender. I guess some things never change, even in the apocalypse.
In the midst of the negotiations, some Hilltop members arrive back from a trip to see the Saviors and this episode goes from 0 to 200 in about .001 seconds. Ethan, one of the returning members and a rather large man, stabs Gregory. Rick and his people are all too familiar with this kind of behavior and leap into action. Ethan then tries to kill Rick, but we all know what happens when Rick Rage is released. Needless to say, Ethan ended up dead. Jesus steps in to prevent any more bloodshed, but it is clear to the Hilltop community that the people from Alexandria mean business.
Turns out the pretentiously named Saviors are the still unseen Negan’s group. The Saviors demand half of everything the Hilltop has. Regular deliveries keep Negan from murdering Hilltop residents, as he did when he killed a teen boy on his first visit. Sound familiar? That’s because Negan’s bicker group tried to do the same thing to Daryl, Sasha, and Abraham. Then Daryl blew them up. Anyways, apparently this time the delivery was light and Negan is holding someone hostage. As ransom, Negan demands Gregory’s head, hence the stabbing. It quickly becomes clear what Rick and his people have to offer the Hilltop in exchange for food. Rick, Daryl, Michonne, and the others are not new to conflict. They’ve been to war and they aren’t afraid to go again. The Hilltop residents seem much more resilient than the Alexandrians did when we first met them, but they still aren’t at nearly the level of Rick and his group. The group basically offer themselves as mercenaries to the Hilltop in exchange for goods and food. Maggie meets with Gregory, who is still alive but feeble, to hash out the new agreement. In the end, Maggie out-negotiates Gregory and the deal is made—half of what the Hilltop community has at the moment for Rick and his people to go in and kill Negan and incapacitate the Saviors.
I have plenty of faith in Rick and Co., but this new venture has me worried. Like they said, there’s going to be a cost, and I’m not sure I’m prepared for what that cost will be. Are they being cocky thinking they can take down Negan when they don’t know much about him and his people? Now that the group have a community, a future, and a new little life to protect, perhaps the cost will be worth it.
Jesus referred to Michonne and Rick as Carl’s mom and dad, bless him (*insert heart eyes emoji*). We also had our first “don’t mess with my man” moment. To be fair, we’ve had lots of these moments already. Michonne has been protecting Rick for awhile, but this is the first time we get to see it now they are official. Michonne had no problem knocking a woman out when said women punched Rick in the face. Not to say that Rick didn’t sort of deserve it, he killed a man after all. As for you Caryl shippers (that’s Carol and Daryl for the shamefully uninformed), if you were listening you may have caught a little something. When asked by Abraham if he would ever settle down, Daryl responds, “You think she’d settle?” Don’t even try to tell me he didn’t have Carol on his mind.