When Jesus takes Rick and the group back to his camp on ‘The Walking Dead,’ they find out they aren’t the only ones having trouble with the elusive Negan.
On the Feb. 28 episode of The Walking Dead, Jesus (Tom Payne) reveals to Rick (Andrew Lincoln) that the world is a lot bigger than they realize. Once they return him to his camp, they unintentionally find themselves involved in a turf war with Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), despite the fact they’ve yet to meet him face-to-face.
As episode eleven of season six opens, everything is, in the words of Eugene (Josh McDermitt), “hunky dunky.” Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) and Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) are all laughs as he tells stories from his time in the military, and children are playing in the streets of Alexandria. But, things quickly get a little awkward between Sasha and Abraham when she reveals that she’s switching shifts — so she’ll no longer be patrolling with him. He seems bummed but plays it cool, especially considering they seemed to have a little something something going on in the first half of the season.
We flash forward to later that night when Abraham is in bed thinking about Sasha and her walking away from him earlier that day, while a very naked, sweaty Rosita (Christian Serratos) vies for his attention. Once she has it she surprises him with a handmade necklace, but when he looks at it all he sees is Sasha. Again. It’s clear that his love triangle is going to come to a blow very soon, but how? Hmm.
In another part of Alexandria we see Maggie (Lauren Cohan) working on the tomato plants, at least until Glenn (Steven Yeun) finds her and helps her for a moment. Maggie is obviously stressed about their crops and the lack of growth, which surely isn’t just because she’s expecting. Deanna more or less left the future of Alexandria in her and Michonne’s hands, and growing food will solve a whole lot of the towns problems. They are quickly distracted from the crops though when they see a clearly startled Denise (Merritt Wever) grab Abraham off of the street and bring him down in the basement of one of the empty townhouses that they use as makeshift prison cells. Something’s up, so naturally Glenn and Maggie go running, but we don’t get to see what they find until later.
First, we catch up with Jesus, who is taking in the sights and sounds of Rick and Michonne’s (Danai Gurira) house. That’s when Carl (Chandler Riggs) discovers Jesus sitting on the stairs and puts a gun to his head. Jesus tells Carl he’s waiting for his “mom and dad” to get dressed, and Carl looks confused — and looks even more confused when Rick runs out of his bedroom shirtless, and Michonne follows after. That’s one heck of a way to find out that they are doing the nasty now!
Before anything can happen, Daryl (Norman Reedus), Glenn, and Abraham run into the house and up the steps with their guns pointed. Michonne tells them it’s okay, and we flash to everyone sitting around the table talking just as Jesus requested. He tells Rick he got out because Daryl couldn’t cover two exits at once, and he also shares that he “checked out” their arsenal (gun inventory) and that he noticed their provisions (food/supplies) are low.
It’s worth noting that as Rick and Jesus are talking, Carl seems to be recanting what he witnessed earlier, as Michonne uncomfortably shifts away from the teen she’s practically raised the past few years.
Then, Jesus drops a bombshell: he’s from his own community, apparently a lot like Alexandria, and his job is to seek out other communities for trades. He says he took the truck because the community needs things, and that Rick and Daryl “look like trouble.” He admits he was wrong about that, and says that their communities could definitely help each other. Jesus then says they not only scavenge, but that they have their own livestock and also grow food. Um, what? Where is this magical place he speaks of?
Maggie brings up a major point: he’s been trading with other groups. Before credits roll he tells them, “Your world is about to get a whole lot bigger.”
Jesus’ People Get Into Trouble
Before they decide to take off and let Jesus lead them to his community, Rick pulls Carl aside and tells him that what happened between him and Michonne literally “just” happened that night. Carl doesn’t expect an explanation though, he tells Rick he’s cool with it and that’s the end of the conversation. Carl also opts to stay behind while the whole gang piles into the RV, including pregnant Maggie, Glenn, Abraham, Daryl, Rick, Michonne,
During their ride, Abraham pulls Glenn aside to question whether or not he and Maggie were intentionally trying to get pregnant. Glenn says yes, that they were trying to “build something,” just like everyone at Alexandria. Abraham seems really freaked out by the idea, and even shares a TMI: he “doubles up” to keep from knocking up Rosita. The conversation ends there, but when the camera pans out we do see Rick reach of Michonne’s knee and caress her gently with a smile. Oh yeah, Richonne is very, very real!
The smiles end pretty quickly when Rick comes upon a car crash that appears as if it just happened, and when Jesus sees the car he says it’s someone from his community before running out of the RV. Rick doesn’t look pleased by this, likely because he’s concerned it’s a set up. There are two walkers mangled into the car, but Jesus says that his “people” are in trouble. Rick, with a gun pointed at Jesus as a warning, decides to explore the building nearby after Daryl finds tracks. Rick leaves Maggie in charge of watching Jesus after handcuffing him, and the rest of the group heads inside to explore. Yeah, this definitely feels like a trap.
Inside the building, which is dimly lit and crawling with walkers, they find three of the people hiding in different spots. But, they’re missing one, and he’s apparently hurt from the crash they were in. Abraham can hear someone crying out as he scours the place, which leads him to the fourth person. The group gets all of them out safely, packs them in the RV, and off they go again.
The four people seem relatively normal, just like Jesus. Maggie and Glenn even find out that one of them is a doctor, and not just ANY doctor — and ob/gyn. As the man tells them, they just hit the jackpot.
Rick & The Group Finally Find Where Jesus Came From
Rick’s RV hits a mud pit at exactly the right spot, because Jesus tells them they’ve arrived. Just a little bit ahead of where the RV stopped is a wall that looks eerily similar to the one surrounding Alexandria, with guard towers at the gate and everything. When they approach the two men at the top of the gates demand they all drop and turn over their guns, but Jesus refuses to let that happen and instead vouches for Rick and his people — along with the four other settlers they saved. But Jesus knows that Rick doesn’t trust them, so he asks him very politely to do so because it’s the only way this meeting will work. It strikes a cord with Rick and he orders everyone to drop their weapons, which they do. Then, the gates open.
Inside the gates is a small settlement surrounding a giant mansion. There are a few man-made structures, some trailers lined up, livestock, crops, and more. It’s quiet, but it feels safe, despite the fact that everything Jesus has put them through so far has felt like a trap.
Jesus explains that they got the supplies for the walls from an electric company that was nearby, and that a lot of people in the settlement came from a FEMA camp — which is also where the trailers came from. The mansion is called “Barrington House,” it was a museum that was owned by the state, and the inside is gorgeous. It’s completely untouched, which is sort of surreal even for those survivors who have been living in modern homes for some time now. Then, they met Gregory, or as he describes himself, “the boss.”
Gregory is well-dressed in a suit that seems a bit unnecessary, especially compared to Rick’s casual get up. Apparently their look bothers Gregory because he asks them to clean up first before they talk. Rick tries to tell him they don’t need (aka want) to, but Gregory won’t hear of it. Jesus seems a little annoyed by how cold Gregory is, but he politely shows Rick and the gang where they can wash up. On their way up the giant staircase Rick tells Maggie she should get cleaned up first and be the one to speak to Gregory, just like Deanna would have. She doesn’t seem thrilled by the idea, but he’s right and she knows it.
While everyone is washing up Abraham asks Daryl if he knew about Rick and Michonne, which he obviously didn’t. Then he asks Daryl if he ever thinks about “settling down,” to which Daryl responds, “You think shit’s settled?” Abraham is clearly freaking himself out as he fights his feelings for both Sasha and Rosita, and he’s looking for guidance. Unfortunately, no one seems to be offering him anything he can use just yet.
Maggie Becomes Deanna Right Before Our Eyes
Maggie follows Rick’s orders and heads down to speak to Gregory first once she’s all “cleaned up.” She pulls her best Deanna to try and talk to Gregory, but he’s vague — and so is she. They don’t want to spill too many details about each of their settlements but at the same time, they both need things. It’s a strange game to play, but it’s where the world is now, especially since they’ve both learned of each other’s existence. Gregory tries to cut the small talk by offering to let their people work there for food, and he even tries to come onto Maggie numerous times which seems to imply that if she were to, say, have sex with him that it would be “worth her while.”
But Maggie’s too smart for that and she cuts him short real quick, She reminds him that he needs ammo and medicine, and that they could definitely help each other out with a trade for food. Gregory won’t have it though, and he condescendingly calls her “Natalie” for a second time, even after she corrects him, before dismissing her.
Upstairs Jesus is trying to explain to Daryl and Rick that Gregory is not an easy guy to work with, especially when they aren’t in too desperate a need of something. Their walls hold well so they haven’t needed ammo in quite some time, and they just brought in a fresh batch of medicine when they arrived with the doctor after their almost failed supply run. Rick tells Jesus they came for food and they intend to leave with food, which seems to upset Jesus. He’s desperate to make this work, but both parties are being incredibly difficult. Instead, Jesus asks for a few days to make Gregory understand that working with them is a good thing. Michonne agrees to it, as well as Rick.
Negan Delivers A Nasty Message To Gregory
Before they can leave, a man comes inside the mansion to talk to Gregory. All he does is tell Gregory they’re back before everyone goes outside to meet the group returning. Three of the settlement’s people approach looking worse for wear, and they reveal that Negan killed half the group they were with because whatever supplies they delivered weren’t enough. The biggest of the bunch, a tall blonde guy with a man-bun, reveals that Negan said he would keep Craig alive if they delivered a message to Gregory. The message? Well, the blonde guy apologizes to Gregory before stabbing him in the abdomen, which is when Rick and the group jump in.
They manage to take out the other two guys, but the blonde guy gets a lead on Rick and has him held down on the ground with a knife to his neck. Michonne comes up behind him and demands him to drop it, and when the blonde looks up at her Rick seizes the opportunity and stabs him in the neck. Once he’s bled out, Rick rolls him over and gets up.
Oh, and let us not skip over the fact that when one of the men was strangling Abraham and nearly killed him, it was Sasha’s voice that he heard in his head. This is the guidance that he needed, and he knows it as soon as the moment is over and Daryl helps him up.
When the settlers try to take on Rick for killing the blonde guy, whose name we find out is Ethan, Jesus gets right in the middle. Literally, he stands in the middle of a large spear and Rick’s gun to remind everyone that Rick just saved them from Ethan, who started the bloodbath by killing Gregory. Speaking of Gregory, he’s still alive, but barely.
Daryl Decides It’s Time To Kill Negan
After a break we learn that Gregory was able to be saved by the doctor. Jesus delivers the good news to Rick and the group, but Rick uses the moment to find out more information about Negan. He mentions that Daryl had a run-in with one of his groups, and clearly these people know Negan because they’ve been trading with him. Jesus tells Rick all about Negan and his group, The Saviors, who showed up right after their community built the walls. Jesus also reveals that they made threats, demands, and then, to help them “understand,” beat a 16-year-old to death in front of everyone. The deal between their settlement and The Saviors was that they get half of everything — food, supplies, etc. — and in return, they get to live. Rick takes it all in and quickly realizes that they are not dealing with any ordinary survivor, they are dealing with something much bigger than that.
Daryl isn’t having any of this, and he and Abraham are quick to suggest that they go and save their man, kill Negan, and take out his men. In return they want a cow as well as some food and medicine. Then comes the best line of the episode, from Rick: “Confrontation is something we’ve never had trouble with.” Now ain’t that the damn truth!
Jesus mulls over their offer and agrees to take it to Gregory. While he’s talking to his boss, Rick tells the survivors — Glenn, Michonne, Maggie, Daryl — that their fight is their trade. It’s all they have right now. Maggie isn’t buying what he’s selling though, and she doesn’t mind telling Rick that she knows this means they will lose something. She’s right, but we’re going to have to wait and see what that something — or someone — is.
Once Gregory is up Jesus returns to ask for Maggie, because that’s who he wants to talk to. Shocker. Gregory’s kind of a pervert, no?
It’s no surprise that Maggie handles him like a champ. He’s a little slow to start with the negotiations, but once he agrees to let them kill Negan in return for supplies, Maggie raises the bargaining chip: she wants the deal Negan has. She wants half of everything they have. Gregory isn’t thrilled, especially because he thought he had the upper hand, but he takes the deal. To be honest, he doesn’t have a choice.
Maggie also asks for one more thing: a check-up with the ob/gyn, who has a sonogram machine. When they leave, they leave with their very first picture of their unborn baby. It’s one of the most beautiful moments Maggie and Glenn have ever shared throughout this entire series, and it leaves your heart swollen with excitement for them. It even leaves Daryl smiling! Well, sort of.
But, that’s not all they leave with. They pack up plenty of supplies, more than what Negan usually got according to Jesus, and they also bring along their new friend. Plus, they ask the guy who nearly killed Abraham to come with them because they need him to not only find Negan’s compound, but get around it in order to save Craig, the guy The Saviors are holding hostage.
Tell us, HollywoodLifers — Do YOU think Rick and the group are strong enough to take on Negan? Are you scared we’re going to lose someone important in this fight? Comment below with your thoughts on this episode and what’s to come!