Season 6, Episode 11
Abe and Sasha are chatting at the gates of Alexandria, the former telling a goofy story about his army days, and remarks his surprise that Maggie is having a child. Abe has to head out, but says he'll see Sasha around - but a hesitant Sasha refuses, saying that she's traded her role on patrol with Eugene, who wants to contribute more. Abe is disappointed, and the two awkwardly part ways. The next morning, Abe wakes up with a smile on his face, having recalled the talk during his dreams, but wakes up to see Rosita happily beaming at him after a night of sex. Abe contains his disappointment and sweet-talks Rosita, who gives him a necklace she made for him. Despite accepting the gift, Abe is still a bit awkward around the girl he no longer wants.
Meanwhile, Maggie and Glenn are working on the town's crops, with Maggie noting that rationing is getting harder to do thanks to their critically low food supplies. The two see Denise at the holding cell alerting Abraham to something, and they go off to investigate.
At the Grimes house, Jesus is sitting on the stairs admiring a painting. Carl appears and pulls a gun on him, and Jesus calmly says he's waiting for his "mom and dad" to get out of bed. Carl is confused, and there is nothing but awkward mumbling when he sees Rick and Michonne exiting their bedroom half-dressed. Daryl, Abraham, Maggie, and Glenn arrive and also bear witness to the half-dressed Rick and Michonne. Abe is amused, and poor Glenn is shocked.
The gang gathers around a table with Jesus, who explains how he easily escaped his confinement and that they're low on food. Jesus seeks to establish a trade and alliance with Alexandria on behalf of his community, and Maggie notices that he offhandedly mentioned other settlements. Jesus smiles and says their world is about to change.
Rick, Michonne, Abraham, Glenn, Maggie, and Daryl are preparing the RV to head to Jesus' community. Denise thanks Daryl for trying to find some soda the day before, and says he reminds her of someone she once knew. Rick talks to Carl, and admits his new relationship with Michonne happened very quickly the night before, thus why he was unable to tell his son. When Carl appears apprehensive, Rick insists that his relationship with Michonne is "different", and Carl smiles, having merely let Rick squirm for a bit and says he approves of it. He also informs his father that he will not be joining the expedition, as not only does he want to hang back for the town's protection, but his disfigured face may ward off whoever the group meets.
The gang sets out in the RV. En route, Abe talks to Glenn in private, and asks if he and Maggie intentionally conceived a child... in his own, trademark silly way, of course. Glenn confirms it, and says he and Maggie want to build a better future at Alexandria, even in regards to how dangerous their lives are on a daily basis.
The RV comes upon a car wreck, and Jesus recognizes some of the victims as his people. The group ventures inside a nearby building and rescues the survivors. Later they finally reach their destination, though there is some initial tension when the community's guards, armed with spears, ask Rick's group to turn in their weapons. Jesus vouches for them, and then welcomes them inside the Hilltop Colony, an agrarian fortress centered around Barrington House, a former plantation turned history museum that people brought FEMA trailers to. Jesus introduces the gang to Gregory, the community's leader, who immediately rubs Rick the wrong way by going out of his own way to condescend him. Sensing his volatile temperament may not hold, Rick sends Maggie in to deal with Gregory. The ensuing meeting is tense and goes nowhere, as Gregory hits on Maggie as soon as they're alone and mocks Alexandria for its' food shortage. Rick grows impatient outside, and Jesus does his best to pacify them.
Three Hilltop residents, Ethan, Andy and Crystal, arrive and meet with Gregory. They inform him that their tribute to a man named Negan was deemed "light", so two of their party were killed and their friend Craig was captured until they can cough up more tribute. Ethan also delivers a message to Gregory from Negan - by way of a knife to the stomach. The Alexandrians spring into action, battling Ethan, Andy and Crystal. During the ensuing battle, Abraham is trapped in a chokehold by Andy, and initially barely resists as he contemplates his relationships with Sasha and Rosita. Daryl comes to his rescue, and Michonne defeats Crystal when she attacks Rick. The Alexandrian leader is subdued by Ethan, but kills his attacker during a distraction. Jesus then defuses the ensuing standoff between the wary Hilltop guards and the apathetic Rick. Abraham, appearing newly confident and happy, leaves behind Rosita's necklace in the dirt.
Inside Barrington House, Jesus explains to the Alexandrians that Negan is the leader of the Saviors, a large, violent gang who subdue communities and demand regular tributes lest they attack. Daryl and Abraham, having encountered the Saviors before, were unimpressed by the gang they defeated, and Daryl suggests that Negan is at best a boogeyman the Saviors use to scare other survivors. Rick, confident after his many victories over human antagonists, believes he can easily deal with the Saviors. Daryl and Maggie propose a trade - Hilltop gives Alexandria half its' supplies in order to replenish its' food, and Alexandria will assassinate Negan and wipe out the Saviors. Jesus is receptive, and the injured Gregory is too when Maggie belittles him for bowing to the Saviors.
The Alexandrians load up their supplies from Hilltop. Jesus will accompany them back, as will Andy, who offers inside knowledge on the Saviors' compound. One of the Hilltop residents, Dr. Carson, turns out to be an obstetrician and happily gives the pregnant Maggie some vital care and welcomes them to return to him at any time.
Rick insists to Michonne they can handle this new mission, but Michonne is wary, believing it will "cost something."
- Apologetic Attacker: Ethan apologizes to Gregory before stabbing him in the abdomen.
- Big Bad: While Negan has yet to become this himself, his organization as a whole certainly have become the main antagonists of the series as of this episode.
- Blade on a Stick: The Hilltop sentries are equipped with handmade spears,which also shows that the Hilltop is capable of producing its own weapons.
- Bring It: Rick's gang decides they can take on Negan.
- Continuity Nod:
- Maggie's pregnancy, first revealed to the audience back in "Now", is now public knowledge.
- Daryl and Abraham are unnerved when Negan's name comes up after their and Sasha's encounter with the Negan riders in "Start to Finish" and "No Way Out", which they have since reported to Rick.
- Maggie mentions her father.
- Rick initially decides to leave Judith with Gabriel, the preacher having fully earned his trust back in "No Way Out".
- Abraham and Michonne's reactions to seeing the ultrasound of Glenn and Maggie's child. Both of them lost their own children at the beginning of the apocalypse; the former's being revealed in "Self-Help", and the latter in "After".
- Dirty Coward: Gregory made a deal with the Saviors that halved the Hilltop's resources since then, and was perfectly fine with leaving one of his own men captured.
- Dirty Old Man: Gregory begins to hit on Maggie almost immediately after they are alone together.
- The Dreaded: Negan is explicitly established as this. Daryl even mockingly calls him a "boogeyman".
- The Face: Maggie becomes this to the Alexandrians. Rick has her deal with Gregory.
- The Alexandrians are entering a new world of intercommunal relations:Jesus: Your world is about to get a whole lot bigger.
- Maggie and Michonne are wary of the war that Rick may be about to start.Maggie: It's gonna cost us something.
- The Alexandrians are entering a new world of intercommunal relations:
- Greater-Scope Villain: Negan is behind the events of this episode, which sets Rick's group on a collision course with the Saviors.
- Happily Adopted: Carl is completely onboard with his dad and Michonne's new relationship.
- Jerkass: Gregory, so much that Rick has to send Maggie to talk with him after they meet. Jesus even apologizes to Maggie about his behavior and describes Gregory as a "real prick".
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: Ethan stabs Gregory, who was being a jerk to the Alexandrians, especially to Maggie.
- The Lancer: Jesus is shown to be this to Gregory. However, it's also made very clear that Jesus is far more competent and capable of protecting the Hilltop community, something that Jesus himself acknowledges.
- Love Triangle: One seems to be developing between Sasha, Abraham and Rosita.
- Odd Friendship: Daryl and Denise, as Daryl reminds Denise of someone she used to know.
- Psycho for Hire: From the perspective of the Hilltop residents, Rick and his group are just a bunch of killers they hired to kill another bunch of killers.
- The Team: The Alexandrians heading for the Hilltop are this.
- Self-Deprecation: Carl seems to think that a kid with a disfigured face is something unpleasant for a first meeting with the Hilltop community.
- Serial Escalation: Lampshaded by Maggie and Jesus at the beginning. The survivor enclave at Alexandria wasn't sure if there were other well-established walled communities on the same scale as their own (though they hoped). Jesus now appears, not only as a representative from another similarly sized walled town, but introducing that there are actually multiple survivor communities of roughly the same size dotted around the D.C. area. From this point on, the focus of the show shifts from the day to day survival of Rick's group against the zombies, to meeting and dealing with these different friendly and hostile survivor enclaves in a multi-front political landscape.
- Previously the closest they came to this was the Woodbury-Prison conflict in Seasons 3-4: a straightforward two-way fight, between much smaller groups (the Prison's dozen or so fighters versus the Governor's three dozen or so capable soldiers, not including children). After that when they were on the run, the scale contracted to focusing on the core group of survivors again, facing other bandit gangs like Terminus who only had a dozen and change people (or the Wolves, who had a few dozen raiders but no stable base and hardly any guns).
- Previously, the Alexandria survivors explained to Rick's group that a lot more people survived in the D.C. area compared to Georgia, because the early military evacuations were more concentrated and effective there, so there were physically fewer people left to turn into zombies (in contrast with the mega-hordes numbering in the hundreds of thousands that were swarming around the Atlanta area).
- Small Role, Big Impact: Ethan. He's killed in his single scene but his actions set up the deal between Alexandria and the Hilltop: Alexandria will kill Negan and the Saviors in exchange for half of the Hilltop's supplies.
- Title Drop: Done courtesy of Jesus.
- Underestimating Badassery: The Hilltop residents believe Rick's group have little chance of toppling Negan. On the flip side, Rick's group may be biting off more than they can chew by assuming the Saviors will go down as easily as Terminus or the Wolves.
- Unusual Euphemism: Abraham's dialogue is as eloquent and silly as ever.Abraham: (to Glenn regarding conceiving a child with Maggie) When you were pouring the Bisquick, were you trying to make pancakes?
- Violently Protective Girlfriend: Michonne to Rick, as shown when Rick is punched in the face and Michonne quickly responds by knocking his attacker to the ground and telling her not to get up again.