In ‘The Walking Dead’ recap, Rick meets a new group he hopes will help in his fight with the Saviors and Daryl is reunited with Carol…
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
It turns out the internet was correct.
Thanks to some super sleuths who dissected Father Gabriel’s exit from Alexandria a week ago, it was discovered that he didn’t steal all of their weapons and supplies for himself but instead was coerced into those actions by some mystery figure beside him in the car when he left.
It turns out, Gabriel was kidnapped by a new group we will now know as ‘The Scavengers’, who were looking for retribution after Rick and Aaron swam across a lake full of walkers to get to the supplies on that house boat earlier in the season.
If you remember there was somebody watching Rick and Aaron during that entire mission and that was a woman named Tamiel, who also ended up following them back to Alexandria in an attempt to wrestle away the weapons and supplies that were taken. It seems the Scavengers much like the Saviors don’t particularly want to do the work themselves but instead prefer to take from the other people who did it first.
The Scavengers had scouted out that house boat for weeks just waiting for someone else to figure away across the moat full of zombies to rescue the supplies and then they would pounce to take it from whoever was brave enough to go get it in the first place. Sadly, Rick and Aaron escaped with the goods and then immediately ran into the Saviors upon returning to Alexandria so there was no way for the Scavengers to retrieve it.
Now they are looking for payback but rather than take what Rick and the survivors don’t have to give, he’s going to try to convince them to get it back from the real enemy in this whole situation.
Rick wants the Scavengers to team up with him to take down the Saviors.
Will his plan work? Let’s find out as we recap the latest episode of ‘The Walking Dead’ titled ‘New Best Friend’…
Dare To Be Stupid
The smile on Rick’s face at the end of last week’s episode of ‘The Walking Dead’ seemed to indicate that perhaps he knew one of the captors who had surrounded him after returning to the boat where they took those supplies several weeks back. As it turns out that wasn’t actually the case because Rick didn’t see a friend but instead an opportunity.
The people who surrounded Rick seemed capable, well armed and willing to fight — three key qualities he’s been looking to find in an attempt to build an army to take on the Saviors.
The survivors are led back to a junkyard where the leader of the Scavengers meets the group for the first time. Her name is Jadis (although we don’t actually find that out until way later in the episode) and she’s looking for the guns and supplies taken from the house boat by Rick and Aaron.
Rick explains that those supplies never belonged to them because they were immediately handed over in tribute to the Saviors so if Jadis has an issue with anybody it’s them. His words ring hollow unfortunately and it appears that Jadis is ready to just add a few more bodies to the stockpile until Father Gabriel, who has been captured and held hostage, reacts by grabbing a knife away from Jadis’ No. 2 and putting it to her throat.
Gabriel tells Jadis that Rick is the most capable man she’ll ever meet and that she’d be better off working with him than doubting him to make it out alive in this situation. Impressed by the priest’s willingness to fight for his friend’s lives, Jadis offers Rick the chance to prove himself worthy and if he passes the test, she’ll consider working with him against the Saviors.
So Jadis takes Rick to the top of a giant pile of junk before tossing him down into a gladiatorial pit where he’s surrounded by garbage on all sides, but he’s not alone. There’s a walker in the pit with him — a dead man covered in spikes and a helmet to match with barely anything exposed except for its mouth. This zombie’s name is Winslow and he’s the test Rick has to pass if he wants to make it back to Alexandria alive much less convince the Scavengers to join him on his crusade to topple the Saviors.
Bloody Trail of Retribution
Back at the Kingdom it’s time for the latest tithing where King Ezekiel will present food and supplies to the Saviors as payment so they won’t wipe his people off the map in a bloody vendetta. At the meeting, Jared — the asshole Savior who caused problems the last time these two groups got together — demands that Richard give up his gun because ‘bad boys’ don’t deserve weapons like this. The smug request ends up with guns drawn but Ezekiel orders Richard to stand down and hand over his weapon to the Saviors.
Taking the gun isn’t good enough so Jared looks to pistol whip Richard with his own weapon, which finally forces Morgan into action by using his staff to knock the gun from his hand. Benjamin also reacts with his staff and it appears the situation is about to turn truly volatile until cooler heads prevail and everyone lowers their weapons.
Jared takes Morgan’s staff despite his pleas to hand it back over because it belonged to someone special to him. Meanwhile, the rest of the crew from the Kingdom are sent back with slap on the wrist and a promise that further outbursts like this will eventually lead to someone’s death. Thus far, the Saviors have been fairly cordial with the Kingdom but repeated incidents like this latest meeting means someone inside those walls will end up just like Abraham or Glenn.
Back in the town, Richard is still stewing over his encounter with the Saviors when he runs into Daryl, who is still hidden at the Kingdom to make sure he never gets caught by Negan again. Richard gives Daryl a present after hearing that he’s handy with a bow — and the last remaining Dixon brother once again has a crossbow on his shoulder.
Richard can’t understand why Ezekiel won’t react to the constant jabs being landed by the Saviors because just like Rick warned, things will never get better under these monsters — it can only get worse. In Daryl, he finds a kindred spirit so he convinces the stranded Alexandrian to help him enact a plan that he believes will finally force Ezekiel’s hand into going to war with Rick against the Saviors.
Outside the walls deep in the woods, Richard has a trailer set up where he’s been storing weapons and chemicals that can be used in bomb making. Richard hands over a machine gun while grabbing up supplies to cook up some Molotov cocktails before heading out to the road to set a trap for the Saviors.
Richard’s plan goes like this — they will attack a convoy of Saviors and kill every man inside the trucks on the road. They will then leave a trail that is really quite obvious that will lead back to the weapons cache and eventually a house on the outskirts of town. Richard tells Daryl that Ezekiel has grown rather fond of the woman living there and he believes by essentially ordering her death by the Saviors that will force his majesty’s hand into going to war.
But something about this woman living in isolation all alone in the woods rings a bell in Daryl’s head and so he asks her name. When Richard replies that it’s Carol, Daryl snaps and forbids him from attacking the Saviors much less leading them to her front door. When things get physical, Daryl is forced to throw a few punches before reminding Richard that Carol is absolutely off limits and if anything happens to her, he’ll be the first one sacrificed even if it’s not actually his fault.
Speaking of Carol, her day is interrupted when King Ezekiel and some of his troops end up on her front lawn while killing a few walkers that were in the area. Ezekiel tells her that he had no intention of disturbing her but after accidentally tripping one of her security wires, they had no choice but to show up and apologize by handing over a homemade peach cobbler. Carol smiles and closes the door before returning to her coach to read.
A few seconds later there’s a knock and Carol opens the door expecting Ezekiel but instead finds that Daryl is standing on her front porch.
No words are spoken but Carol nearly bursts into tears before embracing Daryl in a long hug as the two old friends finally found their way back to each other. Inside, Carol tells Daryl why she had to leave Alexandria and what she’s doing out there all alone.
Carol knows if she stayed that she would have eventually joined the fight against the Saviors and it would have only led to more bloodshed and more death and she’s seen enough of that for one lifetime. Think of Carol as a soldier, who realizes that she’s rather good at killing people, but then discovers that’s not an occupation anyone should truly enjoy or revel in as a skill set. So Carol had to get away and isolating herself out here away from anybody else was the only way to ensure she couldn’t get dragged back into some kind of conflict.
So when Carol asks with tears in her eyes what happened when the Saviors finally came looking for Rick and the survivors, Daryl lies to her and says that everybody made it out alive. He claims that they made the same deal with the Saviors as Ezekiel did for the Kingdom and everybody is back alive and well in Alexandria.
Daryl knew that if he would have told her about Abraham and Glenn that Carol would have jumped back into the fray and that’s exactly where she doesn’t want to be right now. So he lied to her about what happened so she could continue living out here alone as Carol starts to put the pieces of her fragile psyche back together again.
Back in the junkyard pit, Rick truly has to fight for his life to survive against Winslow — the spike filled walker — but with some advice from Michonne to use the walls around him as weapon, he’s finally able to gain the upper hand. By toppling over some garbage on top of the zombie, Rick is able to slow it down enough so he can find some broken glass before finally killing it.
Rick has passed the test and that means Jadis and the Scavengers are willing to make a deal with him.
Rick and the survivors will somehow retrieve the guns that were in that boat house and hand them over to the Scavengers along with a portion of the food they stole as well. In exchange, the Scavengers will use those weapons to help take down the Saviors once and for all.
It’s a good deal in Rick’s mind because he’s finally finding allies in his quest to defeat Negan but now he’s got an even bigger problem. He needs to find guns for the Scavengers or risk turning them into an enemy as well. Thankfully, Rick has a new positive outlook on things and he’s confident they’ll find whatever they need. He asks Tara for advice on where to look since she’s been further out than anybody else so that certainly seems like a hint that we’re going to run into the all women’s colony at Oceanside sooner or later.
For now, Rick has his freedom and he has the start of his army that he hopes till put an end to Negan and the Saviors once and for all.
Interesting enough, this is somewhat uncharted territory when comparing the comic books to the show because at this stage of the game in the source material, there is no fourth group that teams up with Alexandria, the Kingdom and the Hilltop. There is, however, a group known as the Scavengers — a short lived band of killers and thieves who show up at Alexandria’s door demanding entry with a famous line from the comics — ‘little pig, little pig, let me in’. Most comic readers felt that the Wolves from a season ago had replaced the Scavengers but then again maybe not.
Or perhaps Scott Gimple and Robert Kirkman decided they liked the name so much they decided to use it here instead. Either way, the Scavengers have arrived.
Time to Fight
Back at the Kingdom, Daryl makes a new friend in Shiva the tiger before confronting Morgan about the brewing war with the Saviors. Daryl knows that Morgan has the power to convince King Ezekiel to fight rather that sit back and wait for something bad to happen, but he’s still not willing to pull the trigger. Morgan still believes there’s another way to make this work, but he’s clearly starting to find out that the Saviors are getting worse, not better.
Still, Morgan can’t quite find it in himself to convince King Ezekiel to essentially sentence a great many people under his care to their certain deaths by going to war.
As for Daryl, he’s tired of waiting on something worse to happen. So he grabs his crossbow and tells Morgan that he’s headed for the Hilltop because the time for talking is over.
It’s time to fight.
‘The Walking Dead’ returns next Sunday night at 9pm ET on AMC for a brand new episode