The “Not Tomorrow Yet” episode of The Walking Dead started off so cheerfully — with Carol baking and distributing beet and acorn cookies like she was Alexandria’s own Mrs. Fields — that nobody could’ve blamed you if for a minute you’d thought you’d tuned in to the wrong show. But, of course, by the end of the hour, disaster once again had struck our regulars, some harder than others. Which of them wound up in a situation that not even snack food could improve? Read on…
‘JUST PUT IT IN YOUR MOUTH, JERK’ | Between her cookies and her flirtation with Tobin, Carol was having such a nice morning… then Rick & Co. returned from The Hilltop with (literal) dark clouds as well as provisions, and Morgan insisted on trying anew to talk with her. Foremost on his mind: Why hadn’t anyone tattled about the Wolf he’d been trying to rehabilitate? Upon learning that she had asked Rosita and the others to keep their lips zipped, he suggested that, if Carol went on carrying the secret, “it’s kind of like you did it, too.” And her day just kept getting worse…
‘WE KILL THEM ALL’ | At Rick’s town hall meeting, he explained to his fellow Alexandrians the deal that Maggie had made with The Hilltop and laid out his plan to take down the Saviors. Any objections? Just one — Morgan’s, naturally. He argued that, if Rick was sure they would win, then all they had to do was tell that to the Saviors. “It’s a way out,” he said, “for them and for us.” Unfortunately for Morgan, Rick didn’t want to give away their advantage (the element of surprise). And nobody was buying what Morgan was selling, anyway. He didn’t have to participate in the attack, Rick said. But if he wanted to stay in Alexandria, he would have to accept that the Saviors were toast.
‘YOU’RE A MOM TO MOST OF THE PEOPLE HERE’ | That night, Maggie told Glenn that, during the assault on the Saviors, she’d guard the perimeter, which would be at least marginally safer than being on the frontlines. But, since she was the one who’d sealed Rick’s deal with Gregory, she felt like, do or die, she had to go on the mission. Meanwhile, Carol — unable to sleep after tallying the number of people she’d had to kill — went for a walk… which led to Tobin’s porch. At first, she continued to flirt by withholding her cigarette and calling him an a–hole. Eventually, though, their conversation turned serious. “You can do things that just terrify me,” he admitted. Yet the reason he thought she was able to do them was heartbreaking and beautiful: because in spite of Sophia’s death, she was still a mom. That’s what made it possible for her to do the really hard stuff, he said. Did he see her as a mom? No, she was something else to him, he replied so sweetly that I doubt he’ll survive the season. (At least they got to kiss.)
‘WHY ARE DINGLEBERRIES BROWN?’ | While Hilltop denizen Andy gave Rick and Daryl as much intel as he could about the Saviors’ compound, Abraham unceremoniously moved out on Rosita, explaining his change of heart thusly: “When I first met you, I thought you were the last woman on earth. You’re not.” (Wow. That’s quite a catch you have there, Sasha.) Elsewhere, Tara blurted out to Denise that she loved her, and though it was obvious that the feeling was mutual, the doc declined to say it back until her girlfriend had returned — not only from the attack on the Saviors but from her two-week run with Heath, too.
‘THERE’S NO TURNING BACK NOW’ | The following day, the strike team began scouting around the Saviors’ HQ and making big revelations to one another. Gabriel told Rick that he still wore his priest outfit because that was still who he was. “And,” he added, “it’ll be harder for them to see me in the dark.” (That has to be a first, right? A joke from Gabriel?!?) Still pissed in the wake of being dumped, Rosita admitted to Carol that she’d been damn close to ratting out Morgan during the town hall meeting. And while searching for a walker whose head they could pass off as Gregory’s, Glenn and Heath confessed to one another that neither of them had had to kill the living before. Also, they agreed, killing sucks. Hilariously, when Jesus noted that the Gregory stand-in’s nose wasn’t quite right, Rick beat the crap out of the severed head. That way, he reasoned (a) the Saviors wouldn’t be able to tell what the schnoz looked like, and (b) Andy could claim that he broke his hand pummeling the “deceased.” Stunned, Andy cracked, “The Saviors are scary, but this [Negan] prick’s got nothing on you.”
‘ANNOUNCE YOURSELF, A–HOLE’ | Before dawn, Rick & Co. set their plan in motion — with one slight alteration: Carol insisted on staying behind at the perimeter to watch over Maggie. In spite of that, it all went really well… at first. The fake Gregory head fooled Negan’s guards, got Hilltop hostage Craig sprung and allowed our heroes to enter the compound and tiptoe from room to room, killing Saviors in their sleep. As Glenn claimed his first victim, he wept quietly, then spared Heath the horror of having to do the same by killing his intended victim for him. (Of note: Before they left that bedroom, Glenn became fixated on a series of Polaroids of people whose heads had been bashed in. Foreshadowing, anyone?) Outside at the getaway vehicle, Tara confessed to Gabriel that she’d only said “I love you” to Denise because she hadn’t wanted to disclose what she’d really been thinking in that moment — that she’d been involved in an attack like this before (with the Governor). But Tara did, in fact, love Denise, so it was all okay. As Jesus put it, “You know what you’re fighting for.”
‘BLOOD’S COMING’ | While the strike team was searching the compound for the Saviors’ arsenal, the one light sleeper among the villains got a rude awakening and sounded the alarm. Hearing it at the perimeter, Maggie wanted to make a beeline for the action. But Carol, inadvertently proving Tobin’s mom theory correct, insisted, “You are staying here” (and in such a way that it was impossible not to hear “young lady” at the end of the sentence). Back at the compound, before Jesus entered the fray, he sent Andy back to The Hilltop with Craig so that, no matter what, Alexandria’s deal with Gregory would remain in effect. And, though an injured Savior blathered the usual mad warnings to Gabriel, the preacherman just coolly prayed over him, then finished him off, throwing in an “amen” for good measure.
‘LOWER YOUR GUN, PRICK’ | By the time the sun had risen, it appeared that the mission had been a total success. (Miraculously, none of our heroes were so much as injured during the battle.) However, shell-shocked after blowing away heaven knows how many Saviors through the arsenal’s door, Heath didn’t want to return to Alexandria for a while, as Glenn suggested. He just wanted to hit the road with Tara as planned. Michonne was troubled, too (prophetically, we know): Which of them was Negan? she wondered aloud to Rick. Just then, a Savior came hauling ass out of the compound on a motorcycle. Rosita shot him off of it, and Daryl was demanding to know where he’d gotten the — Daryl’s? — bike when a woman’s voice on the guy’s walkie-talkie instructed them to lay down their arms. Why would they do a crazy thing like that? Because, the female Savior said, they had Maggie and Carol!
So, are you liking the “new” Gabriel? At the end, Morgan was building a cage like the one Eastman had kept him in, yes? Your critiques below, please!