This week’s Walking Dead established that Jesus was in fact, one of the good guys, opened The Walking Dead universe to a larger world, and continued the whisper campaign of the new mysterious villain Negan. We got to meet a new community complete with new characters who may or not be allies with the group. We also got Rick delivering the best one-liner after killing someone. Since this arc of the show is following the comics much more closely than previous seasons, here is an analysis of today’s episode in comparison to the comic book.
Warning: Spoilers for both the TV show and comic book!
As in the comics, once captured, Jesus reveals just how much of a badass he is and how easily he could have escaped custody, but he wanted to meet them and let them know about the much larger world and the trading partnership that could be established between Alexandria and the Hilltop Community. In the comic book, it is Carl who, after talking with Jesus, determined that he wasn’t a bad guy (or Carl would have killed him: Carl’s much tougher in the comics).
Like in the comics, the group heads on a road trip, however in the comics, Carl hid as a stowaway for the ride. Also in the comic book, the road trip was overnight, and as a result, it allowed more time for Jesus and Rick to begin to trust one another. On the show instead they had some people in Jesus’ group get attacked and stranded in a building infested with the dead and Rick’s group goes in to save them earning brownie points from not just Jesus, but also the people they save.
The Hilltop Colony is very much taken straight from the comic book, complete with the guards with their spears. Soon enough we meet the leader of the colony Gregory played by Xander Berkley, who is good at playing bad guys. His interactions with Maggie accurately foreshadow his creepy obsession he has with her in the comics. One interesting change from the TV show is that Gregory deals with Maggie instead of Rick. In the comics, Rick and he work out a deal for protection from Negan, but Maggie does it in the show.
On the show, it seems like Abraham and Sasha will eventually connect with each other. Abraham is definitely catching feelings for her. In the comics, Abraham cheats on Rosita with fellow Alexandria construction worker Holly. However, Holly and Abraham’s relationship was never beyond fellow workers on the TV show. Sasha being a TV only character essentially will replace Holly’s role and it seems that she will become the person Abraham cheats on Rosita with.
Overall this was a good episode that introduces a new location and group, and continues to give the audience little pieces of just who Negan is, as well as The Saviors. Fans of the comic book know that eventually this will become a giant problem for Rick and the group. It looks like next episode we will get a chance to see The Saviors and the long march to Negan continues.