This week’s Walking Dead delivered a pulse-pounding, action-packed episode, featuring the first of many battles with Negan’s group: The Saviors. There were debates within the group concerning being the aggressor for ruthless killing, and we even got a foreshadowing of what may come sooner or later. As noted in the last recap, this story arc is similar to the same one in the comic book, so let’s take a look at how closely this episode follows the comic book.
Warning: Spoilers for both the TV show and comic book!
Carol continues to be a very unique character compared to her comic book counterpart. On the show she has gone from abuse victim to all out apocalypse survivor. Her character in the comics has long been dead, since the group was in the prison and she performed “suicide by zombie.” This gives the writers of the show a great deal of flexibility in regards to developing her character. This episode she seemed to want to start calming down. It seems as though Morgan’s philosophy of no killing is beginning to sink in with her. She keeps a journal of people that she has killed, and the total now is 17, and that’s beginning to bother her. She already has kept her confrontation with Morgan a secret from the larger group, and is starting to once again have motherly instincts when it comes to dealing with Maggie, as well as the loss of young Sam, shown when she puts a cookie on his grave. Carol also seems to be developing a relationship (sorry all you Darryl and Carol shippers) with Tobin. I thought that she and Morgan might have something blooming because after their fight she couldn’t bring herself to kill him, and it might have been her being attracted to him, but it was not.
When Rick talked to members of the Alexandria community about the proposed deal with the Hilltop Colony: killing Negan and The Saviors in exchange for food, Morgan is the only one who opposes the idea. Most of the survivors are still affected by their encounter with The Wolves and the herd of zombies that came as a result and don’t want to suffer anymore. Morgan is the only person to vocally object to the slaughter of The Saviors. Morgan also is a character that has drastically changed from page-to-screen. In the comics he was not as Zen as he is in the show, in fact he was a much more broken man that never recovered from his son dying. This change has been a welcome one, but at the same time his philosophy is naive and problematic. This is a kill or be kill world, and there aren’t any half-measures. Towards the end of the episode he is building what looks like some sort of prison cell.
This could be foreshadowing the prison cell that Negan finally ends up in at the end of the all-out war between The Saviors and Rick’s group.
Abraham breaks up with Rosita in the most cold-blooded way possible, straight out of the comics. It’s clear his feelings for Sasha are too much for him to remain with Rosita, but he did not let her down in a nice way at all. In the comics he cheated on Rosita, but on the show he was man enough to first break up with her before he did. It would have been good if she was able to yell her expletive at him, but this is AMC, not HBO. Eugene standing in the hallway eavesdropping on the conversation is foreshadowing that he will be her shoulder to cry on, and eventually their relationship will become romantic. I wonder if Eugene will tell Abraham they are together (at first when they aren’t) to make him jealous. Time will tell.
The group then begins their plan to slaughter The Saviors, and we get a celebrity cameo! Yes that was Johnny Depp’s head as one of the heads the group uses as a decoy dead Gregory to deliver to The Saviors. The attack on The Saviors compound was very tense. To our surprise, no one in the group fell victim during the attack. There were some close calls, but no one died. Another change from the comic book is that Glenn killed some of The Saviors, and in their sleep. Glenn in the comic book never killed any regular humans, only zombies, and you can see the pain in his face when he slaughtered them in their sleep. It was very nerve-racking when he had to do it. He even killed one for Heath, who couldn’t bring himself to make the kill.
During the attack, no one stole the show more than Father Gabriel. Not only did he step up from being the coward he was, but he made a kill that Jules from Pulp Fiction would be proud of! This is another departure from the comics because he spent most of him time in the church in Alexandria. It’s only in recent issues, after the confrontation with Negan (during the current confrontation with The Whispers) that he volunteers to join Rick and Carl’s militia. This seems to be foreshadowing for him to become a literal “machine gun preacher.” The only humans in the comic book he is responsible for killing were his parishioners, and that was by his cowardice and not by shooting anyone.
Glenn and Heath arrive at one of the Saviors’ rooms and there are Polaroid pictures of people with their heads bashed in. Any fan of the comic knows Lucille is coming, and that’s going to be a game-changer. The big question is who from the group will be on the receiving end?
After the slaughter there appears to be only one Savior alive who the group corners, only to find out that additional members of The Saviors have now captured Carol and Maggie. Will this lead to the first appearance of Negan. In the comics, the encounter where The Saviors take hostages is a bit different, and there are actually casualties from members of the main group. I won’t say who just in case they die next week.
This was an excellent episode. It continues to show little bits and pieces of The Saviors. Right now they don’t seem like they are a formidable foe, because Rick’s group slaughtered them, but little by little the audience is learning just how terrible they are, and how Negan will soon make their lives more difficult. To paraphrase Rick: