In the latest episode of The Walking Dead, the gang meets the King.
Just when I thought Father Gabriel was an alright dude, he goes and turns right back into the chicken shit he was when we first laid eyes on that guy. The show begins with said Chicken Shit on guard duty. All is quiet in Alexandria (for now) and Father Gabriel decides to read a verse from the Bible. Whatever the hell he read made him ditch his post, steal food and weapons, gas up a car and leave Alexandria. But there was someone in the car with him! Not sure what will happen because of Father Gabriel’s move, but I guarantee it will cause more problems for Rick and the Gang.
Speaking of which, the gang is at the Hilltop trying to convince another chicken shit to fight the Saviors. Rick (looking as good as ever now that his savage is back) wants Gregory to get his people together so they can fight Negan and end his control over the other colonies. But Gregory being Gregory, he has no desire to get bloody. “Sometimes you don’t get to choose what your life looks like. Sometimes, Ricky, you have to count the blessings you have.” Okay first, don’t call him “Ricky.” It’s Rick Grimes, mofo. Second, you live in the after world now, Gregory. Fight or die. That’s all.
Maggie tries to change Gregory’s mind, asking him how many people at the Hilltop would fight. Of course, Chicken Shit Numéro Deux says none. When you get a chance, look at Richonne’s faces when Gregory is speaking. The looks of disgust were priceless.
Well, Gregory was wrong about his people (because he doesn’t know them). Enid comes in and tells everyone to come outside. Turns out some of the people DO want to fight. Because who the hell wants to live under a dictator all their lives? The crew is thankful, but they need more people. Jesus uses that moment to mention King Ezekiel and the Kingdom.
Jesus takes Rick and the Gang to Ezekiel’s usual meeting place with the Saviors, hoping to run into one of the King’s men. Two of them show up and they recognize Jesus. One of them happens to be Richard. You’ll remember he tried to convince Carol and Morgan to fight against the Saviors, so we know he’s definitely onboard. Jesus asks Richard to introduce Rick to the King, which he does. However, he failed to mention that the King had a tiger. Again, the looks on their faces was priceless.
Rick addresses the King, mentioning the deal Alexandria has with the Saviors. When he mentions the deal the Kingdom also has, Ezekiel’s face goes hard core and he looks straight to Jesus. The King’s deal is a secret from his people and he was not happy about Jesus spilling the beans. But Ezekiel listens anyway. Michonne tells of the people who have been killed by Negan so far. Morgan, who has been away and knows nothing of these deaths, asks who was killed. Rosita tells him and Morgan looks a little dazed at the news. Rick, along with Richard, want the King to fight. But the King asks Morgan what he thinks. Really? Morgan starts with the “why can’t we just capture Negan” bullshit, which set my teeth on edge. THAT SHIT DOESN’T WORK WITH THE SAVIORS!! The King tells the group that he will make his decision in the morning and invites them all to spend the night.
Later that night, Benjamin comes in to find the King finishing the rest of Martin Luther King’s speech to a young boy as a bedtime story. Talk about keeping a legacy alive! When he’s done, he speaks with Benjamin, who tells the King that they should help Rick. He told Ezekiel that Rick and his crew are ready to risk everything to stop the Saviors and the Kingdom should, as well. The King thanks Benji for his “sage counsel” while he mulls over what to do.
The next morning we get our answer. And it was in the negative. Ok, I get it, you want to keep your people safe. I definitely understand. But the Saviors are NOT the way to do it. So, yeah, I was disappointed in the King’s decision and really hate that Morgan was the reason for it. Being passive never works when you’re dealing with a psychopath (sound familiar?). The King offers Daryl asylum, stating that the Saviors never come through their walls. Daryl answers by asking the question we were all thinking: “How long do you think that’ll last?” Indeed.
The group leaves but Rick tells Daryl to stay at the Kingdom. He’ll be safer there and he can work on changing the King’s mind. Daryl ain’t too happy about that, but stays anyway. On the road back to Alexandria, the group runs into a road block, which they begin to clear. While on the lookout for the Saviors, Michonne sees something strange through the binoculars and the group investigates. Turns out that the road is loaded with explosives in case a herd of walkers comes that way. Rosita steps up and disarms the main explosive like a boss. But then the group hears Negan on the walkie-talkie telling his crew that Daryl has escaped and to head to Alexandria to bring him back. The crew goes into speed mode and begin disarming the rest of the explosives to use for their fight, with Rosita in the lead. As they race to get the explosives dismantled, a herd makes it way towards them. They move even faster, with Rick telling everyone to put the cars back where they were in case they need the herd later.
The herd gets closer while the crew puts the cars back where they were. But the herd is getting closer fast. Rick tells Jesus and Sasha to head back to the Hilltop on foot. Michonne sees the herd and realizes that the group will be cut off. Rick comes up with a plan to keep them all safe. And it was fucking EPIC!!! Just watch it, I can’t do it justice with words. But they all come out unscathed and ALIVE.
Back at Alexandria, Rick and the Gang arrive just in time for the Saviors’ arrival. As always, the Saviors roll in deep and full of arrogance. No matter who it is, I always want to punch one of them in the face. The search is underway for Daryl and the Saviors decide to smash some shit while they’re at it. When they get to the pantry, it’s completely empty thanks to Father Gabriel. This is news to Rick, who hides his shock really well, considering. Once the Saviors leave, Rick asks about the pantry and Aaron reveals the truth about Father Gabriel. Rosita assumes that he just left them, but Rick doesn’t believe it and neither do the others. As they investigate, Rick finds the word “boat” written in Gabriel’s notebook.
Rick, Michonne, Aaron, Rosita and Tara all make their way to the place where Rick and Aaron found supplies last. They find footprints and assume they belong to Father Gabriel. But they soon find that they were so very wrong, as a crowd of people comes out of practically nowhere, surrounding the group. The show ends with Rick looking at these newcomers and then smiling.
Who the hell are these people? Why did Rick smile? Will Daryl be able to convince the King to fight? And will we be seeing an Ezekiel/Carol romance? Erol? Cazekiel?
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on AMC. Photos courtesy of AMC.