AMC’s The Walking Dead season eight episode five ended with Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) locked up and Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) back in control of his people, the Saviors. Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait at least one more episode to find out Father Gabriel’s fate. Season eight episode six titled “The King, The Widow, and Rick” begins with Rick (Andrew Lincoln) continuing his journey on foot, picking up a message placed in a microwave on the side of the road. The message is one of many distributed to key members of the alliance, including one that is delivered to Carol at The Kingdom. Members of that community mourn their dead as Carol (Melissa McBride) reads one of the notes from Rick.
The note explains the Saviors were beaten but then things got complicated. Jesus took prisoners and they’re being held outside the Hilltop. The notes contain information about the ambush and the status of the major players in this war on the Saviors. Rick’s note claims they need to make things right for those who’ve sacrificed their lives. Rick’s heading to the Sanctuary which he believes is growing weaker by the hour.
“We meet at the Sanctuary in two days to end this, to win it all,” says Rick. He tells the rebellion that this could be their final fight.
Over at Hilltop, Jesus (Tom Payne) hands out food to the prisoners until Maggie (Lauren Cohan) stops him. Jesus explains it’s just turnips left behind by the Saviors, and Gregory (Xander Berkeley) replies that it’s time to build gallows and kill the prisoners. Maggie doesn’t agree and sends Gregory back inside the Hilltop complex.
Maggie pulls Jesus aside to tell him he’s put them in a horrible position. She also warns him every option is on the table. The most important thing is to end Negan, but Jesus wants to make sure they still have their humanity left when the war is over.
At The Kingdom, Ezekiel is locked in his house and Carol bangs on the door and reminds him they must gather everyone possible to help Rick fight. He doesn’t respond and Carol marches away, angry.
Rick enters the Scavengers’ complex and requests a deal with Jadis (Pollyanna McIntosh). The discussion doesn’t start off well, and then Rick reveals the Saviors are finished. He flashes the Polaroid photos to prove his point. Rick says they’re ready to end the Saviors, and he has a better deal than Negan gave them. Rick wants them to switch sides and join the Hilltop, Alexandria and The Kingdom – or they’ll be destroyed.
Rick advises Jadis to make a decision, and that decision will determine what his people do next. She says no, and they escort him into a cargo container where he’s locked up.
Gregory and Maggie have a talk back at the main house, and Gregory continues to insist he only did what was best for the community. He keeps claiming his motives were pure, and he assures her it’s okay to follow her gut about the prisoners. “You can’t have wolves wander around among the sheep,” says Gregory.
Michonne (Danai Gurira) isn’t supposed to leave Alexandria but she does, and Rosita (Christian Serratos) joins her. They head out in a car to check things out for themselves.
Jesus watches through the fence as inside the Hilltop complex hammering is going on. He’s still watching over the prisoners at night when he hears walkers in the woods. One of the Saviors talks about how he just kept joining other survivors, implying he didn’t intentionally join Negan. Jesus tells him not to pretend he’s innocent.
Michonne confesses a siren’s been going off in her head since the group left to attack the Sanctuary. She tells Rosita she has to see it herself so she can turn the alarm off in her head. Rosita understands and agrees.
They’re driving and hear music playing in the distance. They stop in the middle of the road, but they don’t think it’s coming from the Sanctuary. Armed, they head off into the woods. They approach a building where the music is coming from.
Elsewhere, Carl (Chandler Riggs) walks through the forest and watches a walker struggle with a bag hanging from a tree branch just out of reach. Carl’s been following the guy from the gas station and after watching him kill the struggling walker, Carl assures him he wasn’t shooting at him earlier.
Carl has food and water, and the two introduce themselves. Carl explains he’s helping Siddiq (Avi Nash) because it’s what his mom would have wanted him to do. Siddiq accepts the food and water, quietly thanking Carl. Carl then explains he’s in a community and if Siddiq answers his questions honestly, he can join them.
Siddiq admits he’s killed 137 walkers, give or take a couple. He’s only killed one person, and then only because the dead didn’t kill him when they tried. He’s been making walker traps because his mom believes killing them frees their souls. It’s possible she’s right.
Carol told the determined young boy, Henry, not to follow her from The Kingdom, but he did anyway. He’s trapped in a circle of walkers and she saves him, but he insists he’s not scared. He’s a fighter and wants to go to the Saviors’ place to get revenge on the people who killed his brother. Carol hands him a gun, and he assures her he can use it.
Once more to the Hilltop where it’s daytime now and Jesus is still watching over the prisoners. Enid (Katelyn Nacon) arrives and tells Jesus to bring the prisoners inside. There’s a pen set up to contain them, something that pleases Jesus who thought Maggie might be willing to sentence these men to death.
Maggie advises community members they will not mistreat these prisoners. They will stay inside the complex and will be taken care of. Gregory doesn’t like this decision, but Maggie is determined this is what will happen. Maggie then admits she can’t trust Gregory and has him locked up with the prisoners.
The Savior Jared (Joshua Mikel) attempts to take a gun and Maggie hits him in the head, twice. She tells the rest not to make her regret her decision.
Carl and Siddiq walk through the woods, knives at the ready, and come upon walkers eating a deer. They’re going to kill them to free their souls, and Carl says they’re doing it for Siddiq’s mom. Siddiq and Carl aren’t good at this and Carl is almost bitten by multiple walkers. He takes out his gun at the last minute and shoots them.
Siddiq isn’t sure going to Alexandria is the right decision, given that Rick tried to scare him off. Carl’s determined to take him to join the group.
Rosita and Michonne enter a warehouse and hear talking. Two Saviors are discussing the battle between Rick and Negan, and mention a large hidden weapon. Michonne sneaks toward them but she accidentally kicks a ball. The two Saviors draw their weapons and shoot, and Rosita drops her gun. She tries to find something to defend herself with as the Saviors walk through the warehouse. She throws a glue gun, hoping the Saviors follow it. They don’t.
Michonne is attacked by one while the other heads out to the Sanctuary. Michonne yells at Rosita to stop him, and Rosita finds the grenade launcher and annihilates the man. The woman gets away in a truck with lots of loud speakers blaring. (The point is to take it to the Sanctuary and lure the walkers away by making them follow the music.)
Daryl and Tara save the day by appearing out of nowhere and crashing into the truck. Michonne reveals there’s a cache of weapons inside the warehouse and then admits she’s out there because she wanted to see the Sanctuary. Daryl and Tara explain they’re out there because they all have a lot more work to do.
Carol returns to The Kingdom and enters Ezekiel’s (Khary Payton) home. He’s a broken man and he confesses he can’t lead his people anymore. When Carol reminds him he’s their king, he says he just played a part. Even when he knew it was a deadly mission, he played the role and smiled. He’s incapable of being what they need now and asks Carol to leave him alone.
Carol turns to leave but stops and asks, “Why did you keep coming to visit me?” He says it was his duty to make sure she was okay. She doesn’t believe that answer and Ezekiel admits she made him feel real.
Tears in her eyes, Carol reminds him he is real and adds, “To me. To The Kingdom. The people need their King to lead them.” Ezekiel believes Carol could lead them now, but she says it must be him. “You inspired them to build this place, to believe in something. You have to help them grieve, to move on, to end this. You owe them that.”
Carol says Henry and the people need him, even if it means he’s just playing the part and not feeling it. He must act like it’s all normal until it actually is normal. He needs to give that to them. Ezekiel says he can’t.
Jared uses a rock to try and cut the ropes off his hands, but one of his fellow prisoners knocks the rock he was holding out of his hand.
Aaron, Enid, and Maggie talk in the main house and Aaron admits he sometimes doesn’t remember the love of his life has died. Maggie understands and can relate, and she confesses it doesn’t get easier. Jesus joins them, reporting Gregory is sucking up to the Saviors now. He wants to thank Maggie but she won’t let him. She calls the prisoners bargaining chips and reveals they’re only alive because they might need them to exchange for freeing their people. If they don’t need them, she won’t let them out.
Aaron leaves without saying anything and Enid catches up to him. He says he’s going to make sure they win, and Enid asks to join him. He agrees and sends her back in to get some food, warning her they may be gone for a while.
Daryl, Tara, Rosita, and Michonne arrive outside the Sanctuary. The building is surrounded by hundreds of walkers. Daryl says he wants to end this right now.
Jadis draws a mark on the door of a cargo container at the Scavengers complex. Inside, a captured Rick is shirtless and sweating.
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So much for Rick’s carefully laid plans. Season eight episode six was a frustrating episode, with players acting out of character and way too many unbelievable coincidences moving the story forward. How did Daryl and Tara just happen along at exactly the right moment? How believable is it that Tara would drop her gun at such a critical moment? Carl’s been killing walkers for years so why did he struggle so hard to kill a couple? And, why would Rick allow himself to be taken prisoner? Hopefully episode seven will tidy things up a bit and provide some semi-logical answers to lingering questions.
More on The Walking Dead:
– Recap of The Walking Dead Season 8 Episode 1
– Recap of The Walking Dead Season 8 Episode 2
– Recap of The Walking Dead Season 8 Episode 3
– Recap of The Walking Dead Season 8 Episode 4
– Recap of The Walking Dead Season 8 Episode 5
– Recap of The Walking Dead Season 8 Episode 7
– Recap of The Walking Dead Season 8 Episode 8
– Recap of The Walking Dead Season 8 Episode 9
– Recap of The Walking Dead Season 8 Episode 10
– Recap of The Walking Dead Season 8 Episode 11
– Recap of The Walking Dead Season 8 Episode 12
– Recap of The Walking Dead Season 8 Episode 13
– Recap of The Walking Dead Season 8 Episode 14
– Recap of The Walking Dead Season 8 Episode 15
– Recap of The Walking Dead Season 8 Episode 16