Welcome to Hilltop. Another comic moment comes to pass in Sunday’s episode of The Walking Dead, “Knots Untie”.
“Knots Untie “opens cold with Sasha and Abraham walking around the perimeter. When Abraham says he’ll see her tomorrow, Sasha gives him the brush off, saying that Eugene will be working with him from now on. Next, it cuts to him with Rosita in bed. She gives him a necklace with a piece of the brake light from the fuel truck they used to drive back in S4.
Then he starts thinking about Sasha again and how she’s not keeping watch with him anymore. Things have gotten so easy for them that Abraham is actually in a love triangle. I’m not sure how to process this. With Negan coming, it’s one of many signs that our group isn’t ready for what’s ahead.
The scene cuts away to Glenn and Maggie in the garden. I’m pretty sure it’s the first pleasant interaction they’ve had since 6.1. It’s quickly broken up, though, when they seen Abraham run into the infirmary behind Denise.
We go back to the Grimes’ house, and Jesus is being nosy in the hallway. Carl pulls a gun on him and asks why he’s in their house. Of course, Jesus is super calm and says he’s waiting on “your mom and dad to get dressed.”
We realize then this thing between Rick and Michonne is new. During this, everyone has realized that Jesus escaped. They rush to Rick’s and see him half dressed with Michonne behind him.
Rick tries to remain cool about the situation and tells them that Jesus said they should talk. He basically breaks the ice as everyone stares at them.
Downstairs, Jesus explains (vaguely) how he got out. He says he’s seen their arsenal and knows a general estimate of how many people they have in their community. He’s unsettling with his knowledge, and everyone pays very close attention as he explains his role in his community. He goes out of runs to find people and supplies. The idea of another community shocks the group, and when Jesus speaks about trading, they realize that there’s even more than just Jesus’ community out there.
Of course, they all decide to follow Jesus to his settlement to have a look around.
Before they leave, Denise speaks with Daryl and offers him a snack to take with him. Their friendship seems a little odd, but Denise is a therapist, and Daryl did pick up that book on surviving childhood abuse in S5. We might see Daryl Dixon working through his past sometime soon.
Rick has an awkward conversation with Carl about his relationship with Michonne and how it’s different than before. (Before meaning Jessie). Carl tells him that it’s cool. We already knew he’d be okay with this. Carl and Michonne have grown very close over the last couple of seasons. Rick tells him to get his stuff and Gabriel will take care of Judith while they’re gone, but Carl tells him that he’s staying back and makes a comment about a “kid with a messed up face” might not make the best first impression. Rick says nothing, but you can tell he hates what his son has said. He hands over Judith anyway.
On the way to the settlement, Abraham asks Glenn in his unique way, “When you were, uh, pouring the Bisquick, were you trying to make pancakes?” This is the one of many moments that focus on Abraham’s character dealing with the idea of a new world and moving forward.
We get a sweet Richonne moment where he rubs her knee as he’s driving before they come across a wreck.
Jesus says it’s his people. When they stop, he asks them for a gun so he can find them, but Daryl says no and Rick ends up handcuffing him and leaving him with Maggie. They go into a nearby building and find the survivors quickly and get out.
In the R.V., Maggie talks to the doctor they saved, Harlan. It turns out he used to be an OBGYN. (That’s extremely convenient.)
The survivor that Abraham almost killed sits across him and tells Jesus that he saw his wife when he thought Abraham was going to kill him. The camera pans to Abraham, and he’s staring intently at the man.
Finally, they make it to Hilltop and men are guarding the wall with spears. They try and make the group give up their weapons, but Jesus steps in and mediates for them until they can keep them.
“I trust you. You trust us.”
Inside the walls, it looks like a mid-1800s village, and we find out that it was used for historical reenactments before the apocalypse. There’s a huge brick house (Barrington House), FEMA trailers, gardens, livestock, a blacksmith’s shop. It’s incredible.
Once inside, they met Gregory, the leader of Hilltop. He’s a total prick. He cuts off Rick midsentence and won’t see them or talk to him until they go and clean up. Rick manages to hold his tongue, and he tells Maggie that she should be the one who talks to Gregory.
Throughout the episode, Daryl is in the periphery. He’s quick expressing his opinions and very short with his answers. We can tell he doesn’t trust the people around him at all. When Abraham asks him if he ever thought about settling down, Daryl answers, “You think shit’s settled?”
After Daryl says that to him, Abraham tucks the necklace Rosita gave him inside his shirt and out of sight.
The next scene Maggie talks with Gregory, and if we didn’t hate him before, we certainly do now. He purposefully calls her a different name then says, “that’s pretty close” when she corrects him. Maggie’s tough and holds her own against him, though. They talk about Hilltop and Alexandria and what they need from each other. Gregory continues to be slimy and comes onto Maggie, telling her that they can come to Hilltop and work for him and get all the things they need.
Maggie steps up and calls his bluff, but he dismisses her and calls her “Natalie” again. She tells him that they can help each other and Gregory answers:
“We’re doing fine. Are you?”
The scene comes back to Rick talking to Jesus. He tells Rick that Hilltop doesn’t need ammunition because the walls hold, and they just brought in medicine, so the deal Gregory made is the best thing they’re going to get.
Daryl lets him know that Hilltop won’t be the only one receiving things. Rick backs him up saying they need food, and they’re not leaving without it. Jesus asks for a few days to convince Gregory, and Michonne agrees.
At that moment, other Hilltop members arrive at the gate, but they’re missing several people. They were dropping off supplies to Negan, and his men didn’t believe it was enough, so they killed some to prove a point then kept another.
A survivor of the attack, Nathan, tells Gregory that they sent him back with a message. Gregory asks what it is and Nathan says, “I’m sorry” before stabbing Gregory in the stomach. He falls to the ground and all hell breaks loose.
Rick and Michonne grab Nathan and pull him away. Rick is beating on him when another man tries to pull him off, but Abraham tackles him.
Abraham ends up being choked by the guy he tackled, and he hears Sasha’s voice as he thinks he’s going to die. Daryl grabs one of the man’s arms and breaks it, effectively saving Abraham.
Meanwhile, Nathan rolls Rick over and puts a knife to his throat. Glenn comes forward, but Nathan yells for them to stay back. Michonne tells Nathan to drop the knife, and Rick uses that distraction to stab him in the throat.
Everyone at Hilltop stares at Rick like he’s crazy. He looks at them and asks, “What?”
Nathan’s girlfriend? wife? punches Rick and knocks him down, but Michonne isn’t having that and promptly pushes the woman to the ground.
A man with a spear comes forward then and Rick aims his gun at him. Jesus jumps between them and brings peace by pointing out that Nathan was the one who attacked them. Rick and his people saved them.
Daryl goes back to Abraham and asks him if he’s okay, and he tells Daryl he’s better than all right. When he gets up, the necklace Rosita gave him is left lying on the ground.
After the dust settles, they finally talk about Negan. The Saviors came when the walls went up at Hilltop and made demands. The people of Hilltop give half of everything to the Saviors. Supplies, crops, livestock. In return, they don’t attack or kill them.
Daryl asks why they don’t just take them out, and Jesus tells him that they don’t have fighters there. Rick puts forth the plan that they’ll kill the Saviors and Negan in order to get Hilltop’s help with food. Jesus doesn’t think they know what they’re getting in to, but Daryl and Abraham are very confident and so is Rick.
Rick says, “Confrontation is something we’ve never had trouble with.”
Outside, while Jesus talks to Gregory (who’s going to be just fine), Rick tells Michonne, Glenn, and Maggie that all they’ve got is people. This is the only offer they can make, and Maggie tells him that even if they kill Negan, it’s still going to cost them something.
Gregory asks for Maggie to come into his room to discuss things, and Rick tells her that Deanna was right about her being a leader.
Once inside, Gregory complains about the pain to Maggie, and she reminds him that it could have been worse had they not been there. She tells him they can get the man back and kill Negan. In return, Hilltop will give them supplies.
Even after being stabbed, he’s still a jerk because Gregory points out that they’re still doing work for the supplies. Maggie agrees but she knows she has leverage now. Finally, Gregory says that he’ll get supplies to her people. Maggie drives the bargain harder, she wants half of what they have right now.
Before she leaves, Maggie asks for one other thing.
They load up the R.V. with half the supplies, and Rick recruits on of the Hilltop guys who has been on the supply runs to Negan’s to help them find him. Jesus asks if he can come, too. At the door to the R.V., Rick talks to Michonne about the upcoming fight and says, “We’ll win. We have to.”
The scene goes to Maggie and Glenn with the doctor. He has a sonogram machine and soon their baby’s heartbeat fills the room, and we see the baby on the monitor.
In the R.V. on the way back to Alexandria, they pass around the sonogram picture. Michonne gives them a smile then stares stoically at the picture, Daryl looks at it with a sad half smile, Abraham looks at Glenn and smiles.
With so much focus on Abraham this episode, it has me worried for him. When we start to see characters questioning and coming to terms with life events, it usually means their arc is being wrapped up.
I’ll be waiting to see what’s left in store for Abraham this season.
AMC has been keeping the details for 6.12, “Not Tomorrow Yet” under wraps.
With Hilltop coming into play, we’re building up to something huge and with the way they’ve been following the comics so closely, I can’t help but be frightened of what that might be.
Check out to the two sneak peaks below and the few stills they’ve released. With AMC cracking down on spoilers, be prepared to go through a very unrevealing final five episodes when it comes to previews.