With the group dealing with the loses they’ve sustained and the prisoners they’ve taken, The Walking Dead is leaving their own community vulnerable. Here’s our review of “The King, the Widow, and Rick”!
The Walking Dead has spent this first half of its eighth season giving loyal fans callbacks to the times when we were truly in love with the show. At first, I really enjoyed these little pieces of character and scenes from the past that made me love the show. Now, I feel like they’re pulling me into a place that further illustrates the show seems to have lost its way.
I say this because our characters are relying on moral compasses that can’t exist anymore, especially since the Saviors (as a group) will never adopt this conscious. Some people thrive on power, control, and fear. Most Saviors feel this way, or that Negan is actually an answer to their prayers.
The title of the episode, “The King, the Widow, and Rick” follows these three main groups. Rick seems to actually be a combination of Rick, Carl, Michonne, Rosita, Daryl, and Tara since Rick finds himself in a bit of a jam after meeting Jadis.
The start of the episode begins with a voiceover from the main cast members. It sounds a lot like the way history programs read the letters of soldiers during war over photos or video. Is this whole season one giant flashback? This has been nagging me a lot since the episode aired, and I’m very curious to find out if that’s the case.
Now, let’s break down where each leader is at as we enter the downslide to the midseason finale.
After suffering the devastating loss of Shiva, Ezekiel has completely turned in on himself. He’s keeping away from the group, and even though I’m sure he didn’t ask, Jerry is watching the door to his theater stage diligently.
Carol does get through to speak with Ezekiel after a brief trip into the woods with Henry. She confronts the boy for following her, telling him that kids that get lost in the woods are monsters by the time they’re found.
This is clearly a nod to Sophia, her daughter who ran into the woods in Season Two after being chased by walkers. The next time we see Sophia, she’s stumbling out of Hershel’s barn as a walker. The kicker here, Henry is played by Madison Lintz’s (Sophia) little brother, Macsen.
Back to Ezekiel, Carol speaks with him, and tells him that his people need him, and he tells her that she could lead them. Carol doesn’t want that burden, and they have a very frank conversation about what they are to each other, and my Carol/Ezekiel feels lived.
I can’t be what they need. So, please just leave me alone.
Why did you keep coming to visit me?
It was my duty. To make sure you were okay.
I was okay. Why did you really?
You just made me feel real. Not a fiction. Real.
You are real. To me. To the Kingdom. Those people need their king to lead them.
You. You could lead them.
But it has to be you. 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. Henry needs you. Those people need King Ezekiel, and if you can’t be the king, then do what you do best and play the part. I have to act every day. It used to bother me, but this is who I am, and I am still standing. I just have to act like everything is normal until it is. It’s what they need, and it’s what you have to give them.
In the end, Ezekiel continues to sit on the stage, holding Shiva’s chain. She gave her life to save him, and that’s a lot of for him to deal with considering all the things the Savior told him before– that she was his whole persona, but we know that’s not true. Ezekiel needs to come back for reasons that are very evident at the end of this episode.
Maggie has taken over as leader of The Hilltop, and she’s been thinking about what she needs to do with the Saviors that Jesus brought back from his part of the mission.
Gregory advocates their death, but he doesn’t see how this would put him in there with them since he betrayed Hilltop. I guess he was a little peeved that he’d been running the show and Maggie showed up and everyone took to her over him. He’s a dick, though. I feel no sympathy for him.
After she tells Gregory to get out of her office, Maggie continues to fiddle with Hershel’s pocket watch that he gave to Glenn. These two people had some of the purest hearts and rational thinking on the show…but it was always a “before” mentality. A “we can all change” mentality. It seems everyone has forgotten that the people we’re working with now aren’t interested in being friends.
In the end, Maggie chooses to allow the Saviors into Hilltop, but she has an outdoor cell created for them with logs and barbed wire. Then she happily throws Gregory’s lying ass in there, too.
One Savior seems to really like Jesus and tries to talk to him. I can see this problematic ship eventually sailing, too. Mark me.
The Savior who killed Benjamin and taunted Morgan catches the butt of an assault rifle to the head courtesy of Maggie because he won’t shut up. If only she’d have made an example of him because he’s going to try something…
He even says it to the Savior who’s interested in Jesus. They’ll get out, kill everyone, and take it back.
This Savior that’s straddling the fence may be the key to keeping Hilltop alive and show Maggie that while the notion is nice, not all of these guys is worth saving.
Rick (and Team Family)
Needless to say, I’m not happy with Rick. He went to Jadis, who has already turned on him once, with polaroids of what he did to Negan’s Sanctuary and outposts. He told her that she could still stand with them.
She reminds him that she shot him, and he argues that it was just a graze, implying that she could have killed him at such close range but didn’t. Personally, I think Jadis knows about Negan’s desire to kill Rick and didn’t shoot to kill.
He offers her the opportunity to switch sides again, hoping the display of the carnage will get her back on their side, but it doesn’t, and she has Rick taken away.
Later, we see that he’s been stripped and placed in a storage car (Hi, Terminus!) then Jadis comes by and marks an ‘A’ on it. (Hi, Terminus, again! And Daryl’s clothing reference from the Sanctuary.)
Carl and Siddiq
Instead of staying in the safe zone (this season’s answer to Carl never staying in the house), Carl heads out into the woods to find the young man that Rick scared off before.
He finds Saddiq and asks him the three questions:
How many walkers have you killed?
How many people have you killed?
We also learn that he kills walkers to free their souls because his mother believed that was the only way to save them. Carl and Saddiq have a bonding moment while talking about keeping their mother’s memories alive.
Carl helps Saddiq kill the walkers in the woods, and tells Saddiq that he’s his responsibility now. When Saddiq questions whether or not Rick will accept him at the safe zone, Carl tells him that parents need to learn from their kids, too.
Daryl, Tara, Michonne, and Rosita
Michonne and Rosita decided they needed to see the Sanctuary so they leave the ASZ, too. On their way there, they hear music playing and stumble upon the “fat lady” the Saviors have mentioned before.
Fighting ensues between Rosita, Michonne, and two Saviors. Rosita finds an RPG and blows up on Savior, but the other one gets away while Michonne is distracted by what Rosita just did. She drives the “fat lady” (a big truck with loads of speakers) away, music blaring.
“Right place, right time” Daryl Dixon shows up, though.
Once they’re together, they ask each other why they’re out there. Rosita and Michonne want to see the Sanctuary. Daryl and Tara want to go there, too, but they have other plans. At the Sanctuary, Rosita and Michonne see the destruction and carnage.
That’s when Daryl pulls out explosives and goes to finish the job and blow up the Sanctuary like he wanted to do in the first place.
It appears that no one is following the game plan anymore, and I fail to believe it was Rick’s endgame to get locked in a storage container, so we’re up a creek, guys.
At present, Rick, Michonne, Daryl, Tara, Rosita, and Carl are all away from the ASZ, leaving it wide open for attack from the Saviors.
Maggie has let foxes into the henhouse.
The Kingdom is without its King.
All of this could add up to some serious heartbreak for the midseason finale December 10th. What did you think about “The King, the Widow, and Rick”? Any predictions for next week’s episode, “Time for After”?
The Walking Dead airs Sundays on AMC at 9/8c!