The Walking Dead continues it’s callbacks to early episodes with its third episode of the eighth season. Team Family must comes to terms with what being alive this far in the apocalypse means and what you had to do to get here. Here’s our recap for “Monsters”!
“Monsters” opens with Ezekiel giving his followers a rallying speech, explaining that the Saviors have the numbers, but they have a strategy.
He boasts that they won’t lose a single one of their ranks as long as they stick to the plan, but that’s sort of like digging your own grave on The Walking Dead. After they’re seemingly ambushed by the Saviors, a group led by Carol pops around and they kill all the Saviors that tried to stop them.
Ezekiel smiles and Shiva roars beside him. Carol smiles, too. I’m not sure if she’s placating Ezekiel because they’re both great pretenders or if she’s really happy with the way things have turned out.
Finally, we pick up where the previous episode ended: Morales has a gun trained on Rick and he’s telling him that Negan is coming. He’s under strict orders not to kill the Widow, the King, or Rick…unless absolutely necessary.
“I guess we’re not the same guys we used to be, huh? Because you’re a monster.”
Those are some strong words from Morales who works for Negan.
“You’re always the guy willing to rush in. But why? What are you looking for?”
Back at the outpost where the Alexandrians are fighting, walkers are eating the Saviors and they have now turned their attention from the ASZ people to walkers infiltrating their own outpost.
Aaron as helped Eric away from the fight, but Eric is seriously wounded. It’s a straight through-and-through in the abdominum.
Eric slides down the tree and leans against it.
Aaron apologizes and Eric asks if he was the one who shot him. What follows is a very emotional goodbye between the two of them as Eric tells him to go back and fight because they need him.
“Look at me. You know I love you. You know I’m right. Okay. Now, stand your ass up and get back to the fight and you wind this thing.
“I will. We will. I love you.”
“I always had a hunch.”
Aaron leaves Eric knowing that he’s going to die against that tree.
Meanwhile, Jesus, Morgan, and Tara are leading their hostage Saviors to Hilltop. Tara aims her gun and pretend fires.
One Kingdom person says that when they get to Maggie, she’ll know what to do with the hostages and Tara says, “Yeah. Because she knows what they did.”
I don’t think that decision is going to be the easiest since Maggie has taken after Glenn and Hershel on the forgiving end of things.
One Savior continues to whistle a happy turn in Morgan’s ear, and Morgan doesn’t like it at all. Jesus tries to take his mind off things, by saying that they’ll take the men to Hilltop and they’ll decide what to do with them from there.
“You know how dangerous these people are. What they did.”
“No matter what they’ve done. They’re people.”
We really need to stop this mercy bullshit because it’s going to end badly.
Back with Rick, he asks about Morales’ family and he reveals that they never made it to Birmingham. His family is dead.
Rick tries to connect with him over the loss, explaining he has lost Lori, Shane, Andrea, and Glenn. People Morales might remember from way back in Atlanta.
“Negan killed him. Put him on his knees and bashed his head in. In front of his pregnant wife.”
“He had a wife?”
“Yeah, in this. She’s the Widow. Are you Negan, too?”
Morales explains how after his family was killed he changed, and that yes, he’s Negan, too. They’ve all changed for the worse to get where they are now, and just like the man Morales was has died with his family, the man Rick was has died along with all the people he mentioned before, too.
“And somewhere along the way, Officer Friendly died right along with them.”
Then Daryl comes in and shoots Morales with a bolt. Rick tries to say who the man was, but Daryl knew when he killed him.
“I know who he is. It don’t matter. Not one little bit.”
He says it so matter-of-factly and pulls the bolt loose from Morales’ head like it’s not big deal. This is the EXACTLY the opposite of Daryl’s character development pre-S4B. Rick tries to tell him that Morales has called the Saviors back, but they bust through the downstairs doors before Rick has a complete chance to explain.
Morgan is continuing to walk beside the whistling Savior, and that’s when he starts talking shit to Morgan.
He starts saying that Morgan’s armor is too small for him, and then
“Was that the kid’s? Didn’t do shit for him.”
Discussing Benjamin’s death is way too much for Morgan, and he aims his gun at him, but walkers start rolling down the hill next the them. Saviors are tied together with no way out and Morgan is trying to shoot them. Some Saviors get bit and some back a run for him.
Morgan chases after the group that went into the woods. They’re still tied together and one falls down. Morgan catches up to them and kills one. Jesus prevents him from killing the others, and Morgan finally hits home to the point that he’s battling with.
He feels like they are all just like the Saviors.
“We are the same. We’re the same. We are the same. There’s no choice. We’re all the same.”
This echoes Morales’ statement earlier that he and Rick are the same. Which echoes even further back to S2, “Nebraska”, where Dave tells Rick, “Where all the same. Ain’t nobodies hands clean in what’s left of this world.”
Morgan kicks Jesus away and starts fighting him, as Jesus tries to calm him down.
We finally pick up with Ezekiel, Carol, and the Kingdom as they continue walking through the woods.
They’ve killed one garrison, but there are probably three, so there’s still more fighting left.
“But our first victory will allow our second. Our second will deliver our third.”
Rick and Daryl run through the outpost they’re at as they’re overrun with Saviors. The shooting forces them to split up again into separate rooms for cover. There’s far too many Saviors for the two of them and they’re running out of bullets.
After Daryl says he’s out, Rick shoots a fire extinguisher, causing them to get together again and kill a couple more Saviors.
That’s when we hear Aaron call out and Rick tell him they’re by the elevators.
Reinforcements have arrived.
Jesus and Morgan continue to fight. Morgan is out to kill with his staff, but Jesus knocks him down again.
This fight continues until Jesus takes Morgan’s staff from him.
“Is it over, Morgan?”
He throws the staff back, and Morgan immediately goes for Jesus’ throat.
“Is it over, Morgan?”
“Why? I’m not right. I know that. I’m not right, but that doesn’t make me wrong. I can’t be apart of this.”
That seems to snap him out of it and Tara tells him that he is right, but Morgan walks off into the woods alone. He’s done with this group. He’s done with everyone.
Back at Hilltop, Gregory arrives…
It takes a while for anyone to open the gates for him. He plays the victim, saying he’s been through Hell, and he built this place. He didn’t just show up.
Maggie meets him at the gate and asks where Gabriel is and what he’s doing here. He denies knowing anything about Gabriel, and when he gets whiny, Maggie uses her stern mom voice on him.
In the end, Gregory tells Maggie that he went there because he thought they’d lose. He apologizes, says he made a mistake and wants back in. Instead of Maggie sticking by her guns, he asks if she has no mercy, and Maggie lets him in.
And I’m officially done because I’m so tired of our group letting people back in who are total pieces of shit.
For a moment, Maggie has that same feeling when Jesus brings up the Saviors, but caves.
“You know what they’ve done to us? What they’ve taken from us?”
“We can’t kill them. We can’t.”
Back at the outpost where Aaron was at, walkers are eating everyone, and the group is putting them down.
All the while, Rick is walking around, taking snapshots for Negan. He makes a note for Negan it appears and folds it in half.
We finally go back to see that Eric is no longer by the tree. Aaron looks up to see Eric as a walker going into the woods. He sobs as he follows after him. He’s stopped by another member of his group who tells him that the walker isn’t Eric and they have to go.
So Aaron doesn’t even get to put Eric out of his misery and bury him like he should be able to, which is awful.
This could be a very unique way of killing off Morgan, though. His son was killed because he couldn’t kill his wife after her turn, and now Morgan may die because Aaron couldn’t kill Eric before he wandered off into the woods.
Aaron sits by himself and looks at the blood on his hands while Rick talks in the background. He hears the baby crying, and Rick brings her out and hands her off to Aaron, who says he’ll take her to Hilltop where she’ll be safe.
Rick asks if he was sure, and Aaron tells him that he was going to go with Eric after anyway to tell Maggie what happened.
“Please? I have to.”
“Her name’s Gracie.”
Rick tells Daryl bye, and Daryl tells him if he’s gone, too long, he’ll come looking for him. That’s when they’re shot at from a distance.
Rick tells them that he knows they’re alone because there’s no way two could fit behind the tree. He makes a deal, and says that if this guy tells him what he needs to hear, they’ll let him go free.
“A man’s word has got to mean something, right?” [‘NEBRASKA’ SO MUCH OMG]
Rick asks about the guns and the young gun tells him that they had guns here, but they got moved the day before to Gavin’s outpost.
He asks if he can go, and Daryl shoots him right in the head before walking off, asking:
“Which team’s at Gavin’s?”
Rick gave his word. Not Daryl, and if you haven’t noticed, Daryl Dixon isn’t taking shit some anyone this season.
It turns out it’s Ezekiel’s team, and they have no idea the Saviors have these weapons and they’re walking into a trap.
Ezekiel sees the guns and yells for everyone to scatter as the Saviors ran down bullets on them. Several of his men yell, “Cover the King!” and are shot as they jump on top of Ezekiel pushing him to the ground. That moment earlier when he said they wouldn’t lose a single person…yeah…what did I tell you, Ezekiel!
Next week, it looks like we have Daryl and Rick rushing to Gavin’s outpost in hopes of saving the Kingdom people there. Will they make it in time before some are taken hostage or even killed? What does this mean for Ezekiel and Carol? Will Jerry survive?!
Tell us what you think about “Monsters” and look for our preview of “Some Guy” later this week!