The second half of this season has been very different than the first. While the beginning was fast paced and sit on the edge of your seat at all times. The second has been much slower. Not necessarily in a bad way, but more in exploring the characters rather than them reacting to the situations around them. This past weeks episode, Knots Untie, really starts to show how everyone and everything is changing for our group. Spoilers ahead.
After making sure Rick and Michonne were up, Jesus is found by a gun wielding Carl and then told about how his ‘parents’ are getting dressed. I don’t know if Carl was actually surprised by this as he does have
eyes an eye in his head. Rick goes into almost dad levels of embarrassment trying to make it alright with Carl that he and Michonne just happened. I think we were all with Carl when he just wanted his dad to stop as soon as possible.
Once everyone is dressed and knows about Richonne being a thing, and I assume paying whoever won in the betting pool, they get down to a meeting where Jesus explains that he is from a place called Hilltop and that he was sent out to not only find supplies and people, but also other places to partner up and make trades. He has decided that he wants to trade with Alexandria.
Why anyone would trust Jesus at this point is beyond me, and I don’t think Rick actually does, but he still goes along with the plan to load everyone up and go to this mysterious Hilltop. Even pregnant Maggie goes. Why? I don’t know, it’s Rick and co. and they have more ammo than sense half the time.
Did I mention everyone is in an RV? It gave me serious Dale feels.
The group has to stop off before they reach Hilltop when they see a wreck on the side of the road. Conveniently for television and inconveniently for Jesus, it’s some of his people. Some are dead and already walker-fied, but others are trapped in a building. They leave Maggie alone with Jesus (again why?) while they go inside and rescue them all.
We find out that it was the Saviors who wrecked them and that one is a doctor, an obstetrician. Again, convenient for television. Just saying. They reach Hilltop and it reminded me more of an old west town, there was even a blacksmith. Still it was really nice seeing another settlement. It was clean, organized and no one had W’s cut into their foreheads, eating people or calling themselves the Governor. Definitely a step above all the other neighbors Rick and co have ever met.
We find out more about Hilltop. While they are rich when it comes to food and medicine, they don’t have any ammunition and mostly rely on their fists, knives or made weapons. This explains Jesus being a ninja. We meet their leader, Gregory.
Gregory, to be frank, is a dick. He’s vain, he condescending and seems a bit cowardly. Rick can’t stand the sight of him and sends Maggie to deal with Gregory instead. Also Rick can’t stand not being in charge. We find out that Gregory is also smart, business minded and astute. Not attributes that one can rely on when brute strength is needed during an apocalypse, but very much needed once it calms down and people start to rebuild. This is why the people of Hilltop keep him around. He is quite the jerk to Maggie and a deal seems off the table, but then some more people from Hilltop come back and one of them stabs Gregory and gets in a fight with Rick.
Rick stabs a guy in the neck, killing him. Then a woman punches him and Michonne knocks her down and then with blood all over him and pointing a gun he asks, “what?” to the crowd of horrified Hilltop people. Thankfully Jesus is there to calm everyone down and we find out that the Saviors took some of their people and the only way to get them back was if they killed Gregory.
We finally find out more about the Saviors. It’s the same group that Daryl blew up partially up before. They are obviously bullies and have taken the old mob routine of pay us off and we won’t ruin/kill you. Hilltop has to give over half of everything just to appease them and that’s obviously not enough anymore. No one actually said that, but its obvious from the two incidents with the other Hilltop people and what we saw of them trying to take from Daryl, Sasha and Abraham. They want it all now and they will pick them off as they go.
Maggie is able to hammer out a deal than with a recovering Gregory to have half of their stuff and they’ll get rid of the Saviors (shouldn’t have been a dick Gregory, hahaha). It’s the only deal that can be made as Alexandria is running low on food and medicine after the walker meet and greet from weeks ago and Rick and co are pretty much only good at one thing-taking people out.
I can’t help but wonder if this isn’t part of what was happening before, where our group was having such a hard time assimilating to the Alexandrians. That they couldn’t settle down and civilize themselves. Did they jump into this fight too quickly? Did they want to? Could they have not also made a deal to give them weapons (which they have plenty of) for some food instead of the current deal that puts many of them at risk?
As Maggie had said to Rick in a foreshadowing moment, “It’s gonna cost us something.”
Most comic fans know of the possible death coming up that was teased before. It really hit home with the final scenes of the group heading back and passing around Maggie’s ultrasound picture. It made me have such dread in an otherwise happy and quiet moment for the group.
Other things that happened:
- Sasha broke up with Abraham sort of through a new guard duty position even though they weren’t technically going out.
- Where the heck is Carol and Morgan? Did Rick put them in a basement to chill the heck out for awhile? They briefly mentioned Carol and the fact she wasn’t there at the moment, but didn’t elaborate the where or why.
- Carl saying a kid with a messed up face wouldn’t make the best first impression maybe broke my heart a bit.
- Abraham asking Glenn if he meant to make pancakes when he poured the bisquick.
Overall I did like the episode, it was much slower paced than I had become used to from the previous half of the season. I wish a bit more had happened, but I know they wanted to dedicate this episode to focusing on Hilltop. Pacing problems aside, I know the series is setting up for something big, hopefully in the next episode.
What did you think of this episode? Tell me in the comments below or find and follow us on twitter, @thenerdygirlexp and my personal one, @quietlikeastorm. I’ll be live tweeting the new episode as well so make sure to join in for that at 9:00PM, this Sunday on AMC!
Here is a preview of the next episode: