Dead or Alive or continues to chug along closer to an eventual showdown between Rick and Negan, but first everyone needs to find their way to Hilltop so they can advance their plans. Daryl is leading the survivors from Alexandria through a walker-infested swamp to get there while Maggie has to make a tough decision on who eats and who starves. Meanwhile, Gabriel and Doctor Carson have escaped the Sanctuary and are looking for refuge. This message is about positioning the pieces for some of the group, and finding meaning in the madness for others. Check out our full recap or Dead or Alive or below.
Dead or Alive or (S8 Episode 11)
Daryl and the Alexandria survivors stealthily pass under a bridge as several Savior scouts hear a message that the priest and doctor are missing. They pass by unnoticed as the scouts move out to search for the escapees. No far into the forest they run across a walker. Tara volunteers to kill it, but as it gets close to her she pushes it towards Dwight.
Later during a rest break, Tara complains to Daryl that Dwight needs die. She doesn’t understand why he is still alive. Daryl and Rosita both tell her that now is not the time. They think that Dwight can still be useful to them.
Daryl is trying to find the best route to the Hilltop when Dwight suggests they should take the swamp to the Hilltop because Negan doesn’t patrol it. He says it is too dangerous for the Saviors. Tara doesn’t think they should trust him. Dwight tells her that he killed his own people so they can trust him because he will be dead if they find him. He says he is there to help defeat Negan and he knows how it ends after that… meaning that he knows he will likely be killed. Daryl agrees to try the swamps.
On the way to the swamp, Dwight tells Daryl that it was his former wife that let him out of his cell at the Sanctuary. He offers to help Daryl clear the walkers from the swamp, but Daryl will not let him have a weapon. Instead, Daryl and Siddiq begin making their way through as they encounter lots of submerged dead who begin rearing their hands above the water. As they clear a path through the swamp, Tara sees a few walkers approaching behind them on land. She volunteers Dwight to help her take care of them, and gives him a knife.
Dwight begins taking out walkers as Tara covers him from behind. He tells her that he is truly sorry about killing Denise. He doesn’t expect forgiveness, he just wants her to know. She says that he should have stayed with the Saviors to which he says he hates Negan. She holds her gun on him, and he asks her what killing him is going to do. Tara says it will make her feel better and then shoots. She misses and he runs, but she catches up to him quickly and holds the gun to his head. She is about to fire when a Savior patrol walks up and they both hide together.
The Saviors are about to walk right into the area where they are hiding, but Dwight jumps out just as they approach and tells them that he barely escaped while the group got away. He plays dumb, and asks what they are doing. They say they are heading toward the swamp, but he says he was just there and no one is there. Tara turns around and finds Rosita watching her.
When Tara returns to the group, Daryl is irate that she took Dwight out there and now he is gone. He is afraid that Dwight will rat them out, but he doesn’t and they eventually arrive at the Hilltop where they must deliver the bad news that Carl died. Enid drops to the ground weeping as Rosita consoles her.
Gabriel and Doctor Carson are sitting in a car on the side of the road trying to figure out where they are. Gabriel tries to read the map, but he is having trouble focusing his eyesight. It doesn’t worry him as he tells the doctor that God is always leading the way. Gabriel’s symptoms appears to be getting worse quickly. Doctor Carson begins is examining him trying to understand what is happening to him as Gabriel hears a banging in the distance. They walk into the forest to investigate and find a house deep in the woods. Gabriel says it may be their salvation.
Inside the house, Gabriel finds a notepad and squints to read what is on it. The note says that the person who lived there was a radio operator and contains a script. Gabriel thinks the radio could have been a sign of hope to survivors out there wandering around. The doctor finds the former radio operator with a plastic bag on his head in the bedroom, and doesn’t think the operator found the hope he had been broadcasting.
The find some antibiotics in the man’s room, which is just what the doctor needed for Gabriel. The next day, Gabriel’s fever has broken, but his eyesight is not improving. Doctor Carson thinks that he may have permanent damage if it doesn’t improve soon. Gabriel explains to the doctor that God provides meaning for him just as he accidentally knocks off a piggy bank that has car keys and a map in it.
They begin looking for the car when Gabriel hears the banging that led them to the house. He suddenly yells stop when the doctor gets stuck in a bear trap and walkers start closing in on him. Gabriel scrambles to save him as the walkers also get stuck in additional traps as they move toward the doctor. The doctor is about to be overrun as Gabriel finds a gun and looks to God to help him see. He tries to focus… fires… and successfully kills the walker on top of the doctor.
The doctor and Gabriel find the truck and get into it when someone from behind says to put their hands up. The Saviors have found them and take them away to the back of their truck. As they sit in the truck, Gabriel tells the doctor that “He” is still leading the way. The doctor says that he can see it now, and steals a gun and shoots a Savior. He is immediately shot and killed afterwards, and Gabriel is distraught. The Saviors leave with Gabriel weeping in the back of the truck.
At the Hilltop, Morgan and Carol are sitting with Henry when one of the Savior prisoners says the kid is creeping them out. He starts telling them that they don’t want to be here when Negan shows up. The kid asks, “Which one of you killed my brother?” Morgan asked why they don’t tell him. Carol doesn’t think he is ready, but Morgan thinks he is a survivor and will be fine.
Maggie is alone in her office when she receives gets bad news that they do not have enough rations, especially if they feed the prisoners. She then walks to the prisoners and speaks with Gregory at his request. He tells her that his behavior has been good, and she says he is staying in there without letting him finish. Another Savior speaks up and tries to tell her that they don’t have to be the enemy. He asks for the prisoners to have time outside the pen, one at a time to see how they do. She tells him that she is cutting off their rations because her people come first and she doesn’t have a choice.
Siddiq comes to Maggie to thank her for her hospitality. She says it is not much, but he says it is everything. He asks about a hospital because he wants to help. Maggie walks over to the prisoners and says they will be taken out in pairs for work, exercise, and medical evaluations. Gregory tells her they should consider evacuating because the Saviors are still coming. She doesn’t agree as Rick and Michonne finally arrive.
At the Sanctuary, Negan tells Eugene that he is disappointed with him. He thought it would all be over by now, and to top it off the doctor and priest are gone. He asks Eugene if he knows how it could have happened. Negan says he will get the whole story out of them when he catches them. Eugene is nervous and changes the subject. He asks about Alexandria, and Negan questions why he cares then he tells Eugene that he will be in charge of his own outpost. He will be in charge of making bullets. Negan needs bullets to take care of Rick and his people. Eugene reminds him about people being resources and Negan says Lucille gets first dibs.
Eugene is in his new bullet shop when one of Negan’s wives walks up. He immediately tells her that she needs gloves and eye protection, and then says she can help by taking his dinner order. Negan busts in as he is ordering her around. Gabriel is with him, and Negan says he told him an interesting story about how he escaped. Gabriel says it was the doctor who helped him escape.
He has brought Gabriel to help Eugene at the outpost. He tells Negan that it will still be a few days before the ammunition is ready. Negan says that does not work for him. As Negan leaves, Gabriel says he thought he found what he was meant to do. Eugene says he has and tells him to get to sorting bullets.
Back at the Sanctuary, Negan explains how a walker bite works to the surrounding Saviors, and explains that they can use it to their advantage. He then beats one with Lucille and pulls skin off with the barb wire. It appears that germ warfare is in the future.
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Featured Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC