The mid-season finale titled, How It’s Gotta Be, brings lots of action before the break in the season. The Saviors are finally able to get out of the trap that Rick set for them, not thanks to Daryl. Rick is finally able to join back up with the group, and Carl… well, I better just let you read about Carl below because that’s How It’s Gotta Be.
How It’s Gotta Be (S8 Episode 8)
The episode begins with Rick looking at the hole that Daryl made and gets on the radio to ask for a report. A flashback plays of Carl and Rick walking down the road talking about why they are fighting. Carl says they should be fighting for a future of peace. Rick doesn’t seem convinced.
After receiving no response on the radio, Rick is walking toward the Sanctuary with Jadis and the Scavengers when they come under fire. Jadis and her crew take off running but Carol pulls up with Jerry, and Rick jumps in.
Aaron and Enid are driving and it makes Aaron reminisce of taking earlier trips with Eric. He wants to make sure that Eric died for a reason. They are heading toward Oceanside and hope they get to talk to them before they are killed. They need to convince them to join their cause. Enid pulls off ahead of their route to stop at an old distillery to bring them a gift in hopes it appeases them.
Enid and Aaron have taken a truck from the distillery. They are now driving separately and have parked the cars. It is night and as they are resting in their car, Aaron notices a figure moving by the distillery truck. They get out to investigate. It is a woman from Oceanside. One of them has Aaron pinned on the ground and Enid fires and kills her. More women come out and take them captive.
At Alexandria, Michonne tells Judith goodbye as she gets ready to head out again. She talks to Daryl as they are getting ready to head back to the Sanctuary. They think they have them pinned in and they will be ready to give up. Carl writes a note to his dad and leaves it in an envelope. He is upset about something and he looks at Enid’s phrase – Just Survive Somehow. Tara tells Rosita that their plan worked and the walkers are now inside the Sanctuary. Rosita says they should go finish them then.
Ezekial is still sitting alone on his stage. He is reading a note from Sam when he hears a commotion outside. He goes running out the back as Negan’s people come in. Outside, the Savior, Gavin, addresses the crowd and says that moving forward, all their produce belongs to Negan. They also have to go to the Sanctuary and repair the damage while Negan’s men takeover the Kingdom.
Gavin continues by announcing that Ezekiel has to answer for all of this. They haven’t found him yet though. Gavin says something traumatic will happen if they don’t give him up right now. Nobody immediately gives him up… Gavin says they have 5 minutes, then its Negan’s way.
Ezekiel sets an explosion with a bunch of gas drums. When the distraction forces away Negan’s men, he pulls in with a bus for everyone to escape. Carol shows up to save him, and he closes the gate on her as he says “save them like you saved me.” He is captured, and Gavin is asking Ezekiel why he had to do this while Morgan is sneaking up around the perimeter listening to what is happening.
Jesus and Maggie are driving in a caravan. They think they are heading to Negan’s surrender when Maggie sees something and says slow down. It’s a tree down in the road and she knows it is Negan’s doing. She tries to radio to her men in back, but when she turns around, she sees headlights coming from behind. A box truck pulls in front of them and opens its doors. The men in the cars behind them draw guns on the rest of the caravan. Jerry is in the box truck. They pull him out and place a box against their truck… a casket.
Simon gets out and addresses them. He tells them to handover their guns. If they don’t, his man will shoot Jerry and all the people in the cars if anyone tries anything. They hand them over. Simon tells her that they are taking over the Kingdom and Alexandria as they speak, but the hilltop gets to keep producing for everyone.
He says that Gregory made a fool out of him, but he hopes that Maggie will make it right. Simon also tells her that Eugene helped them get out of the walker trap. He tells her that he can kill Jerry, drag her out, and put her in the box where they take her to hilltop and kill her only to put her on a spike then they will lead the walkers to the hilltop as payback, or she can turn and go home. She can save everyone and start farming, but they will have to kill one of her people. He then shoots the guy sitting behind her. Maggie tells him that he doesn’t need to continue, but she wants the box to take her dead person, Neal, home in. Simon agrees.
Maggie arrives back at the hilltop. She has one of the prisoners removed and asks for a gun. It is one that tried to kill Jesus. She shoots him. She says the Saviors killed one of theirs and killing this one was a start. She tells Jesus they need to start preparing more food because the hilltop may be the place of the last stand. Maggie puts the dead Savior in a coffin and writes a note that they have 38 more.
Negan’s pulls a truck through Alexandria’s gate. He is sure Carl is still there. He tells his crew to find Carl and tie him up. They are also to blow up every other house while he goes to Rick’s to make spaghetti. Two men nearly find him, but he sneaks into the sewer grate before they can reach him.
Carl is removing a manhole in Alexandria when Michonne comes up and asks what he’s doing. He says he is helping a traveler, but just then Negan shows up and tells them that they lose. He says he is going to kill the person with the worst excuse for their attack and then he will kill Rick in front of them all. Rick is not there, but as Carol, Rick, and Jerry are making their way back, a car crashes into them.
As Negan continues to goad the Alexandrian’s, Carl is planning their escape. Michonne wants to fight, but Carl says its his plan and they will let them have Alexandria. They only have to last the night. As Negan’s three-minute timer runs out, Carl yells out that Rick is not home. He tells Negan there are families and kids inside. Negan tells him there were families at the Sanctuary and outposts too. He says there are going to have to be punishments and apologies to move forward. Carl tells him to kill him then, and Negan asks if he wants to die. Carl says no, but he will if it can stop what he is doing. He asks Negan if this was the plan… if it is who he wanted to be.
As they exchange words, two dumps trucks ram through a barricade that Dwight was guarding. Negan’s hears them and becomes irate with Carl. The Saviors start firing on Alexandria. Carl is trying to escape as explosions ring out around him. He drops smoke grenades all around as a car blows up and knocks him down.
While all this is happening, the clock strikes midnight in Eugene’s room. He sits up and takes a drink of wine then lays back down. He is alone and upset as Carl is moving through Alexandria trying to make his way out. He is injured now. He stops against a house and runs away just before it is destroyed.
Eugene goes to see Father Gabriel, and tells him that he will help the doctor get to the hilltop. He makes it clear that he is not personally helping them though, but he gave a guard diarrhea so they could escape. Gabriel asks why he is helping them now. He says because he plans on sleeping tonight. He also drops keys for them and then leaves the room.
Tara and Daryl are hiding in the forest. As a Savior convoy approaches, they throw a smoke bomb out and Dwight drives them right into it. Darryl and his crew take them all out while Dwight hides and takes some of them out too. One of the Savior women comes around the corner and shoots him… non-fatally. She knows it was him now, but she gets shot shortly after.
The convoy has been destroyed, and Dwight yells to Daryl that it’s over. He tells the Daryl he helped get the convoy in place for them. Daryl asks how they got out of the Sanctuary. He tells him it was Eugene, and that he still wants to help them and that he wants Negan to die. Daryl takes his vest back, and Michonne says they need to get back to Alexandria now. Daryl opens a sewer grate close to Alexandria and they all hop in. Michonne is the last one up top. She closes the lid and doesn’t come down.
Rick shows up at Alexandria. He makes his way in and goes to his house yelling for his family when he is sucker punched by Negan. He hits Rick once with Lucille and tries to several more times. They begin going at it as he knocks Negan down and grabs Lucille, but Negan regains his position and knocks him out the window. Rick runs outside.
Michonne is back in Alexandria making her way toward their house when one of the Saviors grabs her, but she takes him out quickly. Rick finds her as she is cutting him to pieces. He asks where his family is, and she leads him down in the sewer where everyone is hiding. At the back of the tunnel, he finds the stranger that Carl tried to get him to help. The man tells him that he brought them there. Carl is sitting at the back of the tunnel. When Rick arrives, he lifts up his shirt and reveals that he has been bitten.
Check out our other coverage of The Walking Dead, and tell us what you thought of How It’s Gotta Be in the comments below.
Featured Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC