This week’s episode pairs a new The Walking Dead writer, Eddie Guzelian (Blood Punch) with a director in the regular rotation, Michael E. Satrazemis. The episode avoids gimmicks this week in favor of a more straightforward episode divided into four storylines: Gabriel and Carson; Dwight and the Alexandrians; Maggie at The Hilltop; and Negan and Eugene. The theme of the week seems to be “God has a plan,” but ask most of this week’s characters, and they might suggest that either there is no God or that God has a very cruel sense of humor.
Things continue to go sideways for the Alexandrians fleeing their sacked community and heading toward The Hilltop. Along for the hike is Dwight, with whom the Alexandrians have a very uneasy alliance. At this point, they’re only keeping him around because they believe he can help them defeat Negan. Meanwhile, Dwight understands that, even if he eventually aids the Alexandrians in that effort, they will kill him anyway. He doesn’t care. He hates Negan more than he wants to live, although he still holds out hope that Sherry is out there somewhere (perhaps the show is holding her in reserve in case they need to hastily replace Maggie’s storylines from the comics in the event that Lauren Cohan doesn’t return).
Meanwhile, Tara clearly hates Dwight more than she wants to defeat Negan, and for good reason: Dwight killed Tara’s girlfriend, Denise, and Tara is in no mood to forgive Dwight. There is some hypocrisy to that, considering that Glenn and the Alexandrians forgave Tara for aligning with The Governor, the man who killed Hershel. Nevertheless, at her first opportunity, Tara tries to kill Dwight, which leads to a chase that nearly lands them in trouble with a group of Saviors. Dwight, however, proves once again that he’s on #TeamRick by sparing Tara’s life and rejoining the Saviors, who don’t realize that he has not only betrayed them but killed several others. Though the Alexandrians have lost him as a resource for the time being, Dwight has finally won the trust of Tara. (Daryl, meanwhile, remains skeptical of Dwight’s motives.)