The penultimate episode of this season of The Walking Dead, “East,” continued to upset viewers with another death scare, as the season meandered its way toward the arrival of Negan in the 90-minute season finale. The episode set the stage for Negan, but it also delivered some more possibly terrifying news for Maggie and Glenn and maybe, hopefully, set up the end of Carol’s frustrating season-long storyline.
We have a lot of questions after last night’s finale. Here are the most pressing.
1. Is Carol back?
It’s hard to say. She still gets upset over killing, but maybe she finally realizes the value in it. It was good to see the old, badass Carol, though, and the Carol that kills when she has to is what the show desperately needs.
The confrontation between Carol and the Saviors also demonstrated at least one thing (besides the fact that Carol is a helluva seamstress): The Saviors know exactly where Alexandria is. In fact, they’ve clearly visited the front gates because they know about the zombies with spikes through them in the cars out front.
What does that mean? It probably means the series is setting up a visit from Negan to Alexandria in the season finale.
2. What does Proverbs 16:18 have to do with this episode of The Walking Dead?
The Bible passage is never specifically mentioned in the episode, but Rick’s behavior certainly alluded to it. “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” Hubris almost always leads to one’s downfall, and Rick’s hubris was on full display this episode. “When they come for us, we’ll end it. The whole thing,” Rick tells Michonne. “The world’s ours, and we know how to take it … we’re not losing any of it again.” Then later, to Morgan: “[The wrong] hasn’t pulled me down [yet].”
That’s the kind of cockiness that gets a leader in trouble.
3. Was Morgan right all along?
Viewers have been largely mixed on Morgan this season. At first, they were thrilled that he was back, but later on, not so thrilled with his belief system. “All life is precious.”
Those beliefs nearly got Rick killed when Morgan let Wolves escape and they tried to ambush Rick in the RV. It also nearly got Denise killed when the Wolf that Morgan locked up took Denise hostage. It was a really annoying philosophy for a show about killing zombies. However, he was right about the Wolf that took Denise, and most importantly, he was right to caution Rick against preemptively attacking the Saviors.
The most compelling case for Morgan’s belief system, ironically, comes in Carol, as Morgan explained to Rick. Rick’s decision not to kill Carol after she burned those two bodies alive in the prison led to Carol leaving, but then coming back and saving everyone. “People can come back, Rick.”
And always remember this …
Perhaps, however, Carol’s current belief system is the best, as described by Rick: Carol may not want to kill, but she can because she has to, and “sometimes you have to.” That should’ve been Rick’s approach: Kill the Saviors if necessary, but not until it is necessary. Rick didn’t “end it” with the Saviors. He started a war.
4. Who was the guy looking for a horse?
The guy “looking for his horse” also happened to be in an area surrounded by freshly dead zombies. He didn’t look like the surviving Savior from the encounter with Carol. Who was he? Was he important, or simply there to serve as a prompt for Morgan to confess to Rick about keeping the Wolf?
5. Was that a goodbye from Rick to Morgan?
When Rick joked to Morgan that Michonne had stolen his protein bar, right after asking if Morgan was coming back, it felt like one of those “moments.” It felt like Rick was thanking Morgan for his whacked out belief system, because — in an end around kind of way — it saved Carl’s life. That “moment,” however, also felt like a goodbye, like Rick might not be seeing Morgan again. Morgan may not die at Negan’s hand next week, but he may die saving Carol, and that surviving Savior tailing Carol may very well be the reason. (Hopefully, if Morgan dies, it’s the thing that snaps Carol out of her funk.)
6. So, Sasha and Abraham, huh?
Yup. That makes three mixed-race couples, a lesbian couple, and a gay couple on The Walking Dead. Quietly, a show once criticized for killing off all the black characters has become one of the most diverse and progressive shows on television. That progressivism extends to the production of the show, as well.
7. Is Maggie having a miscarriage?
It sure looks like it. With Judith, a miscarriage would, tragically, spare The Walking Dead of the two baby problem. Then again, maybe Negan should kill Glenn to save him from the news that Maggie lost their baby.
There’s also the (very remote) fear that a miscarried baby becomes a zombie and eats Maggie from the inside.
8. Why did Maggie cut her hair short?
After all that concern over Lauren Cohan cutting her hair short, it turned out to be a lot of nothing. She cut it to keep anything from “getting in her way.” Maybe Cohan just really wanted shorter hair working out in the hot Georgia heat all day.
9. Did Dwight kill Daryl?
No. He shot him in the shoulder or the arm. End of story. Twitter sure freaked out, though.
That said, Daryl should have f*cking listened to Glenn.
10. Who will Negan kill in the season finale?
Quite possibly, he won’t kill anyone in the season finale. Quite possibly, it will end on a cliffhanger. However, it looks very possible that Daryl, Rosita, Michonne, Glenn and maybe Carol and Morgan will be in the mix as potential candidates for Negan’s bat, Lucille.