All out war has begun, and each group has started taking out the Saviors’ satellite bases. Each group had their own bases to clear and things were going very well. We see several ambushes set up by the Kingdom that took each outpost by surprise, helping secure the victory. We even got a smile out of Carol. However, just like it always does, plans go awry. Somehow at Gavin’s outpost, they knew the Kingdom was coming. All of the automatic guns had been sent over to Gavin to defeat King Ezekiel. That is where the episode ends. We have very little information as to the fate of Carol, King Ezekiel, or the Kingdom.
As Rick, Daryl, Morgan, Jesus and Tara patrol the satellite base that they attacked in episode 612, Rick comes face-to-face with Morales. Morales and Rick knew each other from the beginning of the outbreak after he left the hospital and found Glenn in Atlanta. After the events of season one unfolded, Morales and his family were supposed find their way to Alabama to find extended family, but as we learn in this episode, his family died and he somehow joined Negan and his crew. As fans, we hoped that Morales would remember Rick and turn away from the Saviors to join the Alexandrians.
This proves not to be the case when he delivers a monologue about how they only knew each other for a small time and that Negan is the one who helped him when he lost his family. Rick was able to see a little of who he has become through Morales’s eyes and began a small internal conflict. He tried to reason with Morales, but before they could come to terms with each other, Daryl comes up behind Morales and shoots him in the head, killing him. Rick is completely horrified by this and Daryl responds by saying, “I know who that was, it don’t matter. Not one little bit.”
We are beginning to see juxtapositions between who our characters were (in the beginning) and who they are turning into. In the beginning Rick was innocent and still carried hope for life, but as we see now, he has been reduced to an extremely distrustful man. We have grown with Rick, excusing behavior that we would deem insanity in the world today. Time and again we have seen the “moral compass” meet his/her end because they were unwilling to conform to this new world rule.
We saw it with Dale, Hershel and Glenn. All three met their end because of the light that they still had in their souls. The remaining characters are experiencing this internal conflict and we see pairs that are fighting with each other, trying to get the other one to agree with them. We see it in three pairs: Jesus and Tara, Jesus and Morgan, and Rick and Daryl.
In last week’s episode, a Savior nearly killed both Tara and Jesus because he was able to fool Jesus into thinking he was giving up. Tara knew the plan and wanted to stick to it, just as Rick told them to do. However, Jesus wanted to believe that he was good. As gunfire ricocheted Dean took his opportunity and grabbed Jesus, holding him hostage. Eventually Tara and Jesus were able to subdue him, but Jesus still wanted to keep him alive.
Morgan and Jesus have a similar disagreement, but this time it came down to a physical fight between the two. Again, Jesus wants to keep the Saviors who have surrendered alive and Morgan does not. In Morgan’s opinion, they will never be able to trust them and therefore they need to die. Tara agrees with this logic. Morgan has been evolving and devolving over the last couple of seasons. After the incident with the wolves and now with the Saviors (killing Benjamin was his trigger), Morgan has drifted back in his “clear” mode. He fought Jesus in his trance, much like he did back when Rick found him in the episode, Clear. At the end of the fight, he shakes himself out of his trance and says, “I know I’m not right, but I’m not wrong.”
Similar to all of this is Rick and Daryl. After Rick’s encounter with Morales, he is beginning to see himself for who he has become. Daryl’s coolness toward it upsets Rick very much. Also, at the end when Todd, the last of the Saviors, begins firing at Rick and Daryl, Rick gives him his word that he would let him live if he tells them where the guns were. He tells him that they were sent to Gavin’s outpost. Once the information is provided, Daryl shoots him straight in the head, without hesitation. Again, Rick looks on in horror.
Our groups are dealing with the consequences of their actions, both past and present. How they continue will cement who they are going to ultimately become. Some still hold out that there is still good in the world. Some hold true that there will never be good in this world again, and no one is to be trusted. One thing is for certain: they are only going to beat themselves if they continue to be divided.