This week on The Walking Dead, we see the attack on the Sanctuary from the Saviors’ perspective, and Negan and Gabriel spend some quality time with each other.

How Gabriel Got His Groove Back

Flashback to Gabriel, praying in an empty church. He’s not asking God for forgiveness, but he is hoping to find his purpose. Frankly, I’m still trying to figure out his purpose, so I hope he gets an answer.

In the present time, Gabriel is in the trailer with Negan, who, last we heard, wanted to know if Gabriel was wearing his shittin’ pants. It’s unclear. They’re surrounded by walkers who are scrabbling at the doors and windows, trying to get in, so there’s that. Negan is curious about why Gabriel stopped to help Gregory the weasel. Gabriel tells him about the purpose thing and Negan can’t believe that saving Gregory would be it. Gabriel says no, that’s not it. But he does think he and Negan are there in the trailer together for a reason. Gabriel says, “I think I’m here to take your confession.” He says he became a priest to help people through their weaknesses and Negan is like, “Same!” Negan says people are going to die in the Sanctuary because he’s not there to stop it.

Even In The Apocalypse, There Are Still Meetings

The Walking Dead season 8 episode 5 Simon

Flashback to Gregory, in a room at the Sanctuary, being awakened by Simon who has apparently lovingly prepared him a pancake breakfast. Made with love, he says. He then creepily urges Gregory to “fill your belly with my love” and then they’re off to a meeting. Gregory, meanwhile, cannot kiss enough ass. He’s busily trying to declare his loyalty to the Saviors and show what a good boy he’s been by narcing on Maggie and the Hilltoppers, but Simon needs him to tell it to Negan.

At the meeting, Gregory addresses Negan and his lieutenants who sit around a long conference table. It’s like every sales pitch. He tries to ingratiate himself with Negan by saying he doesn’t like killing people any more than Negan does. However, Negan says he does like killing people. In the right time, in the right place. It makes everything fall into place.

This clearly freaks Gregory out, so he moves on. He offers to solve this whole uprising problem by going back to his people and telling them that if they participate, they will be exiled from the Hilltop. He can stop the whole thing before it starts, he says. Negan, however, is skeptical. Is Gregory still in charge? And if he is, then how come he didn’t know about Maggie leading the Hilltoppers on an assault against his people at Alexandria? Simon thinks Gregory’s plan is great. They give him a chance to persuade everyone and if that doesn’t work, they should “take a flier” to the place and kill everyone there. Negan, who just a few minutes ago said he likes killing people, gets pissed. He reminds Simon that people are a resource. Killing them willy-nilly is wasteful. He also firmly reminds Simon that he, Negan, is the head honcho and he hopes that Simon isn’t backsliding. Simon doesn’t cower, but he assures Negan that he is not. Negan wants to kill Rick, Maggie, and Ezekiel publicly, and in the worst way possible, to make his point. Just then, gunfire sounds, signaling the arrival of Rick and his group.

Nobody Won

Rick and Daryl are on the side of the road with the Yago, the Savior Rick stabbed in the belly last week. Rick wants to know if the Saviors won, back at the chemical plant. Yago says no one won. His people, Rick’s people, they’re all dead. Except for the king, the axe man, and that crazy psycho short-haired bitch. So, now Rick and Daryl know that Ezekiel, Jerry, and Carol survived. Yago tells Rick, “You did this and now they’re all gone.” And then he dies. Daryl watches dispassionately and then walks away. Rick lingers a bit longer and then dispatches Yago’s corpse with his knife to keep him from turning. These little moments, I think, are showing us how Daryl is becoming less and less human.

An Inside Job

After the attack, Negan’s lieutenants are back at the conference table, trying to decide what to do next. Regina thinks Negan is probably dead. Simon says, “I’m Negan.” He asks Regina if she’s saying she’s someone else, and Regina says no. She thinks they should use a bunch of workers as a diversion so that some of the Saviors can get out to warn the outpost. Eugene pipes up, saying the numbers are insufficient and that won’t work. Plus, it will make the workers mad that they’re being used as fodder. If the workers start fighting the soldiers when they’re trapped with limited food and fuel, it will be a disaster. Regina thinks maybe Eugene should be put out there. He’s supposed to be the answer man. Why isn’t he coming up with a solution? Dwight steps in, saying he thinks Eugene is right.

Gavin thinks they’d never make it out, so the next item of business is figuring out who helped make this happen. Obviously, one of them is a traitor. Is it a coincidence that the attack happened in the middle of their crisis management meeting over the Alexandria incident? While the three outpost heads are there? “They knows all and sees all.” He says you can kill a whole bunch of people with just words. Dwight says it’s not going to be them and it doesn’t have to be the workers. (It’s pretty clear the Saviors view the workers as a disposable sub-class of humans.)

Dwight stands up, declaring that they will get out. And he doesn’t want to hear any backbiting or pissing and moaning. He points to Regina and Gavin. “You got a problem with that, come at me.” Then he tells Simon, “If you can’t lead the Saviors out of here, then I will.” Look at Dwight, getting all assertive! Simon likes it. He also assures everyone that they will find the traitor (he looks at Eugene) and make him pay. “Good meeting, people. Now, let’s make today the best today it can be!”

The Walking Dead season 8 episode 5 Eugene Dwight

Later, Eugene visits Dwight in his room to thank him for having his back in the meeting. He knows he’s the most likely suspect for traitor given that he is the newest. He examines Dwight’s chess set. Dwight tells him to hold up because the paint is still wet. He’s made the figurines, who are carved and painted to resemble people, himself. Eugene gets red paint from one of the figurines on his fingers.

These Are My Confessions

In the trailer, Gabriel asks Negan about how he helped the weak before all of this. Negan says he helped kids. If you don’t show them the way, the little assholes grow up to be great big ones. Adults need it, too. People are weak. Gabriel says, “You’re weak. Killing the innocent.” Negan agrees but he says it’s not because he’s killed the innocent. Gabriel wants to know about Negan’s weakness. Negan says everyone is a mix, but you can use your weaknesses to drive your strength. He says the guy who was in charge before him was not in charge. He let people be weak. Negan doesn’t. “You’re gonna see, Gaby. See, I’m gonna make you my new special project.” He’s going to help Gabriel find his special purpose. Gabriel says he is strong. He’s killed. He helped with the attack on the satellite station.

Gabriel urges Negan to confess. They might be dead soon. Doesn’t he want absolution? “It costs you nothing more than saying the truth aloud.” Negan says he hasn’t killed anyone who didn’t deserve it. Gabriel asks about the workers he treats like slaves. Negan says it’s an economy, and no one is going hungry. Gabriel brings up the “wives” Negan’s taken. Negan says every one of them made a choice, but it’s clear that the question shakes him up. He turns his back to Gabriel, who presses him, “Was there a first?” A wife he promised to have and hold, forsaking all others? Then, while Negan is distracted, Gabriel grabs the gun from his waist, ducking into the next room and slamming the door shut.

The Walking Dead season 8 episode 5 Negan Jeffrey Dean Morgan

A walker breaks through the wall and Negan bashes it with Lucille. He tells Gabriel they need to go. Gabriel says he’ll go with him if he confesses. He goes first. He tells Negan about how he locked his congregation out of the church and let them die. And every day he’s trying to lessen that failure. He offers Negan a pardon, penance, and absolution. “Working together as equals is the only true way to grace. To a future.” Negan gives in. His first wife was a real wife, he says. Before all this. He lied to her and cheated. She was sick. And when she died he couldn’t put her down. That is how he was weak. Gabriel opens the door and says, “You’re forgiven.” They paint themselves with the guts of the dead walker and walk out of the trailer, through the herd, toward the Sanctuary.

Rick and Daryl Disagree

Turns out Yago was carrying explosives in his truck. Daryl thinks they should blow open the Sanctuary with it and let the walkers in. That would end the standoff right quick. Rick is against this because there are innocent people in there. “There are people in there who aren’t fighters. Doing this could change that.” It might make the workers take up arms and stand with the Saviors. And the Kingdom is gone. How would they succeed against all of them. Daryl doesn’t care. He is not on board with this plan. “Things change, man. Negan and that other group? This is on them. People die, it’s their fault.” He only cares about their own. Rick tries to stop him and they fight. Daryl gets him in a chokehold.

The Walking Dead season 8 episode 5 Rick Daryl Andrew Lincoln Norman Reedus chokehold

During the tussle, Rick flings the dynamite toward Yago’s burning truck and it explodes. That brings them to their senses. Rick tries to start his Jeep with no luck. He and Daryl have reached an uneasy peace. Rick says they have to stick to the plan. Daryl says they need to win. Also, he says with regard to their fight, “Chokehold’s illegal, asshole.” Daryl, “Uh huh. Yes, it is.” They are SO brothers. Rick says he’ll meet up with him after he finishes the last play.

Saviors Save People

The lieutenants are meeting again. They figure out that there was supposed to be a delivery from the chemical plant that never arrived, so something must have happened. The outposts are getting hit. The workers, meanwhile, have forced their way up the stairs. Simon orders them back downstairs. They’re not allowed off the factory floor. They can go back downstairs or to the outside gardens. The workers refuse, saying it’s too hot and they’re not going back outside. They’re low on food and water. Simon says they’re rationing. Another worker points out that the deal is that they work and the Saviors protect them. Someone asks if Negan is dead. Suddenly, a worker in the crowd pulls a gun. Regina shoots him, saying, “I am Negan!”

Just then, the creepy whistling sounds, letting everyone one know that the actual Negan is in the house. He reminds the workers that HE is Negan. He wants a sandwich, a shower, and a massage. He assures the kneeling workers that he will save them. “Thank God for you!” says a worker. Negan says to Gabriel, “That is why I am here.” Negan tells the lieutenants to lead Gabriel to a cell.

The Walking Dead season 8 episode 5 Negan

Back in the meeting room, the lieutenants realize that the gun the worker had was from their own stash. Which means there is definitely a rat amongst them. Simon says if they can figure out when the guns went missing, they can figure out the timing which will help them figure out who did it. Eugene sees a spot of red paint on the bag of stolen guns and remembers Dwight’s figurines.

The Walking Dead season 8 episode 5 Negan Jeffrey Dean Morgan

Negan tells Eugene he’ll reward him if he can deal with the walker herd problem, but if he can’t, he’ll kill him quickly.

Rick, walking down the highway, sees a helicopter fly overhead. He continues on toward the Scavenger Heaps.

Eugene brings a pillow to Gabriel in his cell. When he opens the door, Gabriel is sick and sweaty. Eugene says Gabriel needs to see Dr. Carson 2.0 right away. Gabriel mutters that they have to get Dr. Carson to Maggie, he’s Maggie’s doctor and she needs him.

Will Eugene rat on Dwight? Is Gabriel really sick or is this another part of the plan? What is the final step in Rick’s plan? We’ll find out next time.

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