Rachel was busy this last weekend, so here I am with The Walking Dead recap of Episode 11, Knots Untie. Let’s jump right in this sucker, ‘cause it’s time to check out the living and the dead.
RT: Thank you so much for stepping in and doing this Cassidy! 😀
CF: Any time; it wasn’t a problem.
- Abraham and Sasha are entering the main gate of the Alexandria Safe Zone after returning from a patrol, and he’s going on about one he did in Afghanistan that seems to have something to do with a camel eating keys, which she’s not buying. He’s making it clear he’s a bit freaked about Maggie being pregnant, but Sasha’s blowing it off, giving him the “You’re a dumb fuck” look. He says he’ll see her tomorrow, but since she’s on a new shift that’s not going to happen, and this leads to Uncomfortable Silence Moment—maybe because there’s a quick cut to a close up of Rosita’s face lying next to him in bed after some heavy duty sex. So he’s bangin’ Rosita but thinking about Sasha. Not right, dude. It gets even more uncomfortable when Rosita gives him a necklace she made from the tail light of the fuel truck and tells him there’s more fun to come in the shower.
RT: I am a bit scared about how this is all going to end because this whole scene felt like some serious foreshadowing of a multitude of shit that is about to go for these three.
CF: As with a lot of stuff all of a sudden, it’s following the script from the comic. If you know the comic, you know what’s playing out. It also means that Sasha’s stepping up for someone in the comic who’s now dead, and that’s not necessarily good for her, either.
- Cut to night and Maggie putting up trellises in for tomatoes because why the hell not. Glenn comes along and The Farmer’s Daughter tells him the tomatoes aren’t coming in and it looks like a bust. Glenn knows better, though, because only a year and a half after delivering pizzas for a living, he knows stuff. (Not things, though, ‘cause that would piss Rick off something bad.) Together they witness Denise pulling Abraham in off the street and they go check it out.
- So here’s Jesus checking out paintings, and Carl comes along and puts a gun to his head. He’s like, “I’m Jesus,” and they exchange names. Carl asks what Jesus is doing in their house, and he says he’s waiting for Carl’s dad and mom to get dressed. Sure enough, out pops Rick and Michonne—awkward! Probably the first time Rick’s sorry Carl’s stayed in the house.
RT: Is it just me or was anyone else hoping poor Carl would have to deal with Rick and Michonne being naked?
CF: Yeah, I half-expected that as well, and that AMC would do a fine bit of editing to cover it up.
- Next morning Jesus is giving a bunch of people the low down, first explaining how he got out of ASZ jail, then telling them he’s checked out their armory and damn, is that sweet. We find out there’s fifty-four people at the ASZ, and he lets them know he thinks they’re good, and that his community could help them out. Not only that, but he’s going to show them his place, and this is where we heard the line from the comic, “Your world’s about to get a whole lot bigger.”
- A whole lot of people are getting ready to head off to the Jesus Mystery Spot, but one of them isn’t Carl. He tells Rick that he needs to stay behind and guard the place, and that people on the other end might freak if they see him. Rick decides to tap dance about bangin’ Michonne, saying he was gonna tell Carl about it but, you know, it “just happened.” Yeah, just like it will to Carl one day, Rick. Remember that when you’re giving him shit about knocking up a girl.
- This Magic Bus has Rick driving, Daryl riding shotgun, and Glenn, Maggie, Michonne, Abraham sitting in the back. Jesus is there, too, and not once does anyone ask him to take the wheel. How the fuck are this avoiding this joke? Seriously, this is the sort of shit Daryl would probably pop off a dozen times a day if this were real life.
- During the trip Abraham has the Question of the Night for Glenn: ”When you were pouring the Bisquick, were you trying to make pancakes?” What a smooth son of a bitch you are, Abraham. He’s really giving the vibe that he’s not at all down with this baby making. Glenn eventually tells him that, yeah, this was planed, but before he says that he stares at Abraham like the dude was speaking Etruscan. I would love to see the outtakes on this, because Steven Yeun looks like he’s a second away from blurting out, “What the fuck did you just say?”
RT: I am wondering just how far Abraham will be able to go with his lines before the AMC censor decides he has crossed over into Negan territory?
CF: As long as they stick to the innuendo and metaphors it’s good. I read something where Gimple said they probably will film Negan popping off the f-bombs here and there, but they’ll just bleep them out, like what they did with Breaking Bad. Though they’ll probably never get into the “Fuckity, fuck, fuck, fuck!” stuff the Negan did from time-to-time.
RT: Goddammit! Thankfully AMC doesn’t edit our recaps 😉
CF: They’d feel pretty stupid when they found out they’re fucking with the wrong women. 😉
- They find a crashed car from Jesus’ group, proving once again that few people in the zombie apocalypse can’t drive worth a shit. Rick thinks it could be a trap, but Rick won’t take a shit these days without checking for traps, so this is par for the course. They think Jesus’ people could be hiding in a building, so they leave Maggie to guard Jesus while they go inside The people are in there along with a few walkers, and we discover something right away: none of the Jesus People can fight. There’s nothing in this building Carl couldn’t handle, yet these people are all hiding like Sophia did back in Season 2, and look how well that turned out. Abraham damn near puts down one of the Jesus Folk, and he’s starting to look a bit raged. It’s strange hearing Rick’s people saying, “Hey, we’re with Jesus.” So many missed jokes here . . .
RT: So glad I wasn’t the only one disappointed at the missed opportunities here. Also, I think I may have played a little too much N64 when I was a kid because those people just kept popping out from behind things like a rescue mission in a video game.
CF: I’m also surprised there weren’t more near misses like Abraham had. I get it: he’s PTSDing like crazy, but still, they were just popping up here and there.
- In the RV Harlen, one of the dudes they saved, chats up Maggie and Glenn a bit, and guess what? He’s an OBG/YN. Just one more sign that things are looking up for Rick’s Group, and that soon there’ll be nothing but rainbows and unicorns dancing around where zombies once walked.
- Speaking of not driving worth a shit Rick gets the RV stuck in the mud—what, you couldn’t see the mud? And there it is: The HILLTOP! See the Wall; it’s just like in the comic! Let’s all go up to the door—but the guards on the gate won’t let them in while they’re packing weapons. Maybe because they’ve got spears? Still paranoid as fuck Rick wants to see Gregory outside, and right then Jesus lays out the truth: Hilltop has no ammo. He’ll let them keep their weapons ‘cause he’s trusting Rick not to kill everyone. Inside there’s FEMA trailers and The Barington House right at top of the hill, which we discover was once a historical site of some kind. Lot’s of people, but no guns.
RT: I was wondering how close Hilltop in the TV series was to the comics, because, to me, it looked like AMC had pinched some sets from Game of Thrones and Vikings.
CF: Since you ask, below is the scene where they first enter Hilltop in the comic. They pretty much got it right, though all the big sets like this are not identical.
- They meet Gregory, played to dickish perfection by Xander Berkeley. Right away he lets everyone know he’s the boss, and he insists to Rick that everyone clean up before he speaks with them. In probably the smartest move Rick Grimes has ever made, he tells Maggie to talk to Gregory, ‘cause he says he shouldn’t. Rick simply knows that after five minutes in this asshole’s presence, he’ll kill him.
RT: And this is where I nearly literally cried. I really wanted to Rick do his stuff and thangs all over Gregory’s smarmy face.
CF: This does, however, led to a beautiful friendship between Gregory and Maggie. Sure it does. 😉
- It’s during this time Abraham asks Michonne about how long Rick and she have been going at it. Dude has this shit on his mind bad, and he ain’t letting it go.
RT: Abraham made me really uncomfortable during this episode. Like drunk guy leering at you on a train kind of uncomfortable. I really hope he sorts his shit out sooner rather than later.
CF: I had the same feeling. I was really waiting for someone to tell him to just shut the fuck up and stop with the crap. I mean, if the show wanted views to see he was slipping, they did the job, but he started giving off way too much of the creepy uncle vibe.
- Maggie speaks to Gregory, and the only way the episode could have made the character any more assholish and creepy would be to have him play Dick in the Box with Maggie. He’s very complementary to her, and she wants to know how long they’ve been there, how they’ve managed to survive. He wants to know everything about the ASZ, but in turn doesn’t say shit about the Hilltop. He throws down his cards: since it seems the ASZ doesn’t have shit and he does, Maggie’s people can come work at Hilltop—though “work” is probably a real stretch and “indentured servitude” is more like it—then he doubles down on the asshole charm and he tells Maggie she’s good looking and if she comes to Hilltop he can made it worth her time, if you know what I mean, honey. In the history of bad ideas hitting on Maggie is such a bad fucking idea. She still wants to trade but he blows her off, going so far as to call her Natalie, and tells her they’ve got enough so why don’t you run along home, baby? The look on Maggie’s face is so, “Oh, do I have your number, motherfucker,” that you can damn near seen the smoke rising from her eyes.
RT: The only thing better than Rick whipping this guy’s arse is Maggie going batshit crazy on the motherfucker!
CF: Give it time. She gets her chance in a big way.
- Meanwhile Jesus tells Rick Hilltop ready does want to trade, but it’ll have to be on Gregory’s terms. Rick comes right out and says the ASZ needs food and they’re gonna get it. Jesus has no idea how close he is from unleashing Crazy Rick, but Michonne is the one with the chill in the room, and she lets Jesus know they’ll give him a few days to work shit out.
- Right then someone burst in and says, “They’re back.” Guess who, bitches? People just back from meeting with Negan. The guy telling the story says that Negan wasn’t happy with what Hilltop was offering and they kept the dude’s brother. At that point he tells Gregory he was supposed to send a message, and stabs the bastard. This is where Rick, who’s probably bored ‘cause he ain’t killed anyone in a while, starts pounding the shit out of the guy while another dude jumps Abraham and proceeds to choking him out. It looks like The Big Ginger is about the check out, then Daryl comes up and snaps the guy’s arm, saving Abraham, so seems to have learned something from the experience.
- The guy Rick was pounding somehow gets Rick on his back on the ground, and he holds a knife to his throat. As he does the “I’m gonna kill him” shit, Michonne distracts the asshole, giving Rick enough time to stab the guy in the neck and bleed him out. This sets the Hilltop people to freaking, and we finally see Crazy Rick about to go nuts on their asses. This is a great scene because we see Rick once again drenched in blood and seeming to give zero shits about his appearance, while the Hilltop people probably see some terrifying son of a bitch with a gun covered in blood ready to start blasting people, and Rick doesn’t seem to understand that he’s scaring people. To put it another way, if two years earlier Officer Grimes came upon some guy like this while he was on patrol, he’d probably shoot first and think later about what to put in the report, because damn, only crazy people walk around covered in blood.
RT: Is it wrong that I was cheering at the sight of blood spattered crazy Rick? He couldn’t even get the smirk off his face. I seriously think he loves scaring the shit out of everyone 🙂 Of course, it was around this point that I started to fret because the whole group then turning into Cocky Rick’s Group and you know what cometh after pride…
CF: I think that we, as viewers and fans, have become so accustomed to Blood Covered Crazy Rick that it doesn’t bother us, but the reaction of the Hilltop people was correct: there’s a guy just bled out one of your friends and he’s covered in his blood and waving a big gun around. If Daryl still had his crossbow he’d be running around yelling, “Back off!” and getting ready to put a bolt in someone’s face. Yeah, those first impressions wouldn’t have been sweet.
- Jesus defuses the situation and lets Rick know things out there aren’t that simple. He asks about Negan and Jesus lays out the story: Negan’s people, The Saviors, showed up, made demands, and killed a sixteen year old kid just to make a point, so Hilltop hands over half of everything so they aren’t attacked until everyone’s dead, and spend most of that time quivering that they Saviors don’t ask for me. Daryl states these Saviors are bullshit, they’re just a bunch of boogiemen, and we find out from Abraham that the little RPG Party they had with Negan’s people occurred about a month back, letting us know how much time has passed since the Zombie Fun Run.
- They’ll agree to a deal, and Maggie does the talking for the group while Gregory lays up in bed recovering from his knifing. She tells him they can handle Negan, but always the asshole Gregory continues blowing her off. Maggie says if they get supplies they want they’ll kill Negan and get the Hilltop’s person back. Gregory continues being a dick about this, so Maggie admits they need the food and they’ll work for it. With that information Gregory finally agrees to the deal ‘cause now he’s got the leverage he’s been bragging about from minute one—and it’s then Maggie sets up the last part of their deal: The Alexandria Safe Zone wants half your shit, bitch, and you will give it to us forever or we walk away and let you swing, motherfucker. Even a dick as big as Gregory knows this is the best deal he’s gonna get, and if he doesn’t take this one, it’s only a matter of time before The Saviors walk in and take everything.
RT: Please tell me Gregory gets it sooner rather than later. How epic was Maggie though?!
CF: It won’t be sooner unless Xander’s on short contract, but Maggie is really stepping up and getting her inner bitch on. Just wait for the moments ahead when she starts turning on Rick—
RT: *rubs her hands together with glee*
If they run it out that way, she gets to where she takes zero shit from Rick on everything.
Plans are made and Rick talks to one Hilltop guy who knows the layout of Negan’s place. They load up the RV and Jesus tells Rick he wants to come along. Rick asks Michonne if she’s up for what’s coming, and she knows it’s going to be bad, but it has to happen.
Right before the end Maggie gets an ultrasound while Glenn holds her hand, and on the trip back to the ASZ the ultrasound picture is passed around and everyone is smiling, even Abraham, and you know things are going to be beautiful from this point on ‘cause they’ll get Negan out of their hair and Maggie’s baby will be born into peace and Glenn and she will raise their child in a new, better world—
What fucking show are you watching? You know when a happy scene like this goes down The Walking Dead is setting up the viewers for some maximum heartbreak, and they may as well have gone to a black screen and spent thirty seconds flashing “Here Comes The Pain, Bitches!” as someone chuckles maniacally in the background . . .
RT: I really loved how this episode made me completely uneasy from start to finish. Ending with a happy scene was just the “shit is gonna get real” incing on the cake and I just can’t see how badly it will all unravel.
CF: They did put people off throughout this episode in that you keep expecting something to happen, but it doesn’t, while at the same time they try to lull you into a sense that things are going to be good, and you know that’s not gonna happen, either. And now with Rick doing his Governor speech in the next episode (“We’re gonna have to fight.”), the sense that it’s all about to go down the tubes is a strong one.
RT: I was analysing everyone they passed. “Who’s the Governor this time?” “Are they gonna eat people?” “How bad can AMC and Kirkman make it?”
CF: They’re following the story from the comic pretty close at the moment. I’m thinking Season 7 will be the March to War and All Out War, and it’ll get nasty and bloody as hell. At that point they’ll have to decide if they’re gonna do a GoT and go their own way from the comics, ’cause the actors can’t stay on forever.
So, what did you think of Episode 11 of The Walking Dead? Let us know your thoughts by commenting below!
You can read the Episode 12 recap here.
[Photo Credits: AMC]
- The Walking Dead, Season 6, Episode 10: “The Next World” (thesnarkingdeadrecaps.wordpress.com)