Look. Not everyone is going to be useful in the apocalypse, ok? Some people are resourceful, others are brave, and some are just sort of there. And for some reason, those are the people this week’s episode of The Walking Dead season 7 (opens in new tab) chose to focus on. There’s Gregory, the weaselly leader of Hilltop, Jesus, the ‘Are you kidding me?’ named git who’s content to clutch his pearls at what a bad leader Gregory is, but won’t do anything about it, and there’s Enid, who you forget exists until she shows up to talk about balloons.
First things first: Maggie and the baby are fine. Sasha did, in fact, get her safely to Hilltop, where the doctor learned that her placenta was separating from her uterus. He advises her to stay in bed for a few days and remain in Hilltop for the duration of her pregnancy, just to be safe. She flat-out ignores the first recommendation and Gregory refuses the second, because he really wants to make sure you understand just what a contemptible person he is. He’d throw a pregnant woman out on the streets! He’d throw Jesus out with her if he doesn’t shut his yap! He can’t ever remember anyone’s name! He nicked Glenn’s watch from where Maggie put it on his grave! Nuanced character building, this is not.
The long and short of Gregory’s boggle is he’s afraid that the Saviors will figure out that he made a deal with the folks of Alexandria to kill them. Which, ok, fair enough that’s a valid concern, because it sure looks like they did. Everyone wakes up one night to discover the gates of Hilltop wide open, several fires burning, and a locked car blaring music, drawing the attention of a bunch of Walkers. Sasha and Jesus dispatch the undead while Maggie grabs the town’s tractor to flatten out the car, showing no fear or apparent regard for the fate of her unborn child. That’s meant to show what a great leader she is, by the way, how she keeps ignoring the doctor’s medical advice. I know the whole image of a woman putting her hands protectively over her belly and crying ‘My baby!’ is a tired trope, but if Maggie loses this child, how are we supposed to react?
Simon, who is playing the role of Negan for Hilltop, rocks up the next day rather surprised to see that the Walkers were taken out with such aplomb. The plan was for the Saviors to come and take them out to remind the people of Hilltop of the service they provide, but lo and behold, their help wasn’t needed. Gregory fumbles his way through the conversation with Simon, pretending not to know Rick’s people slaughtered a whole bunch of Saviors. Simon has an entirely pleasant conversation with Gregory about the recent turns of events, including how the people of Alexandria now work for the Saviors. He doesn’t bounce on the balls of his feet, look up to the sky, grin, or reference his dick even once, and every pleasant word he utters is a clear and present danger. He is, in other words, way more terrifying than Negan the cartoon.
Gregory tries to rat out Maggie and Sasha, who he told to hide in the closet while Simon was in the building. Jesus wisely stashed them in a different closet, so when Gregory went to give them up, all he ended up turning over was a case of scotch, womp womp. His cowardice was foiled and he lost his drink stash, too! Gosh! Gregory's attempt to hand over the ladies of Alexandria is the final straw for Jesus, but not enough to make him take charge of Hilltop. This guy. He whines and flails and he’s just so upset about what a bad leader Gregory is, but he won’t take the job, even when Gregory offers it to him. “I just want to help!” he declares. Just not enough to, you know, do what actually needs doing. So if Gregory isn't in charge of Hilltop now, who is? Oh, who cares? Anyway, Sasha asks Jesus to find out where Negan lives, and to keep it between the two of them. Jesus sneaks into the back of one of the trucks headed for Negan’s compound, where he runs into Carl.
Carl, who also knows a thing or two about whining while not actually doing anything productive, followed Enid after she left Alexandria to find Maggie in Hilltop. “I’m not saving you anymore,” he says, shortly before saving her from a lone, slow, shambling Walker that actually isn’t anywhere near her. No, seriously, let’s break this down. Enid has a bicycle and stops at a gas station. A single Walker starts making its way over to her. She has plenty of room to get back on the bike and ride away, or to attack, if that’s what she wants to do. She is very clearly in no actual danger whatsoever, and yet here comes Carl crashing a perfectly operational car into a post to take out this single Walker. But, hey, if he didn’t do that, he couldn’t find a backpack with roller skates a little further up the road and then he and Enid wouldn’t have an adorable opportunity to hold hands and smile and oh god, can these two get eaten already, please?
They make it to Hilltop, they smooch, because plotting murder is really very romantic, Carl stows away in the truck so he can go kill Negan, and Enid puts balloons on Abe’s grave. It was supposed to be Glenn’s but they’re not marked, and while her entire trip there was immensely stupid, it’s really very sweet to think she stood up to that Savior to keep her balloons with the plan to use them as a memorial for Glenn. That’s actually quite lovely. Maggie gives Glenn’s watch to Enid to make some kind of point about how she doesn’t need things to remember her loved ones by. So… here, take this thing to remember Glenn by? It doesn’t really make sense, but it’s supposed to be some kind of emotional turning point, so just roll with it, I guess.
I’m officially rooting for the Walkers now. Well, and the tiger.