Spoiler alert! The following is a recap of The Walking Dead episode 813, "Do Not Send Us Astray." To catch up, check out our recap from last week's episode.
The Hilltop is ready and waiting for the Saviors. It is night when they roll up, slowed by spikes in the road. Maggie radios Simon, demanding to speak to Negan, and Simon reminds her that "we are all Negan." Maggie changes course and reminds him that they still have 38 Saviors alive - turn around and they remain that way. I am not sure why Maggie thinks this will work, and it doesn't.
Simon turns to his troops and tells them this is not just about infection, it is about conclusion. He wants to kill them all. But the Hilltop is ready. Daryl rides up on his bike, firing a machine gun at the Saviors as he speeds through the gate. A bus blocks the gate to slow the Saviors, and it turns into an all-out battle, with the Saviors mostly using bows and arrows dipped in zombie goo. The first 20 minutes of the episode is battle, and it's pretty fun. During the fight, Tobin is shot, and Tara gets a flesh wound.
Maggie gives the signal, and Ezekiel and Rosita shoot out the headlamps of the Saviors' cars, dropping the camp into darkness. All shooting stops, and everything is quiet. Simon leads his people quietly through the dark camp, trying to cover the community. "Time to do some proper slaughtering," he comments before whistling ominously. A light comes on suddenly, and the Saviors are under heavy fire, forcing them back. Eventually, the Saviors are forced to leave, and the Hilltoppers feel like they have a won a minor victory.
Morning comes, and the Hilltoppers are luring zombies to the walls, a protective layer since they don't have enough resources to fend off another attack. Tara now feels guilty for sending Dwight back to the Saviors, while Daryl thinks he should die. Rick admits to Maggie and Michonne, separately, that he tried to kill Negan, and failed. Jerry digs graves for the dead.
Alden, one of the POWs, who initially offered to help defend the Hilltop, is brought out of the pen to dig graves for his people. "They're not my people," Alden says, "but I'm glad you see them as people." Carol sits with Tobin and apologizes for the way she left him. She admits she was trying to live a lie with him, and got scared when she realized she may not be pretending anymore. Siddiq offers to treat Rick's wounds, which he accepts, but doesn't want to hear his prayer for the dead. Henry, who had been denied the ability to fight the night before, finds an unattended gun and sneaks it out of the house.
As night falls, the injured begin to turn. Tobin is the first, and he eats the man who is watching over the injured. Next he eats Doctor Dana. Other wounded within the house turn, and several outside wander in through the open door.
Around this time, Henry goes outside to the POW pen, waving his gun around. Henry just wants to know who killed his brother. He is pretty pissed off, and he has a taste for blood. Gregory tries to reason with him in a very selfish way; Alden tries in a more productive way. Henry unlocks the gate and threatens the POWs up close. Of course, he is just a little boy, so it doesn't take long before Jared wrests the gun away from the kid and run through the open gate. Many others follow Jared's lead.
The rest of the camp doesn't really notice this because they are too busy dealing with the sudden invasion of walkers. Another 20 minutes of action follows, and it is pandemonium. In between stabbings, Rick and Daryl try to figure out what happened. These are all their people who are turned, and after Carol is forced to stab Tobin, she discovers he hasn't been bitten - yet he turned. Rick puts the pieces together and realizes that the walker blood Negan was covered in wasn't just happenstance. It was biological warfare.
The POW pen is empty, but Alden and a few others stayed to help. Alden uses this as a chance to prove his loyalty to Maggie. "Those of us who stayed, stayed. We had plenty of chances to run." Henry is missing, and Enid tattles that he was the one who opened up the pen.
And Morgan is haunted by the ghost of Gavin, both at the top of the episode and at the end. The purpose behind this is not spelled out, but I think that Morgan feels guilty about him being killed by Henry. What is not clear is whether Morgan feels guilty about being a bad influence on Henry, or if he feels like if he had killed Gavin first, then Henry wouldn't have had his bloodlust awakened. Henry really doesn't seem phased by the fact that he killed someone. I wonder if this is going to turn into another Lizzie situation (the little psychotic girl who Carol had to kill after she killed her little sister back in season four). That episode, "The Grove," is one of the best hours of television across all genres... but I don't think it will have the same power if it is done again.
Also, I suspect Tara is going to die. She got a flesh wound, likely from a weapon infected with the zombie virus, so it seems likely she will succumb to the virus - unless her arm is amputated. Is this going to be typical? Carl got a slow, sad death; are they going to try to go that route for a while?
What are your thoughts on this week's episode? If nothing else, it was a fun episode. Lots of action.