Quick summary before we get to the real talk: Dwight reveals himself to Eugene. Dwight’s plan gets overheard. Negan has a plan for their attack. Rick regroups everyone at the Hilltop. There is clear concern over the amount of supplies versus number of people. Rick knows an attack is coming and is hoping to enact his plan before it happens.
This issue is clearly the calm before the storm. If this was a movie, this would be the montage scene where everyone was in reflection mode before a big event. Maggie is realizing how difficult it is to be leader. It’s not just making the decisions, but it is being the one that knows a major obstacle is in your way and having to figure out what to do without disrupting the people under you too much. It’s having everyone look at you and critique you without understanding the difficulty of your position. Maggie now knows the difficulty and clearly understands where Rick is coming from.
Dwight is quickly becoming a very interesting character. I think everyone like a spy and especially a double-agent, his role to this point has been pretty mundane except for a few shining moments here and there. But it’s pretty evident that he’s about to be thrust into a major role in the spotlight. In a very Bond villain-ish way, he’s revealed his whole plot to Eugene. Another of Negan’s underlings overhears the whole thing. The underling completely agrees with the sentiment and voices support for Dwight’s plan. Despite saying that, I think one of two things will happen. 1) the guy will mean what he said, but out of fear will spill the beans to Negan or 2) the guy will be saying that to Dwight in order to not have Dwight kill him but will spill the beans to Negan. The end result will be the same. Negan is going to find Dwight out and I don’t think the result is going to be pretty.
Rick knows that Negan and the saviors are coming and they will be coming with a vengeance. He knows this is going to be a big all out assault. He wants to get the civilians to safety and have a force ready to flank the saviors. For the life of me, though, after how many times Negan has moved too quickly or been a few steps ahead of Rick, why on earth does he not put this plan into action sooner?
Negan plans to use whatever is in the walkers that kills on contact to coat all of the Saviors weapons. He’s meaning business. And we’re left with the image of him, with all of the saviors outside of the hilltop and ready to attack at sundown. Sundown? Really? He already has the element of surprise going for him. But at sundown, the walkers will be a negative factor for them. Doesn’t really make sense to me. But I’m not a diabolical genius.
The one factor that’s positive for Rick and the combined forces is:
So what do i expect? I expect Negan to find out Dwight’s plan and to kill him. I expect Ezekiel to sacrifice himself for the greater good. Rick foreshadowed this a bit in this issue. I expect Jesus to die as well.
This will ultimately be a victory, but it will be a very costly one.