It's A Trap!
"You need to know things aren't as simple as they might seem." — Jesus, "The Walking Dead"
We knew it was coming. Something bad was right around the corner. Season six will see the first appearance of Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan). He hasn't been a part of the show, but he's a bad dude in the comics. With his arrival you know will come death, despair, and loss.
There are four episodes left this season, but Sunday's episode began paving the way. Any time "The Walking Dead" slows down and turns its attention to relationships and character development, you know a change is coming.
Maggie said in the previous episode, "this is going to cost us something." Decisions have consequences, and it was clear from the jump that the decision made by Rick and co to take on the Saviors would cost them something. As the episode crescendoed last night, they put their plan into action.
In the world of "The Walking Dead" people are the real danger. We've seen it time and again as an audience, and Rick has experienced it time and again as he's tried to keep his group alive. It's colored his world view. The Saviors might be an evil group, but Rick can't know personally. Yet his past experience has hardened him to the world and stripped him of compassion. His argument is that our heroes had to kill the Saviors before they killed our heroes.
The plan included sneaking into the Saviors' headquarters in the middle of the night and killing them as they slept. It was a macabre plan, and it made for a difficult episode. These weren't walkers — they were people. Yet our heroes killed them as they slept, seemingly wiping out the entire group without much of a fight.
As dawn broke, it seemed that the vicious work was done. But it was a ruse. Some of the Saviors had taken Maggie and Carol, making it clear that there would be consequences. And because our heroes were the aggressors, I think the cost will be high.
Last night, as I watched the mission against the Saviors, I couldn't help but feel that it changed how I feel about our heroes. Perhaps that was part of the point. The world may have changed, and people may be the biggest threat, but if you change too much you're no better than the world around you that you fear.
And, as Omar once said, "If you come at the King, you best not miss." Last night our heroes came at the King, and they appear to have missed big. That's a problem that won't be easily solved.