'The Walking Dead' Recap With Spoilers – 'How It's Gotta Be'


Rick watches the truck go into the Sancturary and asks for help on the radio.

Flashback: Carl and Rick talk about meeting Siddiq and Carl tells Rick he needs to do more than hope he’s okay.

As they talk, you see Rick marching with the junkyard people, guns raised, toward the Sanctuary. They take fire almost immediately. Jadis and her people run and Carol pulls up in a SUV with Jerry to pick up Rick.

Back in the Flashback, Carl and Rick continue to talk, and Carl tries to convince Rick that the fighting is about more than just killing one another. He wants peace in the long term. “Finding some way forward? That’s part of it. That’s how it’s gotta be.”

Rick thinks about Carl’s words as he’s in the car. A montage shows the faces of many characters, including Carl, Carol, Jerry, Ezekiel, Maggie and more. Negan whistles as his face is shown and he smiles as he drives somewhere.

Aaron and Enid drive down the road and he thinks back to the times when Eric was alive and they ran recruiting trips together. He remembers Eric always being right next to him. Aaron needs to make sure his death was for something. Enid reveals that they are going to Oceanside, trying to convince them to fight alongside Alexandria. Enid jokes about Carl’s driving and Aaron lets her take the wheel. She turns off of the road into a distillery so they have something else to bring Oceanside.

At Alexandria, the people prepare for war and Michonne says goodbye to Judith. She then talks to Daryl about the game plan going forward, and he’s sure of what they’re about to do. Carl sits by himself, writing a letter to his Dad. He also sees a note in his book that says “Just survive somehow,” referencing what Enid told him.

Tara confronts Rosita about the plan that the two of them disagreed on before the attack. It’s clear that Rosita still isn’t happy with Tara for going along with Daryl’s plan.

Enid and Aaron pull up near Oceanside, and they now have one of the distillery’s trucks with them. Fast forward to that night, Aaron and Enid are resting in the car and they see someone watching them. Someone takes down Aaron, Enid fires her gun, and the women surround them. Enid shot Natania, the leader of Oceanside.

That same night, Carl is loading some things into the sewer and he tells Michonne that he is helping someone. Just then, Negan speaks over a loudspeaker and he tells everyone to lineup and open the gate in the next three minutes or he will start killing everyone. Rick, Jerry and Carol are seen driving and their car gets slammed by someone else.

Ezekiel sits on this stage reading a note from Jerry, saying that he had to go with Carol. A group of Saviors raids the theater and he hides.

Jesus and Maggie are driving, leading a caravan of Hilltop people. Maggie thinks that the Saviors will have to surrender sometime soon. They stop when they see a tree in the road and Maggie knows that the Saviors are the ones who put it there. As they stop, a line of Savior vehicles comes up behind their caravan. In front of Maggie’s car, the Saviors open the back of a truck and pull out Jerry, keeping a gun to his head. Simon exits the truck and addresses Maggie.

Back at Alexandria, Carl is coming up with a plan to try and get the people out. He’s saying that they need to escape and let Negan take Alexandria.

Over at the Kingdom, the Saviors address all of the people saying that they all now belong to Negan. They’re going to be taking everything from the Kingdom’s people and the group of Saviors present will be staying in the Kingdom for a while.

Simon starts to look through the cars and he orders one of the Saviors to shoot Jerry if anyone tries anything.

Negan is still yelling at the gates of Alexandria. Carl stands at the top of the fence and tells Negan that Rick isn’t home and that there are kids inside. Negan says that there were children at the Santuary, too. “None of this shit’s fair, kid.” Negan tells Carl that he needs to be in charge because the communities need someone who will do whatever it takes. Carl says that, if there has to be punishment, Negan should kill him to pay for what Rick has done. Carl says he doesn’t want to die, but he’ll do it if he has to so everyone can continue living. He asks Negan if this is who he wanted to be. As they talk, the people of Alexandria break out in a convoy. Negan says “Bombs away,” and the Saviors launch grenades into Alexandria.

Carl jumps down from the fence to see many of the buildings in the town on fire. He walks away towards the church just in time to see it explode. A car next to him explodes.

The Savior at the Kingdom tells everyone that they need to turn over Ezekiel so that their lives will be spared. He says that he knows there are kids around and he doesn’t want to have to hurt people in front of them. He tells everyone that they have five minutes to turn over Ezekiel.

Simon tells Maggie that a group of Saviors is taking over the Kingdom, and another is taking over Alexandria. He says that she’s lucky because the Hilltop is useful and he will keep them alive to help make things right. Simon says that Eugene is the one who figured out how to escape the Sanctuary. He then tells Maggie she can either cooperate with him or kill her in front of her all her people. Even if she cooperates, they will have to kill one of her people. Simon then kills the man sitting in the backseat of her car. She says she will cooperate but asks him one favor first. She wants to borrow the box that he was going to use on her so that she can bury Neal, the man he shot. He grants her favor and leaves.

Eugene lays in his bed in the Sanctuary and stares at the clock. He can’t sleep a wink, so he sits up and drinks some alcohol, then starts crying.

Carl sits up in the road, surrounded by the smoke from the bombs that he threw around. He talks near a house and it explodes.

Tara, Rosita and Daryl look out from the woods nearby and they talk about the mistakes they’ve made. Dwight drives a caravan right into Daryl’s trap and he gets all of the Saviors with him killed. He then kills some of the Saviors himself. Laura figures it out and shoots Dwight in the arm. She gets shot at and runs away.

Back at Alexandria, Negan drives a truck through the gate and laughs at the burning structures. He tells everyone to search the place and look for Carl. They are told to tie him up and keep him alive. Negan will be at Rick’s making spaghetti. As a few Saviors find Carl, he lights up a smoke grenade and hides in the sewer when they walk by.

Eugene is walking through the medical wing of the Sanctuary and he wakes up Gabriel. He tells Gabriel and the doctor that the guard is missing from one of the exits, giving them a chance to escape. Gabriel tells Eugene to come with them but he declines. He then drops keys to a vehicle outside and leaves.

Ezekiel is rolling a barrel of gasoline around the Kingdom and he lights it on fire, causing a massive explosion. He then drives a bus toward the people and gives them a way to escape. Carol shows up to help them and instructs the people to more to her house. He sees Carol approaching the gate and shuts it, locking it between them. He tells her to save the people as he closes the gate.

Maggie gets back to Hilltop and lets one of the Saviors out of the cage. She shoots him in front of all the others, proving that she’s in control. It was payback for the man the Saviors killed on the road. She tells Jesus to man the wall and prepare for the last stand.

Dwight sits with the dead Saviors surrounding him. Tara, Daryl and the others approach with their guns raised. He says that one of the Saviors got away so he can’t go back to the Sanctuary. He tells them that Eugene is the one who orchestrated the Saviors’ escape. They take Dwight, along with all of the Saviors’ guns, and leave.

Maggie and other members of the Hilltop get to burying Neal. She then puts the dead Savior in a coffin and writes that they have 38 more being locked away. She tells her men to leave the box where the Saviors can find it.

Ezekiel is at the mercy of the Saviors as Morgan lurks outside, listening in to what’s happening. As Tara, Rosita and the others head into the sewer, Dwight apologizes to Michonne. Michonne chooses not to go with them and walks back toward the burning town.

Rick enters Alexandria looking for his family. In his house he finds Negan and the two get into a fight. Negan tries to hit him with Lucille but Rick manages to escape multiple blows. Negan tells Rick that he’s going to “fix” Carl, making him one of his top guys in a few years. Rick starts beating Negan and goes for his gun. Negan then pushes Rick out of his window and the hero escapes.

Michonne walks through Alexandria, cutting down walkers as she passes them. A Savior grabs her but she quickly kills him. As she cuts him up, Rick finds her and stops her. She takes him to the sewer where everyone is hiding. Judith and Carl are both safe in there with everyone else from Alexandria.

A montage shows all of the major characters thinking about what’s next. Dwight is seen in the sewer with the people of Alexandria, Carol is leading the Kingdom’s people to safety while Ezekiel is sitting inside the gate, thinking. Morgan is still just outside. Rick makes his way through the sewer toward his family when he sees Siddiq and Carl tells Rick he brought the guy in with them.

Carl reveals a bite on his torso and Michonne drops to her knees. Rick and Carl look at one another, completely lost. Carl is infected, and there is nothing anyone can do.

The End.

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