The Walking Dead season 7 episode 8 recap: Hearts Still Beating

Negan. Carl. Olivia. Judith. The Walking Dead. AMC
Negan. Carl. Olivia. Judith. The Walking Dead. AMC /

The Walking Dead midseason finale delivered on the excitement. Here’s the complete episode recap.

Maggie sits at the grave site and stares at Glenn’s grave. She dons some gloves and climbs a ladder, much as she did in Alexandria, and looks over the wall. The Hilltop looms behind her. Gregory approaches and calls to her. He says people are saying nice things about Maggie and Sasha and what they did the other night to save the Hilltop. He warns her not to let it go to her head. Her response is to not let it bother him, because it looks like it’s bothering him. A lot. He wants to know what’s she’s doing on the lookout tower, and she wants to know if he’s going to eat the apple he’s holding. One of the guards reminds Gregory that she’s pregnant. He gives her the apple and she catches it, taking a bit.

Negan shaves his beard off while Carl and Judith watch him. “Against the grain, kid. Always against the grain,” he says.

Daryl peers around the corner. He’s on his way out.

Negan, in an apron, whips up a pasta sauce. He offers Carl a taste while Olivia looks on. Tara comes up and gives her the lemonade. Denise liked it. Olivia tearfully takes it and thanks her. Tara tells her to go home, but she says she told Rick she would watch Judith. She tells Tara to leave because they’re about to eat dinner. Carl sets the table and Negan says that they’ll need another setting. Olivia, carrying Judith, pours his lemonade and he laughs.

Rick and Aaron contemplate the bullet hole-riddled boat. They figure they can make it to the canoe. Rick tells Aaron he can stay behind, but Aaron says he’s going to pretend he didn’t hear that. He’s dedicated and willing to see it through. They get in the boat and paddle through the Walker infested water.

Negan says he isn’t waiting for Rick anymore. He holds up his bat and says Lucille is hungry. He places the bat in the chair beside him and asks Carl to pass the rolls. “Please,” he adds.

Eugene, terrified, walks back into Alexandria while Negan’s men unload Spencer’s car. They tell him that Negan will be pleased, and the female Savior tells Spencer that Negan might bring him back to the Sanctuary.

Carol is curled up on her couch by the fireplace reading a book when she hears a noise. She looks outside and sees Morgan walking away. He’d left her some food, but she shows him her pantry. Ezekiel has been bringing food to her. He says he’s doing well, and she says she still wants to be left alone. As he’s leaving, one of the Kindgom’s men is there. It’s Richard. He wants to speak to them both.

Aaron and Rick paddle across the lake and fend off the Walkers that attack the boat as they pass. The boat is quickly taking on water but they’re making good progress. They reach the canoe and find that there is a walker inside waiting for them. Rick kills the Walker but Aaron falls out of the boat. He dives underwater and resurfaces, telling Rick he’s ok. He swims to the boat and Rick paddles over. They make it.

Daryl sneaks down the hallway and hides in one of the apartments. He chows down on some peanut butter and then he trades his robes for a new set of clothes. He spots tiny figurines on a desk. For the moment, Daryl is trapped inside this room and he’s as frustrated as a caged animal.

Aaron finds a note with a middle finger raised, saying that they still lose. There are some guns inside so they load up. Rick tells Aaron that he didn’t mean that Aaron couldn’t make it earlier. Aaron says that he was there with them and he knows that this is what they need to do to survive. Losing freedom is tough, but it boils down to living or dying. That’s the choice. They take it so they can live. As they load the truck, a foot steps into the frame. Someone is watching them.

Michonne keeps her gun aimed at the woman driving. She asks how long the woman has been with Negan. The woman won’t talk, and it’s infuriating. She says she wants to kill Negan and change how this all ends for them. “I’m going to find the way that we win.”

Sasha comes in with fresh veggies and a pie. Someone gave them a pie for what they did and they think Maggie should be president of the Hilltop. Maggie asks about Jesus and Sasha says he left earlier that day. Enid knows that Sasha is lying about Jesus. Another girl said Jesus left the day before, and Sasha says it’s for Maggie’s own good. Enid gets that Sasha want to kill Negan, but she thinks they need help. Sasha says that above all, they need to keep Maggie safe.

Ezekiel’s lieutenant tells Morgan and Carol that people from all over wandered around until they came upon the Kingdom. He tells them the story of how Ezekiel found the Saviors.  They cut a deal to trade goods for being left alone. He knows that Ezekiel trusts Morgan and Carol and he wants their help to convince Ezekiel that something bad can happen if the Saviors aren’t dealt with. Morgan wants to know what he’s asking. He wants to strike first against the Saviors and attack them, and kill them. Carol and Morgan exchange looks.

Rosita stares at her bullet. She is asked if the bullet is meant for him or for her. Father Gabriel wants to know if Negan has to die. He agrees with her, but he wants to know why she is going to do it. She says that if Abraham and Glenn were alive they would fight. Everyone is paired off. Maggie would have Glenn Michonne and Carl have Rick. Aaron has Eric. Gabriel says that it shouldn’t have been her in that lineup. It shouldn’t have been anyone. He says they need the right moment and they’ll create it, together as a group. He asks her not to do anything rash. They need her too much to lose her in a botched assassination attempt. He leaves her alone to ponder that in the church.

Daryl now looks like a Savior. He sneaks down the hall with a knife.

Back at Carol’s house, Richard says he doesn’t think Carol has seen that kind of fighting. Morgan says she’s the most capable soldier out there. She says she doesn’t want to be a part of it. Morgan warns that people will die. Tobin says that Morgan has killed before, and if he doesn’t act more will die. Morgan tries to reason with him, that maybe they can bargain with the Saviors, but that won’t work. Richard storms away and Carol tells Morgan to go, too. She asks him not to return, and not to tell people that she’s there.

Spencer returns to his house, splattered in blood. He looks around and sees the mess there, left from when Rick was trying to find the gun. As the camera pans, we see a fresh and clean Spencer with a bottle of liquor. He practices saying hi in the mirror, and then he leaves.

Richard hides out in a trailer and has a breakdown.

Spencer is on his way to Michonne’s house when Rosita stops him. Spencer is going to try to get in good with Negan, and use that to see if he can find a weakness. That way they can strike in the future. He asks her why she started something with him, and she says she used him. She apologizes, but it’s hollow. He asks if she’d be up for dinner later on, and she agrees.

The door has been propped open so Daryl can get out. He runs to the bikes. Fat Joseph sees him and puts his hands up. He says that Daryl can just leave, and he’s just trying to get by, but Daryl brains him with a pipe anyway, just as Jesus arrives. Daryl grabs Joseph’s gun and tells the dead body that it’s not about getting by, it’s about getting it all.

Negan’s guard doesn’t want to let Spencer inside, but Negan tells her not to be an ass. Spencer greets Negan and introduces himself like the obsequious jerk he is.

Isabella stops the car and says “That’s Negan.” She says they are all Negan and that there is no escape. She says Michonne still has some choices. There is a gun with a silencer in the glove compartment. She wants to die. The car turns around.

When Rick and Aaron return to Alexandria, they find Negan’s men already there. Rick learns that Negan is in his house waiting for him. Another one of Negan’s men stops him and says he wants to see what Rick brought them.

Negan pours himself a drink and tells Spencer that they have running water, air conditioning, and housewarming gifts. He wants to get a vacation home. He wishes there was a pool table, and Spencer says there is one across the street. Negan likes Spencer.

As Negan’s men go through the stash, they find the note from the house. Negan’s men attack Aaron and tell Rick to run off.

Negan sets up the pool table in the street and says he could never play pool with Rick. Spencer says he wants to talk about Rick. He says he understands what Negan is doing by building a network of resources. But Rick has a history of not playing well with others. Spencer tells Negan that his mother was the original leader. Negan hears that Spencer became an orphan after Rick showed up, which is why it’s good that Negan is in control. As Olivia and Carl watch, Negan asks what Spencer is asking for. Spencer wants to be in charge. He can be a better leader than Rick.

Negan’s men beat the crap out of Aaron. “My heart’s still beating,” Aaron tells him.

Negan notes that even though Rick hates him, Rick is out working to get stuff to protect his people. He’s swallowing his pride and getting work done. He sees that Spencer waited until Rick was gone before asking Negan to do his dirty work. Why didn’t Spencer just kill Rick? He says it’s because Spencer has no guts, and he stabs Spencer in the gut so that his innards pour out. Negan is proud of Spencer for having guts. The whole town watches as Negan tells someone to clean the mess up. Negan holds up Lucille and says that he was winning. Rosita can’t take it anymore and she pulls out her gun and fires.

Rick carries Aaron farther into the town.

Negan is furious that Rosita tried to kill him. Lucille caught the bullet. Everyone watches as he keeps Rosita on the ground and she says she made the bullet, but Negan thinks she’s lying. Negan gives his guard permission to kill someone, so she chooses Olivia. Olivia falls to the ground, dead, in time for Rick to show up. Negan is furious that his people are so out of line. Negan says that Olivia wouldn’t have been his choice to die. Rick tells him to get his stuff and go. Negan wants to know who made the bullet. Tara tries to say she made it but Eugene says he did it and Negan believes him. He asks Lucille for strength because he’s going to relieve them of his bullet maker. Negan says that the stuff he got for him isn’t enough. He tells Rick that his kitchen is a mess. He walks away as Spencer turns into a Walker. Rick takes his anger out on the Walker.

More from Undead Walking

Rick has an axe inside the prison cell that Morgan built. Michonne comes in and says that Carl told her he was there. They hug. She says she found what she was looking for. She wanted to go with Aaron and Rick but she needed to find her own answers. She wants the solution to be theirs. She tells Rick that there are more Saviors than she ever thought, and that they are vastly outnumbered. She says they’re still alive, and that they have been through so much and survived. “We’re the ones who lived. That’s why they have to fight. For Judith. For Carl,” she says. They will find a way to beat them. But they have to do it together.

Maggie climbs the tower again and spies something in the distance. She calls for Sasha and Enid. At the gates are Rick and the whole crew. He tells her that she was right from the start about getting ready to fight. He can hear that not. Around the corner comes Daryl and Jesus, and Rick goes to Daryl and hugs him. Sasha and Rosita exchange looks as Michonne hugs Sasha. Enid sees Carl, with his bandage back on. Daryl takes the gun he found and gives it to Rick. Everyone looks at each other and smiles.

For once, The Walking Dead midseason finale ends on a very positive note.

The Walking Dead returns in February 2017.