Each week, we’ll give every episode at least 24 hours to breathe…and for you to get caught up. After that, you’re clicking at your own risk. Spoilers ahead.
“Your world’s about to get much bigger,” said Jesus when explaining to Rick and the Alexandrians that there are more communities like theirs just beyond the walls.
There was a lot to absorb from this week’s Walking Dead episode, ‘Knots Untie’. First off, Jesus easily exploited the safety within Alexandria by escaping captivity, surveying their inventory, and somehow finding exactly where #Richonne was laying.
He also opened the door for trade from his own community, The Hilltop, where they have southern plantation style “Big House”, called the Barrington House where a pompous white dude resides and calls the shots (to an extent). Personal note: I live next to a town in Northwest Chicago called Barrington, and the irony is hilarious. Walking into the Hilltop, there’s a reminder of Terminus as we see a woman working the grill. We’re told the Hilltoppers use the grill for livestock and vegetables, but it’s tough to forget the image of a human leg on the barbie. It also had a Woodbury feel to it as well, which is hard for Rick’s group to trust.
Some serious STUFF happens at the Hilltop between the true leaders of Rick’s group and Jesus’s, and the everything is set in motion to take the fight to the insanely anticipated Negan! Who’s psyched?!
Just one Goodbye before we get to this week’s rankings:
Ethan – We hardly knew ye…Viewers can safely go back to expecting the unexpected again as Ethan stabbed his community’s leader in the gut (on behalf of Negan) within seconds of us meeting the guy. As Jesus put it, “Ethan was a coward”.
And now the living…
1. Daryl Dixon (Previously 1st)
The streak continues for Daryl and Rick (#TrueDetectiveSeason3) as our 1 & 2. Daryl doesn’t lose any footing as he makes the biggest power play of everyone being the catalyst to suggest the group needs to go after Negan and the Saviors. He tells them “The Boogeyman ain’t shit”, which is admirable…but could be a little overzealous. Like the main group after defeating an entire horde of walkers, we’ll just roll with it…for now.
2. Rick Grimes (Previously 2nd)
“What?” was the best reaction Rick could possibly have to people staring at him for stabbing their friend in the throat in front of them. Mind you, Ethan did sneakily stab their leader and tried killing Rick as well. Rick’s hot-headed nature and bloodlust (as they call it in Arrow) makes him a bit of a wild card still, but it’s good he’s aware of it. Delegating the diplomatic role to Maggie seemed like a solid development for the Ricktatorship…
He does propose the trade that would get Alexandria food and supplies as long as they can deliver some dude named Craig from Negan’s captivity. He also back’s Daryl’s suggestion by saying” Confrontation is something we’ve never had trouble with.” Me thinks there’s going to be trouble.
3. Maggie Greene (Previously 5th)
Maggie made some big moves to boost her stock, especially at the Hilltop. The leader that Deanna saw her as came to fruition as she held her own in negotiating with the Hilltop leader, Gregory. Maggie took zero shit from him as she called him out for hitting on her and calling her honey. Then at the end of the episode, she exploited the Hilltop’s weaknesses and their lack of defense. Asking for half their supplies and food for the Alexandrian’s help was a House of Cards like power move.
Some foreshadowing though comes from Maggie’s discussion with Rick regarding the plan to go after the Saviors. “It’s going to cost something.” We should be nervous about what that is.
4. Michonne (Previously 3rd)
Michonne’s slight slide isn’t a knock on her at all, but more credit to Maggie. When Rick tell’s Carl “This is different,” I believe it. Michonne is even more capable of defending herself than Rick is, and the choke slam she laid on the angry Hilltop chick during the scuffle between the two sides was badass. Rick’s lucky to have her this invested in him now with her katana sword.
5. Jesus (Previously 11th)
Big jump to the top 5 in just 2 episodes, but he’s definitely proven his worth. While Gregory may be the leader of the Hilltop by title, you can tell Jesus is pulling the strings in their community. He is currently the glue and ambassador for Alexandria and his group, and come on…he totally schooled everyone with the intel he gathered in the first 5 minutes of the episode. That was impressive.
Still needs to work on getting Daryl to trust him.
6. Negan (Previously 19th)
Hasn’t even physically been on the show yet, but he’s able to get someone consequence stabbed and another guy killed. That’s power.
Based on the way the Hilltop describes Negan, he runs his outfit like the mafia. The Saviors get kickbacks in return for “protection”, aka not brutally murdering everyone. For the second time this season, we heard a reference to someone being killed “off the bat”. Third time will be the charm, or so to speak.
7. Glenn Rhee (Previously 4th)
Glenn had an interesting episode. He seemed nervous and reserved about the safety of Maggie and their unborn child. Then he finds a doctor who can help them, and hope with the new Hilltop community aligning with them. His “new dad” moment passing around the ultrasound photo and look of assurance toward Abraham at the end really showed how content he seems at this point…which should make us all nervous.
8. Carl Grimes (Previously 6th)
Carl had an opportunity to pull a #ClassicCarl move and get all bratty when finding out about Rick and Michonne, but he didn’t. Stepping up to stay back and protect Judith was more proof of his maturity. He’s come a long way, for sure, and #PirateCarl is his best version yet.
9. Sasha (Previously 8th)
I’m not totally sure what’s going on here with Sasha and Abraham. She’s definitely in his head. And he has her in mind when getting a gift from Rosita and talking about “settling down” with Glenn. Making the call to split up their shifts definitely puts Sasha in the driver seat between the two. Whatever’s going on with them, it appears she doesn’t think it’s the best idea for either of them.
10. Aaron (Previously 9th)
A little surprised Aaron didn’t go with the group to the Hilltop, but he’s done nothing to rise or drop in the rankings. I imagine he’ll have some thoughts next week when Rick bring’s the decision to go after the Saviors to the Alexandrians.
11. Abraham (Previously 7th)
It was a weird episode for Abraham. He seemed fine until Sasha broke up their guard shift. He seemed happy with Rosita until she gave him a gift, which reminded him of Sasha. He almost killed FREDDIE (I’ll get more into Freddie later) and wasn’t putting up too much of a fight while he was being choked out. Then some epiphany happened after Daryl saved him…Was it some kind of inner struggle decision between Rosita and Sasha? Is he ready to live or die? Will he keep his cool on a shift with Eugene?
TUNE IN NEXT WEEK (TV Cartoon voiceover guy voice)!
12. Denise Cloyd (Previously 12th)
Denise is getting weekly appearances and I enjoy each one. Baking Daryl cookies definitely scored her some points too. Something about her looking out for him seems significant for down the road.
13. Enid (Previously 10th)
No Enid this week means we haven’t seen how she’s grown after little dramatic spat with Carl. I still have high hopes for her to chill out and be a positive contributor to the community. Knowing The Walking Dead, somebody’s gotta bring the drama and conflict. There are a number of characters down the list who can provide that though…
14. Carol Peletier (Previously 20th)
I’ve gotten flack for not having Carol higher in the rankings the past couple weeks, and this isn’t a concession to that. Carol’s choices this season have hurt the group more than helped it and her conflict with Morgan at the worst possible time wasn’t justifiable. However…
The group going after Negan is going to need warriors and if there’s one thing she’s built for, it’s killing.
15. Morgan Jones (Previously 17th)
Where Carol goes in these rankings, Morgan isn’t particularly far. Going into a battle, you need him…but you probably need Carol more because she can pull the trigger. It will be the first time we’ve seen him in weeks on the show and it will be interesting to see how time has changed him and Carol. Hopefully for the better.
16. Rosita Espinosa (Previously 18th)
I’m worried that whatever Abraham thinks he’s going to do after his near death experience will either make or break Rosita. I am hopeful it’s the former but sometimes you really don’t know with complimentary characters on The Walking Dead. I don’t care what Abraham thinks, that neckless was pretty damn sweet.
17. Heath (Previously 13th)
There are two original Alexandrians I trust on this upcoming rescue mission, Aaron and Heath.
18. Tara Chambler (Previously 15th)
I’m a little surprised we’ve seen more of Denise than Tara in recent episodes, and I do hope she finally gets her pop sooner than later. You can be confident she’ll handle herself alright, whether it’s on a mission or protecting Alexandria. I don’t know how much that will matter when Negan enters the fold.
19. Eugene Porter (Previously 16th)
I think there will be an interesting parallel between Eugene and Abraham’s development. Eugene wants to step up as someone who protects the community and Abraham’s growing more and more passive, even hesitant. Abraham’s demise seems inevitable at this point and I hope to see Eugene take on that role in the group, seeing that he’s training and all.
20. Father Gabriel (Previously 14th)
Father Gabriel’s slide isn’t necessarily his fault, but more so his importance diminished a little at this current point. Feel better about him being back in Alexandria during Rick’s next raid.
21. Spencer Monroe (Previously 21st)
I feel better about Spencer after he put down Zombie-Deanna. I’m not sure how he’ll fair in the next few weeks, but at least the sentimental stock is high at the moment.
22. Doctor Harlan (Newbie)
YAY! NEW CHARACTERS – Harlan made a pretty good impression to start. He offered his services to Glenn and Maggie, who seemed to desperately need it. Even after watching Rick tear out Ethan’s throat, the doc didn’t waiver in his generosity either. He does seem to be in need of the Alexandrian’s protection though, and that counts for most Hilltoppers other than Jesus.
23. Eric Raleigh (Previously 22nd)
24. Tobin (Previously 23rd)
25. Baby Judith (Previously 24th)
26. Gregory (Newbie)
Enter ‘THIS GUY! Yes, Xander Berkely, who you may remember from 24 and Air Force One, is very good at playing smarmy jerks. That’s exactly what Gregory comes off as, but at least he made a deal at all with Maggie.
27. Andy (Newbie)
While Andy’s going to join the group as a liaison with knowledge of Negan’s camp, he’s probably reluctant because Rick killed his buddy…and his arm is broken.
28. Cal (Newbie)
This guy seems like nothing more than a punk with a spear, but for now he’s on Rick’s side.
29. Olivia (Previously 25th)
Hey, you’re STILL here…for now.
30. Dwight (Previously 26th)
I get a feeling we’re going to see Dwight again very soon…with Daryl’s crossbow.
31. Freddie (Newbie)
Freddie had a nice touching moment, but I don’t think this poor guy is long for the Walking Dead world much longer.