This week’s episode of The Walking Dead continued the ‘fresh start’ we spoke about last week as we find our heroes – more or less – all together to explore a brand new settlement camp known as The Hilltop. Although does this new land hold opportunity or only new threats. Who will take center stage in this “next world”. And sadder, who will be taken away.
Have the wheels already been set in motion for a tearful goodbye? Are our heroes about to have a reality check like none before? Let’s find out as we take a Closer Look at The Walking Dead “Knots Unite”.
“Knots Untie” – Episode Meaning & The Descent Into Separation & Entropy:
Much like last week, this week’s episode title is directly something said by Jesus (not Christ). The line in question is when he’s describing how he escaped the prison. After stating the various ways to get out (two doors, windows, and only one guard to watch them all), he says “knots undie and locks get picked. Entropy comes from order, right?”. Entropy is of course another word for chaos and this episode used that line of dialogue as a perfect road map for this episode. As I was saying last week, the first segment of The Walking Dead is now completed. In many ways, you can watch “No Way Out” as a series finale of sorts as Rick and the gang finally settle into peace at Alexandria; and we see this as true because “The Next World” picks up after weeks of peace. And it is from that peace that we see disorder start to arise out of this episode.
Like the Alexandrians’ used to be, most of the people of the hilltop are clueless to the workings of the new world – and even common sense apparently. Walking into this situation, it seems as though Rick and the gang have found an easy solution for their food problems as Neegan is seen as ‘just another group of vandals’. They’ve handled the Governor, Termites, Wolves and many other gangs before; and whereas they’ve survived, they always lost something along the way. I’ll go into more detail on this in the following sections, but it’s important to remember that what we saw at the end of Part 1 and most of “The Next World” was the order. The Chaos is coming and as you can imagine, the ‘mayor’ of the Hilltop is going to be a big part of it.
Gregory – Good Guy Or Bad Guy?
We’ve just met Gregory, and we already have a VERY clear picture of who he is, but to truly get how bad he is, let’s compare their first meeting to their first time with Deanna at Alexandria. At Alexandria, Rick and the gang looked like wild animals, and here they’re arriving as civilized – yet a little dirtied – travelers. Though despite this better look, Gregory still insists upon them cleaning up so as not to spoil the pristine look of Barrington House. From this moment, we can already tell he ‘doesn’t get it’ and places too much emphasis on ‘the illusion of appearance’; but it’s his interactions with Maggie that TRULY reveal his despicable and cowardly character.
The style in which he speaks down to Maggie immediately shows him off as a not exactly ‘likeable’ character, but as things progress we see how the moment anything gets slightly heated, he backs down and walks away. Whereas Deanna was a strong leader, Gregory treats everyone around him like children and yet it is he who is particularly spineless – which most likely lead to his quick acceptance of Negan’s proposition. Jesus then confirms this all later when he says that Gregory isn’t particularly a good negotiator; and even if he hadn’t we can see that Jesus is much better at politics and coming to agreements/diffusing situations than Gregory is. Although with someone so cowardly, how can we be sure he won’t try to save his own pride and stab Rick’s group in the back with their plan against Neegan.
“It’s Gonna Cost Us Something” – The Set Up For … THAT Moment – *Spoiler Warning*
In case you missed the warning in the title, SPOILER WARNING AHEAD! I’m about to discuss a famous scene from the comics and something that was heavily alluded to happening again in the TV show – potentially at the end of the season finale. So if you want to be completely surprised and not hear about this character death, skip this section.
In the long run, we didn’t get to learn much about Neegan this episode; but what we did learn was enough. Neegan and his ‘saviors’ group go around finding others to take from. If they serve little purpose, they’ll kill them and take it anyway. But if the group offers something more – sustainability in the case of the Hilltop – then they offer the group protection … from themselves. Though how do they shock a community it’s being this passive? Simple, kidnapping and public bludgeonings as an example… and one is FAMOUSLY coming.
This episode focused a lot on Glenn and Maggie’s approaching baby and how the whole idea of settling down and having a kid is so that when things go wrong, at least you had that time of normalcy to look back on and still move forward. Additionally, pair this with how Glenn’s role this episode was more supportive and how Maggie’s role has been rising steadily, and you know that it’s because something bad is coming. The attack on the Saviors is going to fail – whether by Rick’s groups over-confidence or Gregory selling them out – and when it does, Glenn is going to be beaten to death by Neegan as an example… at least that’s the most plausible/comic accurate version of this outcome. If the writers decide to switch this to another character, I CERTAINLY won’t complain. But then again, ending the season with Neegan violently killing one of – if not the most – beloved characters with a bat, is a HUGE moment that no one will soon forget.
Quick Bites – Easter Eggs, Quotes & Other Notables:
- I honestly didn’t see the Abraham scenes coming this week. Whereas we have seen them growing closer, it was originally because Abraham thought Sascha was just as wild and bloodlusty as he was, but that was no longer the case. It might have only been a moment and hard to discern who’s voice he heard during his near-death experience, but since Rosita’s charm was left in the dirt, it seems as though Abraham pursuing Sascha is about to become a thing. Whether or not it’ll end as happily as Rick and Michonne… that remains to be seen, but it probably won’t be.
- “Knots Untie” can actually also refer to the breaking up of Abraham and Rosita if the above does pan out. Sure they’re not married, but they have more or less been a couple since we met them.
- We all knew Carl would be cool with Michonne and Ricj, but man…. Could have found out better than a strangers telling him his “mommy and daddy” were naked together lol
- Negan beat someone in front of them because they “need to understand right off the BAT”… another foreshadowing of you know what.
Next week, our heroes will begin to formulate a plan of attack and it looks like they’re enlisting all the heavy hitters. But will it be enough? How broken will they be if they hit Neegan with everything they got and loose one of their best. We’ll find out soon, but considering all the foreshadowing…. I’m frightened. The old motto ‘fight the dead, fear the living’ seems to be coming back with a vengeance.