Post-apocalyptic life is a constant struggle between good and evil, the living and the dead and while the Tribe has been working toward finding a balance, circumstances do not always allow for a simple solution to such complex questions. For the Tribe, survival is paramount, but just as essential is a sense of normalcy that they can build a community on as they attempt to navigate the brave, new world.
Spoilers ahead, Sweetie…
Food has, and always will be, the most important commodity for survivors of the zombie apocalypse. Even though they have fertile land inside the walls of Alexandria, the town does not grow its own crops and is in dire need of a consistent food source. In the past, Rick and the Tribe have farmed the land, but since the zombie walk-a-thon traipsed down Main Street, it seems that isn’t going to be an option any time soon. Luckily, Jesus has a solution, and he tells Rick about Hilltop, the community he comes from, who apparently have a bunch of food just lying around that they are willing to part with, for a price.
Even though it smells like a trap, Rick takes a handful of his people and head to Hilltop. Along the way, they find a crashed vehicle that Jesus claims belongs to his group and Rick being Rick, decides the best course of action is to help the stranded Hilltop tribe members (Daryl agrees with me that it really, really smells like a trap). They gather the survivors and head up to Hilltop, where they meet Gregory, the man in charge. Gregory reminds me a lot of the Governor, but without the sadistic streak or the eye patch. Rick wisely sends Maggie in as the mediator between Alexandria and Hilltop because, if we know anything about Rick Grimes post-apocalypse, it is that he has little to no social skills and a really short fuse. Maggie attempts to talk to Gregory, but he is a condescending dick who can’t even remember (or puposefully forgets) her name, claiming that Hilltop has something that Alexandria needs and that in order to get food, the members need to stay and work for it.
The shitty part is, Gregory is right. At first glance, the Tribe has nothing to offer Hilltop, and it seems inevitable that they will be forced into some sort of fuedalistic situation to earn food. That is, until Neegan’s influence in the Hilltop community becomes abundantly clear and we are reminded of the Tribe’s greatest strength–kicking ass.
A handful of Hilltop members return from delivering food and supplies to Neegan, with a message that the leader of the Saviors has killed two of their members, kidnapped one more and is demanding more food. The brother of the kidnapped Hilltopian(?) stabs Gregory and all hell breaks loose. Rick and the Tribe go on the attack, and, of course, prevail by stabbing the dude who stabbed Gregory, in the neck and generally not giving a fuck. After the melee, Jesus shares the deal made between the Saviors and Hilltop, and the Tribe sees an opportunity to disperse the neighborhood bullies and gain food, medicine and the other things they need from Hilltop.
“Confrontation’s never been something we’ve had trouble with.” Rick Grimes
After the revelation, Maggie and Gregory negotiate once again and this time, Maggie has the upper hand. Gregory is still a dick, but he’s not stupid. Maggie presents their deal, and then sticks it to the man by asking for half of everything Hilltop has and Gregory, bless his heart, really has no choice but to accept. The Tribe leaves Hilltop with an expanded world view, an alliance and an RV full of food as well as a mission to find and disperse of the Saviors. We haven’t met Neegan yet, but chances are, he and his people are not going to slink into the forest and give up easily. Hopefully the Savior storyline will not peeter off like the Wolves did, and we will get to see a serious expansion of the Walking Dead universe.
The Walking Dead airs on AMC Sundays at 9pm.
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