Last week on The Walking Dead we met Jesus. Turns out he’s got the capacity to be a rude fellow, interrupting Rick after some passionate wrestling in the nude. But this week we first pick up with Abraham and Sasha, who are enjoying a light hearted conversation. Interestingly enough, we get a conversation that feels a little bit too… affectionate. These two definitely seem to be feeling something more… hands on. Of course, we’ll have to see what becomes of Abraham and Rosita, first, as they’re still an on-off, kinda-couple.
Later, after nightfall we catch up with Glenn and Maggie before seeing someone apparently chasing after another. Cut to an interior shot of the place in which Rick is shacking up. The next thing we know there’s something of a group meeting. Jesus starts to share some info, letting everyone know that he comes from a community, similar to Alexandria. He’s proposing that the two groups come together to form one, or at least work out some form of exchange deal. Rick and the group are quite curious.
Rick and a few of the group’s focal survivors head out with Jesus to look into his camp and see if there might be some trading options. The ride isn’t quite as smooth as it could be – the group gets sidetracked by an auto accident on the road – but they continue to press on. They find the survivors of the crash, said to be men from Jesus’ camp. They find walkers as well. After a few zombies receive blades to the brains we see all survivors back on the road, traveling in the RV. All seems somewhat pleasant in this world, until the RV hits some muddy terrain and they wind up stuck.
Fortunately for the gang, they’re within walking distance of Jesus’ camp. The welcome from the guards is a little rocky, but they all make it inside, where they find a fancy mansion and see some agricultural progress being made. There are trailers on the property, and a few people inside seem friendly enough.
Gregory, the leader of the group, makes his presence known and ushers everyone off to get cleaned up before they get around to discussing the future. While everyone is off to rinse down, Maggie slips away for a one on one with Gregory. He’s coming off as rather arrogant. In fact, he slips into a rather ruthless mode. But Maggie isn’t being stepped on, and she puts a halt to Gregory’s abrasiveness. The whole encounter proves rather awkward.
Jesus promises to moderate things and make progress with Gregory. Moments later one of the members of this camp rushes in and warns everyone, “They’re back!”
Outside a small group appears and demands to know why the last load was light. Gregory gets stabbed by one of the visitors and then fists are flying. Ultimately Rick kills the man who stabbed Gregory. Things eventually get settled down. During the entire exchange we hear the name Negan. We realize now that there are some very real troubles with the trading system that this camp looks to implement with other survivors. And, as we all know, it sounds like Negan isn’t a very nice fellow, and it seems obvious that he’s a leader himself.
Rick soon asks about Negan. Jesus explains that he’s the leader of a group known as the Saviors. He’s violent, and ruthless. And he demands a lot. He’s also very willing to kill, and he’s got a deal with this camp: half of everything they own goes to the Saviors, and in return, Negan and the Saviors will allow them to live.
Daryl makes a straight forward offer: The heroes we know get hooked up heavily with food as well as livestock and in return they’ll hunt down the Saviors and slaughter them. It’s a deal. We’re on our way to meet Negan very soon, but first Maggie (who throws out some possible foreshadowing when she says that taking out Negan is going to “cost them something.” Watch yourself, Glenn) meets with Gregory once more to discuss the offer. She demands half of everything they’ve got, or no deal – and Negan comes back to claim more human trophies.
In the final moments of the episode Rick and one of the new acquaintances plan the trip to Negan’s place. The man who agrees to accompany them is very familiar with Negan’s compound and his men. He agrees to join the group and we’re all but on the road for Negan’s place, where all hell is going to break loose, and… spoiler alert – Glenn is totally going to be slaughtered. Sorry Maggie, you gave us that one!
For an episode that proves to be relatively light on action, “Knots Untie” makes for a pretty damn compelling piece of entertainment. The episode moves us forward quite rapidly and that’s a good thing. We’re now wondering whether or not we’ll truly have to wait until the season finale for the arrival of Negan. We’ve got to be very, very close to his official introduction.