‘The Walking Dead’ Recap: The Naked Garbage Pail Kids Return

Andrew Lincoln, Rick Grimes, The Walking Dead
Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes in The Walking Dead  Jackson Lee Davis/AMC

The war against the Saviors has barely begun but it’s already going awry, whether Rick (Andrew Lincoln) cares to admit it or not. On the Sunday, November 26, episode of The Walking Dead, titled “The King, the Widow, and Rick,” the militia’s fearless leader struck out while trying to strike a deal with an old frenemy, King Ezekiel (Khary Payton) remained paralyzed by grief, and Maggie (Lauren Cohan) struggled with a situation at the Hilltop — all while secondary members of the gang started going rogue in dangerous ways.

Once a Garbage Person, Always a Garbage Person

After the disaster that was Rick’s first attempt to team up with the Garbage Pail Gang, it seemed like kind of a no-brainer to leave Jadis (Pollyanna McIntosh) and her crew of weirdos to their LARPing, dumpster-diving and naked junk-sculpture-making. But Rick is nothing if not persistent, and this week found him making a surprise return to the trash heap in search of a new alliance. Alas, Jadis remained unimpressed by both Rick’s offer of a peace treaty and his stubborn insistence on speaking in complete sentences, and Rick ended up denied, captured and imprisoned under a pile of garbage without a stitch of clothing on.

Carl’s New Friend

While his dad was trying to strike a deal with the local lunatics, Carl (Chandler Riggs) went in search of Siddiq (Avi Nash), the mysterious stranger he encountered at a gas station in episode 1, with the intention of asking him the three questions and bringing him home to Alexandria. (Siddiq’s walker body count: an impressive 237, give or take!)

At this point, the smart bets are on Carl dying before the season is out — Riggs’ progression through puberty is so far ahead of the show’s three-year timeline that it’s starting to make things awkward — but both guys escaped unharmed when they were inevitably waylaid by zombies on their way back. However, Carl’s chance meeting with a man on the same journey as he is — struggling to find an independent path forward while honoring his parents and his past — felt distinctly ominous. Will saving Siddiq be his last act on Earth?

Trouble Behind the Walls

Although Rick seemed optimistic about an eventual victory against the Saviors, not everyone came through the initial carnage with their faith intact. King Ezekiel remained a mess despite Carol (Melissa McBride) begging him to get it together and lead his people, while Maggie tried to juggle Jesus’ (Tom Payne) sympathy for the enemy with Gregory’s (Xander Berkeley) sniveling demands that they build a gallows and hang ’em all.

Eventually, she came to a decision: to enclose all the untrustworthy folks in a pen within the Hilltop walls, a group that included not just the captured Saviors but Gregory, too. The catch? It’s a just-for-now thing, in case they need to perform a prisoner exchange; after it’s all over, said Maggie, “We can’t let them live.” In the meantime, let’s hope this war ends before things get messy because as of right now that barbed-wire enclosure contains 30 dudes and zero latrines.

Loose Cannons

The trouble with a complex, multifaceted plan to lay siege to your enemies until they’re overthrown? It takes too dang long, and people start getting antsy, which is where we found Michonne (Danai Gurira) and Rosita (Christian Serratos, making her first appearance since getting shot and then giving birth in the off-season.)

After two days of waiting and wondering, Michonne needed to see the fruits of their labors, and Rosita wanted in, which wasn’t part of the plan but turned out to be a good idea when the two stumbled upon a pair of loose Saviors at a secret outpost. They were armed with a truck and a set of giant speakers, aka the kind of mobile noisemaker that could easily un-besiege the Sanctuary. Rosita, on the other hand, was armed with a grenade launcher, so you can guess who won that fight.

Meanwhile, Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Tara (Alanna Masterson) arrived on the scene just in time to ram the escaping Savior/speaker setup with a garbage truck, leaving Rick’s plan still working … but with four impatient warriors now outside the walls and considering their next move, are they going to take matters into their own hands? The only hint was a cryptic comment from Daryl: “We got a lot more work to do. All of us.”

The Walking Dead airs on AMC Sundays at 9 p.m. ET.

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