Throughout the seasons, the show has been largely focused on our main group of characters in their mostly contained little world. In this episode, we learn that the post-apocalyptic world is a whole lot bigger than our group has been thinking. Here are my Top 5 moments from “Knots Untie.”
- Abraham’s way with words
This episode starts out with Abraham having a bit of a crisis of conscience. He loves Rosita, and the show makes that clear. But he has also been enjoying his time with Sasha. He’s torn and confused and a little bit worried about this triangle. Though he seems to be quite focused on this situation, he still manages to make us laugh with his unique way with words. In a conversation with Glenn about Maggie’s pregnancy, Abraham asks him “When you were pouring the Bisquick, did you mean to make pancakes?” Of course Glenn reacted as most of us did, with quite a confused silence while trying to figure out if Abraham really just said that. While in the same discussion, after Glenn has caught up, Abraham lets us know that “when it’s raining, [he] wear[s] galoshes.” What a lovely sentiment. Michael Cudlitz definitely killed it in this episode.
- A Beacon of Hope
In what shall now be referred to Glenn and Maggie’s “pancake,” we see a beacon of hope for the couple and for the rest of the group. While it is still a big risk and quite scary to be pregnant and to have a baby in this state of the world, it is also a sign of hope for our group. Instead of this esoteric concept of the future that they are working and fighting for, it becomes a lot more real in the form of their “pancake.” They want Alexandria to work so that Judith and the new baby can survive, so that they can grow up and actually have childhoods. They work and fight so that this brave new world can be these children’s reality; so that they won’t have to know the terrible heartbreak and struggles that our group has gone through. This bit of news, I think, gives our group an extra spark when thinking of the future. They’ll work and fight just a little bit extra because of this beacon of hope.
- Maggie steps up
Since her introduction in season 2, Maggie has been a pretty big player in all of the events. She’s pretty much been a badass the whole time. However, we’ve seen less of her in this season. It’s almost like she faded into the background a bit with all the different story lines going on. In this episode, however, we see her step up and get to display those badass characteristics of a real leader again. Rick is a bit peeved at the leader of the Hilltop colony, Gregory. Instead of going in to meet him and possibly losing his temper, he instead sends Maggie in there and she handles herself beautifully. She’s strong, she’s confident, she’s not intimidated by Gregory’s threats or advances. She stands tall for her people.
Later in the episode, after Gregory has been stabbed, these two convene once again to hash out a deal between the groups. Maggie doesn’t give an inch, in fact…she comes at him with a tough deal and because of the leverage her and her group have, he has no choice really but to accept. Maggie’s skills in this episode earn the Alexandrians half of what the Hilltop has in their camp; food, medicine, and even a cow. In exchange for all of this, the Alexandrians have to get back Craig (one of the Hilltoppers) from Negan’s clutches, and take out Negan as a threat.
- The Hilltop
I thought it might take a bit longer to get there, but we already got introduced to the Hilltop this week! Some of the Alexandrians accompany Jesus back to his settlement, the Hilltop. They are all quite suspicious that it’s a trap and that they shouldn’t trust Jesus, but if what he is saying is true, it could really change the fortunes of Alexandria. Their distrust is heightened when they come upon a crash on the road, which turns out to be other Hilltop residents. They continue to trust Jesus and save these people; one of who turns out not only to be a doctor, but an obstetrician. Maggie and Glenn are elated to hear that news. When they arrive at the Hilltop, Maggie can’t help but smile. The others take it all in. It’s a small settlement that looks like a colonial town. They have a big mansion-type building (Barrington House), many smalls trailers for others to live in, crops, livestock, a blacksmith, and hard working people. It has big, sturdy walls surrounding the perimeter and on top of Barrington House are windows that allow them to see for miles around. It looks to be quite a great place filled with many things the Alexandrians need and they are looking to work with and trade with Alexandria. This could be very good for both of these settlements.
As the saying goes, if something looks too good to be true, it probably is. So it goes with the Hilltop. The Alexandrians are lured in by the great opportunity that the Hilltop could bring for them but are shortly thereafter reminded of the harsh world they still live in. They learn that the Hilltoppers have had an agreement with a character known as Negan since almost the beginning of the outbreak. Half of everything that they scavenge, grow, make, or collect goes to Negan and his group, called the Saviors. In exchange, the Saviors don’t attack the Hilltop and its people. To show them just how serious Negan is about this deal, at the beginning, Negan came in to the Hilltop and beat a 16-year-old boy, Rory, to death in front of everyone. The Hilltoppers have been providing for them ever since.
Rick and the gang see this threat to the Hilltop and decide that to make a deal, they will take out Negan and his Saviors. They have dealt with some terrible characters before and have come out on top. They are not scared and Rick assures Jesus that “confrontation is not something we’ve had trouble with.” And so, our Alexandrians step into another conflict in hopes of making both Alexandria and the Hilltop safer and more prosperous for its residents with very little knowledge of what they are actually up against.