Thoughts with summary mixed together:
I gave this episode a 70 on Robin's scale. Chock full of dialog and action and story motion. Not all the dialog and scenes were necessary. Perhaps it was just to give everyone lines before the mid season hiatus? I loved the interactions for the most part (except with Morgan, Carol and Richard: See the Bad)
* Gregory exchanges barbs with Maggie. He feels threatened by her abilities to save the community from walkers and tells her not to get cocky or think that means anything. She points out to him that it bothers him that she was able to do that. She manages to get him to give her the apple he was about to eat with coaxing from a lookout. This makes it obvious who's in charge here and the regard the hilltop people have for Gregory. That was nice. Maggie also feeds her baby in the process. The scene accomplished a lot with very little dialog. (The show needs to do more of this.)
* Rick and Aaron make their way in a bullet hole ridden rowboat towards the house boat surrounded by floating zombies.
* Negan sits down to nice Italian dinner flanked by Lucille, Olivia, Judith and Carl (shot with a lens that stretched out the image). It boils down Negan perfectly: Funny, creep, horrific, terrifying all done in a relaxing manner with a smile. That's not in the graphic novels BTW; that I thought was very well written and performed.
* Spencer gives up his loot to the Saviors. One of the female Saviors makes a pass at him.
* Morgan and Richard call on Carol. Richard tries to convince the both of them to ask King Ezekiel to fight against the Saviors. Neither of them want any part of it, however they can both see that a war is inevitable. Morgan doesn't want to fight because he still feels killing human beings is morally wrong. I think Carol doesn't want to fight because she feels she's killed too many humans and when she coexists with humans they always end up dead, so she would rather live alone.
* Aaron falls into the water and is surrounded by zombies, however is okay and he and Rick make it to the house boat where they find a bunch of weapons but no bullets. They find a middle finger note and call the houseboat owner (who's not there) a 'sore loser'.
* Daryl escapes the Saviors compound due to the assistance of Jesus. He clubs to death Fat Joey on his way out who has Rick's Python.
* Michonne has the female hostage Savior drive her to the top of a hill overlooking the Sanctuary and Michonne realizes there's just too many Saviors to get at Negan. She takes the female Savior's advice and shoots her with a silenced gun and then turns the truck around and ditches it in a lake so Negan won't know she did anything and heads back to Alexandria.
* Enid stops Sasha from going out on a mission to take out Negan.
* Rosita shows Father Gabriel the bullet for Negan and tries to convince her that's pointless and she will only end up killed.
* Rick shows up with Aaron and the Saviors proceed to process the loot they found and beat Aaron within an inch of his life because of the middle finger note about the supplies which they thought he made for them.
* Richard goes to a hidden camper where it appears he has been making moonshine and falls down in a pile to vent; perhaps the shine is for Molotov cocktails?
* Spencer plays pool with Negan; tries to get Negan to kill Rick and put him in charge. Negan eviscerates Spencer in front of the Alexandrians while commenting that he's a coward that lost his guts and then apologetically cracks the comment he now seems to have found them.
* Rosita pulls a gun on Negan and shoots Lucille instead which pisses Negan off.
* Negan notices the bullet is homemade (why he would be able to do that when it should be embedded in the bat or ricochet off a distance is a minor annoyance) and asks Rosita where she got the bullet. She tries to say she made it and he doesn't buy that. This costs Olivia her life.
* Rick walks up to the group supporting Aaron and Negan tells Rick what happened with Carl, Spencer, Rosita and Olivia. (SEE the good.) This is the moment Rick realizes so many people want to see Negan dead and he has to do something or he will keep losing people. Getting supplies for Negan isn't helping keep the peace.
* Negan pushes for the bullet maker and Eugene cracks and confesses. Negan takes Eugene with him and his crew back to the Sanctuary.
* Rick, Michonne, Carl, Aaron, Tara and a few others reunite with Maggie, Sasha, Enid, Jesus and Daryl at Hilltop.
* Rick resolves to fight with a few lines and taking his Python from Daryl.
* The former houseboat owner spies on Alexandria using binoculars.
* The scene in the cold opening where Negan asks Carl to *please* pass the rolls I thought was hysterical.
* There is nice multi episode buildup to Rick coming back with supplies for Negan. His expression witnessing Olivia dead next to Carl; Spencer in a bloody pile by the pool table; while Rosita has a knife to her face as he's helping Aaron to his house confronting Negan is priceless.
* Yes! The man who stockpiled the guns on the houseboat lives and is stalking Rick's group! This could be a great wildcard chaotic good character in the making. I hope it doesn't end up being just another enemy that gets dealt with quickly and unceremoniously. This looks specific to the show (there's nothing like that in the Graphic novels.)
This should be interesting.
* I didn't like the scene where Richard and Morgan simultaneously call on Carol. The problem I had here is I could not remember why Carol wanted to be alone. It's been so long in the story line since she explained why that was that I had to go back to Season 6 speeches to remind myself. They should have had that scene a lot sooner in the Season.
* What specifically were the things that made Rick change his mind about fighting Negan? Was it Michonne's words? Carl's actions trying to take out Negan? The deaths of two minor characters Spencer and Olivia? Is it the totality of everything that was presented in the episode? I didn't have a firm sense on Rick's change in his position on going to war with the Saviors until the very end, however that Hilltop scene with them walking to the meeting house was very sophomoric to me.
* Tara handing Olivia the lemonade Denise loved didn't appear to have any purpose other than maybe it's to show Tara wanted an opportunity perhaps to take out Negan?
* What was the point of Rosita confiding in Father Gabriel about the homemade bullet? It didn't seem like she was having a moral a dilemma. That was a filler scene for me.
* Is Heath still alive? Where is he? He looks like he was abducted.
* What does 'ppp' (or flip it upside 'ddd') mean on the security card? Is this a different group? My hope for years has been for a group of nerds to still be alive that have processor power at their finger tips. Perhaps this is who took Heath? More likely Negan eh??
* What is going to happen when Negan finds out Maggie is still alive?
* Will Oceanside ever help Alexandria in a war against the Saviors?