I give this episode a 49 on Robin's Scale.
I think this episode sacrificed story sense for shock value; Several times (Snipers, Saviors, Oceansiders and Carl).
Unless Carl goes through some sort of 'Deus ex machina', he's dead. In a way, it's kind of tragic for the actor. Chandler Riggs has gradually gotten better as a child actor the past 7 years and it's a shame because I thought the scenes with Siddiq two episodes ago were really good (probably the only things good about the past 8 episodes). His scenes in this episode were okay. If we know going forward (that's he's going to die) then it becomes about how they deal with him along the way to his death. Let's hope some cool things happen second half of this season where we are left with a positive departure of Carl that feeds the story in a good; non tropic; not thirst for revenge kind of way...(misplaced Rick anger at Negan since his inevitable death is from a walker; not Negan.)
Plot Summary with comments:
* It turns out that the snipers were dealt with by the Sanctuary folks, which is how Negan and the Saviors escaped. How specifically is unclear...As far as we saw, the Saviors were surrounded and on the defense against Zombies and retreating to upper levels. It's unclear how this turned into an offensive against the sharpshooter Alexandrians. Story wise this isn't make sense, this seemed to be all about the twist of there being no snipers and the Saviors putting one over on Rick and Company. Were they captured? It appears so because there's no Morgan and they wouldn't just kill him off; besides it's been revealed he crosses over to Fear of the Walking Dead so they must have been captured.
* Michonne catches Carl coming out of the sewers and he says he is taken care of something just as Negan says he has the place surrounded and gives them time to surrender. Carl orders the Alexandrians to evacuate to the sewers while he confronts Negan. He tells Michonne to do what he says and she complies.
* The Kingdom is surrounded by the Gavin led Saviors and they ask for their surrender and to give up Ezekiel which they don't.
* Carl assumes leadership in his father's absence and offers up his own life to Negan who is taken a back by this.
* Maggie gets blockaded by Simon and loses a lieutenant to assassination. She goes back to Hilltop and executes a Savior.
*Enid and Aaron head to Oceanside to rally support for the war against the Saviors. Aaron makes it a point that they shouldn't bring guns yet Enid does and ends up shooting and killing the leader of Oceanside, Latania. This made no story sense, however we are shocked by End's senseless act.
* Rick gets into a hand to hand fight with Negan and escapes through a broken window and to the sewers below Alexandria.
* Carl shows his bite mark on his torso to Rick. It's pretty clear when he went to rescue Saddiq that when they were freeing the souls of the dead that Carl procured his bite in those actions and he has been hiding that since then. (See the bad.) How Carl has been able to forge along for so long without showing signs of infection is yet another story detail that was thrown under the bus for the shocking reveal that Carl was bit.
* Carl having been bitten. Earth shattering to the followers of the comics; shocking to followers of the show. I have always thought Carl was untouchable as a character; like Michonne and Rick; boy was I wrong.
* I am not quite sure why Enid shot the leader of Oceanside, other than that being a convenient way for them to question joining Rick's group against the Saviors now.
* It's pretty clear Carl was bitten a two episodes ago when going back to Alexandria after finding Saddiq. I know turning times for folks vary, however Carl doesn't even look faintly like he has been affected by the bite (yet.) I am having a problem with that; unless of course if Carl is immune to Zombie bites.
* There was a weird scene where Michonne just froze after Rosita called out to her; making it look like something happened to her. Slightly later she's fine poking her sabre through a Saviors head.
* Simon has Maggie, so why does he let her go claiming that they work for Negan now? Wouldn't he use her to make sure Hilltop complies? That made no sense to me. Simon is not that stupid or have that much hubris.
* Is Carl going to die from his bite? I would say yes and that this fuels Rick's angst towards Negan, which really doesn't need more fuel. Is he immune to Zombie bites and we will get a Deus ex Machina moment? I will tell you this *doesn't* happen in the comic books, so this is an earth shattering event as far as canon for comic book readers. The thing to bear in mind is the first episode of the season where there is a montage between Rick with red eyes looking like he is crying and the dream/flash forward sequence where he is old. Weird Al's song 'Another Rides the Bus' is a cover of Queen's 'Another One Bites the Dust'. You put these together and you get the impression that Rick is mourning Carl's death and the flash forward sequence is nothing but an idealistic dream of the future that is Rick's mind. It's that or Carl doesn't die of the bite and Rick is mourning another major character's death.
* Where the heck is Heath?
* Is Heath alive and with the folks with the Helicopter?
* Was Morgan and the Snipers captured?