Warning: This post contains spoilers! Readers’ descretion is advised! Morning Star Ends On A Blazing High Note
Tonight’s episode begins with Beta and the Whisperers collecting sap. We then cut to Negan as Alpha hands him a stick. She rolls up her sleeve as Negan make’s his usual smart aleck remarks. Negan appears uncomfortable with what he is being told to do. Alpha tells him to do it anyways. He then beginning whipping her exposed arm. After three hits, she takes the stick from him and says it’s his turn. Negan protests a little but rolls up his sleeve anyways. We go back to Beta, who is among the horde. He starts a “We are the end of the world” chant with his fellow Whisperers. Alpha joins the group changing the chant to “We take them all”. Seconds later, we see Negan sporting a Whisperer skin suit for the first time.
After the theme, we go to Eugene talking to his radio girl Stephanie. The two are discussing music. She tries to get Eugene to sing, but he refuses. He changes the subject to shooting stars since he saw three last night. She mentions he better not be cheating by counting satellites. This sparks Eugene’s interest since one has fallen not far from Hilltop recently. He asks for more information to confirm his theory. The two quickly realize they are closer then they thought. Eugene says based on this information they must be a couple of hundred miles away from each other. Since they are so close, Eugene pushes again for a meet and greet. Stephanie says she’ll talk to her people, and get back to him. Meanwhile, at the gate, the Alexandrians have arrived. Earl confronts Aaron about Mary’s (Gamma) arrival. Aaron asks if she can see his son Adam. Earl scoffs and becomes hostile towards Aaron for even suggesting such a thing. Alden says he’ll talk to Aaron to find out what her true intentions are. This leads me to believe that Alden must be the new leader at Hilltop.
While hiding in the woods, at Daryl’s old campsite, King Ezekiel finds Carol. He says Jerry and Kelly made it back to Hilltop alive. They also told what happened in the cave. King Ezekiel sits down next to her saying either they return together, or they’ll sit there until she does. The two sit there in silence as we return to Hilltop. Kelly is tightening a homemade brace around her ankle. Luke is encouraging her to stay back, but she refuses. Yumiko asks what were Magna’s last words. This question annoys Kellie. Kellie asks her why is she even going if she already thinks of them as dead. Before Yumiko could answer Daryl arrives with Lydia on his motorcycle. Lydia tells them Alpha is coming with her horde, putting off the cave rescue.
In the radio room, Rosita comes up to visit Eugene. While she looks for him Stephanie calls out for him on the radio. Rosita snatches up the mic and starts questioning her as Eugene rushes into the room. Eugene becomes angry with Rosita for talking to Stephanie. By her talking to her she broke the promise they made at the beginning of there transmission. The two have a fight causing Eugene to demand Rosita to leave their room.
Out by the river, Alpha and Negan are discussing a battle strategy. Negan suggests instead of massacring everyone, they make them surrender. Alpha agrees to hear Negan out. At Hilltop they gear up for battle. Lydia tells the people at Hilltop what she learned while in hiding. They discuss whether to stay and fight or pick up and rebuild society. When they all agree to fight Daryl decides to help transport the kids to Oceanside. On the way there they find the path blocked by fallen trees. Daryl looks up and sees two Hilltop guards hanging from the tree as walkers. They realize that Alpha must be partnered up with Negan because this was something he did to them. Realizing an escape to Oceanside isn’t going to work, they return to Hilltop. When they arrive Daryl tells Aaron the bad news. Alpha is closing in on them. Luke suggests they radio for reinforcements, but Dianne says nobody will be able to reach them in time. Earl takes a stance and rallies the others for the big battle. King Ezekiel returns home to suit up. Carol enters behind him. She removes his scarf revealing the huge tumor on his neck. He tries to downplay it, but Carol sees right through him. Fearing this will be the last time she sees him alive, the two lay down on the bed kissing.
At the town hall, Mary sneaks in to visit her nephew. She is quickly stopped by Alden causing the two to argue. Aaron arrives and attempts to break up the fight. It ends with Alden saying she will never be part of Adam’s life and storming off with the child. We cut to Eugene, who is setting up an electric fence booby trap to kill off some of the hordes. While he is working on this Rosita stops by. She begins by bringing up Coco is well.
Eugene says if she warned Father Gabriel of the horde battle. She says no because she knows in her heart Father Gabriel isn’t emotionally stable for such news. She said she’ll tell him when she returns home. Eugene says based on the probability that the odds are against them. Rosita cuts him off and changes the subject to Stephanie. She knows that deep down Eugene likes Stephanie. To further prove her point, she encourages Eugene to kiss her. Which he can’t do because Rosita is right.
In Hilltop, Carol has a heart to heart with Lydia. She tells her that she is going to kill Alpha. Lydia retorts back, saying she wouldn’t even be thinking about that. Carol admires her honesty. Lydia says they live in a world where people aren’t truthful anymore. She then apologizes for Alpha’s actions, the death of Henry, Carol’s I hate the world attitude. This tugs at Carol’s heartstrings, causing her to get up and leave. Kellie, Luke, and other Hilltopians are putting the finishing touches on there traps to hold back the horde as long as possible. Yumiko rushes about to Kellie to apologize for her negative attitude earlier in the day. Kellie accepts the apology as a herd of rats comes at of the forest, signaling the horde is near. Eugene tries one more time to reach out to Stephanie by singing a part of Iron Maiden’s “When The Wind Blows”. Stephanie response by singing the next part. When she finishes apologizing for the silence. Eugene apologizes for letting his guard down on the radio. Eugene explains to her who Rosita is. Stephanie then finally agrees to meet Eugene in person in Charleston, West Virginia in one week. Eugene agrees to this meeting and leaves with Rosita to join the others on the battlefield. King Ezekiel and Daryl cut the tension between them. King Ezekiel gives up hiding his tumor with his scarf revealing to everyone he has cancer. Daryl tells him he appreciates everything he has done for them over the years. Once the two make there peace Daryl finds Judith in the parlor of the town hall. Judith is determined to join the fight, but Daryl refuses to let her. Judith confesses to Daryl that she is afraid of losing him, Michonne, RJ, and Carol. Daryl comforts her by saying feeling like that is perfectly normal. Before he leaves Judith returns his vest, claiming she fixed his torn off wing for good luck. Daryl thanks her for a wonderful gift. He then makes Judith promise him if King Ezekiel goes looking for her she is to leave with him, no questions asked. Judith agrees to this. Carol then makes her peace with Daryl as they head off for the battle. The soldiers are lining up for battle. Kellie puts her hands to the ground, sensing the walkers approaching them. She nods to Yumiko and the battle begins!
The horde is huge! The rip through the electric fence quickly. The army splits up into two groups. They approach the horde as it gets tangled in the second trap. The groups start killing them with arrows, blades, and spears. The Whisperers begin launching there pine sap filled balloons. When they ran out they launched flaming arrows setting them on fire as pine tar is very flammable. Negan confronts Alpha thinking the plan was to get them to join them. Alpha said it still is, as part of the horde. Back at Hilltop, the second trap starts to fail. They decide to retreat behind the gate. As they rush back The Whisperers shoot more flaming arrows, this time setting the fence on fire. Now the army is trapped between walker and a wall of fire, covered in flammable tree sap. Just then the episode ends!