Season 8, Episode 8

How It’s Gotta Be

Every story and battle from the first half of the season comes crashing together in this action-packed, emotional Mid-Season finale.

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Full Recap

In a daze, Rick radios the three Sanctuary snipers, but gets no reply.

Then, in a flashback that follows their first encounter with Siddiq. Rick and Carl walk down a road. Carl questions Rick’s ruthless approach to survival.

Back in the present, Rick leads the Scavengers to the Sanctuary. When the group is ambushed by the Saviors, the Scavengers immediately abandon Rick; however, Carol and Jerry arrive just in time to help him escape.

In the car, Carol suggests they split up and warn the the three communities about the Saviors’ escape.

In another flashback, Carl casts doubt on Rick’s decision to kill the Saviors and advocates a different approach to moving forward.

Back in the present, Negan heads back to Alexandria, whistling cheerfully during the car ride there.

Meanwhile, Aaron and Enid drive to Oceanside to seek more reinforcements. They drive by a distillery and decide to stop and find a bartering gift.

In Alexandria, Daryl tells Michonne that his attack on the Sanctuary was successful. Michonne apologizes for backing out.

Carl writes a letter and addresses it to Rick.

Tara informs Rosita that Daryl succeeded at the Sanctuary. Rosita tells Tara about the grenades and air horns she found at the Saviors’ warehouse.

Aaron and Enid park their car on the side of the road, along with a distillery truck they procured. While resting, Aaron hears movement outside and goes to investigate. Enid sees Aaron struggling with someone in the dark and shoots his assailant dead. They realize that they’ve accidentally killed Natania, Oceanside’s leader. Cyndie runs out of the nearby woods and cries over her grandmother’s death. Armed Oceansiders surround Aaron and Enid.

In Alexandria, Michonne finds Carl standing by a sewer grate, where he just emerged from delivering food to Siddiq. Negan and the Saviors arrive at the front gate and order the Alexandrians to surrender within three minutes. Negan warns that he’ll kill Rick and one additional resident.

Rick, Carol and Jerry drive towards each community in separate cars. A truck crashes into Jerry’s car.

At the Kingdom, Ezekiel flees the auditorium when he hears Saviors arrive.

Maggie, Jesus, Dianne and Neil drive toward the Sanctuary with a convoy of Hilltop fighters. A Savior caravan surrounds them on the road. Saviors haul Jerry out of a cargo truck and drop a coffin-sized box on the hood of Maggie’s car; from one of the other trucks, appears Simon.

Meanwhile, Carl quickly formulates an escape route from Alexandria. Michonne refuses to leave their homes to the Saviors, but Carl insists they follow his plan.

At the Kingdom, Gavin informs the residents that everything they produce now belongs to the Saviors. He declares that the Saviors will also take up residence in the Kingdom while the Kingdom residents repair the damage done to the Sanctuary.

After Simon threatens to kill Jerry, the Hilltop fighters relinquish their weapons to the Saviors.

Carl goes to the front gate and tries to dissuade Negan from attacking Alexandria. He offers his life to Negan in hopes of peace. Meanwhile, Michonne, Daryl, Tara and Rosita quietly mobilize a convoy.

Dwight, Laura, and a team of Saviors guard the back gate of Alexandria, blocking the exit with a barricade of cars. The Alexandrian convoy hurtles through the gates and past the Savior barricade. Laura alerts Negan and then, leading a group, chases after the Alexandrians.

Negan orders Saviors to fire grenades into Alexandria. Carl falls as he climbs down from the guard post, injuring his leg. He deposits smoke grenades along the residential streets as buildings burst into flames around him.

Gavin orders the Kingdom’s residents to bring him Ezekiel. He gives them five minutes to cooperate.

Simon tells Maggie that the Saviors are in the process of destroying Alexandria and the Kingdom, but are leaving the Hilltop intact so residents can continue producing food. If she cooperates, he promises that both she and Jerry will be allowed to live. Maggie agrees after Simon shoots Neil, killing him in the back seat of her car. She asks Simon to give her the coffin-like box so that she can bury Neil.

Eugene wakes up in the middle of the night and downs a shot of wine, before he breaks into tears.

Carl and other Alexandrians release smoke grenades throughout the dark streets.

Just outside Alexandria, Michonne, Daryl, Tara, and Rosita hide along the road, guns at the ready. Daryl throws a smoke grenade into the road.

Dwight and Laura see the smoke in the road. Despite Laura’s protests, Dwight leads the Saviors toward the smoke. Michonne’s group opens fire on the Saviors. Dwight joins the Alexandrians in shooting at the Saviors. Laura catches Dwight in the act of betrayal and shoots him in the arm before she’s forced to escape.

Negan orders the Saviors to capture Carl alive.

Carl descends into the sewers.

Meanwhile, at the Sanctuary’s infirmary, Eugene agrees to help Gabriel and Dr. Carson escape. He informs them that the guard at the North gate is severely ill after being slipped a laxative pill. Eugene then gives them a set of keys to a car parked nearby.

At the Kingdom, Ezekiel starts a fire in order to distract Gavin and the Saviors. He commandeers a  bus and parks it in between the Kingdommers and Saviors, allowing residents to flee. Carol tells Nabila to get everyone to a safe house two miles away.

Once his community members are outside its perimeter, Ezekiel locks the gate from the inside. He turns and surrenders to Gavin.

Maggie and her convoy return to the Hilltop. Maggie kills one of the imprisoned Saviors then orders Jesus to fortify the walls and increase their guards. She declares that Hilltop will be the last stand of this war.

Michonne, Daryl, Tara, and Rosita find Dwight hiding behind a car. Daryl asks Dwight if his improvised plan allowed the Saviors to escape the Sanctuary. Dwight tells them it was Eugene who helped the Saviors escape. He asks them to spare his life and explaines that he can still help them defeat the Saviors. They decide to spare his life.

Maggie puts the dead Savior’s body in the coffin-like box and scrawls a message on the cover: “We have 38 more. Stand down.” She instructs Kal to leave the coffin where the Saviors will find it.

Gavin tells Ezekiel that the Saviors are going to put his dead body on the Sanctuary fence for all his people to see. Morgan listens from outside the Kingdom wall, unseen.

Daryl, Tara, Rosita and Dwight descend into the sewers as Alexandria burns. Michonne remains above ground.

Rick arrives at Alexandria and heads towards his house, in search of Carl and Michonne. Negan attacks him, catching him by surprise. During their fight, Rick gets pushed out a window and he flees down the road.

Michonne savagely slays a Savior with her katana, releasing her anger with each blow. Rick finds her, calms her and asks where everyone is.

Rick and Michonne descend into the sewers, joining the rest of the Alexandrians in the darkness. They find Carl, laying on the cold, hard floor, and looking sweaty and tired. Carl lifts his shirt, showing Rick an unmistakable bite on his abdomen. Rick and Michonne reel in horror as reality sets in.