So on one side, we've got Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and Michonne (Danai Gurira) making their way to the Hilltop to join Maggie (Lauren Cohan), Daryl (Norman Reedus), Carol (Melissa McBride) and the others to organize one final assault. On the other side, we've got Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) all giddy over his new "coat our weapons with zombie crap" plan as Eugene (Josh McDermitt) toils away in a sea of wine and self-hatred as he builds more weapons for the Saviors.
So this week's episode of AMC's The Walking Dead is no better time for Dwight (Austin Amelio), who's pooping bricks right now as he waits for his cover to be blown, and Simon (Steven Ogg), who we can see from the following clip is just a ticking time bomb ready to blow, to catch up and talk game plan. Just some advice, Dwight: not sure being quiet is helping the situation any:
The Walking Dead 8×12 'The Key': Hilltop's leadership faces a difficult dilemma after the arrival of unexpected visitors; Rick comes face to face with an adversary.
All out war has had a devastating impact on every person involved. The communities themselves are fractured. Alexandria has been destroyed, the Hilltop finds themselves pinned, and the Kingdom is shattered — half of them dead, the other half controlled by the Saviors.
At the very center — Rick, having been distracted by the conflict, has just returned home to learn that Carl, who heroically shepherded the Alexandrians to safety during Negan's attack, has been bitten by a walker. Once his sole motivation in this otherwise stark existence, Rick is forced to deal with this reality. Carl has always been a beacon of hope, a symbol for the remaining thread of humanity — lessons that the survivors around him would be wise to take with them as this war surges onward.
But Rick isn't the only person who's living in peril. Aaron and Enid are in a dire situation at Oceanside — unclear if they're in friendly territory, or if they've just made new enemies. Father Gabriel will do his part in attempting to smuggle Dr. Carson safely back to the Hilltop and a pregnant Maggie is wrestling with the many moral gray areas that come with leadership during war. In a standoff with the Saviors, she must decide how to proceed with the dozens of POW lives she's currently in control of, as well as new complications that come with being a leader.
In addition to the war, Negan continues to deal with struggles within his ranks as workers, traitors, and others' thirst for power cause conflict at the Sanctuary. Having gifted the Saviors a major victory, Eugene's loyalty is repeatedly tested as new obstacles present themselves.
As all-out-war consumes us, the line between good and evil continues to blur. People fighting for what they believe in. Everybody working together for something bigger — to feel safe and have a world worth living in.
The Walking Dead stars Andrew Lincoln (Rick Grimes), Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Negan), Norman Reedus (Daryl Dixon), Lauren Cohan (Maggie Greene), Danai Gurira (Michonne), Melissa McBride (Carol Peletier), Lennie James (Morgan Jones), Seth Gilliam (Father Gabriel Stokes), Alanna Masterson (Tara Chambler), Khary Payton (King Ezekiel); with Gale Anne Hurd, Greg Nicotero, David Alpert, out-going showrunner Scott M. Gimple and franchise creator Robert Kirkman serving as executive producers.