By Nick Romano
September 23, 2018 at 10:05 PM EDT
Ryan Green/AMC
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  • TV Show
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Morgan’s stuck. His whole group is stuck.

John and Victor are surrounded on all sides by gator-infested waters, and the camera shot of Luciana, Jim, Sarah, and Wendell through the cinder block stresses how cased in they are at the moment. They physically can’t move forward, while Morgan psychologically can’t. He’s getting hung up again by things from his past, embodied by the walkers that now swarm the base of the hospital building — a throwback to The Walking Dead season 1 when Rick was trapped on the roof of a building in Atlanta. The capital building seen in the distance (perhaps an allusion to Rick’s trip to Washington, D.C., in the forthcoming season of The Walking Dead) is the future Morgan isn’t able to reach.

He blames himself for becoming a leader and leading his group into their current predicament. Jim, still blaming Morgan for the walker bite that’s now slowly killing him, isn’t helping matters. Then there’s June, who seems a little fed up with Morgan talking about his problems all the time because there are more important matters to address, like the fact that they still don’t know where Al is or how to get off the roof.

A walkie message from Alicia lifts all their spirits. June was trying to get a hold of Al, but because she’s so high up, she got Alicia instead. She and Charlie relay that they found John and Dorie and are trying to get them off their little island. “I got us stuck. Don’t know if there’s a way out,” Morgan tells his friend, echoing what he said to Martha in previous episodes about her being stuck. But Alicia says how she helped people and everything came out alright (so maybe he can shut up about it for a second).

While the rooftop crew tries to find Al, Alicia and Charlie (reminiscent of a younger Rick and Carl with Charlie wearing John’s cowboy hat) go in search of something that can float across the water. John and Victor have also switched places: John’s the depressed cynic unconvinced their friends will be able to extract them, while Victor is confident in the hope that springs forth before them.

Hope is a choice. You can either choose to wallow in self-pity, or you can choose to trudge forward. Morgan makes this case when he finds Jim being dramatic and standing on the edge of the roof. It looks like he’s about to jump to his death, but instead, he’s just peeing on the walkers below. “You can choose how you go,” Morgan says, but Jim is choosing to be alone and not help them find Al. Sarah doesn’t care whether Jimbo helps or not. She wants his beer recipe, which could be lost to the void of history if Jim dies before passing it on. She says the beer represents the best part of Jim, who’s an “unpleasant jag-off who fills every room he steps into with a philosophical fart.” He can choose to let that part of himself live on. Right now, though, he’s choosing to wallow on the roof alone.

Inside the hospital, a ceiling collapsed on a collective of skin munchers, making it so much easier to look for Al. There are traces of her through the dead walkers she left behind. The group also finds a note from her that says she went for the freight elevator. Morgan finds a way to the elevator, but there’s still the matter of how they’re going to escape with all the walkers assembling outside. He opts to stay behind in the hospital to cause a distraction so the others can survive. They protest, but with the generator already running out of juice, they make a hasty decision to go along with the plan.

Alicia and Charlie also have some luck: Martha, delirious from the gunshot wound in her shoulder, tries to attack the girls but quickly collapses. This allows Alicia and Charlie to find the SWAT van and use it to ride across the flooded terrain to get John and Victor. John reunites with Charlie (it’s cute) and talks with June over the walkie. They make a plan to rendezvous in the outskirts away from the hospital. Things may not work out for the group as planned, per a warning from Martha. Alicia had tied her up in the SWAT van because she remembered what Morgan said about wanting to help her. So now, still a little woozy from her injury, she wakes in the company of those she’s hurt and starts laughing maniacally about how Morgan will be the one to thank her. This threat seems empty because — spoiler alert — they do run into some hiccups, but none that were caused by her. Maybe she’s just crazy. Yeah, let’s go with that.
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Morgan succeeds in causing a distraction. He takes a walker from below and swings it off the roof onto a car. The alarms go off, luring all the walkers to the vehicle. The rest of the group make their way to an ambulance parked close by, but June waits to try to talk Morgan and Jim into leaving with them. Morgan isn’t sure how to escape with all the walkers in the stairwells and the generator now dead, but he’s just glad he was able to help save as many people as he could. As he repeats again, “There are things I gotta make up for.”

So now it’s Morgan and Jim marooned on the roof. Fortunately, there isn’t enough time for Jim to become a psychological barnacle suctioned onto Morgan’s already diminishing state, because the others have reunited and dragged a firetruck onto the scene with the SWAT van. In a coordinated effort, Alicia, Luciana, and June clear out any walker that wanders into their area, while the others bring up the ladder to the rooftop. It doesn’t make it all the way, forcing Morgan to improvise. He uses the rope lining the edge of the roof to grapple down to a lower level, but of course, there’s a walker that bashes itself through the window to attack as soon as he does so. Luckily, John is such a good shot that he picks off the dead with his pistol from all the way on the ground. (Just go with it.) Morgan is then able to jump from the ledge to the ladder, but John’s shot draws the herd to them.

That’s when Jim finally does something good. He’s choosing how he goes out by flinging himself off the roof and onto another car to provide a similar distraction, but first, he gives up his beer recipe to Sarah — including the secret ingredient, which only she now knows. The blaring car alarm that comes moments later signals his death and their signal to escape. Martha is long gone, having wriggled herself loose from her restraints. All that remains is some blood spatter (just like how Merle left a little something behind when he cut himself loose from his handcuffs in The Walking Dead).

Riding off in the SWAT van, the group decides on a name to give Jim’s beer recipe: Jimbo’s Beerbos. Then they all laugh about how much he would hate that name. So where do they go now? Alicia notes that the hurricane took out much of the area, so there isn’t really a lot for them here. As the group turns to Morgan, he says they should all go together to Virginia — after they find Al, of course. This reverse crossover is looking more and more likely, but with one more episode to go and Martha still on the loose, how many lives could potentially be ended before that happens?

Martha also has a new walker: Jim. Having been listening over the walkie, she writes his beer recipe on the face of his corpse — another example of turning the best parts of a person against them. Jim had been feeding Morgan’s blame game ever since he got bit, which was selfish because Jim didn’t have to go with Morgan in search of the generator and it’s not like Morgan willing left Jim to face a walker alone. He was preoccupied! Alas, here we are, and now Martha could use walker Jim to break Morgan.

The title of this episode was “I Lose People…” and the title of next week’s episode completes Morgan’s catchphrase, “…I Lose Myself.”

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seasons
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  • 08/23/15
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