Gene Page/AMC

A visit to the Hilltop turns violent as the survivors find a new mission

February 29, 2016 at 02:27 AM EST

Continuing the trend of last week’s episode, “Knots Untie” is a nearly walker-less affair. Instead, it continues to set up the season’s endgame while introducing a few new players from Jesus’ side of the world. Oh, and it doesn’t shy away from keeping up the romance that played such a role in “The Next World.”

Yes, while the couple of the moment may be Richonne, there’s the matter of a possible romance between Abraham and Sasha to address. Though, for the moment, this seems to be a somewhat one-sided crush as he finds out he’s losing his patrol buddy, Sasha. Eugene will be replacing her as she starts a new position, and the decision seems in some part made to keep Abraham’s flirtations at bay.

He and Rosita are still a thing, after all, as proven by their time in bed together — and her gift to him, a necklace fashioned with some of the brake light from the field truck. He’s still with her, but Abraham doesn’t quite seem with her in the moment. His mind strays to thoughts of Sasha, as much as he tries to live in the here and now.

Rick and Michonne, however, are squarely focused on each other, even after only having spent one night together. But Jesus appearing by their bed has not only stirred the new couple but almost everyone in town (except for Carol).

Carl, Daryl, Glenn, and others all have guns aimed at the man as he sits in Rick, Michonne, and Carl’s house, where he unfortunately ruins the surprise of the new pair to Carl.

But he comes bearing more than a surprise for Rick’s son. He comes, having escaped his ramshackle cage, to open the survivors to a whole new world of possibilities.  He believes them to be good enough people, having decided to take him in rather than leaving him out in the open after their fight. While he’s impressed by their arsenal he knows their rations of food are low, and he says his settlement could be open to trading with them as they already do with other groups. His people have livestock and crops, and Jesus is willing to even show them the place.

But Maggie keys in on the important point — Jesus says they’re already trading with other groups. That means there must be several pockets of civilization attempting to rebuild, to which Jesus replies that their whole world is about to get a whole lot bigger.

It’s a signal the series is willing to expand, even if we have been shown various other mini-societies along the way of Rick and his group’s adventure. But the hope is that the groups these survivors may be exposed to can live peacefully alongside them, and perhaps not end up being cannibals or itchy trigger fingers just waiting for a fight. Maybe they can all work together, learn to trust each other, and make this next world one worth living in.

So a group heads out with Jesus (Carl, giving his dad the okay to keep things going with Michonne, offers to stay behind with Judith), but almost immediately their journey goes awry. The crew, traveling by RV, drives up to a fresh car crash, walkers still pinned beneath or to the fender of the overturned car. The group smells a trap, thinking Jesus has set them up for failure, which is a reasonable assumption to make after so many seasons of double crosses, random roadside ambushes, and other calamities.  Daryl tracks prints over from the wreck to a locked-up building, at which Jesus pleads with them to go looking for his friends (he recognized the car as one of his group’s).

NEXT: Meet Gregory — just don’t expect him to remember your name 

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AMC’s zombie thriller, based on the classic comic book serial created by Robert Kirkman.
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