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Keeping the Alexandrians fed requires a showdown with the Saviors — unsurprisingly, things turn bloody

March 07, 2016 at 02:13 PM EST

The Alexandrians take their first bloody steps into battle with the Saviors, and while the group thinks they’ve taken control of this next world with relative ease in “Not Tomorrow Yet,” the episode ends on a major setback that reveals the fight has barely begun.

Rick and the crew who visited the Hilltop return to Alexandria with plenty of supplies in tow, as well as the makings of a plan to take on Negan and his militia. “We’re going to have to fight,” Rick solemnly tells Carol as he returns, the latter having stayed to keep up some sense of normalcy in town.

But even Carol’s beet-and-acorn cookies (AMC is surely publishing a cookbook soon, right?) can’t wash away the bad taste of battle that’s about to come the Alexandrians’ way.

Rick hosts a town hall meeting in the church to tell everyone the deal they’ve agreed to with the Hilltop and to receive everyone’s input on how to proceed. He believes they have to take the fight to Negan while they still have the element of surprise. This assault will be how they feed their people, and the blood shed in the midst of it all is a price worth paying.

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Naturally it’s only Morgan who has any real objection to the plan. He suggests giving Negan and his people a choice, a way out of their deaths. There’s possibility wherever there is life, he argues, and to rob them of their choice would be to rob them of that possibility — and likely haunt the Alexandrians.

Rick disagrees because he believes announcing their presence guarantees that more lives are put at risk. Best to take this group out now rather than wonder what striking up some palaver might do.

No one unsurprisingly takes Morgan’s side in the debate (and even before it began, he angered Carol by positing someone could think she could be just as complicit in what he did with the Wolf as he was because she decided to keep it a secret). And so without another “nay,” Rick goes off to confirm with everyone not in attendance about this course of action. He’s fine if people don’t want to kill, but they have to accept that there are those among them willing to do so.

Yet while the town all decides to follow Rick’s lead on this, the calm before the storm is anything but calm in Alexandria. Maggie explains to Glenn that she has to be willing to go into the fray. Even if it means staying on the perimeter of the Saviors’ compound, she’s the one who made this deal, and so she has to take some responsibility for the lives being endangered.

Life is more personally messy for a few other romantic pairings around town ahead of the presumably big fight. Abraham is packing up to leave…not for the battle but to leave Rosita. With the devastating line that when he met her, he thought she was the only woman left on Earth but now she isn’t, he flees with his things, leaving Rosita to cry in the company of a predictably awkward Eugene before shutting the door in his face.

An unexpected pairing comes when Carol, unable to sleep for the night and frustratingly writing in her notebook, decides to go out for a walk and a smoke. She stops by Tobin’s porch, where he sits also deprived of a good night’s sleep. Carol brought Tobin some of her Alexandria-famous cookies earlier, and the fleeting moment between the two was not merely a moment. As Tobin describes how he’s terrified of Carol because of what she does, he also knows why she acts in such a way. It’s because she was a mother and continues to be one for just about everyone in town.

Except for Tobin, that is, because that would make the kiss following this little late-night talk very problematic.

NEXT: The night before 

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