Season 6 episode 12, titled, "Not Tomorrow Yet," was a foreshadow to the expectant season finale. Rick's people have dealt with Negan's men in previous episode 9 as well as in episode 12. Everybody get ready.
"Rick, what's going on?" asks Carol (Melissa McBride), shortly after Rick, Daryl, Michonne, Glenn, Maggie and Abraham all arrive in the RV in Alexandria, with also Andy and Jesus from the Hilltop Colony. For previously, Carol had heard Rick tell Sasha just after both she and Aaron met the RV upon arrival, after Michonne disembarks, to have everyone meet in the church in an hour. "We're gonna have to fight," Rick (Andrew Lincoln) tells Carol, then he drives off.
After Olivia, also keeper of the armory, had taken an inventory of their food supply, which also included the recent arrival of a month's supply made from the deal Maggie (Lauren Cohan) had brokered with Gregory (Xander Berkeley), leader of Hilltop, Rick then got down to business. He tells those within the church that the month's supply came with a condition. They are to take out the Saviors, a brutal group led by a man named Negan, known to harass, abduct and sometimes kill members of Hilltop. Once done, Alexandria and the Hilltop Colony will begin to peacefully co-exist with their strengths, as Alexandria gets eggs, butter and fresh vegetables.
The deal was born from a proposal by Paul Rovia, nicknamed Jesus by members of Hilltop, made before Rick, Daryl, Glenn, Maggie and Abraham in previous episode 11. "You're good people. And this is a good place. I think our communities may be in a position to help each other," Jesus had said before the group. Maggie then asks, "You mean you're already trading with other groups?" To which Jesus concludes, "Your world's about to get a whole lot bigger."
In the church, Michonne (Danai Gurira), Gabriel (Seth Gilliam), Daryl (Norman Reedus), Carol, Abraham, Eugene (Josh McDermitt), Morgan, Tara, Denise, Aaron, Tobin, Francine, a fully recovered Scott, played by Kenric Green husband of Sonequa Martin-Green who plays Sasha, and others, all listened to Rick while Jesus also listened. "These Saviors, they almost killed Sasha, Daryl and Abraham on the road. Now, sooner or later, they would've found us. Just like the Wolves did. Just like Jesus did," says Rick, followed by saying, "This needs to be a group decision. If anybody objects, here's your chance to say your peace." The atmosphere was silent during a brief pause, then Morgan (Lennie James) speaks.
"You're sure we can do it? We can beat them?" Morgan asks. "What this group has done, what we've learned, what we've become, all of us...yeah, I'm sure," Rick replies. "Then all we have to do is just tell them that," Morgan proposes, while everyone listened in astonishment.
While everyone may wonder about Morgan, it also helps to keep in mind that though Daryl, Abraham and Sasha were the first to have met the Saviors, whom were killed by Daryl's RPG in the midseason 6 premiere, it was two months ago their time line. Since then, Rick's group and the Alexandrians had never met Negan, nor do they know the Saviors actual strength in numbers.
Sun Tzu, a renown general, strategist, and philosopher from ancient China from 544 - 496 BC, had said, "If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself, but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle." Morgan perhaps could have used a better choice of words, yet can't be blamed for being brave enough for saying his peace. For in spite of his misgivings, Morgan is in fact a brave man.
On the other hand, ever since growing up we've all heard such time honored sayings such as fortune favors the bold. And that change happens when you make change happen. True, Rick should have explained further that two Hilltop members, Tim and Marsha, were killed and that a third, Craig, was taken hostage all because Negan saw that their drop was too light. Furthermore, that Negan made it clear Craig would only be free if the head of Gregory is delivered. Therefore Rick felt compelled to act, and free Craig as part of the deal Maggie had brokered with Gregory.
"Where there's life there's possibility," says Morgan. "Of them hitting us," Rick counters. "We're not trapped in this. None of you are trapped in this," Morgan asserts. Then later, Aaron (Ross Marquand) stands, saying, "What happened here, we won't let that happen again. I won't." For all remember the Wolves attack, something Aaron felt responsible for. Though unfairly. After all heard Aaron, who then sat back down, no one else spoke. Rick then speaks, and closes, saying, "We don't all have to kill. But if people are gonna stay here they do have to accept it." Being fair to Morgan, and perhaps to any others, as Rick walks down the aisle to exit the church.
Later, Maggie speaks to Glenn (Steven Yeun) wanting to join him and the others to assault the compound. "We need someone on the perimeter keeping watch. That could be me," Maggie pleads, who feels compelled to join since she was instrumental in brokering the deal. Despite his reluctance and given also Maggie's pregnancy, Glenn understands and yields.
A plan of attack soon commences. Andy sketches the layout, and soon after is asked if he's seen any other rooms. "No, it's a big place. This is the hallway I saw," Andy replies before adding further info. Andy tells them they brought spears for the Saviors, which Glenn surmises they must also have an armory. Yet someone else counters that they don't even know if they have an armory, let alone know where it is. Not knowing much else, Daryl says, "We've done more with less." To which Rick concludes, "We go in at night, while they're sleeping." And that's what they do, Rick, Daryl, Glenn, Maggie, Carol, Michonne, Abraham, Rosita, Sasha, Tara, Aaron, Heath, Father Gabriel, also including the Hilltop men Andy and Jesus (Tom Payne). A force of fifteen strong, to assault the Saviors at an abandoned satellite station building.
Upon arrival the next day by caravan, Rick has everyone to separate into their respective teams before the night assault. A walker head is then chosen to be that of Gregory. After Jesus says that the nose isn't right, Rick punches it, and tells Andy that he broke the nose in a fight.
At night, the assault begins after two foul-mouthed Savior men are killed at the satellite station. As one guard goes to get Craig, the other is quickly killed by Daryl who came from behind. The other guard is killed upon arrival with Craig. Both being duped by the walker head.
Half of Rick's forces engage silently, while the other half wait outside. All so far so good hunky-dory. That is until, while Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) and Sasha engage in stealth, they are discovered by a Savior who pulls the alarm. And firepower is unleashed instead of knives.
Yet after the melee of the initial assault, it appeared that the night mission was a success. It's now daybreak, and both Heath (Corey Hawkins) and Tara (Alanna Masterson) is seen driving off to begin their two week supply run. Soon after, a Savior is seen escaping on a motorcycle which Daryl easily recognizes as his own. After being gunned down, the Savior is questioned by Daryl. Then, a female voice is heard from the Savior's walkie talkie, "You, with the Colt Python," speaking about Rick, before also saying they are to lower their weapons. To convince them all further, she says she has both Carol and Maggie. Hearing that, Rick has a look of anguish, Glenn has a look of fear for Maggie and Carol, while Daryl, Michonne and the rest are all flummoxed.
Season 6 episode 12 of The Walking Dead has officially set the stage until the season finale on April 3 rd. No one needs spoilers, for we've been told enough about Negan. Especially since, we also know Greg Nicotero has directed the season finale. So everybody, get ready.