"Knots Untie" is the eleventh episode of the sixth season of AMC's The Walking Dead. It is the seventy-eighth episode of the series overall. It premiered on February 28, 2016. It was written by Matt Negrete and Channing Powell, and directed by Michael Satrazemis.
Abraham lies in bed with Rosita after sex. She gives him a necklace with a pendant made from the fuel truck's cracked brake light. As Rosita showers, Abraham thinks about Sasha.
Later in the night, Maggie is discouraged it will still be some time before Alexandria's new garden yields any crops. Glenn assures her they'll be okay. They see Denise and Abraham running into the townhouse basement and sprint over to investigate.
In Rick's house, Jesus waits for Rick and Michonne to get dressed. Carl discovers Jesus and points a gun at his head as the others arrive. Michonne and Rick emerge from the bedroom and assures everyone Jesus just wants to talk.
Jesus tells Rick's group he's part of a community who raises livestock and crops, and his job is to search for other settlements with whom to open trade. He offers to take them to his community, the Hilltop, to prove he is telling the truth.
Daryl prepares the motor home for the trip to the Hilltop, and reluctantly accepts a homemade oatcake as a parting gift from Denise. Meanwhile, Carl assures Rick he approves of his relationship with Michonne, but insists on staying behind to guard Alexandria.
Rick, Michonne, Glenn, Maggie and Abraham board the motor home with Jesus.
En route to the Hilltop, Abraham asks Glenn about Maggie's pregnancy and shares his skepticism over bringing a child into the world. "We're trying to build something," Glenn explains.
Rick slows the motor home as they approach an overturned car. Jesus recognizes it as belonging to the Hilltop and desperately begins searching the wreckage for his people.
Daryl follows tracks to a nearby building. Maggie guards Jesus as Rick's group searches inside. They find four of Jesus' people, one of whom is injured.
The group continues on towards the Hilltop. One of the newcomers, Harlan, introduces himself as a doctor. Glenn asks if he has any prenatal vitamins, and Harlan smiles, admitting he used to be an obstetrician. "I'd say you two just hit the jackpot," he says.
Freddie, one of the newcomers, tells Jesus he saw a vision of his dead wife when he thought he was going to die. Abraham ponders Freddie's words.
The motor home gets stuck in mud, forcing the group to disembark. Jesus points ahead to a massive wall. "That's the Hilltop," he says.
Jesus leads the group to the main gate, where spear-wielding guards order Rick's group to disarm. Jesus tells Rick they can keep their guns and confides his community ran out of ammo months ago.
The gates open, revealing a large manor house and a farming community inside. Jesus explains the house was once a living history museum.
Jesus takes the group inside, where they meet Gregory, the community's leader. Gregory orders Rick's group to clean up before meeting with him. Annoyed by this man, Rick asks Maggie to speak with Gregory on the group's behalf.
As they wait in the foyer, Abraham asks Daryl if he's ever thought about settling down. "You think shit's settled?" Daryl replies. Abraham plays with Rosita's necklace.
Maggie meets with Gregory to discuss trade options. Gregory condescends to her and notes Alexandria is low on provisions. He offers to help on the condition Alexandria residents work at the Hilltop, insinuating Maggie would be very desirable in the community as a "smart, beautiful woman." Maggie rebuffs him and points out the Hilltop is low on ammo and medication, proposing they help each other. Gregory, insulted, ends the discussion.
Jesus assures Rick and Daryl he can convince Gregory to make a fair trade. They hear a commotion outside. "They're back," a resident tells Gregory.
Rick's group and Gregory walk outside as a Hilltop team returns from a mission to Negan's compound. The team reports Negan killed two of their group because their drop was too light, and he's holding another one of their members, Craig, until they deliver a message. Gregory asks for the message. "I'm sorry," Ethan says, stabbing Gregory in the gut.
Rick's group intervenes. Abraham hears Sasha's voice in his head as he's throttled by a Hilltop resident. Daryl rescues Abraham. Rick stabs Ethan dead. Jesus calms astonished residents by pointing out Ethan initiated the bloodshed.
Harlan rushes to Gregory's side. Abraham remains on the ground after the fight, stunned by his experience. It's as if he's had some kind of realization, or found some sort of peace. He assures Daryl he's alright. In fact, "I'm better than alright," he says. He stands, leaving Rosita's necklace behind in the dirt.
In the library, Jesus explains Negan is the head of a group called The Saviors, who agreed not to attack the Hilltop in exchange for half of their supplies while Ethan's body is seen outside the window being burned in a funeral pyre. Rick's group offers to rescue Craig and wipe out the Saviors in exchange for food, medicine and supplies. Jesus agrees to take the offer to Gregory.
Later, Jesus reports Gregory wants to discuss the offer with Maggie.
Gregory, recovering from his injury in his bedroom, says he'll agree to the deal. Maggie realizes she's in a position to negotiate for even more, telling him Negan will continue to demand more provisions and will eventually deplete the Hilltop unless her group stops him. She says her group will kill the Saviors, but only in exchange for half of the Hilltop's supplies. Gregory begrudgingly accepts the offer.
Rick's group loads the motor home with supplies from the Hilltop. Rick asks Andy, who had been one of the Hilltop's liaisons with Negan, to brief them on the Saviors' compound.
In his medical trailer, Harlan performs an ultrasound on Maggie. Glenn and Maggie smile when they see the fetus and hear its heartbeat.
Rick's group leaves the Hilltop. In the motor home, Glenn circulates an ultrasound photo of the baby. Abraham gazes at the photo and smiles at Glenn.
- Karen Ceesay as Bertie
- James Chen as Kal
- Brett Gentile as Freddie
- R. Keith Harris as Harlan Carson
- Justin Kucsulain as Ethan
- Kimberly Leemans as Crystal
- Jeremy Palko as Andy
- Ilan Srulovicz as Wesley
- Peter Zimmerman as Eduardo
- Chloe & Sophia Garcia-Frizzi as Judith Grimes
- MaryAnn as "Hilltop Resident"
- Troy Reuther as "Hilltop Resident"
- Karl Funk as Neil
- Stephanie Rae as "Hilltop Resident"
- Bill Herald as "Hilltop Resident"
- Pablo as "Hilltop Resident"
- Xavilaine Hincapie as "Hilltop Resident"
- Brad Bradley as "Hilltop Resident"
- Matthew Czarnowsky as "Hilltop Resident"
- Perla Kay Bennet as "Hilltop Resident"
- Kathy Herald as "Hilltop Resident"
- Lisa Wilson Jackson as "Hilltop Resident"
- Alyssa Riley Burrell as "Hilltop Resident"
- Freddie's Wife (Confirmed Fate)
- Rory (Confirmed Fate)
- Tim (Confirmed Fate)
- Marsha (Confirmed Fate)
- First appearance of the Hilltop Colony.
- First appearance of Freddie.
- First appearance of Harlan Carson.
- First appearance of Kal.
- First appearance of Gregory.
- First appearance of Bertie.
- First appearance of Andy.
- First appearance of Wesley.
- First appearance of Eduardo.
- First appearance of Neil.
- First appearance of Hershel Rhee. (Ultrasound)
- First (and last) appearance of Ethan.
- First (and last) appearance of Crystal.
- The title of the episode, "Knots Untie", comes from Jesus's explaining to Rick's group how he escaped from the cell.
- This is the first episode where Rick acknowledges Negan.
- This episode marks Christian Serratos' 25th appearance on the show.
- This episode was aired in the UK on 2/29/16. 4 years before this, Issue 94 of the comic was released. Issue 94 features the first appearance of the Hilltop in the comics, just as this episode marks the first appearance of the Hilltop in the TV series.
- Coinciding with the comics, this episode is the last in the adapted version of the "A Larger World" story arc, and also the end of the second compendium.
- This is the first episode where the Hilltop Colony is the focus community.
- Despite Hilltop's rather large population of about 80 in Season 8, only 13 extras were used to make up the background cast for this episode.
- While talking about Maggie's pregnancy to Glenn, Abraham notes how there are precarious situations on "any given Sunday," likely referencing the fact that episodes of the Walking Dead air on Sunday nights.
- Jesus taking Rick's group to the Hilltop to negotiate trade is adapted from Issue 94.
- Rick's group arriving at Hilltop is adapted from Issue 95.
- Gregory introducing himself to Rick's group is adapted from Issue 95.
- Ethan's attempt to kill Gregory for his brother's safety is adapted from a similar scene in Issue 95, where he attempts to kill him for Crystal's safety instead.
- Rick fighting and stabbing Ethan on the neck is adapted from a similar scene in Issue 95, where he fights and slices his throat instead.
- Rick's indifference claim of "What?" to the shocked Hilltop residents is adapted from Issue 95.
- Jesus calming everyone down is adapted from Issue 96.
- Jesus explaining to Rick's group about the Hilltop subjugation to Negan and the Saviors is adapted from Issue 96.
- Daryl claiming Negan is a made up boogyman is adapted from a similar scene in Issue 96, where Andrea claims Negan isn't real instead.
- Daryl proposing to Jesus that if they kill the Saviors they will receive Hilltop's supplies is adapted from a similar scene in Issue 96, where Carl proposes this to Jesus instead.
- Rick claiming that his group is good in confrontations is adapted from Issue 96.
- Ethan's funeral is adapted from Issue 96.
- Maggie and Gregory making the deal is adapted from a similar scene in Issue 96, where Rick makes the deal instead.
- Maggie receiving an ultrasound of her baby is adapted from Issue 109.
- Although Danai Gurira revealed in Talking Dead it had been 2 months since the events of "No Way Out", Abraham stated in this episode he and Daryl killed Negan's men "a month ago", however, he could have been understating.