"The King, the Widow, and Rick" is the sixth episode of the eighth season of AMC's The Walking Dead. It is the one-hundred and fifth episode of the series overall. It premiered on November 26, 2017. It was written by Angela Kang & Corey Reed and directed by John Polson.
With things looking up for Rick and the group, an argument breaks out at the Hilltop; the consequences of the decision are life versus death.
On a desolate road, Rick retrieves two letters hidden in a small pile of junk. Meanwhile, at the Kingdom, messengers deliver two letters to Carol with reports from the Alexandria and Hilltop soldiers. Back at Alexandria, Tara and the Alexandria fighters return home. She gives two letters to Michonne and Carl with reports about the Kingdom and Hilltop outpost battles. And at Hilltop, Aaron returns with baby Gracie and hands two letters to Maggie.
The recipients read the letters, which update them on the outpost battles and the state of the other communities.
In her messages, Maggie explains how Jesus brought Saviors back to the Hilltop as prisoners. Carol's note from the Kingdom recounts that everyone was killed during the attack on the Savior outpost, except for herself, Ezekiel and Jerry. In his letter, Rick reports that their plan is working, walkers surround the Sanctuary and their snipers are standing guard to make sure no one escapes; meanwhile, conditions are worsening for those inside. He explains that he’s on his way to execute the next stage of the plan and will meet everyone at the Sanctuary in two days to end this.
At the Heaps, Jadis builds a wire sculpture in the middle of the junkyard, but is interrupted by three loud knocks at the storage container entrance. Unsure, she signals two guards to get the door.
Jesus hands out food to the Savior prisoners who are chained up outside the Hilltop wall. Maggie admonishes him for wasting food on the Saviors, but Jesus defends his decision to feed the POWs. Gregory suggests that they begin construction of gallows for execution.
At the Kingdom, Carol pounds on the auditorium door, urging Ezekiel to help her muster fighters so they can rendezvous with Rick, but she gets no response. On her way out, Henry follows her and offers to help fight the Saviors, but she angrily turns him away.
Rick shows Jadis some instant photos of dead Saviors in the aftermath of the three outpost battles, as proof of their impending defeat. He asks Jadis, once again, to join his alliance. Jadis rejects his offer as Scavengers take his weapons and lead him deeper into the Heaps.
At the Hilltop, Gregory advises Maggie to ignore Jesus and recommends she follow her gut in regards to the POWs. He warns that they can’t have wolves wandering among the sheep.
In Alexandria, Michonne recuperates from the battle wounds obtained during Negan’s attack on Alexandria, Unable to wait any longer, Michonne decides to see the besieged Sanctuary with their own eyes. Rosita tags along after a failed attempt at convincing Michonne to stay.
Meanwhile, Tara is surprised to find Daryl waiting on her porch; when she vows to kill Dwight after the war is over, Daryl proposes they kill him together and suggests they don’t have to wait.
Jesus guards the POWs overnight and hears sounds of construction coming from within the Hilltop walls. Unsettled by the mysterious sounds, Alden tells Jesus that he merely joined the Saviors for the security that Negan provides.
While on the road, Michonne and Rosita hear a woman singing opera music in the distance. They get out of their car and follow the sound until they arrive at an empty building.
Carl returns to the woods, in search of the man he met at the gas station. He finds the mysterious stranger and gives him food and water. After introducing themselves, he learns the man’s name is Siddiq. Carl tells Siddiq about his community and asks him Rick's three screening questions. Siddiq explains that he’s killed 237 walkers to honor his mother, because she believed killing them freed their souls. Carl then invites him to Alexandria.
In the woods, Carol finds Henry fighting two walkers with his stick, but without much success. She shoots the walkers and admonishes the young boy for putting his life in danger. Henry, still seeking revenge for Benjamin’s death insists on fighting the Saviors. After some consideration, Carol relents and gives him a gun.
At the Hilltop, Enid instructs Jesus to bring the Saviors inside the walls. Inside, Jesus sees a newly built holding cell. As the Saviors file into the makeshift pen, Maggie declares that they will not mistreat the prisoners. At the end of the line, Maggie states her agreement with Gregory's admonition against wolves among the sheep. She then sends Gregory into the pen with the Saviors, despite his loud protests. Jared tries to grab a pistol from a guard, but Maggie hits him with the butt of her rifle, knocking him down.
On their way to Alexandria, Carl and Siddiq come across a small group of walkers feeding on a dead elk. Carl suggests they kill the walkers to honor Siddiq’s mom. After a slight struggle, they kill all the walkers and continue towards Alexandria.
Michonne and Rosita sneak into the building and overhear two Saviors (Zia and Leo) plotting to use "the fat lady", a truck outfitted with dozens of loudspeakers, playing loud music to draw the herd away from the Sanctuary. Michonne accidentally kicks an object that alerts the Saviors to their presence. Rosita kills Leo with a rocket launcher found in the building, but Zia escapes in the fat lady.
As the truck blares the opera singing while speeding away, suddenly a garbage truck rams into the side of the Savior’s truck, obliterating it. Daryl and Tara climb out of the garbage truck and shoot the driver. Michonne explains the Savior’s foiled plan to Daryl and Tara. Daryl declares that they have a lot more work to do.
Carol enters the Kingdom auditorium and urges Ezekiel to resume his role as king, pointing out that his people need him. Ezekiel insists that after his failure he can no longer play their king, and tells Carol to leave him alone.
Inside the Hilltop’s POW pen, Jared quietly tries to free his tied-up hands, slowly cutting the rope with a rock. Alden, worried that Jared will get them killed, knocks the rock from his hand. Jared smirks, predicting that they’ll be able to take over the Hilltop. Gregory silently witnesses the exchange.
In the library, Aaron shares his feelings of loss with Maggie, who understands his pain firsthand. Jesus arrives with an update and reports that Gregory is in the process of sucking up to the Saviors. Jesus thanks Maggie for sparing the POWs, but Maggie shuts him down, saying that the prisoners will be good hostages to trade in the future and warns Jesus that they can’t let any untraded Saviors live.
Enid sees Aaron getting in his car and asks where he’s going. “To make sure we win,” he says. She agrees with his sentiment and joins him.
Daryl’s group parks close enough to the Sanctuary for Michonne to view the siege through a detached rifle scope. Daryl declares that they’re ending this now.
At the Heaps, Jadis writes an “A” on the door of a storage container. Inside, Rick sits in the dark, stripped of his clothes, alone but composed.
- Kerry Cahill as Dianne
- James Chen as Kal
- Peter Zimmerman as Eduardo
- Macsen Lintz as Henry
- Nadine Marissa as Nabila
- Joshua Mikel as Jared
- Ciera L. Payton as Zia
- Adam Cronan as Leo
- Adam Fristoe as Dean
- First (and last) appearance of Leo.
- First (and last) appearance of Zia.
- This episode is 64 minutes long, according to AMC's schedule
- This is the third extended episode this season and the twenty first extended episode overall.
- Sabrina Gennarino (Tamiel) is upgraded from "Co-Star" to "Also Starring" in this episode.
- The title of the episode, "The King, the Widow and Rick", is a reference to the three leaders of the three communities fighting against Negan and The Saviors with "The King" and "The Widow" referencing Ezekiel and Maggie Rhee respectively while Rick has no nickname.
- This episode marks the first time that the name of a character is included in the episode's title.
- This episode marks the return of Jadis, Tamiel, Brion, and the rest of the Scavengers, who were absent since "The First Day of the Rest of Your Life".
- Jadis mentions the events of "The First Day of the Rest of Your Life" when she and Rick discuss how she grazed him with a bullet.
- Jadis is seen building another cat sculpture out of metal parts. Rick had previously taken a cat sculpture from her in "New Best Friends". The same sculpture is also seen in "Mercy".
- The polaroids that have been taken since "Mercy" are revealed to serve as proof for the Scavengers of each victory of the Militia.
- This episode continues the references to previous situations.
- Carl tells Siddiq about Lori Grimes telling him to always do what's right before her death in "Killer Within".
- Carl asks Siddiq three questions that Rick's group used to use to recruit members into their group.
- Carol warns Henry that being alone in the woods will lead to him getting lost and never seen again, or will be found as a "monster"; a reference to how Sophia Peletier died. This is also reminiscent of when Carol told Sam he would wake up in the forest alone and sorrounded by monsters, never to be seen again in "Forget".
- Gregory calls Maggie "Margaret", the same wrong name that he used in "Rock in the Road".
- Jadis wrote the letter "A" on the container holding Rick, a reference to the letter "A" used by Gareth's group in "A" and "Four Walls and a Roof" and by The Saviors throughout Season 7.
- This episode marks the first time that Rick has appeared in 6 or more consecutive episodes in the 1st half of a single season since "Secrets".
- This is the first sixth episode of a season that Rick and has appeared in since "Hounded".
- The "fat lady" mentioned in "The Big Scary U" is revealed to be a truck carrying multiple amplifiers playing opera. It previously appeared in the episode "Go Getters". This is a reference to the colloquial proverb of "It ain't over till the fat lady sings" in opera.
- The episode summary on the AMC website incorrect refers to Alden as Dean, a separate character who was also present in the episode.
- In the episode "How It's Gotta Be", it is revealed that Carl was bitten while fighting against walkers with Siddiq.
- The "A" Jadis drew on the storage container was not irrelevant: it was for a trade to an unknown group of people in exchange for supplies. This is revealed in Season 9 episode "Warning Signs".
- Ezekiel expressing his sadness to a sympathetic Carol is adapted from a similar scene in Issue 119, where he expresses it to an irritated Michonne instead.
- Carol demanding Ezekiel to act the part and lead his people is adapted from a similar scene in Issue 119, where Michonne punches him instead.
- Gregory saying to Maggie that she should build a gallows to hang the POWs is a slight nod to Gregory's death in Issue 141.