"Time for After" is the seventh episode of the eighth season of AMC's The Walking Dead. It is the one-hundred and sixth episode of the series overall. It premiered on December 3, 2017. It was written by Corey Reed & Matt Negrete and directed by Larry Teng.
Rick sits in the dark container, thinking to himself, when the doors are opened. Jadis stands outside with a camera. Rick informs her that his proposed deal still stands. Jadis begins taking photos of Rick's nude body at different angles. When questioned, Jadis responds that she intends to use the photos as references for a sculpture she plans to create of him, before the container doors are shut again.
Eugene sits in his room, attempting to brainstorm a list of facts he knows about the current situation. He then confronts Dwight in his room and makes it known that he is aware of his involvement in Rick's plan. He attempts to talk Dwight down from any further opposition in exchange for keeping his involvement a secret, but Dwight insists that, with all that is occurring, the Saviors are sure to face defeat. Eugene refuses to defy Negan and walks out, warning Dwight not to try anything else that would result in any harm to the Sanctuary's inhabitants.
Eugene is called to the infirmary by Dr. Carson, who is tending to Gabriel's worsening condition. Carson speculates several infections, and that Gabriel does not have long before his situation grows dire. While he shows concern due to not having the right medicine, Eugene condemns Gabriel's actions as a member of Rick's militia, deeming it partially his fault for his current condition.
Carson leaves Eugene in charge of watching Gabriel while he ventures to the marketplace to search for the appropriate medicine. Gabriel awakens, asking if Eugene is willing to help him break Carson out of the compound. Eugene reminds him that the area is overrun and that he is someone who only looks out for himself. They share a talk about the principle of doing the "right thing" - Eugene is adamant that doing the right thing for one could mean trouble for another, while Gabriel argues that doing the right thing requires faith in one's self and believing that God has a plan for everyone.
When Eugene deems Gabriel's beliefs as absurd, he retorts that as a man of science, Eugene would have initially doubted the concept of walking corpses, showing that the unbelievable is still possible. With this concept, Gabriel expresses hope that Eugene will eventually know when to do the right thing when the time comes. Eugene ponders his words, looking down at the dry red paint on his thumb.
Morgan scans the perimeter of the Sanctuary, observing the bustling herd outside the compound doors and checking the windows. He receives a report of a truck outside the compound and investigates, finding out that Daryl is driving it.
Eugene is visited in his room by Tanya, who inquires about a broken radio that Eugene was tasked with repairing a week prior. He explains that he was unable to complete the task due to the current situation, and expresses concern that Tanya does not seem troubled; she recounts that she's already felt trapped while serving under Negan. Tanya gives Eugene one more day to fix her radio, but he asks for the second bottle of wine that she is holding before she leaves, explaining that it'll help him sleep. Tanya explains that she also has trouble sleeping, due to the stress of not being able to rid the Saviors of Negan and the unsuccessful attempt of enlisting Eugene's help with the task. She condemns his choices before handing him the bottle and leaving. Laura then walks in, informing Eugene that Negan sent for him.
Daryl, Michonne, Rosita, and Tara discuss their rogue plan; Morgan joins them soon after. Rosita shows doubts about the plan, concerned about the workers inside the building and the plan going awry. Daryl argues that, without the Kingdom's forces, they do not have the numbers to force a surrender, but Rosita reminds them of Rick's proposition to the Scavengers. Tara confronts her about her apparent change in attitude towards the Scavengers, but Rosita insists she's just following Rick's plan.
Tara recounts how she had waited before telling Rick about Oceanside and their weapon cache, showing regret at the fact that she had not informed him earlier, which could have helped better their situation. She explains that she is not going to wait again and is willing to follow with Daryl's plan, with or without Rosita. Rosita opts out, but approaches Michonne before leaving, asking if she is okay with the plan. When Michonne insists on seeing it through, Rosita points out that it may be easier to wait than to take risks, explaining that she used to believe in rushing ahead and taking action to better themselves until she witnessed Sasha walking out of the coffin - a result of them both taking matters into their own hands.
Eugene meets with Negan in the conference room. Negan expresses an increasing worry for the safety of his community, while praising Eugene and his efforts in the compound. When a standing Negan extends his hand, a seated Eugene kisses the it. Negan recoils saying that he was expecting a handshake. He explains that not many people receive the same privilege of mutual respect. Eugene accepts this, declaring that there is work that needs to be done before leaving the room.
Getting to work on the radio, Eugene extracts one of the speakers, inspecting it. Gaining a fresh idea, he searches one of the storage rooms for materials. He comes across the coffin used to transport Sasha, having vivid and disturbing flashbacks to her shocking reveal as a walker. He opens it, discovering her discarded iPod still resting at the foot of the coffin.
Daryl, Tara, and Michonne drive the truck to the edge of the Sanctuary's perimeter as Morgan keeps watch. As Tara takes point, Daryl turns to Michonne, asking if she's prepared. Having taken Rosita's words into consideration, Michonne decides the risk is not worth it. Daryl allows her to leave.
On one of the Sanctuary's balconies, Eugene sets his new contraption - a makeshift drone fitted with a speaker and an iPod - on a ramp leading out and above the walker herd, in hopes that the herd will follow the blaring music when it goes airborne. He records an audio log of his observations, but as he prepares to activate it, he is called out to and held at gunpoint.
Tara, Morgan, Daryl, and the lookouts set themselves up for the breach.
Dwight orders Eugene to step away from the drone. Eugene relays his plan to Dwight, insisting that he'll be saving the lives of the Savior workers and soldiers, but Dwight argues that his actions will also lead to the deaths of Rick and his men. Eugene rejects the idea that they're his friends, but simply former travelling companions. Dwight tells him that the plan will save the lives of both the Saviors and the Militia, and that taking out Negan is the number one priority and goal. Eugene remains firm that Negan will prevail, causing Dwight to threaten him further. Despite the gun to his head, Eugene proceeds to activate the drone and pilot it over the herd.
Daryl starts the truck and speeds toward the Sanctuary.
As Eugene flies the drone, Dwight turns his gun's aim towards it and fires several times, destroying it. Eugene looks down and sees Daryl's truck heading toward the building. Several Saviors perched at the window are fired upon by Tara, Morgan, and the lookouts as Daryl crashes the truck into the Sanctuary, breaching the walls and allowing the herd to pour inside.
Savior workers and soldiers alike run and fight for their lives as the onslaught of undead flood into the ground floor of the building. Several are killed, while most make it to the upper floors of the compound. Eugene arrives in time to witness the brunt of the assault. Shock and horror slowly turns to rage and fury as he observes the dead feasting on several innocent workers.
Storming into the infirmary, a fuming Eugene angrily rejects Gabriel's philosophies, blaming his and Sasha's downfalls on their choices of doing the "right thing" and refusing to help with Carson's escape, instead choosing to remain faithful to Negan and ensuring that Carson stays within the walls of the compound for his own sake. Gabriel says nothing as Eugene storms back out.
Negan and Eugene propose a plan to clear out the walkers with whatever firearms they have left, with Eugene affirming that he will be able to stock the Saviors up on freshly-made ammo should they run low. He then proposes another solution to deal with the issue. Negan again praises Eugene on his initiative, but before he can hear the plan, the other lieutenants report to Negan about the situation with the herd. Negan has high hopes that Eugene's plan will give them the upper hand. Eugene stares intently at Dwight, then informs Negan that he intends to repair the intercom system, giving them an advantage in communications with the rest of the community. Negan is underwhelmed by Eugene's second solution.
Eugene sits in his room, the sound of gunfire outside ringing in his ears. Stress overwhelms him, and he hobbles toward his wine bottle, taking a shot before taking several swigs from the bottle, then vomiting into the sink.
Rick is brought out from the container by one of the Scavengers, who drags him to the center of the the Heaps. He is forced to his knees, before Jadis. Another Scavenger brings out a walker with an armored head, led by a rigid pole, as their method of execution. Rick is able to free himself and fight off the two Scavengers with the rod used to hold the walker - the sudden jerking motions with the rod cause the walker's head to become detached from its body. Knocking out the Scavengers, he then fights off Jadis, who makes several attempts to shoot him, before holding her on the ground in front of the walker's head. He asserts to the surrounding Scavengers that regardless of what happens, he will leave the Heaps to regroup with his people and, due to their rejection of Rick's deal, they will attack the Scavengers at some point in the future.
Jadis signals her people to stand down. She inquires Rick on what will happen if the Scavengers accept the deal. Rick relates the plan to have the Saviors surrender and Negan killed. The two quietly argue over the division of spoils after the war before they reach an agreement.
Rick leads the Scavengers to the outer perimeter of the Sanctuary. Walking in, he finds one of his snipers dead, being devoured by a small group of walkers. Dispatching them, he calls through the walkie, but no one responds. He takes the rifle and climbs the water tower. He looks towards the front of the Sanctuary, but finds an abandoned garbage truck, an open door and no walkers in sight, alarming him.
- R. Keith Harris as Harlan Carson
- Lindsley Register as Laura
- Chloe Aktas as Tanya
- Griffin Freeman as Mark
- Traci Dinwiddie as Regina
- Last appearance of Mark.
- The title of the episode, "Time for After", refers to Jadis' quote to Rick when he fought the modified walker.
- This episode is 64 minutes long, with commercials, according to AMC's schedule.
- This is the fourth extended episode this season and the twenty-second overall.
- This episode marks the first time that Rick and Daryl have appeared in 7 or more consecutive episodes in the 1st half of a single season since "Pretty Much Dead Already".
- As revealed in this episode, the letter "A" which Jadis writes on the container holding Rick is possibly an abbreviation for "After".
- At the end of the episode, Rick comes across a small group of walkers feasting on one of his snipers, who was caught hanging upside down from the ladder leading to the top of the water tower he was positioned at. This may be a reference to Gabriel's comic death in Issue 158, in which he died under similar circumstances.
- Gabriel's infection shows the consequences or risks of using the walker camouflage method.
- References to previous episodes/seasons are still made in this episode:
- Morgan uses a sniper rifle through a window, similarly to when he was searching for his reanimated wife while killing walkers in "Days Gone Bye".
- Dwight tells Eugene that "You've seen what happened here, smelled the burning skin". This is a reference to Emmett Carson's death in "Hostiles and Calamities".
- When Daryl crashes a truck into the Sanctuary and walkers start getting in, the camera focuses on a few walkers, one of them being a female walker that resembles one (or even being the same walker) previously seen at the starting minutes of "Heads Up".
- The boxers Rick wears are the same ones he wore when walking out of Harrison Memorial Hospital in the episode, "Days Gone Bye".
- Originally, Rick was going to be fully nude while filming the cargo container and fight scenes, however, AMC decided against it.
- Jadis confronts Rick with a walker that resembles Winslow.
- The background soundtrack that is played during the confrontation is also similar to that of "New Best Friends" during the confrontation with Winslow.
- While filming Mark's death scene in the scene where walkers invade the Sanctuary, stunt performer John Bernecker fell 22 feet off the balcony and missed the safety cushion, sustaining a broken neck. He died of his injuries two days later. Out of respect for Bernecker, Mark's death scene was not shown in the episode. Bernecker's family won a lawsuit which determined Bernecker's death to be negligent and was rewarded $8.6 million in damages.
- In an interview, it was revealed by Lindsley Register that in a deleted scene Laura and Eugene had sex due to the dire circumstances at the Sanctuary.
- Dwight trying to convince Eugene to join Rick's side is adapted from a similar scene in Issue 122, where he tries to convince Eugene that they are both on Rick's side instead.
- Rosita claiming to the group: "I believe in Rick Grimes", is adapted from a similar scene in Issue 118, where Maggie says it in a speech to the Hilltop residents instead.
- Maggie says a similar line in "Last Day on Earth": "I believe in you, Rick".
- Eugene's plan to draw the herd away from the Sanctuary with an iPod is a slight nod to Eugene's ability to drive away herds with a horn in Issue 127.
- The head of the walker at the Heaps still makes growling noises despite being dispatched from the body, which is impossible without a source of air passing over the larynx. The only sound a severed head could make would be a gnashing of teeth like in "Made to Suffer".