The Walking Dead Recap: All dogs go to Hilltop in Stradivarius

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— Courtesy of AMC

Weekend at Bernie’s

Whatever happened between the two communities was bad enough so that Michonne doesn’t even want to show her face at the Hilltop. We knew things between her and Maggie (Lauren Cohan) weren’t on the best terms. But, the communities still seem to get along with one another. So, what’s up?

Meanwhile, Michonne and her security team stop with Newbies at their old camp. Michonne assures them that she just wanted to see if their story checked out. That’s cool with Magna (Nadia Hilker). All she wants is access to the overrun camp’s weapons cache. It’s only about a gym bag full of stuff, but it’s the key to their survival.

Michonne isn’t having it.

The whole trip home is a little unnerving for the Newbies. Yumiko (Eleanor Matsuura) explains that when their camp was overrun it hit Magna the hardest. She had developed a strong friendship with a survivor named Bernie. At first, they rubbed each other the wrong way. Bernie had a paisley shirt that was particularly irritating to Magna, so he wore it every day. They butted heads a lot and through that, a respect and a bond was formed between them. As this story is recounted, Magna thousand-yard-stares into the distance. Hilker is great in this role. And, as I mentioned last week, I trust her the most out of the Newbies.

More from The Walking Dead

I still think Luke (Dan Fogler) is trouble. That night as the group is sleeping, Michonne hears something. With katana in attack position, Michonne advances towards the noise. It’s Luke. He’s found something. But his back is to Michonne. When she asks him to drop what he’s holding, Luke protests. He turns around and Michonne slices through the object.

It was a priceless “Stradivarius” that Luke had found on the road through the apocalypse. In the aftermath of the violin murder, Luke, ever the salesman, pitches his theory that the one thing that will lead humanity to ultimate triumph over the Walkers and ruthless humans is art.

Like. Whatever, bro. Luke is trying to lull the others into believing he’s a harmless nerd stuck in the old world. Yet, he always wants to find new communities. He wants to become a part of them. I think he wants to take them over or destroy them. He could be a human identifying scout for The Whisperers. Bottom line: he could have put the violin down without harming it. He knew Michonne wouldn’t kill him. But he would guilt trip the others with more of his sad, idealistic rants.

The next morning, we find out the real reason that Bernie wore that paisley shirt. It was so that Michonne, and the audience, could easily identify him when he shows up as a Walker with the herd that killed him. Michonne puts him down. Magna is further devastated.

 Friends in Need

There’s been a time jump between last week’s episode and this week’s that’s just long enough to allow Rosita (Christian Serratos) and Eugene (Josh McDermitt) to get separated. The Whisperers are whispering pretty loudly as they close in on the dehydrated Rosita. As she passes out, she’s is able to shoot a flare.

Aaron (Ross Marquand) and Jesus (Tom Payne) see this as they’re finishing up an MMA training session. They get Rosita back to the Hilltop.

We learn that Jesus has just been reelected as the leader of the Hilltop. He ran unopposed. His chief of staff is Tara (Alanna Masterson). They’ve been put in place by Maggie, who’s taken Hershel, and gone to work on another community with Georgie (Jayne Atkinson).

So, Michonne can show up at the Hilltop with no issues, which is important. Michonne and the Newbies head straight to Hilltop when they learn that Rosita is there and Eugene is missing.

Darryl learns the news as soon as he reaches the Hilltop. He heads off with Dog, Aaron, and Jesus to rescue Eugene. Carol is now the ranking survivor at the Hilltop, which has Tara in charge until Jesus returns.

The midseason finale promises some unpleasant reunions.

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Did you watch Stradivarius? What did you think of The Walking Dead’s most recent episode? Let’s discuss the AMC series in the comments!