Picking up right where last week left off, “The Walking Dead” sees Negan making himself comfortable in Alexandria with Carl and Judith, which is unsettling for everyone. All of the threads the series has been following this season are revisited in the 90 minute midseason finale.

Everyone wants to kill Negan

Negan’s living it up with Carl and Judith in this episode. He even gets powdered lemonade courtesy of Tara and Olivia and cooks up a spaghetti dinner, all while Carl gives him the best murderous teenage glare he can muster.

But it’s not just Carl who wants him gone.

In case you have trouble keeping track, Michonne takes a roadtrip to figure out how to get to Negan, Sasha has sent Jesus to find out more so she can kill Negan, Enid doesn’t want Sasha to kill Negan alone, some members of the Kingdom want Carol and Morgan to convince Ezekiel to take out all the Saviors, and both Spencer and Rosita were busy finding their own ways to do it. Even Father Gabriel wants Negan dead.

Carol just wants to be left alone

As she explains to Morgan, she doesn’t only want to be exempt from the death and the fighting -- she wants out completely. She doesn’t even want any visitors, unfortunately for the man who comes to see her, hoping to convince her and Morgan to get Ezekiel to fight. It’s a character turn that’s been coming for a year, but Carol is the definition of someone who sits back and ignores things and hopes that means the rest of the world won’t touch her.

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At some point, with the Saviors slowly taking over the southeastern U.S., the Saviors will find their way to her. Will she still just want to be left alone?

Maggie for President

We don’t get to see a ton of Maggie, Sasha, and Enid at the Hilltop, but what we do see shows that the people there realize that Maggie might just be their best hope. Gregory is feeling the pressure while people are baking Maggie and Sasha pies. I’m so looking forward to the political power plays there.

Rick and Aaron take a big risk

The duo have to boat through a lake of walkers (floaters?) to get supplies, and then, they don’t take the time to remove the notes from the original owner of said supplies that tell the people that found them that they are “losers.” It’s such a silly little thing that almost costs Aaron his life when Negan’s people get angry, and it almost seemed like a waste of the writers’ time for this episode if there hadn’t been that person watching Rick and Aaron. Who was it?

This episode feels very choppy

Don’t get me wrong: I’m very glad to get a chance to see a little bit of everyone’s story since “Hearts Still Beating” is the midseason finale. At this point though, the episodes have all focused on just one or two stories all season. It’s jarring to have so many scenes that are a minute or two long as we flit six different storylines in.

Lucille is hungry

This line, mentioned by Negan at the start of the episode when he tires of waiting for Rick to come back from a scavenging trip isn’t even thinly veiled in the way of foreshadowing.

By the end of the episode, we lose Spencer and Olivia.

Spencer’s death was pretty easy to see coming. He’s been unhappy with Rick for two seasons and his attempt at a power play, trying to become the one in charge and schmooze Negan, was bound to backfire. A little uninspired and a shame because I would have liked to see Austin Nichols work with the character more and make him a little less one-note, though the situation prompted Rosita to try and kill Negan and Eugene to confess to making the bullet -- a tense scene to watch unfold.

Get ready to fight

Rick is finally on the same page as Maggie and Michonne. Daryl is out of the Sanctuary. There’s a unity that’s been missing, which means the show is back on track.

The verdict

Despite the choppiness, this was one of the few episodes to recapture the tension of earlier seasons.

4 out of 5 stars.

What’s next

We’ll have to wait two whole months to see what’s next. “The Walking Dead” returns to AMC in February.

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