[Warning: Spoilers for The Walking Dead midseason finale beyond this point. Read at your own risk!]
After working on their solo projects for most of the season so far, the band finally got back together, with much of the Grimes Gang finally reconvening at the Hilltop in the midseason finale of The Walking Dead. Along the way, Rick (Andrew Lincoln) got his groove back, Eugene (Josh McDermitt) got taken captive by Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and we said goodbye to Spencer (Austin Nichols), Olivia (Ann Mahoney) and saddest of all, Fat Joey (Joshua Hoover). So long, Fat Joey! I'm still not sure why the show even bothered to give you a name!
Here are the moments that mattered from "Hearts Still Beating."
Alexandria: Hear that? That's the sound of thousands of sad Negan fans wailing about daddy shaving his beard. The bad guy then gets domestic, making spaghetti and biscuits (odd combo if you ask me) for Carl (Chandler Riggs), Olivia and Judith. When he decides Rick is taking too long, he gives Lucille his seat at the table, because Lucille is hungry. Whatever, dude.
Elsewhere, Rosita (Christian Serratos) confesses her plan to kill Negan with one homemade bullet to Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam), because she says her life is the only thing she has to offer. She has no one to live for and no useful skills, apparently. But Gabriel talks her out of it, convincing her to wait until they're strong enough to fight back for real (Eugene's probably like, "that's exactly what I said, but okay").
Spencer puts on his nice polo and goes to curry favor with Negan. He warns him that Rick is going to undermine his authority, so Negan should put him in charge. Negan isn't impressed by Spencer's cowardly ways, and questions why he came to him instead of killing Rick. "It's because you got no guts," he concludes. And then he disembowels Spencer. SCHLURP! In the aftermath, Rosita pulls out a gun and takes her shot, but instead of hitting Negan, she critically wounds Lucille. Negan threatens to cut her face unless she tells him who made the bullet for her. She says it was her, so Negan has one of his flunkies kill somebody, and unfortunately Olivia's number's up. Rick shows up and politely asks Negan to go. Negan gets Eugene to admit he made the bullet, so Negan takes scared but brave Eugene and everything scavenged and tells Rick that their debt level has increased.
Later that night, Michonne (Danai Gurira) comes to Rick as he's hanging out in a jail cell or something. She pleads to him to fight for Carl, Judith and all of Alexandria. "We can fight them, Rick," she says. "We can find a way to beat them. But only if we do this." "I know that now," he admits.
The next day, a contingent from Alexandria arrives at Hilltop to check on Maggie (Lauren Cohan). Reunited and it feels so good! Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) and Rosita have a little moment of acknowledgement. Daryl and Jesus (Tom Payne) made it back, too, and Daryl gives Rick Fat Joey's gun. We're back, baby!
The Kingdom: The other big story was at the Kingdom, where Carol and Morgan have been chilling since Episode 2. They're visited by Richard (Karl Makinen), King Ezekiel's more serious-minded deputy (he was the one feeding zombie meat to the pigs he was giving the Saviors). He wants Carol (Melissa McBride) and Morgan (Lennie James) to convince Ezekiel to attack the Saviors. Carol doesn't want to fight. She just wants to be left alone. Semi-pacifist Morgan doesn't want to, either. Richard goes into his bad trailer full of gas tanks and cries looking at empty milk bottles. Don't know what that's about, but it ain't gonna be good.
The Sanctuary: Daryl escapes! He meets Fat Joey outside, who's like, "hey man, just go," and Daryl beats him to death with a pipe and takes his gun. Jesus, who's there to help, is like "Jesus."
Hilltop: Maggie wears a hat and eats apples, and Enid hints to Sasha that she's not the only one with a plan to kill Negan. And then it's the site of the reunion.
Oh, and who's that person with the spiderweb boots watching Rick and Aaron and later spying on Alexandria? We'll find out when The Walking Dead Season 7 returns in February.