Thoughts with summary mixed together.
I give this a 50 on Robin's scale.
We still do not have any context for the wars due to not hearing Rick's overall speech setting up:
1. What the overall attack plan was,
2. How to treat the Saviors (Rules of Engagement: like Fire when fired upon or Fire at Will, etc...)
3. What are the objectives of each team and the location of their targets and the importance of these targets to the Saviors and what effect taken over these targets will have on the Saviors.
4. How each character is dealing with their marching orders. Do they object to these marching orders (Jesus?), Are they taking these orders to an extreme (Morgan?), Did these characters lose personal friends or significant others and are using this situation to implement revenge? (Tara?)
We got slivers of Rick's speech flashing back when we were given how Morgan was dealing with what he was doing with reference to Rick's speech.
* Morales has a standoff with Rick which is brought to an end by Daryl.
* Aaron says goodbye to Eric and when the battle is over at his objective he goes back only to find that a zombified Eric has wandered off to a field nearby. We are left with Aaron in tears.
* Rick has a standoff with Todd and after establishing a trust this is brought to an end by Daryl.
* Jesus has a drag out battle with Morgan who definitely has switched back to a clear type of mode in his thinking that all the Saviors need to be cleared (killed).
* Tara agrees with him and Jesus wants to spare the folks that have surrendered. Morgan takes off on his own after his spar with Jesus.
* Aaron agrees to take Gracie (the baby) to the Hilltop.
* After several strategic take downs; where the Kingdom loses not a single man; Ezekiel suffers the hubris of loss due 50 caliber hidden gun fire when they reach their objective.
I do get that the writers are trying to make the Saviors look like a collective; almost like a virus that is headless ('We are Negan'; referring to Rick as 'Peaches', or 'Officer Friendly'), however to act like Negan I think is a bit on the nose.
Why is it that Dwight is against Negan and he's a Savior? Why did Saviors allow themselves to be taken prisoner if they all are Negan? Wouldn't Negan fight to the death? It's because they are not. So there's an inconsistency with this idea of a collective behavior by the Saviors.
* The only thing I liked about this show was there was more dialog. I loved Eric's lines to Aaron.
* The zombies rolling down the hill and biting folks was so bad it was actually hilarious to me.
So you, an Alexandrian/Hilltop person with weapons; guarding a line of prisoners watches zombies roll down a hill and then pop up and bite folks? Really?
* We still don't know what the overall strategy or plan was that Rick and company are now implementing.
* Morales story arc was a throw away; lost opportunity. Here is one of the rare times we have a character that spans most of the series (first season until the present) that has managed to survive as long as Rick and has undergone a similar metamorphosis to Rick. He has lost family members; he has mentally become a killer out of necessity and survival. He potentially would make the perfect foil as an arch villain to Rick, instead, he has a super long tropic monologue summing up what he has undergone and then he gets sacrificed to show Daryl is going too far. For me, learning about a character 5 minutes before that character is whacked doesn't hold a lot of impact emotionally. I felt nothing for Morales. He hasn't interacted with any characters I have watched and following for 7 years, so it's no surprise it had no weight to me; neither did Rick saying to Daryl 'Do you know who that was?'. As Daryl said 'It doesn't matter.'.
* The group of Saviors fighting Aaron and Eric's group abandoning their fight front with the Alexandrians (many people) to face off with only Rick and Daryl? Does that make sense?
* We don't really know if Morgan or Daryl as characters are going too far because we don't really specifically know what Rick's marching orders were. We believe it is 'Take No Prisoners' based on Morgan's recollection or flashback to a sliver of Rick's speech to the entire group regarding the War.
* We don't really know if Jesus is rebelling against Rick's orders out of intention or due to the circumstances of the Savior's surrendering because we really don't know what the communicated position Rick has on dealing with the Saviors because we never heard his speech.
* We don't know if Tara is vengeful while following Rick's orders or is taking Rick's orders too far because she is Vengeful.
* Why was Morales so angry at Rick? He talks about how screwed Rick is going to be since the Saviors have come back. (Is that the same way a child acts when their friend who is a bully is going to wail on someone they don't like?) In the same breath he tells Rick that his orders are not to harm him, Maggie or Ezekiel. So if his point is to make Rick feel threatened his dialog defeats that purpose before anything even happens. He also hasn't seen Rick since the outbreak. He left Rick's group on his own accord and went through his own personal journey losing his family. That has nothing to do with Rick.
* Why did Maggie let Gregory back into the Hilltop? What is his purpose or use to the community at this point? He certainly can't be trusted or used for direction. I can see him being used in the future by the writers to pose an internal small faction opposition to Maggie inside the Hilltop community. Sorry writers your seams are showing with directing the story-line. They could have found a more natural believable reason to allow him back into the Hilltop like he gives them a piece of information they can use to bring down the Saviors; like information on an outpost that's critical to the Saviors that Rick never knew about. That to me was sloppy, lazy writing.
* Where is Negan in all of this?
* What is the impact these victories have over the Saviors? What is it in their network that has been compromised? As an example, do they no longer have access to food, weapons?, etc...