The fallout from the war between Rick and Negan continued in Season 8, Episode 7 “Time After Time.” With the Saviors on the ropes and Rick launching a new scheme with the Scavengers, the plot thickened even more.
The episode opens with Rick still in his precarious position from last week. He went alone to the Scavengers’ compound to offer them a chance to withdraw their allegiance to Negan. Their leader, Jadis, refused and is now preparing some kind of sculpture of Rick, taking pictures and sketches of his semi-nude body.
Meanwhile, Eugene finds himself in the worst position imaginable for a coward who hates drama. After piecing together the fact that Dwight is the traitor in their midst, he’s left holding all the cards and being forced to play them. He confronts Dwight privately to say that he’s aware of the situation and will only rat him out if he continues to betray them. This is an odd stance considering that Negan said he’d kill Eugene if he couldn’t figure out a solution to their problem.
He seems content that he’ll impress Negan by putting his mind to the issue of rescuing the Sanctuary rather than finding the mole. However, that task is easier said than done. It’s revealed that he’s taken to drinking wine in order to get to bed. It turns out that being loyal to the Saviors does indeed make it harder to sleep at night. Still, he knows where his smartest allegiances should lie, something he makes clear in a conversation with the very infirmed Gabriel. He mercilessly explains that Gabriel’s condition is his own fault and that he will not (not to be confused with “could not”) help him escape.
Meanwhile, Daryl, Michonne, Tara and Rosita have arrived with a large dump truck outside the Sanctuary. Daryl and Rick recently traded hands over the former’s plan to blow a hole in the wall of the Sanctuary and let the walkers have at anyone inside. Rick shot it down, but Daryl is hoping to execute the plan anyway. It’s revealed that Morgan, after storming off from his failed fight with Jesus, went to the Sanctuary to help spot potential escapes. When he sees the four traitors, he offers his assistance. After all, he is firmly in the camp of “kill everybody” by this point. Rosita and Michonne, however, remains loyal to Rick and split.
Even those participating in the caper seem to be on the fence about it, but they execute it nonetheless. With the help of Morgan and the other spotters, they all get into position. Meanwhile, Eugene had a stroke of genius and rigged a remote-controlled glider with an iPod. The hope is that it will Pied Piper the walkers away and clear the path for an escape. However, before he can launch it, Dwight puts a gun to the back of his head. Eugene is scared, but bets big on the idea that Dwight won’t kill him. He’s right, but that doesn’t stop Dwight from blowing his glider out of the sky. It’s a moot point anyway as Daryl immediately comes crashing into the compound giving them much bigger fish to fry. It looks like Dwight has gotten a pass, but Eugene has recorded the whole encounter, including Dwight’s confession.
Just like that, the Saviors are in an even worse situation than they were. However, Eugene, seeing the carnage brought upon the Sanctuary, snaps. He goes to Gabriel and says that he’s not going to be the “good guy.” Instead, he’s going to follow his own path of self preservation, noting that everyone who tried to teach him to follow the traditionally “moral” way is dead. He goes to Negan with a mystery plan to help them all escape. All that is revealed is that it will require a lot of bullets. However, he’s capable of making more.
He’s about to use the tape recording against Dwight to further impress his boss, when he walks in the room unexpectedly. It’s too much for him and he doesn’t give him up as the traitor.
The episode ends on a particularly low note as Jadis makes an attempt to execute Rick. She tries to let one of her armored walkers eat him, but he struggles free and pins her down. He tells the Scavengers that he’s leaving, and that if they refuse him once more, he’ll be back to finish them off eventually. After some failed negotiating that includes Jadis asking Rick to pose nude for her, she agrees to help for one fourth of the take. However, when they arrive at the Sanctuary, it’s not the scene Rick promised.
He sees that not only has Daryl punched a hole into the compound, but Eugene’s mystery plan has worked, and neither the walkers nor the Saviors are anywhere to be found.