A direct continuation of The Damned, Monsters picks up on the cliffhanger of the newly-returned Morales pointing a gun in Rick's face, sees Gregory make it back to the Hilltop for a showdown with Maggie, and has Ezekiel and his followers doing more of whatever it is they were supposed to be doing last week.
In the midst of the chaos and unlimited gunshots, Jared's prisoner group attempt to escape into the woods...the same woods where the zombies are...while they are all tied and bound together.
The answer is yes, for about five minutes, before Daryl put a crossbow bolt in Morales' neck near the start of Episode 3. We've been getting a lot of mayhem and moralizing, presented without the sense of purposeful structure that would give a tragedy meaning. They both knew that Rick would have killed him, but Rick was no longer comfortable with that fact. The second time is right at the end, when Rick promises to offer an unarmed Saviour a vehicle after he gives them some info on the whereabouts of a weapons stockpile.
The Walking Dead spends a lot of time arguing about the place of humanity in the post-apocalyptic world.
The icing on the top of this theory cake is an apparently throwaway detail that links Gracie and the flashforward girl.
Ageism in Hollywood is real. Everyone's trying very hard, and there's a little bit of poignancy to Aaron watching Eric's reanimated corpse wander off into the distance, but there's not a tonne of emotional impact because the audience hasn't gotten to know Eric very well; he's been a face in a crowd, someone unwilling to fight, and a guy who once had spaghetti with Daryl after breaking his ankle. That's the big question looming over this episode, which finds all the survivors struggling with morality during war.
If anything, as proven by the events of the season so far, it's left them more vulnerable to attack, as Negan's army is randomly dispersed across a variety of locations, rather than concentrated in a smaller number of heavily defended bases. "You'll realize with just one sip that this is a wine that'll never let you down".
There were also-finally-some zombie highlights. Since Season 1, The Walking Dead's leading man has been morally declining.
Jesus leads the group to the Hilltop and decides to lock the Saviors in trailers behind the gates. When Carol questioned the wisdom of pursuing their course of action, Ezekiel launched into one of his delightful, pseudo-Shakespearean speeches about sticking to the mission regardless.
While Rick wastes time, he doesn't seem to notice the setup for a "Game of Thrones"-level disturbing moment centering around the one thing that did matter from Rick and Daryl's unsuccessful attempt to get Savior guns ― the discovery of Baby Gracie". He kills reflexively. He kills people when he's not in immediate danger. Gone are the seasons in which some kind of enjoyment was guaranteed. Through all the violence of this episode we're reminded just how fragile these relationships are. He admits that he's not right in the head and walks away, abandoning everyone to be alone again. Calling him a monster, calling anyone but Negan a monster (because we know nothing else about him) is to ignore the choices that brought these characters here.
The Savior prisoners were rendered completely helpless against the walkers tumbling down the hill towards them. He tried to tell Morales that if the tables were turned and Rick was holding the gun he wouldn't kill him, he'd try to find another way. After all, Eric has been mostly in the background for nearly two seasons now, featuring so little that I was continually surprised he wasn't already dead. The only problem they seem to have is making sure that the dead Saviors in their wake don't reanimate (interesting that only one Kingdomer seems queasy at the sight of all the human carnage). Morgan responds by saying that there's no way to rehabilitate people who are that evil (he's probably right) while simultaneously having one of his regularly scheduled break downs. It's still pretty clear he's not trustworthy, so she better keep a close eye on him.