Spoilers for the April 8 episode. The Walking Dead desperately needs one of those scenes that's in every heist movie, where someone explains over voiceover how he (or she — shoutout to Ocean's Eight) pulled it off. With the episode jumping back and forth in time and characters jumping back and forth between loyalties, it's difficult to keep track of who has the upper hand in the penultimate season episode of The Walking Dead. After Sunday's episode, in which Negan manages to use Dwight to send bad information to Rick, there are still some unanswered questions. Namely, what is Negan's real plan on The Walking Dead? Our heroes are walking in to a trap!
If we follow this game of telephone worthy of Mean Girls to its conclusion, Negan lets Dwight think that he's meeting with his allies in a particular place so that Dwight will tell Rick — instead, Dwight tells Gregory to tell Rick and now Rick has a map to where Gregory says Dwight says Negan says he was gonna be. Unless Dwight is somehow even more steps ahead of Negan, he and Team Hilltop are in trouble.
Unless Rick and the others smell the rat, they're going to be sneaking up on a bunch of Saviors who are already expecting them. It's gotta be an ambush, right? A big fight for the big finale? Will Aaron and the Oceansiders charge in at the last minute, like Han Solo in Star Wars or the Rohirrim or really any army in Lord of the Rings? Can't anyone agree on a time and place to meet for a fight in stories like this? Anyway, the most obvious plan for Negan is that he's luring the best fighters to a place where he and the Saviors can take them out. Rick will think he's sneaking, but really he's been snuck.
Or, could the Saviors be planning to take over the Hilltop while everyone else is away? Negan did express ambitions for the historical site, but then again — what is the truth anymore? We clearly can't trust anything he tells anybody. It's also possible that this plan has something to do with the infected weapon plot from earlier in the season. Maybe Negan was hoping that that map would give everybody paper cuts so that he can dump a bunch of walker blood on them, Carrie-style, and slowly infect everyone to death.
Of course, the one person who knows that this is a trap and could help is Eugene. The timeline in Sunday's episode was a bit fuzzy, but it seems like Eugene was briefed on the situation before he's taken by Daryl and Rosita back to the Hilltop. That also means that Negan's plan involves bullets, because Eugene is put on a strict deadline, but that isn't too surprising. Rick and the others may not believe him, but he could do the right thing and try to stop them. There's also Gabriel, who could surprise everyone yet and pull a last ditch heroic effort in the Season 8 finale.
Here's an additional question: does Gregory know the real plan? Probably not. Bless his little heart, Gregory is not that good of an actor, and Negan seems surprised that Dwight delegates. Negan's manipulation seems to go off without a hitch, but it's still not exactly how he had planned it. Even while backstabbing, Dwight is a pretty good leader.
Fortunately Rick, Michonne, Maggie, and the others have all been in similar situations before. There's no way they'll be totally unprepared for whatever Negan is really planning. While the finale is sure to have plenty of twists and turns and shocking reveals, there's no way that Negan won't be just as surprised as those he's planning to slaughter. Nobody's that good — right?