Trusting Rick for their survival, Alexandrian volunteers help to lure a nearby horde of walkers away from the community. Others repel an invasion by the deranged Wolves which results in a large herd of walkers breaking off to surround Alexandria. The walls hold for a day before walkers overrun the community, trapping residents indoors. An attempt to escape ends with Carl losing an eye and several deaths, including Deanna’s. Rick and Michonne inspire the community to make a stand and are nearly overwhelmed when the walkers are diverted by burning fuel brought by Daryl. Rick, who had been treating the Alexandrians as expendable, admits he was wrong and sees they can go beyond survival to build a stronger community.
Two months later, the community faces a food shortage when they meet Jesus, who invites them to trade with the Hilltop. Offering mercenary services in exchange for food and medicine, Rick leads a team to wipe out a nearby compound of the extortionist Saviors and executes a man claiming to be their leader, Negan. However, the Saviors remain a threat and seek to take prisoners as leverage against Alexandria. Extremist Carol is saved by pacifist Morgan when she flees to resolve her troubled conscience in death. Maggie suffers pregnancy complications and Rick’s group try to get her to the Hilltop but find Saviors waiting for them and eventually walk into the middle of the gang psychologically defeated. Forced to their knees, Rick’s group listen to Negan who chooses one among them to be punished for their actions.