Spoilers for The Walking Dead 8x03.
Rick's strike on Negan and the Saviors continues. After launching a multi-pronged attack on the Saviors with a united coalition of Alexandria, Hilltop and Kingdom soldiers in 8x01, Rick and Daryl infiltrated an office building that was supposed to be home to a cache of guns that the good guys want to keep out of the hands of the Sanctuary.
Instead, Rick came across Gracie — a now-orphaned baby girl — and Morales, one of the earliest survivors Rick met in Atlanta following the outbreak. A major detail spotted in episode 8x02 could hint at Gracie's role in the series, but the internet has been buzzing about Morales' return (and his turn to the dark side).
Episode 8x02 left us questioning if Morales would die, a question that was definitively answered this episode when Daryl interrupted Rick and Morales' talk by shooting the ally-turned-enemy in the head with an arrow, killing him.
"I know who it was," Daryl tells a surprised Rick. "Don't matter. Not one little bit."
Daryl killing Morales is in line with the character's direction this season: Norman Reedus said Daryl in season 8 has revenge on his mind, adding the hunter is "ready to kill everybody" — no matter what anyone has to say about it. Of course, fans have a lot to say about Daryl's latest kill:
Morales where are your morals #TheWalkingDead— The Walking Dead (@Walkerfanboy) November 6, 2017
Life (or I guess death) comes at ya fast in #WalkingDead
Was a nice speech though Mr Morales. 😜 pic.twitter.com/hcUxx3jxEi— Brian Hays (@BrianHays73) November 6, 2017
Thank you for doing that Daryl. Even after hearing what happened to Glenn, Morales still tried to defend Negan. #TWD— SPNWalkingDead 🍍 (@SPNWalkingDead) November 6, 2017
Episode 8x03 also answers what happened to Eric, who in episode 8x02 caught a bullet during a raid on a Savior outpost. After discovering an exit wound in his back, Eric spent his last few moments alive telling boyfriend Aaron to leave him by a tree and rejoin the fight. "They need you," Eric said, with Aaron begrudgingly accepting.
Once things had calmed, Aaron returned only to find a bloody tree stump. A reanimated Eric was seen wandering off towards a nearby herd of Walkers, leaving a distraught Aaron behind. Though Eric's death on the show occurred differently from how it went down in Robert Kirkman's comic books, the end result was the same: the Saviors took Aaron's boyfriend from him.
Aaron actor Ross Marquand previously talked with ComicBook.com about the importance of LGBT representation on The Walking Dead, and talk turned to the "bury your gays" trope, or the killing of gay characters, their stories usually ending without a happy ending. Marquand spoke on what he called a "very unfortunate trend," saying backlash as result of Eric's death was "definitely a possibility."
Eric done became a walker. Poor Aaron 😢 #TheWalkingDead— #TeamDoItAlready 🌪 (@NicoH715) November 6, 2017
OMG NOOOOO I LOVED ERIC WTFFFFFFF #TheWalkingDead— Therealdezzy._ (@dausbrook2) November 6, 2017
IM SOBBING AGAIN ERIC ISNT BY THE TREE AND AARON IS SO SAD MY HEART HURTS SO MUCH #TheWalkingDead— missY (@kethurman) November 6, 2017
That yelling for Eric... omg my heart!! 😢😢😢💔💔#TheWalkingDead— Danie (@Danie_B_Puff) November 6, 2017
Just rip my heart out. Again and again. RIP Eric #TheWalkingDead— isaiditimeantit (@mcqueenlin1) November 6, 2017
😢😢😢😢 I was hoping Eric would make it #TheWalkingDead— Mary Jane Rodriguez (@keyahnuhhh) November 6, 2017
ERIC!!!!😭😭😭😭😭🤷 #TheWalkingDead I should have known no healthy gay couples would survive on Primetime shows 😩😒— Black Magick Cass 🎃 (@Serial_Tragedy) November 6, 2017
I hope they didn’t just kill off Eric so they could pair up Jesus & Aaron in the future. #TheWalkingDead— Krista (@Kemmybelle) November 6, 2017
AARON AND A BABY PLS#TheWalkingDead— Chey (@sounderrated_) November 6, 2017
Aaron needs Gracie right now. It gives him purpose 🖤 #thewalkingdead— Megan Oneail (@itssplldONEAIL) November 6, 2017
Episode 8x03 had another "oh sh—t" moment in the form of Morgan acting out and attacking Jesus, with the two differing in their opinions on how the captured Saviors should be handled. Morgan wants them dead — Jared, specifically, who taunted Morgan over the death of young Kingdom guard Ben — and Jesus, who doesn't want to kill Saviors, is acting as the new moral conscious of the group, even coming into conflict with Tara over his immovable insistence on taking their enemies alive.
Jesus' kung fu moves versus Morgan's stick fu made for an interesting fight, and the internet is picking sides:
Sorry but #TeamMorgan. He is right. They chose Negan and there is no living peacefully with them. They will kill while the others sleep.— Brad Setzer (@B_S_Zelda) November 6, 2017
I used to love Morgan but he lost his damn mind #TeamJesus 🙌— Sly (@PhillipPhever) November 6, 2017
Morgan & Jesus are some kind of Zombie Apocalypse Jedi’s— Suzi (@suzimomof2) November 6, 2017
Jesus: We have to find a way. We have to learn how to live with them.November 6, 2017
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9/8c on AMC.