"Dead or Alive Or" is the eleventh episode of the eighth season of AMC's The Walking Dead. It is the one-hundred and tenth episode of the series overall. It premiered on March 11, 2018. It was written by Eddie Guzelian and directed by Michael Satrazemis.
A Savior patrol is notified of the disappearances of Harlan Carson and Gabriel. As they set off to begin the search, Daryl leads the remaining Alexandrians and Dwight under the bridge and out of sight of the Saviors.
The group comes across a walker in the forest. Tara moves in to deal with it, but allows it to cross over to Dwight, claiming that it escaped her grasp. Dwight dispatches it before the group heads forward. Rosita and Daryl discuss the Savior report and deduce that Carson and Gabriel are also heading towards the Hilltop.
Elsewhere, Carson and Gabriel sit in their car, having lost their bearings on the road and trying to determine their position on a map. Carson notices Gabriel shifting the map in an effort to read it better, concerned that his infection may also be attacking his optical nerves and blinding him. Gabriel assures that their situation can still be handled provided they keep their faith in God's plans intact; Carson is unconvinced. As Carson attempts to start their vehicle again, Gabriel barely notices a walker with a chain on its ankle crawling alongside them.
After disposing of the walker, Carson performs a vision check on Gabriel, whose condition is worsening. He condemns himself for allowing Gabriel to leave the Sanctuary in his current condition. Gabriel notices a noise emanating from the forest and both go to investigate. They find an abandoned building with a slab of metal swinging in the wind, but Carson is uneasy about the area.
The Alexandrians, having walked a considerable distance, rest in the forest. As Daryl and Rosita retrace their steps to cover their tracks, Tara, still vengeful, questions why Dwight is still alive. Daryl and Rosita agree that Dwight may still prove to be a valuable asset, with Rosita deciding to wait on dealing with him until they reach the Hilltop.
As the Hilltop fortifies, Carol attempts to relieve Morgan of his duties, offering to watch Henry and the captured Saviors. Jared tries to goad Morgan to free them from their holding pen, but Henry speaks up, asking for his brother's murderer. Carol sends Henry away to Jerry, while she speaks with Morgan.
Morgan questions why they cannot simply tell Henry who killed Benjamin. Carol argues that Henry, as a young child, is still vulnerable. While Morgan believes he is able to handle himself, Carol voices her concerns for both Henry and himself. She relieves him of his duties and assumes her post.
Negan went to Eugene, disappointed that Eugene's efforts have not completely alleviated the issues at hand and that his two captives have somehow escaped undetected, unaware that Eugene was responsible. Negan affirms to that once Carson and Gabriel are caught and brought back to the Sanctuary, he will find out about their escapades. A nervous Eugene inquires about the events that occurred at Alexandria - Negan questions his inquiry, asking if he cares despite Alexandria's actions against him since his defection.
Negan then places Eugene in charge of his own outpost - a small team in charge of crafting munitions for the Saviors. Eugene shows concern, as Negan claims to view people as a valuable resource. Negan explains that the bullets are a last resort, should Rick's group refuse to come to terms with the Saviors. After Negan explains Eugene's security detail, Eugene asks if there will be a wine supply - he confirms this.
Carson and Gabriel enter the log cabin, finding it clear of intrusion. Gabriel finds a notepad and, in his attempts to read it, concludes that the cabin was used as a radio station. While Carson is pessimistic about their chances of finding help through the station (having read the logbook and finding several empty entries), Gabriel tries to find the light in their situation. However, the morale boost is wiped away upon Carson's discovery of the radio operator, having turned after supposedly committing suicide.
Daryl, Rosita and Tara look over a map at the different routes the Saviors can travel from the Sanctuary to the Hilltop, finding that most of their paths can be potentially dangerous. Dwight, however, points out that an alternate path - through a swamp - is seldom used, due to the risks it poses against the Saviors. Silence falls over the group, and Tara realizes that they are considering taking the swamp route, voicing her opposition to the plan. The Alexandrians question Dwight's loyalties, fearing that he could potentially turn against the Militia the same way he deserted the Saviors. He argues that while he put down his fellow survivors, one escaped, and affirms that he will not return to the Saviors, seeing that there is now a price on his head for his betrayal. He solidifies his choice to side with the Militia, accepting that whatever happens to him after Negan's fall happens. Having heard his words, Daryl agrees to traverse the swamps.
Maggie watches over Gracie, before Dianne enters the room with an inventory log. Food at the Hilltop is becoming scarce, and Dianne fears that rations will have to be cut down further to be able to survive the next week; the situation is worsened if they take the captive Saviors' rations into consideration.
As Carson searches the room for anything useful, he notices Gabriel sitting up on the bed, trying to read an antibiotics container. Carson realizes that the antibiotics are exactly what Gabriel needs to combat his infection.
En-route to the swamp, Daryl and Dwight discuss Sherry and the possibility of finding her in the swamp. They approach the edge of the water, finding the murky depths littered with decaying walkers. Daryl gathers volunteers to assist with clearing out the infestation. Dwight is disallowed and Tara opts to stay behind to watch the group.
Gregory speaks to Maggie through the barb-wire fence, reasoning that he should be released for good behavior, but Maggie refuses to set him free. Alden then approaches the two, speaking up for the rest of the Saviors and attempting to come to an agreement, suggesting that the prisoners be allowed supervised freedom every once in a while for a few minutes each. Again, Maggie refuses, and reveals that they are removing their rations for a few days, much to the shock of the Saviors and Gregory.
Daryl, Rosita, Siddiq, Scott and the other volunteers continue to dispatch walkers in their path, with Rosita coming close to being dragged under. Daryl and Siddiq later find a multitude of gurgling corpses blocking their route forward. They press on, quickly and carefully putting down each walker in their path.
As the rest of the Alexandrians wait at the bank, Tara spots a small group of walkers in the trees. She asks for a volunteer to help her clear them, before tossing a knife in Dwight's direction. Picking up the knife, he and Tara head towards the zombies.
Having administered antibiotics to Gabriel, Carson performs another diagnosis, finding that his fever has gone down but his vision remains impaired. He shows concern that Gabriel does not seem too fazed by his predicament. Gabriel instead remains true to his faith in God's plans for the two of them. As he explains his feelings, he accidentally knocks over a piggy bank he found earlier, revealing a set of car keys and a map of the area. Carson reads the map, finding that they are in fact not too far off from their destination.
Dwight swings at walkers with his knife, while Tara holds back with her handgun. As they continue forward, Dwight expresses his remorse for killing Denise, accepting that he may not be forgiven for his deed. After putting down the last zombie, Dwight turns to find Tara holding him at gunpoint. He attempts to reason with her, explaining that his choice to change sides was a sincere gesture. Tara, however, is fixated on avenging Denise, and makes several attempts to shoot Dwight, chasing him through the forest. They come to a clearing, but are interrupted by the arrival of a Savior patrol and are forced to hide in the bushes.
Carson and Gabriel head outside of the cabin in search of a car. As Gabriel passes the swinging metal sheet, he manages to make out a message written on one side - a warning of traps in the area. He is too late to warn Carson, as he is crippled by a bear trap. Walkers begin to swarm towards the sound of his cries. Gabriel scrambles towards Carson as he fends off the small horde. He barely survives when Gabriel finds a revolver and manages to hit the final walker with a lucky shot.
As the Savior patrol passes, Tara continues to hold Dwight at gunpoint. She then turns her attention towards the patrol, who are inching closer to their position. In an effort to divert their attention away, Dwight makes his presence known, explaining that he survived the ambush near Alexandria. He inquires about Laura, to which he learns that she had not been heard from. He then leads the patrol in the opposite direction from the swamp, claiming that he did not see any Alexandrians crossing the area.
Tara turns to leave and finds Rosita, having followed the pair. She asks why she didn't attempt to stop her, with Rosita explaining that she would have also pursued him to no end.
Back at the swamp, Daryl lets his rage fly, berating Tara for allowing Dwight to leave and risking him giving away their group to the Saviors. Having seen Dwight's efforts to sway the Saviors away from their location, Tara is convinced that Dwight has changed for the better. Daryl remains unconvinced, but forgoes continuing the conversation any longer, leading the Alexandrians through the now-clear waters.
Gabriel helps Carson into a truck. Carson thanks Gabriel for his help, but their moment is interrupted by the presence of the Saviors, who were drawn by Carson's gunfire, and the two are recaptured. Gabriel again remains faithful that God has a way for them. Carson agrees, before making an attempt on the Saviors by unholstering one of their weapons. He is too late to fire, as he is shot down by another Savior. Disappointed that they have lost another doctor, the Saviors retreat back to the Sanctuary, while a mortified Gabriel sobs.
Carol, Morgan and Henry discuss the circumstances of Carl's death, having found out he died helping a stranger. Morgan then explains to Henry that Gavin was responsible for Benjamin's death, and that his killing of Gavin means that he has already avenged his brother.
Siddiq approaches Maggie to personally thank her for her hospitality. He inquires about whether the Hilltop holds an infirmary, revealing to Maggie that he has medical experience and wishes to help the community. She directs him to the trailers. As he leaves, Maggie surveys the community.
Eugene works with his team on crafting bullets. Frankie approaches him with the intent of helping around the workshop. Eugene instead treats her poorly, seeing her as a form of maid service. Negan then bursts into the room, followed by two Saviors bringing in a recaptured Gabriel. Negan claims to have a story from Gabriel on the circumstances of his and Carson's escape. To Eugene's relief, Gabriel does not hold Eugene responsible for the planning of their escape, but rather Carson. Negan then leaves Gabriel in charge of arranging Eugene's bullet casings.
Eugene reports that while his munitions have been of great quality, the quantity of supplies is running low. He suggests the possibility of launching walker viscera at the opposing forces in a last-resort effort to dissuade them from fighting. Gaining a new set of ideas from this otherwise-ludicrous scenario, Negan leaves, satisfied. Eugene approaches Gabriel, who is still traumatized by Carson's death. He laments that he believed he had found his purpose. Eugene brushes this off and shoves a tray toward Gabriel, demanding he begin sorting casings.
Maggie returns to the holding pen and agrees to Alden's deal, allowing a maximum of two Saviors at any given time out of the pen for work, exercise and, if the need arises, medical attention. Gregory, while grateful for her decision, is worried about an impending attack by the Saviors and implores that Maggie consider an evacuation, fearing losing the war. She remains strong, telling Gregory that with all they have now, there is little possibility for loss. Her attention is brought to the gates as Rick's arrival is announced.
Negan has the remaining Saviors at the Sanctuary (including Dwight) gathered at the courtyard, with several walkers chained to the fences. He relays the process of turning when getting bit by a walker and proposes they use that to their advantage - coating their weapons in walker remains will effectively "taint" them, and while the weapon may not kill the enemy, the viscera will create a surefire way for the victim to become infected. He then coats Lucille in a thick coat of blood and flesh from one of the walkers and displays it to the crowd.
- Kerry Cahill as Dianne
- Macsen Lintz as Henry
- Nadine Marissa as Nabila
- James Chen as Kal
- Peter Zimmerman as Eduardo
- Karen Ceesay as Bertie
- Anthony Lopez as Oscar
- Jason Burkey as Kevin
- Mandi Christine Kerr as Barbara
- Ted Huckabee as Bruce
- Elyse Nicole DuFour as Frankie
- José Michael Vasquez as José
- Scott Deckert as John
- Dan Johnson as Derek
- Courtney Patterson as Mel
- Hakim Callender as Male Savior
- CC Castillo as Female Savior
- Chad Joyce as Bearded Savior
- Chloe & Sophia Garcia-Frizzi as Judith Grimes
- Brooke Jaye Taylor as Brooke
- Gina Stewart as Vendor
- Scarlett & Sophia as Gracie
- Jennifer Davis Brennan as Alexandria Resident
- Anne McBrayer Childress as Alexandria Resident
- First appearance of Mel.
- First appearance of Derek.
- First appearance of John.
- Last appearance of Harlan Carson.
- This episode is 68 minutes long, with commercials, according to AMC's schedule.
- It is the eighth extended episode this season and the twenty-sixth overall.
- R. Keith Harris (Carson), and Joshua Mikel (Jared) are upgraded from "Co-Stars" to "Also Starring" in this episode.
- Negan's speech and his plan of using walker guts to modify their weapons is adapted from Issue 122 of the Comic Series.
- The episode's title also comes from Negan's speech: "Dead or alive or some kinda shit in-between".
- This is the first episode of this season that Rick doesn't appear in. However, he arrives at the Hilltop's gates off-screen.
- This is the first episode this season where no members of the Saviors are killed.
- This is also the first episode where no unnamed characters are killed.
- This episode has the fewest deaths this season so far, with Harlan Carson being the only casualty.
- This episode marks the 75th appearance of Melissa McBride of the series.
- This episode utilizes the Bullet Making Factory as a savior outpost.
- Daryl retrieves his Stryker Strykezone 380 crossbow back from Dwight, which he hasn't used since "East".
- Coincidentally, both Harlan and Emmett Carson died on the 11th episodes of season 7 and 8, with Emmett's death being in "Hostiles and Calamities".
- One of the captured Saviors being held at the Hilltop is later seen at the Sanctuary listening to Negan's guts speech. This is likely an error on the casting department's part as no Saviors escaped from the Hilltop in the plot line. This is not the first instance where an extra who portrayed a Savior POW was seen in a completely different scene a few episodes later as if they were freed or never captured in the first place.