"The Big Scary U" is the fifth episode of the eighth season of AMC's The Walking Dead. It is the one-hundred and fourth episode of the series overall. It premiered on November 19, 2017. It was written by Scott Gimple, David Leslie Johnson & Angela Kang and directed by Michael Satrazemis.
In a flashback, Negan, Dwight, Eugene, Simon, and Negan's other lieutenants listen to Gregory plead his case for the Saviors to spare the Hilltop community, vowing to evict any of those going along with Rick's plan from the community. Simon assures Gregory that he trusts him despite Negan's non-plussed nature. Just then, gunshots ring out, signaling the start of Rick's attack.
In the present, Negan and Fr. Gabriel are trapped in a trailer surrounded by walkers within the fences of Sanctuary. Negan doesn't kill Gabriel, but does express concern that without his leadership, the Saviors will start to fall apart. Gabriel believes he ended up trapped with Negan to help him confess, specifically speaking to him about how he treats the workers within Sanctuary as well as his wives. Negan wavers a bit, describing his life pre-epidemic, including having worked with kids and his wife, but then explains that after the epidemic, he came across numerous groups feuding against each other, and gained control of their key leaders as to form the Saviors. Negan lets his guard down as Gabriel explains his own past and the death of his congregation. This allows Gabriel to grab his gun before locking himself in the trailer's second room. Negan opens up about his first wife, prior to the epidemic, and convinces Gabriel they have to work together to get out of this mess.
Within the Sanctuary, Simon discusses the situation with the other lieutenants, believing Negan may be dead, and the power vacuum that that creates. Gavin raises the possibility that the only way Rick's army could have taken them like they did was if they had inside information, likely from someone in the room. Dwight, who secretly did provide this, diverts their attention to the growing issues of the workers who are becoming restless being holed up in the building. They decide to take no immediate action. As they return to their rooms, Eugene brings Dwight a jar of gherkins as an expression of thanks. Eugene notices a chess set that Dwight has been working on, and inadvertently picks up a piece that still has wet paint on it. Later, Simon makes a decision to turn off the Sanctuary's power since they cannot access the fuel reserves.
The workers, suffering from the heat, move up onto the second floor, against their normal orders, knowing something is wrong and they demand to see Negan. The lieutenants try to vouch for him when suddenly a worker raises a gun and is shot by Regina. They then hear Negan's whistling, and they all fall onto their knees. Negan and Gabriel, who escaped the trailer by covering themselves in the viscera of the walkers, have made it safely here. Negan reaffirms his power, and the workers quickly agree to return to work. Negan orders Gabriel to be kept in a cell. Later, Negan and the lieutenants are presented a bag of weapon that was given to the workers, they are informed are that the weapons came from the Santuary's armory and could only have been taken by a savior. Eugene observers the bag and sees a spot of paint on it, the same color as that on his finger from touching Dwight's chess set. Privately, Negan tells Eugene he will reward him handsomely if he can figure a way out from the Sanctuary for them, but at the same time will kill him if he can't, albeit quickly. Eugene later goes to see Gabriel and finds him suffering, and calls for medical attention.
Elsewhere, Rick and Daryl deal with the truck that was transporting weapons back to the Sanctuary. Daryl violently interrogates the driver, barely alive, to try to learn more but Rick suggests other ways. The man shortly dies, so they turn their attention to the weapons. They find a supply of dynamite and Daryl thinks they can use it for the fight, but Rick protests thinking there is a better way. The two get into a fight, during which Rick grabs the bag with the dynamite and throws it back at the truck, causing it and the rest of the weapons it carries to explode. They return to their vehicles, but Rick finds his truck does not start, and Daryl refuses to give him a ride. The two men bitterly separate. Rick continues on his own until he sees a helicopter fly overhead and gives chase.
- Lindsley Register as Laura
- Elizabeth Ludlow as Arat
- Mike Seal as Gary
- Traci Dinwiddie as Regina
- José Michael Vasquez as José
- Brooke Jaye Taylor as Brooke
- First appearance of José.
- First appearance of Potter.
- First appearance of Brooke.
- Last appearance of Yago.
- This episode is 73 minutes long, according to AMC's schedule.
- This is the second extended episode this season and the twentieth extended episode overall.
- The title of this episode comes from Gregory’s speech, talking about how the “U” means the “Unknown”.
- This is one of the episodes to have the most (3) writers.
- The episode confirms Regina as the leader of the Shephard Office Plaza. Gavin refers to Simon, Regina and himself as "the three outpost leaders" and Simon's and Gavin's outposts had previously been confirmed as the Satellite Outpost attacked in "The Damned" and the Chemical Plant Outpost attacked in "Some Guy".
- Gabriel and Negan refer to the events of the episode "Not Tomorrow Yet" while discussing Gabriel's role in attacking the Satellite Outpost.
- Gabriel and Negan use the trick of slathering themselves in walker guts previously seen in "Guts", "No Sanctuary", "Start to Finish" and "No Way Out".
- Gabriel and Negan's conversation is partially adapted from Issue 164.
- Rick saying a chokehold is illegal to Daryl is a reference to "Tell It to the Frogs" when Shane put Daryl in a chokehold and the latter said it was illegal with Shane sarcastically saying to “file a complaint.”
- Content from Here's Negan is featured in this episode and it was confirmed that Negan's first wife was named Lucille.
- This episode marks the first time that Rick has appeared in 5 or more consecutive episodes in the 1st half of a single season since "Internment".
- Eugene plays a boxing video game released by Activision in 1980.
- Eugene mentions to Gabriel how they ate dogs together once. This is a callback to the events of "Them".
- This episode has the longest wait time before the main theme and opening credits of the show are shown, with a grand total of 15 minutes.
- This episode is tied with having the least amount of deaths thus far this season with only 2; Yago and the unnamed Savior.
- The other episode to have only 2 deaths is "The King, the Widow, and Rick".
- The Scavengers make their return after being absent since the "The First Day of the Rest of Your Life".
- Rick and Daryl now consider the Kingdom to be effectively destroyed after learning of the death of Ezekiel's army in "Some Guy".