Previously on The Walking Dead: Daryl, Connie, Dog, Henry, and Lydia arrive at Alexandria to get Henry’s injuries patched up, which (along with her and Judith butting heads over the lack of hospitality towards the Hilltop and the Kingdom) triggers horrible and unpleasant memories for Michonne as she looks back to what happened to her, to Daryl, and to Judith that made Michonne shut down and keep the other communities at a distance. And the flashbacks that went into explicit detail on what happened to Michonne and Daryl? They really were that horrible and unpleasant.
THE STORY SO FAR: As the fair finally begins and everyone celebrates good times, Michonne reunites with everyone at the Kingdom and lets Tara and everyone else know that she’s now willing to work with them and sign the treaty to make it official. Lydia, with Henry’s assistance, begins getting accustomed to her new surroundings, only to realize that Alpha has come after her and wants her back home. Michonne, Daryl, Carol, and others go out looking for some other people from Hilltop who have gone missing and end up being ambushed by Alpha and the Whisperers, who are determined to punish them for taking Lydia away from them as well as remind them that they are absolutely not a threat to the Whisperers in anyway.
WHAT’S GOOD ABOUT THIS EPISODE?: I’m running out of ways to say how outstanding Samantha Morton is in the role of Alpha, but…Samantha Morton is outstanding in the role of Alpha, as she reminds her own people as well as Michonne, Daryl, etc. of her authority and how it is not to be trifled with. (Her infiltration of the Kingdom as she pretends to be Hilde — while wearing her entire scalp as a wig — and making friendly conversation with Ezekiel is just a bonus). Seeing the fair finally become a reality and everyone being able to lighten up and have fun, for once (including Alden and Luke working together on performing a concert for the people in attendance). Connie’s entire conversation with Kelly. Rosita and Eugene conversing with each other and making sure that despite what has happened and what isn’t going to happen much to Eugene’s disappointment, that they will still be friends. Beta’s obvious confusion and disappointment on Alpha’s willingness to turn her back on Lydia. Lydia letting Gage and Rodney know that, despite their understandable mistrust, she had no intention of taking any of their sh*t, in the form of actually shoving their faces in goat sh*t. Alpha showing Daryl the gigantic horde of Walkers nearby and the Whisperers who are walking amongst them, and letting them know that they are all under her control, and also that their territory had better not ever be invaded again. Michonne, Daryl, Carol, and company realizing how they are being punished, as they discover the bodies of their friends killed by Alpha and the Whisperers. Including Ozzy, and another member of the Highwaymen (Alec), DJ, Addie, Frankie, Rodney, Tammy Rose, Enid, Tara(!), and Henry.
WHAT’S NOT SO GOOD ABOUT THIS EPISODE?: Not much that comes to mind.
IS NEGAN IN THIS EPISODE?: No.
CARL?: Nope. Still dead.
JUDITH?: Yes, as she arrives at the Hilltop with Michonne and company and is greeted by Carol and Ezekiel, then later is seen at the theater watching an old animated movie with everyone else.
RICK?: No. Whereabouts still unknown, but Ezekiel pays tribute to both him and Carl as he acknowledges how hard they both worked to help them keep alive and have them all come together as one community.
JADIS/ANNE?: Same as above.
MAGGIE?: No. She’s elsewhere rolling her eyes at the unfunny and neverending “Martha” jokes still being made today, as today marks the third anniversary of the theatrical release of Batman v. Superman: Dawn Of Justice.
CAROL?: Yes, she is.
IS DARYL STILL ALIVE? BECAUSE IF NOT, THEN WE’LL
PROBABLY RIOT IF WE HAVE NOTHING ELSE TO DO: Yes, he is, and he has more scenes with Connie, as he asks her to look after Dog while he goes out on the search party to locate Miles and Hilde.
ARE THE WHISPERERS IN THIS EPISODE?: Yes, they are.
TO SUM IT ALL UP: It says a lot about how strong and incredibly well-done this episode was that, even after nine seasons and dozens of brutal and shocking deaths, this episode and how it ended still made me go “Holy sh*t!” at how it ended and how it had no mercy whatsoever with how much blood it was willing to shed, no matter how much we may have cared about the people whose blood was being shed. And to once again see Daryl have to comfort Carol about losing another child since Sophia back in the early days of Season 2, followed by Siddiq having to tell everyone what happened to them and what Alpha and her people did, only brought it all home even more. The brief scene of Daryl and Lydia paying their respects to the fallen with one of Hilde’s wooden tokens as the first snowflakes of winter began to fall was both touching and heartbreaking to watch, and it makes me worry and look forward to what next week’s season finale will bring in terms of more bloodshed and heartbreak to bring this chapter to a close.
It’s been so long since I’ve felt the need to care much about The Walking Dead, especially about the violence and the loss that comes as a result of it, but this season has been incredible in turning the show’s quality around and reminding many people, including myself, why this was and is a show worth watching in the first place.
This episode of The Walking Dead has been brought to you by “They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.)” by Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth:
Header Image Source: AMC