Previously on The Walking Dead: Lydia continues to be held in custody at Hilltop and interrogated by Daryl about herself and her affiliation with the Whisperers. Which leads to her telling him and Henry about her mother, Alpha, who has been physically and emotionally abusive towards her since childhood, and who has been willing to do horrible things to others long before the Whisperers came together with her as their leader. Magna and company snuck out to search for Alden and Luke, only to realize they were in over their heads and needed both help as well as a plan. And upon their return, they realized that Alpha and the Whisperers followed them all the way back, which is where Alpha introduces herself and demands the release of her daughter.
THE STORY SO FAR: Alpha and the Whisperers have arrived at Hilltop, demanding the release of Lydia in exchange for Alden and Luke, who are still alive and unharmed. Daryl is reluctant to release her back into Alpha’s abusive hands, and so is Henry, as he takes her out of her cell and the two of them disappear. Meanwhile, Ezekiel, Carol, and Jerry go on a side mission to an abandoned movie theater that is overrun with Walkers in order to retrieve a projector bulb that can be used to show movies at the upcoming fair.
WHAT’S GOOD ABOUT THIS EPISODE?: Jerry announcing to Ezekiel and Carol that he and his girlfriend are having a baby, and announcing that to them as only he can (complete with getting his used chewing gum stuck on Ezekiel’s back). Alpha and the Whisperers calmly shutting down every threat made by Daryl by letting him and everyone else know that there are a lot more members of the Whisperers than he or anyone else at Hilltop would have ever expected, and also letting both Daryl and her own member of the Whisperers (a mother carrying her crying infant child) know that if she has to sacrifice that baby to an incoming herd of Walkers so that they can keep blending in and going on about their business, that’s exactly what she’ll do. Connie giving up her hiding spot in the cornfield to rescue the baby from the Walkers and running for her life back into said cornfield, which is where she’s forced to confront Walkers without being able to hear where they’re coming from. Henry being confronted by both Enid and Daryl about how they’ll all be able to live with giving Lydia back to Alpha. Alpha reminding Lydia and us that she will never be considered “Mother Of The Year” by slapping her and letting her know that she demands to be called “Alpha” from her like everyone else and not “Mom.” And Henry, Connie, and Daryl each realizing that they actually can’t live with turning their backs on Lydia and deciding to go after her.
WHAT’S NOT SO GOOD ABOUT THIS EPISODE?: Not much that comes to mind.
IS NEGAN IN THIS EPISODE?: No.
CARL?: Still dead, but he is referenced by Enid during her conversation with Henry.
CAROL?: She is, and despite Ezekiel’s attempts to keep the side mission a secret from her and to wrap said mission up early when it starts
RICK?: No. Whereabouts still unknown.
MAGGIE?: No. There are rumors that she has cleaned up rather nicely, joined the CIA, and teamed up with the FBI to go on dangerous missions that keep the world safe. And that Noah is with her, despite the fact that he died several seasons ago.
JADIS/ANNE?: No. Whereabouts still unknown.
IS DARYL STILL ALIVE? BECAUSE IF NOT, THEN WE’LL
PROBABLY RIOT IF WE HAVE NOTHING ELSE TO DO: He is, and despite his attempts to send the Whisperers away and keep Lydia out of their grasp, he knows that there’s nothing he can do, especially not with Alden and Luke in their custody. Which makes it not all that shocking that he’s also willing to help Lydia and go after her, regardless of the odds he’ll be facing.
ARE ALPHA AND THE WHISPERERS IN THIS EPISODE?: Yes, they are.
ANY SIGN OF THE BLACK HELICOPTER THAT TOOK RICK AND JADIS/ANNE AWAY?: None.
SO…DID YOU WATCH THE OSCARS LAST NIGHT?: The less said about what The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences thinks is most deserving of their highest honors, the better. My liver can only take so damn much.
TO SUM IT ALL UP: The one scene in which Alpha just looks at the Whisperer with her baby, shrugs at her, and makes it crystal-clear that she doesn’t give a damn about her or her crying baby, and that silence among the Walkers is how they maintain their survival? Deserves all of the chef’s kisses, and after all of the chilling and disturbing things this show has done, that one scene ranks very highly on that list, and does so without shedding a single drop of blood. Which is just another way of saying that this show is very lucky to have Samantha Morton as its Big Bad. Very lucky.
And seeing how the war with the Whisperers is about to be set off, all because Daryl and company refuse to allow themselves to live with a questionable act that puts someone’s life in further danger. And it’s hard to be mad at a reason such as that.
This episode of The Walking Dead is brought to you by “Shoot ‘Em Up Movies” by The Deele:
Header Image Source: AMC