Hello, and welcome to the new season of The Walking Dead. I hope you survive the experience.
It’s been a busy few months for The Walking Dead, what with a whole bunch of new announcements concerning the future of the show and its spin-offs, like the upcoming Rick Grimes film as well as The Walking Dead Universe.
I’ll be recapping this new season of The Walking Dead, so make sure to come back every Sunday night for my recap of each new episode. With that, let’s dive in!
“I know one idiot that would have loved this.”
In appropriate The Walking Dead fashion, we begin in space! An old USSR satellite is floating through the cosmos near Earth. Do we know the significance of this satellite? Nyet!
Everyone we know from Alexandria, the Hilltop, and the Kingdom are on the beach by Oceanside, all in combat formation. They’re equipped with shields and spears, picture a Roman army regiment. Ezekiel and Jerry are at a nearby boat, opening its door to allow some walkers to leave a few at a time so they can empty the boat of danger in small batches. Everyone is in formation and are working really well together, signifying an evolution in their combat strategy. Things have changed.
Everyone’s back at Oceanside, and we’re catching up with these characters. Luke, who has lost some weight and looks great, is flirting with an Oceansider named Jules. Michonne and Darryl lament Tara’s absence and tell each other that she would be proud of everyone’s progress at training. Judith and RJ empty out a bucket of shells and starfish and find a Whisperer mask within.
“Tell her not to leave again without saying goodbye.”
Aaron and Michonne are communicating with Alexandria via radio, and the discovery of the Whisperer mask has them all on edge. All sorts of junk washed up on shore after a recent storm, so it may not be anything.
A group rides out to find any sign of the Whisperers. Michonne and Aaron ride together, and Aaron ponders if they’re the good guys. He notes that somebody is the bad guy in someone else’s story. Their fellow riders radio in and report that they have found nothing. Aaron spots a trio of walkers on a nearby bridge and rides off. Aaron is reckless and violent, not taking any precautions and just slicing away at the dead, not even noticing that one of them under a car grabbed a hold of hit foot. He and Michonne argue; what he just did was stupid, but Aaron lets loose. He’s sick of living by holding his breath, waiting for something to happen. His boyfriend Eric is dead, and so is Jesus. He’s tired of waiting. Yumiko and Magna call in and say they found something.
They have found a campsite, with some dead campers and walkers. They’ve also found some skin near a log, which means the Whisperers have been on their side of the border recently.
“I can see what’s coming unless we stop it.”
Back at Oceanside, Aaron and Michonne are discussing the implications of their find. They don’t like having to live in fear again. Michonne also has an answer to Aaron’s earlier philosophical questioning of their morality. Michonne says, yes, we are the good guys. Rick and Carl were, and so were Eric and Jesus. The moment you begin to question your moral standing is when you begin to fall apart.
Michonne overhears Judith telling RJ a story, of how a brave man killed himself and millions of walkers by blowing up a bridge in order to save his friends. Obviously, this story is about her father Rick Grimes (catch the Untitled The Walking Dead film in theatres soon!) and it’s honestly very sweet. She embraces them and suddenly an enormously loud bang is heard. Everyone looks up and they see a fiery object shoot across the sky. It’s likely that USSR satellite from the beginning.
“We’re like gods in the apocalypse.”
Just then, we flashback to Aaron and Michonne communicating with Alexandria via radio, this time for Father Gabriel’s perspective in Alexandria. We’re treated to a cute montage of Eugene helping Rosita take care of her baby, as he implements a sort of formula to activities such as burping her and generally taking care of it. Gabriel enters the room with a blank expression, and they go off to discuss it.
Lydia is learning to read and it’s frustrating her. She goes out to practise stick fighting, which is a nice touch, and Negan approaches her and asks her how she’s doing. They relate to each other since they’re both not trusted within the community.
Siddiq is putting the baby to sleep when he begins to flashback to that night where Alpha and the Whisperers killed all those people. Just then, a fellow doctor named Dante enters the room since he heard the bay crying while Siddiq didn’t realise. Dante, for posterity, comes across as an enormous asshole as he plays up his significance in the community.
“That’s your regurgitated bird wisdom?”
Gabriel checks on Negan, who notes that he left his post early despite enjoying working outside. Negan wants to impart some wisdom on Gabriel. He’s noticed that people are on edge now that whisperings of the Whisperers have emerged, and he recommends to bend the truth a little and calm his people down. Gabriel is astonished that Negan is asking him to lie to his own people, but by the look on his face he’s considering it.
Gabriel leaves and directs people to lock the gates, but that enormous bang happens in the sky. Eugene runs to the radio and demands to speak with Michonne and other Alexandrians. “Something of grave importance is about to happen,” he says.
“I’m a sea dog, man.”
We, uh, once again flashback to Aaron and Michonne communicating with Alexandria. This time, we’re with Daryl as he watches some Oceansiders reel fish in. Kelly is helping them, but doesn’t hear them when she’s asked to watch out for some rocks behind her. She leaves in frustration, and Connie tries to calm her down. Kelly reveals that when people are talking she tends not to understand if it’s directed at her or not, as her hearing isn’t what it used to be. Connie, very warmly, assures her that deafness isn’t a disability but a superpower. They spot Daryl and Connie waves at him, only for Kelly to give her a look that Connie dismisses, implying Connie has feelings for Daryl.
Daryl and Ezekiel are chatting when Connie and Daryl’s dog, Dog, show up. Daryl signs some basic stuff with her which impresses her, and she tells him that he somehow signs with a southern accent. A boat approaches, and Carol waves from the port bow, or whatever it is, and she docks. She has an awkward reunion with Ezekiel, who notes that Daryl has an ASL guide tucked away in his back pocket.
Daryl and Carol go off on his motorcycle to hang out, when they encounter some walkers. They find a deer and manage to hit it but it stills runs away. It finally collapses on a nearby road but some walkers are coming for it. Carol’s about to kill them when Daryl stops her, warning her that the deer is on Alpha’s territory and that they’re too late.
Later, Daryl apologises for what he did and tells Carol that it’s time to come home. She says her home is the sea, and suggests that Daryl come with her. They discuss how life is just moving from one fight to the next, and maybe they should make a break for it. Take his bike, go west to New Mexico. Carol likes the idea, but then they hear that sound in the sky.
“You still wanna run away together?”
Once again, we flashback to… just kidding. Everybody at Oceanside is mobilising to combat the fire that the satellite crash caused. Some are questioning this move since it crashed in Whisperer territory but the fire can spread and destroy Oceanside, so they have no choice. While attempting to put out the fire, a herd of walkers that heard the crash enter the fray and they’re eventually taken out.
When the fire dies, Eugene stops everyone from leaving and implores them to help him bring the satellite with them so they can use the technology within for anything they might need. Michonne is apprehensive but she keeps a few people behind to quickly help Eugene with his project.
Daryl and Carol head to a viewpoint and look at the road ahead. Daryl asks Carol if she still wants to go with him, and she affirms. Daryl asks her to take a minute and reconsider staying, otherwise he’ll punch holes in all the boats. He leaves and Carol spots Alpha down below, staring back up at her. They have a stare-down, a mother staring into the eyes of her son’s killer.
And that’s it for the season ten premiere of The Walking Dead. I really enjoyed this one; it continues the strong momentum of the last season and I’m pretty excited to see how things progress.
The scale of this thing is a little more epic and wide, as made obvious by the increased use of drone shots which give more of a sense of where the characters are right now. I’m liking the character dynamics and the Whisperers are surprisingly less stale than I thought they would be.
Come back next week for my recap of the second episode of the series, “We Are the End of the World.”