Welcome to another recap of The Walking Dead, where we’ll discuss last night’s episode, “Look At the Flowers.”
Need a reminder of what went down last week? Check out my recap of that episode right here.
In this week’s episode, we see the ramifications of Alpha’s murder as well as the role that Negan played in Carol’s secret plot.
“I have your word?”
In a flashback sequence, we see how Carol and Negan’s deal came to life. Carol plainly asks him to bring her Alpha’s head. Negan, however, is hesitant to do so because he’s aware of Carol’s status as a badass; if she couldn’t do it, what happens if he fails? He doesn’t want to endanger the lives of anybody in Alexandria. Carol brutally points out that keeping Negan locked up forever isn’t going to help those people forget all the terrible things he’s done, and he needs to take action in order to become a part of the community. He accepts, and we’re now in the present day as Carol sticks Alpha’s head onto a stick in the ground.
Negan is pleading to Carol to take him back to Alexandria so he can open up another chapter of his life and just move on. Carol, despite her satisfaction in watching a zombified Alpha snarl and groan atop the stick at the Whisperer border, is furious at Negan as she said she wanted the deed done quickly. He counters that he wanted to get out of there alive, so he had to take his time and play it safe. Carol says she isn’t ready to get back to Alexandria just yet, so Negan will have to wait until she’s had her alone time.
“Look forward, not back.”
At their safehouse, the residents of Hilltop are licking their wounds. Ezekiel is berating himself for falling unconscious and losing track of the children, but the ever-positive Jerry assures him that it wasn’t his fault and that everybody is okay. Magna walks in and Jerry is struck with joy, giving her a great big bear hug. Eugene is helping Rosita nurse a bad bruise on her abdomen, and she reminds him that he has a meeting with Stephanie that he needs to honour. She tells him that he has to tell everyone about her since he’s been keeping it from everyone. He gets up and gathers everyone’s attention; he’s awkward at first but Ezekiel backs him up. He offers an impassioned reason for what he’s doing and how he needs to find good people after all the terrible things he and the group just went through.
Yumiko approaches Magna and says that she should go with Eugene and the others to meet Stephanie. Magna appreciates the sentiment but says she likes where she currently is and wants a bit of a routine to help guide her along. She tells Yumiko that she’s the one who needs to go on this adventure. Yumiko offers up some excuses but realises that Magna’s right: it’ll be good for her.
Jerry’s playing with one of his kids when he spots Ezekiel getting a horse ready. He tells Jerry that he’s about to leave. He and Jerry share a beautiful goodbye; they’ve been through a lot together and Jerry says that he’s going to miss him.
“I silenced the Alpha.”
Beta and two Whisperers approach the border and find Alpha’s head on the stick. One of the Whisperers tells Beta that he’s now the Alpha. He seemingly doesn’t take this news too well, as he grabs the Whisperer’s head and pushes him close enough to Alpha that she takes a bite out of his cheek.
Negan heads to where he kept Lydia strapped to a chair, only to find the chair empty. Daryl sneaks up behind him and points his crossbow in his face, asking for an explanation. Negan says that he killed Alpha. He pulls her mask from his jacket and says that Carol let him out so he can infiltrate the group and kill Alpha.
Carol is walking through the woods but she’s beginning to hear voices, someone calling her name. She turns around and finds Alpha starting at her. She tells Carol that she’s always watching.
“You can’t accept what you’ve done.”
Beta and the cheek-less Whisperer are walking through a walker-infested town. The Whisperer’s coughing catches the attention of a nearby walker, and Beta stabs him to let the walker get to him. He reveals he’s carrying Alpha’s head in a bag, and listens intently to her groans as if she’s talking to him. He enters a house and makes some noise to draw out whatever walker may in there with him, but he’s alone. Alone with Alpha. He enters a room and spots a poster on the wall that infuriates him. He grabs a guitar and smashes it to smithereens.
Carol continues her walk but is accosted by Alpha. She says that Carol is feeling guilt, and to truly kill Alpha is to kill herself too. Alpha distracts Carol enough to let a walker sneak up behind her and nearly kill her, but she manages to stick something up its brain.
“We always knew how this would end.”
Eugene, Yumiko, and Ezekiel are riding on their horses when they come across a couple of caged walkers, with birds inside but just out of their reach. Yumiko wonders if it’s some kind of warning. They split up to clear the area of walkers and Ezekiel faces some trouble as his newly-developed cough gets the better of him and nearly lets a walker chomp his face. He quickly stabs it as he catches his breath.
In his fortress of solitude, Beta finds a vinyl and a record player. He blasts some tunes, and the nearby walkers begin to flock.
Daryl is walking Negan through the woods. Negan says he understands why Daryl would be pissed, since Carol went behind his back to get what she wanted. Daryl says he might be pissed about Hilltop, where his actions nearly got some children killed. Negan stops in his tracks and looks at Daryl with remorse, but Daryl pushes him forward before he can become too remorseful.
Negan leads Daryl to where Carol kept Alpha’s head but it isn’t there anymore. Daryl is frustrated and points his weapon at Negan again, but some Whisperers cock their weapons and point them at Daryl. They say that Negan killed Alpha, which makes him the new Alpha. They kneel in recognition, which gets a big laugh from Negan.
Back at Beta’s walker rave, he watches from the balcony while a horde gathers below him. He has tears in his eyes, and tears off half his mask.
The Whisperers have Daryl all tied up, and Negan falls back into Negan as we first met him; brash, quite an asshole, but a man who has a way with words. He asks for one of their shotguns and after some show-boating, he shoots one of them and dispatches the rest.
Eugene and the others are resting under a bridge with Ezekiel awake to keep watch. Out of nowhere, his horse makes noise and falls to the ground. He rushes to investigate and sees that one of the walkers he faced managed to get a bite out of the horse. Ezekiel comforts it and puts it out of its misery. Yumiko approaches him and offers her condolences, but Ezekiel isn’t having any of it. He wants to leave as he doesn’t want to endanger the both of them. Yumiko manages to convince him to stay by saying that nobody knows what their future holds.
Carol enters some kind of shack, with Alpha still on her tail. Carol tries to reach for something while on a stool but the ceiling collapses on her, trapping her under beams and debris. She spots a walker crawling its way to her. Alpha is telling her to give up and give in, to finally die so she can never hurt anybody ever again. All those people she’s hurt, from her daughter to Ezekiel, and now she can stop it all from continuing. As the walker etches ever closer, Carol finally decides what she wants. She wants to live. She manages to loosen herself and stand up, killing the walker and collapsing onto the ground.
Daryl and Negan are waiting at the border for Carol to show up but there’s no sign of her. Negan confesses to Daryl that joining the Whisperers felt good because for the first time in nearly ten years, he felt respected and wanted. But he admits Alpha took it too far when she attacked Hilltop. Daryl walks away, with Negan following. Later, Daryl lets Carol into Alexandria without a word spoken between them.
Eugene, Ezekiel, and Yumiko keep riding when they see a city in the distance. They enter the city and find the strangest sight: there are walkers everywhere but they’re all dressed up and handcuffed to various objects like rocking chairs and cars. Ezekiel finds this entire image incredibly funny and can’t control his laughter. They then see a woman with purple hair in the distance. She greets them extremely enthusiastically.
Back with Beta, he thanks Alpha and says that he can finally see now. He pulls out a knife and stabs her. He heads to the door where the walkers are furiously snarling, but they begin to follow him when he makes his way outside. It’s revealed that he skinned Alpha’s face and stitched half of it to his existing mask. He then leads the walkers to his next mission.
This was an odd episode. Not much went on but we got a lot of character progression. I’m looking forward to seeing Negan hopefully ingratiate himself back into Alexandrian life. He deserves it.
Catch me here next week for my recap of the penultimate episode of the season, “The Tower.”