Bonjourno! Welcome to another recap of The Walking Dead!
Before continuing, check out my recap of last week’s episode if you’re so inclined. In this week’s episode, the threat of the Whisperers continues to grow as it’s Hilltop’s turn to face the walker horde music.
“We’re already at war. We just didn’t know it yet.”
We’re checking in with the various characters we have spread over the vast expanse of the region: at Alexandria, Daryl brings some food to Carol. Aziz seemingly can’t bear to look at Lydia anymore, possibly because she reminds him of that fateful night all those years ago. At Hilltop, Ezekiel stirs in bed when he hears an enormous crashing sound. Surprisingly, it isn’t the sound of a satellite entering the Earth’s atmosphere, but a huge tree that fell into Hilltop, destroying part of a gate.
The tree injured some Hilltop residents, with some within the community already suspecting “them”, the Whisperers. Before they can debate further, they hear walkers banging on the gates.
Back at Alexandria, Aaron is busy training some residents in combat. Lydia walks by to check on them, but three youngsters taunt her and tell her to leave.
Meanwhile, on the road, Michonne and Judith are riding to Hilltop. Judith is curious as to what exactly went down with the Whisperers in the last episode, considering Carol is freshly bandaged and tensions are high. Michonne indulges her, telling Judith of their new arrangement and of how Alpha took more land because they crossed the border near Oceanside. They begin talking of the nature of bullies, and Judith thinks of how she and Michonne have Judith’s brother RJ exert himself when playing so he can be tired. Maybe that’s what the Whisperers are doing to them? Michonne is impressed with Judith’s line of thought, but she spots something in the distance and stops the procession. She looks through her binoculars and sees Ezekiel atop a horse. She rides over to investigate.
Michonne finds Ezekiel standing at the edge of a cliff, and he seems rattled. She asks him to step away but he wants her to go. She approaches him slowly and they hug, but Ezekiel begins kissing her. He apologises afterwards.
“I’ve been where you are before.”
In Alexandria, Lydia is digging for worms when Negan approaches her. She tells him that Gage and his friends are up to it again, and she doesn’t know what to do. Negan told her to “kill them with kindness” but that didn’t seem to work. Daryl enters the scene and drags Lydia away from Negan.
Michonne and Ezekiel are sitting together when he apologises again. He feels like he’s lost everything. Shiva, the Kingdom, Carol, and now Hilltop. Everything is a string of failures for him. She jokes that they wouldn’t have worked well together anyway since they’re both extremely stubborn. She then opens up, telling Ezekiel that she’s been where he’s at before in her life. Back when she was alone, she considered suicide every time she saw a walker. Before she knew it, she was killing it with her bare hands. She found someone to ease the pain, though, that person being Rick. Now that he’s gone, everything’s on her and she feels the pressure. She makes Ezekiel promise to never ride out on his own again.
“They deserved it.”
In Alexandria, Lydia walks up to the table where Gage and his friends are eating lunch. She sits down, grabs a rabbit from her bag and begins cutting it open right in front of them. Disgusted, they all leave. Later, Daryl tells Lydia that he’ll talk to Gage and the others, but she can’t go around doing stuff like that even if they did deserve it.
That night, Lydia is going for a walk when she’s ambushed by the three stooges. They give her one last chance: leave now, and they’ll play dumb when asked if they’ve seen Lydia. She refuses and they begin beating her up. Gage is hesitant but once Lydia mentions that she loved Henry, he kicks her. Negan comes in to save the day, grabbing each of them off of Lydia and tossing them back. Turns out he tossed one of them a little too hard, as they apparently hit the wall with their head and died. Seemingly the entire town is crowded around the scene, and Daryl orders Negan taken away.
Aziz is at the scene as well but the crowd reminds him of the night outside the Kingdom, and he runs away to scream into a big bowl of ice water.
Daryl visits Negan’s cell and the interaction is typical; Negan tells it like it is. Both he and Daryl don’t regret the death of that woman because she was stupid enough to beat on a kid. Daryl doesn’t even know what to do with Negan now, but the people of Alexandria are calling for blood.
Daryl also checks in on Carol, who reminds Daryl that they should’ve gone to New Mexico when they had the chance. She points out the incoming threat of the Whisperers, of how they’re attacking Hilltop and Alexandria. Daryl still has hope despite the onslaught, however.
“If we stay out here, we die.”
Outside Hilltop, the walkers won’t stop coming despite their efforts. Yumiko and the others are forced to retreat, but when they do another walls comes down and more walkers spill inside. Just then, Michonne and Ezekiel arrive to give aid.
Later, Daryl hops on the radio and checks in with Hilltop. Michonne asks Daryl to protect Lydia, since Michonne theorises the reason Alpha hasn’t attacked Alexandria directly is because of Lydia’s presence there. If Lydia were to run away, then Alpha would have no reason not to attack. She also asks Daryl to act as her proxy in the Council decision on Negan’s fate.
At the Council, Aaron argues that a man like Negan can’t change because he’s broken. Aziz counters that with the imminent threat of the Whisperers, they have taken their eye off of the real threat and shouldn’t be discussing the fate of a man in the dead of night. Daryl enters the hall and votes for Negan’s survival. Gabriel is the deciding vote, but he chooses to wait until the next day so he can clear his head.
Michonne receives a distress call from Oceanside, reports of Whisperers watching them from the woods. She wants to go investigate, and so does Dan since he’s been flirting with Jules from Oceanside. Eugene wants to stay at Hilltop to help rebuild the walls.
Yumiko spots Magna sitting on top of the stairs and checks in on her. Magna’s mad that Yumiko pulled them into Hilltop when they could have taken the walkers. Yumiko says that she had to make a decision for everyone at that moment, but Magna really isn’t having any of it for some reason.
Meanwhile at Alexandria, Gabriel checks in with Negan only to find he isn’t in his cell. He and Aaron are discussing what could have happened when Lydia approaches them and says that she freed Negan. She enters Negan’s cell.
Daryl approaches her and opens the cell door; he knows it wasn’t Lydia since he was keeping watch the whole night and she didn’t leave. She doesn’t care, and wants to stay in the cell since that’s the only place she feels safe. Daryl acknowledges that and closes the cell door.
At Hilltop, Michonne, Judith, and Dan are preparing to leave for Hilltop. He says his unusually emotional goodbyes with his group which I theorise can only mean one thing. As the episode ends, the camera pans across Alexandria where spray-painted messages demand to “silence the whispers.”
And so ends another episode of The Walking Dead. It was a pretty big one: Negan’s escaped, Lydia considers herself completely ostracised from the community in Alexandria, and we’re totally losing Dan in the next episode.
You can find me here next week for my recap of the next episode of the series, “What It Always Is.”