Everyone in this episode of The Walking Dead seriously needed a nap. Lack of sleep was a theme this week, bringing up the stress levels and paranoia for the entire group.
The episodes starts out with Carol popping some pills and getting started with her day – which never seems to end as Alexandria is under siege from wave after wave of zombies for the next 40-plus hours. Of course, they all assume that it is the Whisperers, except Eugene, who says it’s the satellite that is drawing them.
With the lack of sleep (except for little RJ, who ONLY sleeps in this episode), it’s not surprising that there were a lot of emotional moments this week.
Carol is Not Alright
Other than her death stare down with Alpha in the first episode Carol seemed pretty alright despite her son’s death. But we relatively quickly learn this week that she is not okay. Daryl even aptly notes that she was happier on the boat, and found peace, but Michonne declares that Carol belongs with them. The pills Carol takes are a form of speed to keep her awake because she dreams of Henry and her other dead children when sleeping.
But the problem is – she starts to hallucinate since she’s been awake for so long and we soon discover that she is an unreliable narrator. We get this whole great backstory from Daryl about his dad being a trucker – and then find out that the whole conversation was a hallucination!
The most poignant hallucination was the home economics book with the cover that featured Carol and all her children that died through the seasons. And I just want to point out that when she finally did sleep at the end and dreamt of normalcy with Henry alive – who was in the kitchen making her breakfast? It was Daryl! They were so married in that dream.
Aaron and Negan Anti-Bonding
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – while I love Jeffrey Dean Morgan and a good redemption arc, I’m not on board for Negan becoming a good guy. Which is why I’m glad he and Aaron got some alone time this week and the latter got to say some things we were all thinking.
When the walkers are coming for Alexandria, Gabriel thinks it’s a good idea to use every fighter and suggests that Negan joins Aaron in protecting one side before the walkers get to the gates. Negan is all “hard pass, I’d rather garden” and Aaron is not too keen on the idea either.
Before I get into the drama between the two, I would like to point out how awesome and badass Aaron’s mace for an arm was. I always wanted something similar for Jaime Lannister in Game of Thrones, so it was nice to at least see it elsewhere. On the flip side, he only allowed Negan to have a wooden stick to fight with. The two of them butt heads in between killing walkers. “If you gave a shit, you’d leave, that’s what everyone needs,” Aaron says.
Negan thinks he has earned more trust and gratitude based on the fact he is busting ass to save everyone. Aaron is still pretty pissed about that time the Saviors killed his husband, Eric. Of course, being Negan, he throws down with, “If you don’t protect what belongs to you, it belongs to someone else,” implying that it was Aaron’s fault that Eric died.
Aaron then sasses back that it means then that Negan’s wife’s death is his fault too. For a moment, we think Negan is going to lose it, but he just keeps smiling. Walkers attack Aaron, and one covered with weeds somehow blinds Aaron. Negan has mysteriously disappeared, and Aaron is left to fend for himself without sight. He gets himself to a cabin and stumbles around in there, his flashlight attracting walkers. Negan is sitting there in the dark, watching this hot mess.
Another character who is definitely not alright is Siddiq, whose PTSD from his time with the Whisperers is getting worse. Just talking about the enemy at a town hall meeting gave him a panic attack. Michonne started to notice his struggles, but he brushed it off as just being tired.
The new medical guy, who used to be a combat medic, recognizes what’s going on and takes over when Carol is injured because Siddiq has the shakes. He reveals later in the episode that he suffered from PTSD and is now okay, and he got a laugh out of Siddiq. Although he was nice in this episode, I’m still suspicious of this medic guy, because he seems to have come from nowhere. If he turns out to be a Whisperer mole later, I told you so.
Welcome to the Friendzone
I enjoyed seeing Rosita and Eugene fighting side by side. They had some fun banter too after the walker battle, but things turned south quickly. Eugene revealed that he stayed out there fighting with her so long because CoCo needs her mama and he wanted to protect her. Rosita is rightly aghast at this – “Protect me? I taught you to fight!”
But then she lays some hard truths on Eugene, saying that they are never going to happen romantically. Eugene says that the reason he has been such a good friend all these years is that he has secretly hoped that they would get together and that all of it was for nothing. Rosita is pissed because he diminished their friendship to nothing. It finally hits Eugene hard that they are never going to get it on, and says that because she is tired and it works like being drunk – the truth comes out. She basically says – “I’ve told you a million times and you are suddenly believing me now?”
It’s nice to know that even in the apocalypse, some things never change. Men still aren’t listening to women and don’t take “no” for an answer the first several times. Eugene basically nopes out of their friendship. He had better apologize in the next episode, or I’m back to not liking Eugene at all.
What’s with the Whisperers?
When the walker siege began, I was with the Alexandrians who thought it was the Whisperers’ doing. I was excited that the war had finally started.
But it turns out it wasn’t them at all. In fact, Alpha requests them come for a visit at the border and she doesn’t kill any of them. Her only punishment for encroaching on their territory is that she is taking more land. She somehow knows all the times our group crossed into their area, even when they were supposedly gone for the winter. Could there be spies among us (I’m looking at you, medic guy)?
Carol is kind of triggered because they are at the stakes where she saw Henry’s zombified head – and then Alpha says that her son was screaming her name before he died. She pulls out a gun to try to kill Alpha, but Michonne and Daryl stop her.
Alpha again surprises us by forgiving Carol, mother to mother and we think that’s the end of things. But then Carol starts seeing Whisperers follow them in the woods on the way home. Or did she? Because she is so full of hallucinations, we never know if it’s really happening or not. Michonne doesn’t believe her, and even though Daryl says he does, it’s not that convincing.
However, we see at the end of the episode that one of the walkers that attacked Carol while they were out was indeed a whisperer – because it comes back to life as a walker! So, what does this mean now that we know The Whisperers were indeed following the group into their territory? What kind of war are they waging? And will there be repercussions for Carol offing one of them?
This war is kind of the slow burn type, and I dig it.