This week’s episode of The Walking Dead titled “Morning Star” marks the beginning of the war with the Whisperers, and even though it’s been building to this for a while – we are not ready!
The first part of the episode had us in the calm before the storm, with everyone preparing for the herd to show up, and when they did – things did not go well. This episode had some lovely beats of emotionally story-telling and some intense action.
Carol Makes the Rounds
After making bad choice in a previous episode, Carol is back in society and has important moments with people before the war with the whisperers begins.
First, she visits her ex-husband Ezekiel and learns about the cancer he is hiding. The two of them have sex, but it doesn’t like it’s about them getting back together or anything. Carol even remarks that the two of them were always good at that, implying that the other things they weren’t good at are still there.
I’m glad that she knows about his cancer, and am wondering if this lovemaking was a farewell of sorts.
Next, Carol visited with Lydia. These two women should be in more scenes together, both were truthful and serving the tea during this conversation. And Lydia is right – Carol is hating herself enough so that it makes it hard for others to be hating on her. The two came to an understanding of sorts
And finally, the conversation we were waiting for – Carol talks to Daryl. What a contrast this week’s conversation was to the last time they talked after the cave collapse.
Carol was begging him to just say it, to just call her out for being responsible for hurting someone he cared about. This episode however, she was begging him not to hate her. And the way her voice broke – it gave us all the feels.
Daryl may not have completely forgiven her yet, but saying he could never hate her gave us much hope.
It may be hard for Caryl shippers to see Carol sleep with Ezekiel, but do not lose hope. The C/E scene felt more like a goodbye, and they have already started the reconciliation between Caryl.
Daryl Prepares for War
Speaking of Mr. Dixon, he had his own round of conversations leading up to the war. He has really stepped up into a leadership position now that Rick has gone, and we kind of love it. We did not miss the moment early in the episode when little RJ was wearing Rick’s hat and Daryl’s vest.
He has not given up on the search for Connie and Magna, but knows the pressing matter at hand is the giant herd of walkers and whisperers heading their way. And like the good guy that he is – Daryl’s first priority is getting the kids to safety. The scene between him and Ezekiel started out very awkwardly because they haven’t interacted in the past, but their deal for the last man standing between the two of them to save the kids proved what good men the two of them are.
Finally, his conversation with Judith Grimes made us all positively melt from the softness of it all. She keeps on insisting she can fight, and like the good “uncle” that he is – he agrees with her that she can handle it, but wants her to keep her brother safe. And the dude should be a child psychologist, because by admitting that he was afraid, he got Judith to open up about her fears.
This is probably preparing us for Michonne’s upcoming exit from the show, because we know that Judith and RJ will be in good hands with their Uncle Daryl. And how sweet was it that she repaired his vest? She painted his missing wing back on and put stars on it! So adorable. The sweetness of this scene helped ease all the tension that we knew was coming at the end of the episode.
Eugene and Stephanie
So Eugene’s radio relationship with Stephanie continues – and it still seems kind of shady because she seldom shares any personal information with him while is asking him all kinds of questions. Rosita, along with all of us, is pleased that Eugene finally has a crush on someone that is not her.
That almost kiss between Eugene and Rosita was a little strange, but it did prove the point that he is more into Stephanie. It was sweet how supportive that Rosita was of him this episode. It will be interesting to see if he survives the war with the whisperers and meets her at the designated location she shouted out at the last minute.
Did anyone else get Stranger Things flashbacks when Eugene and Stephanie were singing to each other over the radio?
Is Negan a Whisperer or Spy?
Negan is back with his, er, new girlfriend Alpha. It was great when she called him out for joking so much to hide his fear.
It was a bit disconcerting to see Negan strolling along with the Whisperers in his leather jacket and skin mask, so the creepy factor they were going for was achieved. It is interesting how Negan’s influence over Alpha is very inconsistent. Daryl knew right away who had joined the Whisperers and blocked the way to Oceanside – that move was classic Negan.
But when Negan tried to convince her to keep the survivors and make them submit to her as new Whisperers, she was like “nah, their going to join me as walkers in my herd.” The big question is whether Negan was really trying to help Alpha, or was he trying to suggest letting them live because he is secretly working against the Whisperers and trying to save lives? Only time will tell on Negan’s real motives.
War with the Whisperers has Begun
Can we just take a moment to talk about how badass it was to see that shot of Daryl with his new vest, grabbing his morningstar and walking toward the front line? He was there to not only lead, but kick some Whisperer ass.
It was an interesting thing to see that militia training we saw in the first episode of the season finally come into play. They are going to be outnumbered in their war with the whisperers, and no help is on the way, so their training will be important.
Kelly proved that her disability was an asset by alerting them to the impending arrival of the Whisperers through vibrations in the ground. This is the kind of representation we love to see.
So, all that tree sap from the beginning of the episode was not so the Whisperers could turn it into syrup and have a pancake breakfast (which would have been kind of funny). Instead, they hurled them at the Hilltop militia and started to light them on fire! And now our group is covered with flammable material, and trapped between a walker herd and their burning community. What a place to leave it on the cliffhanger!
Next week is gonna be lit, well hopefully not literally.
Because of the nice balance between the emotional content and action at the end – this was one of the better episodes of The Walking Dead this season, and we are on the edge of our seat to see what happens next.
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on AMC.