AMC’s The Walking Dead
Season 10, Episode 1: “Lines We Cross”
Directed by Greg Nicotero
Written by Angela Kang
* For a recap & review of the Season 9 finale, “The Storm” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “We Are the End of the World” – click here
A Soviet satellite is floating through space. It’s many decades old.
Is it going to fall to Earth?
Little Judith marches along the beach with her people. They’re armed with weapons, and a line of people, including Aaron, carry shields like Roman soldiers. Ezekiel and Jerry open up a beached ship, letting free some of the dead crew inside. They take care of the few walkers, then Ezekiel and Jerry let more out. In the time we’ve spent away from our survivors, many things have changed— not the least of which is how they’ve learned to work as an army, together, so they’re able to limit the amount of tragedy that occurs. Great to see Michonne alongside Magna and Luke, looking like goddamn warriors.
Then the creaky ship gives way, sending the remaining crew stuck inside shambling out. “Remember your training,” Michonne tells her people. Daryl and everyone else, even Judith, join in on the assault. They successfully take down the rest of the zombies.
Back off the shoreline, kids play while the adults work. Interesting to watch Judith go back to being a normal kid despite taking part in the adult world of fighting and surviving. Doesn’t necessarily mean it gets any easier to see a zombie face in a pile of seashells and rocks. Not just a zombie’s face, either: a Whisperers mask.
Interesting how the episode’s broken up into labelled sections. The first was Training Day. The second: Skin. Aaron and Michonne talk to Gabriel over the radio, telling Alexandria to stay on alert. Michonne doesn’t want anybody in a panic. Nobody else is willing to take chances. So, a crew go on horseback to scope things out.
“Are we the good guys?”
Aaron and Michonne talk about who is the “villain” in which story. He wonders if they’ve effectively created bad guys, no matter their intention to be the heroes of their own story. He nearly gets himself into a bad spot, rushing onto a bridge to attack walkers. Michonne chastises his stupidity. The loss of Rick hasn’t faded for her. Aaron doesn’t care if he has to fight the Whisperers. Michonne merely wants them to be smart. The group finds a campsite. Not far are dead walkers. Further down the trail is a bunch of skin. Whisperers have been on the wrong side of their border.
Aaron and Michonne again discuss being the good guys. She says they have to actively be that. If they lose sight of it, they’ll become something else— people they don’t want to become. Michonne listens to Judith talk about a “brave man” who helped save his friends. The little girl carries the memory of her father as a beacon of hope. She might have more strength than anybody else there.
Things are interrupted by an explosion in the sky.
Next chapter = Bird Wisdom.
We cut back to after Gabriel talked to his friends over the radio. In Alexandria, things are well. Rosita is keeping fit after having her baby. Eugene plays pediatric nurse while being a creep as mama tries to breastfeed. Let the woman be, dude! At least he has good taste in music— “I’m So Thankful” by Eugene Blacknell— to keep the baby happy. He’s mapped everything out like a “science experiment” for the infant to help Siddiq.
In the meantime, the priest has bad news.
Poor Lydia continues to feel like an outsider. She chats with Negan, who’s allowed to garden and be outside sometimes. They’re similar in ways. He tells her “watch your back” after she mentions the skin being found. He also asks Gabriel about the “pants shitting” going on around Alexandria, trying to impart his wisdom about reducing fear. Siddiq’s not doing so hot himself. He has flashbacks to the horror he saw at the hands of the Whisperer. Probably has PTSD from the violence he witnessed.
Everybody sees the explosion in the sky, so Eugene rushes to call Oceanside.
The next chapter’s title is Sea Dogs.
Kelly’w losing her hearing gradually. Connie explains they’ll always have one another. She seems to have a thing for Daryl, and vice versa. They’re cute together. He’s been learning sign language. Nice to watch Carol arrive, seeing Ezekiel again— semi-awkward. She and Daryl reunite, too. He thinks she’s been holding onto the past. He then tells her about the Whisperers mask. They take a ride on motorcycle and go hunting.
Another chapter: New Mexico.
Carol and Daryl nearly get to a deer, but it crosses the border. She doesn’t care, though he advises not to “start shit” if it isn’t necessary. Carol would rather be a “sea dog” because she doesn’t want to follow borders when Alpha’s not even around. Daryl urges her to come back. He calls her his “best friend.” She wonders if life means anything if it’s only fighting, killing, and surviving. He holds onto hope there are better people out there, like them, and that isn’t only the villainous out there. He says maybe the two of them should hop on the bike and head for New Mexico.
Once again, the explosion in the sky is heard.
Next chapter: Lines We Cross.
The explosion in the sky has caused a forest fire. This means they’ve got to go across the imposed border to survey the damage. They see the remnants of the satellite burning. Everyone goes hard. Ezekiel worries that, like the Kingdom, Oceanside will fall because of fire. Not only that, there are zombies to worry about, and all their equipment for fighting the fire’s not exactly holding up. And hordes of walkers are pouring from the trees. Like an army.
The next chapter is titled Embers.
The survivors are almost overwhelmed by an endless stream of the dead. But they fight with everything they have, and soon more of their people arrive to start killing and firefighting. Carol even uses blood to put out a fire. The whole place is a mess with fiery zombies until Daryl manages to chop a burning tree onto them.
In the aftermath, everybody’s safe. Things could’ve been worse. Michonne gets everybody moving. Eugene wants to retrieve pieces of the satellite to help the community. He gets a hand to dig out a few parts. Elsewhere, Daryl tells Carol plainly: “I need you to stay.” When he walks away, she looks out over the quarry below. Who steps from the woods? Alpha.
An interesting, intense chapter to open Season 10! Father Gore’s always forgiving towards The Walking Dead. However, Angela Kang’s turned the show in great new directions, and the writing in the opener, courtesy of Kang herself, proves she’s looking to try new things in order to bring fresh life to the series.
“We Are the End of the World” is next time.