AMC’s The Walking Dead
Season 10, Episode 6: “Bonds”
Directed by Dan Liu
Written by Kevin Deiboldt
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “What Is Always Is” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Open Your Eyes” – click here
Carol prepares to head out somewhere, packing up everything she needs. Daryl catches up to her when she’s on her way to go “sweep for Negan.” You can tell she’d rather be alone, yet he doesn’t particularly want to leave her alone, either. She wants to camp down for the day in a certain area and survey the landscape. Daryl’s convinced Carol is up to something else. She admits she wants to find Alpha and her horde to “find it and destroy it” once and for all.
Siddiq spends his time with the baby while Dante looks after patients in Alexandria. They’re a funny pair. Dante offers comic relief in the post-zombie apocalypse. Interesting the way he and Siddiq speak of “boundaries” because the awkward personal stuff parallels the darker, scarier stuff in the boundaries the survivors have to keep with the Whisperers.
Out in the woods, Beta and other Whisperers are walking a captive Negan back to their camp. The former leader of the Saviors rambles, as he’s one to do, until Beta explains his talking is just annoying noise. That’s when Negan explains who he is, who’s been keeping him in a cage the past 8 years. So he doesn’t get killed, only shut up for the duration of the journey. Also compelling that Negan led the Survivors with the mantra that every one of them was Negan, versus the Whisperers, who’ve all erased their names entirely. Two intense forces meeting. What will come of it?
At the Hilltop, Eugene’s trying to use the salvaged equipment to set the radio up again. He gets Rosita over the line. She’s getting over the flu and wanted to talk to him. She wonders if he’ll come back to Alexandria soon. She misses him, and he misses her, as well. Cute. Later, Eugene doesn’t know Rosita has to go to the infirmary for her fever and assumes she blew him off.
In the woods, Daryl and Carol pass the time. They briefly touch on his burgeoning relationship with Connie. He somehow resists all the good things in life, aside from eating. It’s like he doesn’t want to get disappointed. Carol tries to tell him he doesn’t “have to be alone” in this shitty new world. After that, they spot a Whisperer down below. Daryl thinks Carol probably brought the gun— the one she was eyeing earlier before leaving. She insists she didn’t take it. Then, they embark on a potentially stupid plan, all in the name of good intentions.
Beta wants Negan to be killed, whereas Alpha would like to see him tested. “He is a threat,” the big man tells her. She wonders if he merely feels threatened himself, rather than feeling threatened for the group. Beta kneels before Alpha, showing his obedience to her and making clear his subservient role. Negan sees this, playing with Beta a bit when they’re alone.
In the deep woods, Beta has Negan dig a hole. They do some zombie skinning in a hilarious montage. The once bat-wielding, leather jacket-wearing menace takes part in all the usual rituals of the Whisperers, helping to skin the bodies, wrestle and kill a pig and use that hole to cook the meat. This all impresses Beta, despite his cold, hard demeanour. He still doesn’t trust. He refuses to let Negan eat with them, throwing him to the ground. Negan responds with obedience, though another Whisperer offers him a piece of meat quietly.
At the Hilltop, Eugene gets someone on the other end of the radio out in the wasteland. It’s a woman. She’s happy to hear somebody. He asks where they’re located, who’s with her, and so on. She isn’t ready to share everything right away. They talk about their lives to get to know each other. She’s from Pennsylvania— a little place he knows due to an interest in trains as a boy. They joke and have fun. Eventually, Eugene gets a bit more personal, hoping the woman on the other side of the radio will also open up. They agree to chat regularly. She wants to build trust, and they’ll keep their conversations secret. Is there something else at work here? Is Eugene letting his need for a woman to talk to cloud his vision?
In the dark woods, Daryl and Carol are near in the midst of a herd of zombies. He snags a walker trying to get him, breaking its neck and cutting open its guts. He smears it on himself to throw the rest off from his tasty scent. Walkers pass. So does Whisperers, lurking in the shadows.
That night, Siddiq’s looking after the baby when he has an intense PTSD flashback to the night the Whisperers cut off all those heads. He wakes up suddenly, coming to, and he’s up on the windmill with the child. He can’t remember how he got there. This is becoming a serious, dangerous mental health issue.
“People are dangerous”
Negan moves with Beta and others in a crowd of walkers. He continues talking and talking. This makes Beta angry, telling Negan he has too much ego in him to be part of their group. Alpha tries to assert his dominance over this new member by leaving Negan in the midst of a hungry pack of zombies, all on his own.
Elsewhere, Carol’s gotten hold of a Whisperer. Was this her plan all along? Seems like it.
Back at the Whisperers camp, Negan returns bloody and holding a tree branch full of walker guts. Beta’s surprised, having thought he was dead. Negan kneels in front of Alpha: “I‘m in.” He wants to be part of the group. Alpha’s very curious about this man. All she tells him is “Shh.” Oh, my. An unholy legion.
A fantastic episode, setting up further tension between Negan and Beta, too.
It’s going to be an intense lead up to the mid-season finale this year.
“Open Your Eyes” is next time.