AMC’s The Walking Dead
Season 10, Episode 7: “Open Your Eyes”
Directed by Michael Cudlitz
Written by Corey Reed

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Bonds” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “The World Before” – click here
Father Son Holy Gore - The Walking Dead - Siddiq's NightmareWhile others suffer with a virus, Siddiq continues battling the demons in his head. He sees the face of Alpha, hears the voice of Beta, all of it bouncing around in the dark of his thoughts. He’s a good man, and he looks after people with care. But he also can’t keep ignoring his own troubles. His brain is so preoccupied, even as he does menial tasks to look after his people. Instead of rest, he studies at night. This only brings more tortured dreams once sleep eventually does come.

Daryl and Carol are back in Alexandria. They have to put their prisoner in a cell, where Lydia’s been staying. The girl recognises the man— he keeps an eye on “the guardians” a.k.a the walkers. Father Gabriel turns up pissed off that the duo took it upon themselves to capture a Whisperer, let alone bring him back.
It doesn’t much bother Carol. She’s also decided to get closer to Lydia— partly out of sympathy, partly to figure out more about the Whisperers. The girl talks about her mother, as well as about how much she hates her former group. She says “an idea” like the thought Alexandria represents a true future for people could be “dangerous” if it infects those who follow Alpha— they just might jump ship.
Father Son Holy Gore - The Walking Dead - AcornsWhen Siddiq goes to help the Whisperer get patched up the guy starts to bring back his memories of that fateful night. Dante advises his doc buddy to step outside for some air. No matter where he goes there’s a reminder of the mass beheading he was forced to witness. Again, this is something he needs to resolve, or work on, because it’s affecting every corner of his life.

Out in the wild, Aaron stands on a bridge at the border chatting with Gamma. She has questions about their settlement, how they make so much bread, and so on. She sees a kid’s drawing in the bag, too. Aaron proudly shows off his daughter’s work with a smile on his face. Gamma takes interest in the idea of children, even if she then claims: “They make you weak.” She claims to be an only child, though we know the difference. Can Aaron somehow get past her hardened exterior and get to her human side? Soon enough, Gamma mentions a sibling, which gives Aaron a chance to talk about his own brother. She quickly rushes off, feeling too close to her enemy.

Carol goes down to the cell with the Whisperer, bringing not torture instruments but bread and jams and mention of more food like “salted fish.” She’s trying to show him the abundance of Alexandria. The man knows she’s trying to get something from him. Although he does take a nice slice of bread with all sorts of condiments on it, and the longing reaction he has to eating it is almost heartbreaking. Except he spits it all back in Carol’s face. So, it’s time for a more hands on approach, and the actual torture now begins. The Whisperer taunts them: “You lie to yourselves.” He refuses to betray his leader. Until mentioning the belief Alpha killed her own daughter for the group. Daryl doesn’t want to get Lydia involved, whereas Carol wants the girl to decide for herself.
Father Son Holy Gore - The Walking Dead - Samantha Morton as AlphaThe captive Whisperer isn’t doing well. He starts coughing up blood and within moments isn’t moving anymore. Siddiq sees that Dante gave the guy hemlock. But Dante says Siddiq’s the one who packed the bag of medical supplies himself. Is this a case of our doc’s PTSD scrambling his memory? Or, is something much more sinister at play? Father Gore’s had a weird feeling about Dante. Let’s hope that feeling’s wrong.
For the time being, Daryl and Gabriel go about getting rid of the dead guy’s corpse.

Gamma comes upon Alpha in the woods. The leader asks about the “man with the metal arm.” She wants a report, but Gamma doesn’t have much to say. Alpha keeps pushing her authoritarian rhetoric, trying to keep this younger woman under her thumb. She has Gamma roll up a sleeve for some corporeal punishment— having her bare forearm lashed with an alder branch.

Poor Siddiq is having a serious PTSD episode. He can barely see straight. He’s having auditory and visual hallucinations. He runs straight for the water, jumping in. That doesn’t quite stop his visions, but it takes him away from it all, if only for a moment. And a still ill Rosita has to jump in to pull him out. She tries forcing him to talk. He tells her about feeling like he’s “still there” in that barn. She makes clear to him he isn’t alone, and he doesn’t need to suffer in silence.
Father Son Holy Gore - The Walking Dead - Thora Birch as Gamma

“Do not be seduced”

Father Son Holy Gore - The Walking Dead - Father Gabriel and Daryl DixonGamma grabs Aaron next time on the bridge, holding a blade to his throat. She wants answers out of him, and he continues trying to talk nicely with her. Lucky for him Carol is nearby, along with Lydia. They brought the girl to Gamma, to try and prove the fault in Alpha’s leadership and expose the woman’s lies. Gamma runs off. And now Lydia feels used by Carol, telling her she’s just like Alpha. This forces Lydia off into the night, choosing the Whisperers again. She even cracks Carol one for trying to follow her. Damn.

While Siddiq is off feeling shitty for himself, he gets a visit from Dante, who’s trying to get through to him. Dante knows their community is like a village and that everyone needs to pull together. He offers Siddiq comfort, telling it’ll all be okay. And then, finally, the truth is revealed: Dante was a Whisperer, the one who held Siddiq and made him watch as Enid was decapitated.
The two men wrestle and Dante chokes Siddiq out. Oh, man. Not good.

An intense episode, on several levels.
Things are about to get wilder as the mid-season finale approaches.

“The World Before” is next time.

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