AMC’s The Walking Dead
10×11: “Morning Star”
Directed by Michael E. Satrazemis
Written by Julia Ruchman & Vivian Tse
* For a recap & review of 10×10, “Stalker” – click here
* For a recap & review of 10×12, “Walking With Us” – click here
Beta and others are busy tapping the trees while Negan and Alpha are getting closer in a semi erotic sense. The leader of the Whisperers hands the former leader of the Saviors a thin alder branch for him to whip her forearm. After that, she tells him it’s his turn, and he rolls up his sleeve for a few whips of his own. Then we see Beta and Alpha leading their Whisperers in a chorus as they walk together. This is also the first time we see Negan donning a Whisperers mask, joining them in unison.
Eugene keeps on talking to his friend Stephanie over the radio. She mentions seeing a satellite falling and he knows they aren’t far from each other. They’re both keeping each other’s secrets, not telling anybody about speaking over the airwaves. They’re starting to talk about meeting, considering they’re so close, and I can’t help but think: is this a good idea? Is he being cautious enough here? Rosita accidentally discovers his private convos and this drives Stephanie off, sending Eugene into a panic because he’s inadvertently given up the secret.
At Hilltop, Aaron and others arrive with Mary a.k.a Gamma. Not everyone’s happy. Earl thought it was someone coming to see Alex, “not one of our enemies.” He’s the one who’s helped look after the kid all this time since the Whisperers abandoned the boy. Alden does his best to try convincing Earl they should let the woman see her nephew.
After their experience at the cave Carol’s at Daryl’s camp, isolating herself from everyone. She gets a visit from Ezekiel, urging her to come back, knowing she’ll push herself away like she usually does. She doesn’t do any talking, but they sit there silently anyway. That’s right about the time Daryl and Lydia come to Hilltop, warning everybody that Alpha and the Whisperers are headed that way. Everybody starts preparing to get the children out to Oceanside in preparation for whatever comes. Little Judith wants to stay and fight, but uncle Daryl won’t take any chances with her life.
In the woods, Negan’s trying to convince Alpha to make the others “bend the knee” rather than committing an all-out massacre. Is he playing long game to help her? Or is he trying to protect the other survivors somehow? Just a thought.
Big problem: roads are blocked. Hilltop can’t get out. They have no time to call anybody from Alexandria/Oceanside. This means they’ve got to gear up for the biggest fight they’ve faced in a long, long time. Carol and Ezekiel get in bed together. Mary tries to see her nephew and gets stopped by Alden. Eugene is out fixing stuff, being moody, and Rosita comes to see him, chatting nonchalant about everything from Hilltop’s situation to Stephanie on the radio— soon, it turns to their own relationship, and Rosita tells him to kiss her. But it’s her way of proving he has a “forlorn heart” for his radio pal. He gets to talk to Stephanie again and they set a meet for a week’s time. Hopefully he’ll still be alive.
“No, we can’t give them what they want.”
An eerie omen: rats come fleeing out of the woods.
The Whisperers and their horde are close.
A sweet moment between Daryl and Ezekiel sees them bonding. Even sweeter is his talk with Judith, assuring her it’s okay to be scared. She tells him she wants to fight and help protect their community. Daryl tries to assure her he knows what’s best, and he tells her to follow Ezekiel if it comes to that. Judith gives Uncle Daryl his fixed up vest with a new wing on it, like he’s her guardian angel.
And now, the battle is about to begin.
Zombies start to come from out of the trees in dozens, no doubt the Whisperes mixed in between their ranks. Daryl and his people are steady at the front with Aaron leading their crew of spiked shields. This is going to put their battle plans to the test. Thankfully the electrified perimeter Eugene rigged up is keeping many walkers back. That only lasts so long before the whole thing snaps, and the horde continues its march. The line of shields approach the gathering horde at a fence placed in the middle of the field. Daryl and many others, including Mary, hack and slash and stab and slingshot zombie heads into pulp. The fence quickly starts breaking, though.
Not to mention the Whisperers have crude catapults they’re using to launch gasoline onto the survivors, coupled with a fiery torch to light them up. The survivors mostly manage to get away without being turned into kindling. Yet they’re forced to retreat back inside Hilltop’s walls. Only they can’t, because Alpha has her people light the gates on fire, as well. Our survivors are trapped.
“I thought you wanted them to join us?”
“They will— as part of my horde.”
A super intense episode, once more. The back half of Season 10 is really pulling out all the stops. There have been genuinely scary, genuinely worrisome moments for our survivors, and Alpha’s not letting up anytime soon.
“Walking With Us” is next.