The Walking Dead 10×20: “Splinter”

AMC’s The Walking Dead
10×20: “Splinter”
Directed by Laura Belsey
Written by Julia Ruchman & Vivian Tse

* For a recap & review of 10×19, click here.
* For a recap & review of 10×21, click here.
Father Son Holy Gore - The Walking Dead - PrincessWe find Princess a.k.a Juanita, Yumiko, Ezekiel, and Eugene captured by a group of Stormtrooper-like people with guns. Princess tries her best to escape but they’re all taken eventually. They’re all locked in train cars, reminiscent of way back at Terminus. The whole ordeal starts to get to Princess, who attempts to take her mind off everything but can’t psychologically escape from her current situation. She looks around the place for anything she might use to get out, though there’s nothing. Until she sees there’s a crack in the wooden wall. She tries pulling at it, only to wind up with a splinter. She and Yumiko can hear each other from their respective train cars. She’s worried about the injured Yumiko, blaming herself, so she’s determined to get them out of there.

There’s also trauma in the past of Princess. It doesn’t help her to be confined in such a small space. We hear of her difficult family history a little. Then she hears Yumiko pass out and starts to worry more for her friend. She calls to her captors, while she hears them come for Yumiko and drag her friend away. All she does is replay the moment Yumiko was hurt over and over in her head, continuing to feel guilty.
In the morning, Yumiko’s still gone. Now that it’s daytime Princess has also discovered a panel in the train car wall that she’s able to pull free. She escapes, even though Eugene sees her and tells her to go back inside. She’s too scared for Yumiko to stay put, while Eugene thinks because he talked to Stephanie for a long time it means there could be other good people amongst this community. Princess just isn’t ready to make that leap of faith; I don’t blame her one bit. Yet she does head back inside her train car, for the time being.
Father Son Holy Gore - The Walking Dead - Commonwealth SoldierAn armed guard comes to take Princess for a shower. She’s then inspected while naked.
Afterwards, she’s questioned by an interrogator. She doesn’t care much to answer them, trying to get info on Yumiko instead. But the man keeps asking questions, about Princess’s age and where she’s from, where she was “when the fall happened.” He then asks more about the group. Princess doesn’t say a whole lot more, unwilling to talk with the mysterious man. She winds up being pistol whipped for asking too many questions without providing enough answers. She wakes up back in the train car. She sneaks back over to see Eugene but only sees a cut zip tie on the floor. Curious. Then Princess is surprised by Ezekiel opening up the car from above and dropping in. Now they have to find their friends. Except Princess is scared, and confused. She doesn’t know what to do, even with Ezekiel alongside her. Again, we see more trauma from her past rear its head with a fresh injury to her jaw.

Ezekiel and Princess decide to wait it out. She talks about wanting to “do the right thing.” They’re surprised by a guard, who’s come with food for Princess. She tries to apologise for her previous before, and Ezekiel takes this chance to know out the guard. Oh, man. Ezekiel’s not ready to trust this community, especially after being locked up, showered, interrogated. So he’s going to do some interrogating of his own, asking the guard where they can find their friends. The guard claims Yumiko’s probably with the medics. He says their community wants to help others, in spite of the intense greeting and introductions. Princess questions what happens next, if they’re supposed to be such a nice, helpful place. She wants a “goodwill gesture,” but the guard doesn’t have anything to give. The guard instead tries to escape, knocking Princess to the ground, and this sets Ezekiel off, nearly beating the guy to death.

But it’s not actually Ezekiel doing this, it’s Princess; Ezekiel isn’t even in the car. Whoa.
Father Son Holy Gore - The Walking Dead - Bloody PrincessPrincess takes the guard’s gun and runs. She doesn’t get far before she thinks of Yumiko, Eugene, the others. She doesn’t want to go without them. Then she sees Ezekiel again, this time hanging around with zombies. This vision of Ezekiel urges Princess to go, to leave the others behind and trust her instincts. She doesn’t want to be alone, though. And she doesn’t want to be like her mother, either; her mother once left her. She also doesn’t want to let go of the idea of good people. She wants to keep believing.
Princess returns to the train car and the tied up guard. She wants to find a better resolution. She agrees to answer questions for the guard’s boss, and she hopes this will allow her to see her friends again. She tells him more about herself and what little she knows about her new friends. She’s learning to trust people. Let’s just hope this isn’t a big mistake on her part.

Then Princess sees her friends. Only for a brief moment, before she has a bag put over her head.
Father Son Holy Gore - The Walking Dead - Princess Showers

“There are stories you tell yourself, and then there’s the truth.”

Father Son Holy Gore - The Walking Dead - Ezekiel & Zombies

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