Every decision has consequences in a dangerous situation on The Walking Dead.  In “Chokepoint” Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Connie (Lauren Ridloff) rescued Henry (Matt Linz) and Lydia (Cassady McClincy) from the Whisperer camp, knowing full well they could come after them.  But if they could put everyone in danger if they go to one of the communities. Alexandria has cut themselves off from everyone, The Hilltop has already dealt with the Whisperers, and the Kingdom is getting ready for the fair.  None of them need that kind of grief.

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Daryl tells Lydia to go back to her people. He’s angry that she let Henry get into so so much trouble. Lydia doesn’t want to go back and Henry won’t let her. He threatens to run away with Lydia, but Daryl tells him to think of how Carol (Melissa McBride) will react. They have to move or the Whisperers will catch up with them.  Connie tells them all to follow her. 

Back at the Whisperer camp, Beta (Ryan Hurst) checks on an injured follower.  The follower is proud that he will become one of the dead. Beta reminds him that he will always be a whisperer.  Another follower reports to Beta that they are on Lydia’s trail.  Beta instructs her to get a fighting unit together.  He says Lydia will walk with them again, or they will all walk with the guardians.

Troll Under the Bridge
Ezekiel receives a threatening letter on The Walking Dead, Chokehold

Khary Payton as Ezekiel – The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 13 – Photo Credit: Jace Downs/AMC

The Kingdom continues to prepare for the fair.  There are four banners hanging from the balconies: The Kingdom, Hilltop, Alexandria, and Oceanside.  There’s also a sculpture of Shiva overlooking the Kingdom.  Things are coming together nicely.  Carol and Nabila (Nadine Marisa) do a walk through when they see the King’s guard.  Jerry (Cooper Andrews) is hurt and none of them have their armor. 

Jerry and his group were clearing walkers on the roads to the Kingdom.  A group of men ambushed them, taking all of their stuff including Jerry’s sword.  They sent them back to the Kingdom with a note.  The note is from a group called the Highwaymen. They are holding the roads ransom for supplies.  At first, everyone thinks it might be the renegade saviors, but we all know what happened to them.  Jerry reminds the King and Queen that their guests are counting on the Kingdom to keep the roads safe. They have to do something about this new group. Carol agrees they need the roads to be open so they can trade. Ezekiel (Khary Peyton) tells Jerry to gather their fighters. 

Tara leads a small group of people from the Hilltop. They run into a fallen tree.  Yumiko (Eleanor Matsuura) and Manga (Nadia Hilker) set up a perimeter while the rest clear the road.  Among the group is Earl (John Finn) and Tammy Rose (Brett Butler). They took in the Whisperer baby and are hoping to find him a new home at the fair.  Kelly (Angel Theory) is anxious about Connie, but everyone assures her that her sister is safe with Daryl.  Tara puts Kelly to work to keep her mind busy. 

The Highwaymen

The Kingdom goes to an old Savior satellite location.  They scope out these Highwaymen and see that they have guns.  Carol wants to try and talk to them, but Ezekiel thinks these are violent people. So does Jerry, but Diane (Kerry Cahill) doesn’t think so. The grammatically correct letter only stated that the guests wouldn’t be allowed to pass on the roads.  Carol knows it’s risky and says if she’s wrong, they will kill them.

They go into one of the buildings with a bunch of mannequins set up.  The Highwaymen leader only wanted to talk to the King, but the King and Queen rule together.   The Kingdom didn’t bring any of the items the Highwaymen demanded. They want to negotiate, so the more Highwaymen step forward with guns.  No big deal because Diane is behind them with arrows flying across their faces.  And the King’s guard holds the rest of the Highwaymen at knifepoint.

Ezekiel says the Highwaymen are threatening their way of life and their future. The Kingdom wants to give the Highwaymen a job. If they keep the roads clear and safe, his group will have access to the Kingdom and the fair. The leader laughs at first, but Carol explains that the fair is a trade market. And they have stuff they can trade.  The leader still won’t agree, telling them to do better. So Carol tells them about the movie theater. 

At Your Service
Tara leads a group against a herd of walkers on The Walking Dead, Chokelhold

Nadia Hilker as Magna, Alanna Masterson as Tara Chambler and Eleanor Matsuura as Yumiko – The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 13 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

A group of walkers approaches from behind the caravan.  Tara leads her group to clear them out while the Hilltop teen squad guards the wagon.  Another set of walkers approaches the wagons.  The kiddos fight off the ones they can and Earl jumps down to unhitch the horses. There are too many walkers, so Earl has to start fighting. Tammy Rose is worried. She puts the baby in a chest with holes on top and jumps down to help Earl, saving him from getting bitten.

Tara sees more walkers coming and behind them are riders on horseback. The leader jumps down and starts killing walkers.  Tara asks who they are. They are the Highwaymen, escorts to the Kingdom, at her service.  Tara just looks at him in disbelief. 


Connie leads her group to an abandoned building.  She tells Daryl that they can go up into the building and take the higher ground.  The real walkers won’t go up the stairs but the Whisperers will, separating the living from the dead. Lydia doesn’t like the idea, saying they will be trapped if they go into the building. She says Alpha won’t send an army, she will send Beta.  Beta is her best warrior. Daryl says they will kill him first. 

Daryl looks around the building and sees that it’s already barricaded off in some places.  Connie opens up a hole in the floor and pulls out supplies. The secret stash. Daryl finds her in her supply hole.  She gives him some water and says that she’s stayed their before.  She shows him a blueprint of the building.  Daryl decides to open up one of the barricades so Beta can get in. 

Connie asks what happens after they take care of the Whisperers.  Daryl replies that they will leave for the Hilltop.  Connie asks if Lydia can stay, but Daryl says no.  If they take her, their friends will die. Connie replies that they have friends, Lydia does not. 

No Kill Zone
Daryl and Connie wait for a fight on The Walking Dead, Chokepoint

Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon, Lauren Ridloff as Connie – The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 13 – Photo Credit:

Henry gives Lydia a spear to protect herself. She feels bad about even thinking about killing any of the Whisperers. Those are her people.  Henry says it’s okay and promises to try and not kill any of them.  She asks why he’s helping her.  He knew Lydia didn’t want to go back to her mother. Lydia says Henry made her mom look weak. Alpha will for sure come after them, but Henry isn’t worried. He would do anything to help her, even run away with her if she wanted.  Lydia asks why and Henry answers that he cares about her.  Lydia starts to kiss Henry and Daryl stops them, saying it’s time to look out for Beta.  He heard the whole conversation though. 

Lydia spots Beta and his group approaching. Daryl shoots one of the walkers to see how others react. Beta looks up at where Daryl stands.  The Whisperers go into the building and break through the barricade easily.  As the walkers keep going, Beta tells his people to take half of the walkers to the north stairwell to cut off the exit.  Beta’s group stop at the stairway where it’s barricaded. The real walkers can’t climb over. Beta knows they are walking into a trap.  They climb over and go up the stairs anyway. 

While Connie and Henry are covering the window, Daryl tells Lydia to go with him.  He puts Lydia into a closet because she will distract Henry.  Dog goes in with her to protect her.  Lydia thanks him for keeping her safe before he closes and locks the door.  

Secret Stash

Connie and Henry are in a dark room and easily take out four Whisperers. Beta and two others enter the room where Daryl is waiting.  He axes one of them and runs before the others can find him.  Lydia is freaking out while Dog growls at the door.  She finds a crowbar and works her way out. 

Henry gets tackled by a guy and they fight. The guy stabs Henry in the leg, but Dog jumps at the Whisperer, giving Henry a chance to knock him out.  Connie finishes off another, by tripping her with a filing cabinet drawer and stabbing her in the back. Lydia finds Henry and apologizes for what he’s going through.  Connie finds them and looks at his leg. 

Daryl kills the third Whisperer, leaving only Beta in the room.  Beta tackles Daryl and asks for Lydia.  Daryl and Beta start to fight, but Beta is stronger.  He throws Daryl around the room and holds Daryl neck next to a saw. Beta only wants Lydia and asks again where she is.  Daryl fights back, eventually getting away and hiding in the secret stash.  

Beta sees one of the paint coverings moving.  He starts walking toward it, telling Daryl that his people mean nothing to him.  Daryl is climbing out of the secret stash behind Beta. Beta says he only wants Lydia. Daryl runs toward Beta, pushing him down an elevator shaft.  

Good Tidings
The King and Queen greet their guests on The Walking Dead, Chokepoint

Khary Payton as Ezekiel, Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier – The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 13 – Photo Credit: Jace Downs/AMC

The Hilltop arrives at the Kingdom as Jerry glares at the Highwaymen leader.  The leader tips his hat at the King and Queen as he walks by.  Nabila greets Earl and Tammy Rose with the baby.  Earl explains that they want to find the baby a family, but Tammy Rose says she’s not giving him up.  Earl seems okay with that.  

Carol and Ezekiel greet Tara and they see the teens. Carol asks where Henry is and Tara is surprised.  She asks if Daryl is there, but he’s not.  Tara says they were supposed to meet him at the Kingdom. Carol gets worried wondering where they are. 

Connie shoots out the glass on a car to draw the walkers away from the entrance.  Lydia ties up Henry’s leg as they prepare to leave.  Daryl says Alexandria is closer. They will go there to stitch up Henry, but they won’t stay long.  He says they will all go together, and that makes them all happy.  Henry asks where he and Lydia will go. Daryl says there’s a whole world out there, they will figure it out.  

In the elevator shaft, Beta wakes up.  He’s hurt, but he pulls himself up anyway.  He looks up at the shaft, trying to figure out how to get out. 

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The Walking Dead is great at storytelling, but sometimes they slow down the story a bit too much.  If it weren’t for the Daryl vs. Beta fight, this would have been a very boring episode.  

I’m very concerned that the Kingdom hasn’t learned about the existence of the Whisperers yet.  Someone should have at least sent a messenger to warn them.  The Highwaymen seem like a capable group, but considering that we didn’t get any of their names makes me think they won’t be around for very long. 

It’s also interesting to me that there was a banner for Oceanside, but we haven’t seen anyone from that group.  Does that have something to do with why Hilltop is weary of Michonne? We’re about to find out. 






Noetta Harjo
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