Life returns to semi-normal on The Walking Dead. In “Silence the Whisperers,’ the residents of Alexandria continue to look for someone to blame for the Whisperers’ actions.
It will take more than a night of rest to help some of the residents of Alexandria get over their trauma. For others, it’s a little easier to go on with life. Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Michonne (Danai Gurira) are taking care of everyone. Carol (Melissa McBride) locked herself in her room, but Daryl continues to leave food for her. He also pretends with Michonne that everything is safe and okay…mainly for RJ (Antony Azor).
The residents at Hilltop are having issues as well. They weren’t attacked like Alexandria was, but something strange does happen. A large tree falls into the community and on top of the Kingdom’s settlement. They have several injured and a lot of people trapped. Fortunately, the wall is still standing, but walkers begin to gather outside.
Connie (Lauren Ridloff) points out how strange of an occurrence this is. Luke (Dan Fogler) asks if she thinks the Whisperers did it. Earl (John Finn) and Alden (Callen McAuliffe) agree that it has to be them, even though they cross into their lands to save them.
Something else happened. When Jerry (Cooper Andrews) looked to Ezekiel (Khary Peyton) for leadership, Ezekiel froze. Magna (Nadia Hilker) tried to step in, but Yumiko (Eleanor Matsuura) was able to think faster and people listened to her. Ezekiel and Magna appear lost.
Michonne leads a group from Alexandria to Hilltop that includes Judith (Cailey Fleming), Eugene (Josh McDermitt) and Scott (Kendrick Green). She is talking to Judith about the Whisperers. Judith thinks the Whisperers are trying to run down the communities so they are too tired to fight back. That way the Whisperers have the advantage. She’s one smart cookie!
Michonne sees Ezekiel riding into the woods. She follows him as Scott takes the group to Hilltop. She finds Ezekiel on a ledge over a river. He asks her to leave, but she won’t go without him. He turns to her and she hugs him. It’s obvious that Ezekiel has been feeling sad lately. Ezekiel pulls back and kisses Michonne! She lets him and the kiss doesn’t last long. Ezekiel apologizes afterward.
A FRIEND IN NEED
They sit and talk about what’s been bothering Ezekiel. He feels like a failure. He lost Benjamin, Shiva and Henry. Then he lost the Kingdom and Carol. Michonne empathizes. She says at her lowest point, she wanted a walker to bite her. When a walker would get close, she would instinctively fight back. She compares it to wearing a mask.
Ezekiel says his mask saved his life, but he could only wear it for so long. Michonne says putting her life back together is hard, especially without her partner in crime. She misses that walk. (We do too!) Now it’s all on her and only her. Michonne starts to cry. Ezekiel uses his go to line, “and yet…I smile.”
They walk back to the trail and Michonne asks Ezekiel to promise not to ride out alone when he’s acting like an idiot. For the record, Michonne says Ezekiel is a good kisser, but she hasn’t kissed anyone over four foot tall in the last six years. Ezekiel says that wasn’t his best kiss. Ha! Oh and she did say they wouldn’t work out because they are both too stubborn.
SILENCE THE WHISPERERS
Lydia (Cassady McClincy) is getting a lot of backlash in Alexandria, especially from the Highwaymen. Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) told Lydia to watch her back, but also kill them with kindness. Lydia isn’t one to take anything lying down though. And Daryl is watching over her too.
Negan saw this coming. The residents are looking for someone to blame for everything that goes wrong at Alexandria. If they can’t blame Negan, they will blame Lydia. She was a Whisperer after all. People like Gage (Jackson Pace) have been taunting her and giving her dirty looks. Gage is the only survivor of the Hilltop Teens, so of course he’s being childish about it. As for Margo (Jerri Tubbs), the Highwaymen’s new spokeswoman…she’s not so nice either. She makes sure Lydia knows that she’s not welcome.
Negan told her to watch her back. He told her to lay low. Even Daryl tells her to ignore Gage, Margo and anyone else who gives her grief. And Lydia doesn’t listen. Instead she antagonizes them further by gutting a squirrel in front of Gage while he’s eating. Daryl says she shouldn’t have done that, but Lydia sees it as a way of saying she won’t lie down and take it. To make matters worse, someone wrote “silence the Whisperers” on Daryl’s door.
Hilltop is still trying to clear out the trapped people under the large tree. They hear more walkers outside of the wall. If the walkers keep pushing, the wall will fall. Yumiko says her people will clear the walkers.
Yumiko, Magna, Luke, Connie and Kelly (Angel Theory) work hard at clearing out the walkers on the wall, but they are getting overrun. Yumiko makes the call to retreat, but Magna doesn’t want to stop. She says she can handle the walkers. Connie taps her on the shoulder, and tells her to retreat.
As soon as they get inside, the wall falls and walkers start pouring in. Luckily, Ezekiel and Michonne show up with Michonne’s people just in time. Everyone jumps into action to keep the walkers by the wall, including young Judith. She has her little katana sword out, fighting just like her mom taught her. They fight side by side, successfully holding the walkers at bay.
Gage, Margo and another man to attack Lydia later that night. They tell her to leave Alexandria, but she thinks of the community as her home and they are her people. Margo hits Lydia and then encourages Gage to do the same. Gage hesitates, but changes his mind when Lydia says she loved Henry. The other guy holds Lydia as Gage punches her.
Lydia fights back and Margo grabs a weapon to use on her. Negan jumps in and pulls Margo back, throwing her against the wall of the nearest house. He pulls Gage and the other man off of Lydia. Gage says they were just trying to scare her. The other guy looks at Margo and sees blood running down the wall. That’s all Negan needs. Margo is dead.
Siddiq (Avi Nash) checks on Margo as the rest of the community looks on. He gets so anxious that he runs away. He puts water and ice in a bowl, puts his face in the water and screams.
SHOULDA, COULDA, WOULDA
They put Negan back in his cell. Lydia tells Daryl that Negan saved her life. Killing Margo was an accident. Lydia is beat up pretty badly. Negan says he saw this coming. Everyone is out for blood and he’s the first person they are going to look to. And he’s in the right on this one. Negan says that even Daryl knows the world is a better place without people like Margo. Daryl asks why he helped anyway. Negan says because he’s a sucker. He started to believe in their moral code. Daryl promises that Negan will get to tell his side of the story.
Daryl runs into Carol outside of the jail. She heard what happened and how everyone’s attention is on Negan again. She says it’s like time never moves. Daryl doesn’t care about Negan. He believes Lydia though. Carol says this is a distraction. First Alexandria is attacked and now there’s a large tree down at Hilltop. The real enemy is out there. Daryl says there is enough bad stuff happening in their community. If they don’t fix it then none of it matters. There won’t be anything left to defend. Carol says they should have gone to New Mexico and Daryl agrees.
HE SAID, SHE SAID
The council convenes to questions Gage and his friend about what happened with Lydia. They both lie saying Lydia lured them to the back of the house. They call her crazy for the squirrel incident at lunch. Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) asks a very logical question. If they thought she was crazy, why did they agree to meet her in the dark. Neither of the men have an answer, instead they try to turn the tables, saying Lydia attacked them. Gabriel brings up another great question. If Lydia attacked them, then why is she the one badly beaten in the infirmary? The men try to play the victim, remind the council that Margo is dead because of all of this.
Daryl updates Michonne on the situation with Lydia. He says Negan was in the right this time, but the people are having a hard time seeing things his way. Michonne is very concerned about Lydia. She says Alpha (Samantha Morton) could have killed them at the border when Carol shot at her, but she didn’t. Michonne thinks that has everything to do with Lydia. If Lydia is unsafe or if something happens to her and Alpha finds out, she will attack Alexandria. Daryl has to keep her safe. And she wants to keep this assumption between her and Daryl for now.
Michonne appoints Daryl as her proxy on the council, knowing he will do the right thing. She also asks about RJ, who is not eating his vegetables. As soon as Daryl hangs up, Oceanside calls Hilltop.
MATTERS OF LIFE AND DEATH
The council discusses Negan’s part in the incident. Aaron (Ross Marquand) says there are signs that Negan is changing, but something inside of him is broken. Siddiq says killing Negan will undermine the civilization that they have built. Aaron argues that some people never got to see this civilization because of Negan. Siddiq gets upset saying they are taking their eyes off the real enemy. The Whisperers are out there. Gabriel interjects that the council was made to determine someone’s fate, especially when the residents are on a witch hunt. Daryl says if they don’t make a decision, the residents will make one for them.
Daryl announces that he is Michonne’s proxy in this case. He believes Lydia when she says Negan saved her life. He is voting no to execute Negan. That ties the vote, leaving Gabriel as the tie breaker. Gabriel decides to go home, get some rest, then think about in the morning with a clear head.
The next morning, Michonne tells the Hilltop leaders about the call from Oceanside. Rachel (Avianna Mynhier) saw a Whisperer watching their community. Where there’s one, there are many…like cockroaches. Everyone wonders if the Whisperers are planning another attack. OK. So Alexandria fights off 49 hours of walkers. The Hilltop wall is breached after a large tree falls over the wall. And now Oceanside is being watched. It’s not all coincidental. Something is definitely going on, but…is it the Whisperers?
Michonne is going to take some supplies to Oceanside to check things out. Luke and Diane (Kerry Cahill) volunteer to go with her, but Luke has an ulterior motive for going. He was flirting with a lady at Oceanside and would like the opportunity to get to know her better.
Michonne ask Eugene to take the wagon back to Alexandria, but he wants to stay and put his engineering expertise to work on rebuilding the wall. And avoid Rosita (Christian Serratos). His only regret is not being able to escort Judith back home. Michonne says Judith is going with her. She needs a pair of friendly ears to talk to.
So Magna is pouting on the stairs because Yumiko made all of the decisions during the latest crisis. Yumiko says she felt someone needed to step up. She doesn’t understand where this is all coming from and neither do I. All Magna says to her is, “you’re not my lawyer anymore” and walks away.
Gabriel goes to speak with Negan, but finds an empty cell. He alerts Daryl and Aaron, but it’s Lydia who comes forth and says that she let him out. Lydia takes his place in the jail cell. Daryl knows that Lydia didn’t let Negan out, but she says it doesn’t matter. The community wants her locked up.
Lydia says she blamed herself for what happened last year. If she had never let herself by taken, never went off with henry, none of it would have happened. Alpha was right about them. They all put on polite faces, but it’s really just a mask. When things get bad, or when they get scared, they pick a target, aim and shoot. Lydia and Negan are those targets. Daryl says Negan’s situation is different.
Lydia says Negan stood up for her when Daryl didn’t have to. She tried doing things his way because she wanted to be like Daryl. Daryl says she doesn’t belong there, but Lydia says she feels safer inside the cell. So Daryl close the door, but he doesn’t lock it.
LIFE GOES ON
Luke says goodbye to his closest friends and jumps in the wagon with Michonne and Judith. Diane, Scott and Marco follow in another wagon. Ezekiel ensures Jerry that he’s better now. Daryl washes the paint off his door while Carol looks at the community from the roof. Someone wrote “silence the Whisperers” on the part of the wall where the lookout tower is.
This season of The Walking Dead is focusing on the development of some of the B-characters, which I like a lot. But! The story line is dragging just a little bit. We know there’s a war coming. And now we know there is dissension in the communities that could become deadly. I feel like the writers are setting up some major deaths.
I like that they acknowledged Alpha’s strong connection to Lydia. Letting go of a child is harder than you think. And now that Lydia is learning that her mother was right, what will Lydia do when she sees her again? And Michonne is right, if Alpha finds out that Lydia was hurt, she will attack Alexandria for real. Don’t mess with Mama Bear.
We have yet to see any signs of Rick Grimes. I was hoping Michonne would get a sign of some sort that would set up her departure. Not that I want her to leave, but we’re already halfway through the first eight episodes. There has to be Richonne news coming soon.
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