The doctor curse strikes again on The Walking Dead. All season, Siddiq (Avi Nash) was dealing with survivor’s guilt mixed in with PTSD. It did take much for something to trigger him and now we know that something has been Dante (Juan Javier Cardenas) all along. When Dante realizes that Siddiq knew who he was, Dante killed the doctor.
Carol (Melissa McBride) is on a mission to find Alpha’s (Samantha Morton) walker horde and destroy it before Alpha can strike again. She’s being really reckless though. Last week she used Lydia (Cassady McClincy) to try and destroy Alpha’s hold on her people. As a result, Lydia left Alexandria. The damage is done though, because Gamma (Thora Birch) saw Lydia and started to question her loyalty.
Michonne (Danai Gurira) went to Oceanside because they were having some trouble with the Whisperers. How many guardians does Alpha have? And are there anymore Whisperer moles among the communities?
A lot happens in this episode of The Walking Dead. Buckle your seat belts…
WHO IS DANTE?
Sometime after Lydia left the Whisperers and before the winter came, Dante joined the Whisperers. Alpha tells him to to join a group of travelers and go to Alexandria. Since Lydia doesn’t know him, he was able to blend in well. When he established himself, he started making life difficult for the residents. Dante is the one who sabotaged the drinking water, by switching the water from drinkable to undrinkable, then bending the lever so no one would know the difference. He even killed Cheryl (Rebecca Coon). Alpha says if he succeeds, he will be able to return and held in high honor.
Rosita (Christian Serratos) shows up immediately after Siddiq’s death. She brought Coco to check up on her dad since he hadn’t been sleeping well. Dante greets her and she immediately knows something is wrong. Dante tells her that Siddiq is out checking up on a patient. Rosita hears growling coming from the other room. Siddiq has reanimated.
Dante moves toward Rosita with a knife and she puts the baby in a tub. They start to fight, moving into the next room. Walker Siddiq walks into the washroom where Coco is crying. Rosita is able to get the knife away from Dante and stabs him in the shoulder. She moves quickly to stop Walker Siddiq from getting Coco. Then she goes back and knees Dante in the face, knocking him down so she can punch in the face several times. When he’s out cold, Rosita goes back to Coco, upset that Siddiq is dead.
Gamma meets Aaron (Ross Marquand) at the bridge and asks about the baby left behind at Hilltop. Aaron says the baby is fine and his adopted family named him Adam. Gamma admits that baby is her nephew and she wants to see him. At first, Aaron says no, but Gamma has information for him. He said they would have to look into what she tells him to see if its true, then they will consider letting Gamma see him. He wants to hear her truth without the mask though. Gamma takes off the mask, says her name before was Mary. Aaron starts listening.
Daryl (Norman Reedus), Carol, Gabriel (Seth Gilliam), and Rosita question Dante. He is so brainwashed by Alpha that he truly believes he’s setting them free. He says if they would only accept that their way of life is over and the future is with the dead.
Gabriel doesn’t understand why he put Siddiq through torture of watching his friends die only to kill him months later. Dante says he liked Siddiq…like…really liked him. Siddiq wasn’t a part of the plan. He figured out who Dante was and Dante had to kill him. The plan was to encourage the paranoia of the Whisperers, pushing them into making bad decisions.
Dante says places like Alexandria make a lot of promises. The smallest idea of paranoia makes them crumble. Dante says he can’t wait to get his public reckoning. That’s what they will give him because it’s right. He says no one is kind. People are selfish and brutal. Rosita had enough and kicks Dante. Aaron walks in and she leaves.
TO TRUST OR NOT TO TRUST
They tell Aaron what happened and he’s in disbelief. Dante was there for four months and Aaron didn’t know he was a mole. No one did. Dante heard everything and treated Gracie. Carol tells Aaron to stop feeling guilty. They have to think straight about this.
Mary told Aaron where Alpha’s herd is. Just over the border on their side, in a sunken field on the edge of the national forest. Carol is ready to go, but Daryl doesn’t want to trust any of the Whisperers. He wants to find Lydia. They don’t know what Alpha will do if she finds out Lydia is gone. Aaron says she never has to know now that Dante is locked up. Daryl thinks it might be an ambush. Aaron tells him it’s not because Mary is Baby Adam’s aunt. He doesn’t think she ‘s lying.
Daryl decides to get a group together to check out Mary’s story. After their done, they will go look for Lydia. Aaron agrees and leaves to call Hilltop and have them relay the message to Michonne. He tells Carol to stay behind. He doesn’t know what happened with Lydia. Daryl reminds Carol that Lydia is their protection. Carol defends her actions saying she showed one her people that Lydia was alive. They need to start pushing back. Carol says Lydia doesn’t want to be found. He asks if they are talking about Lydia or Carol.
READING IS FUN
Scott (Kendrick Green) leads Michonne,’s group, with Luke (Dan Fogler) whistling as they ride along. He finds a set of fresh tracks. It looks like one person and clean, so it’s not a walker. They assume its a Whisperer, maybe a scout. Michonne isn’t too worried, but says they have to be as quiet as possible.
Judith asks about the song that Luke was whistling …something by Rachmaninov? She is recording everything that happens and asks him to write it down for her. She says it’s stories for the future. Michonne gives her a strange look. Luke tells Judith that there’s a library nearby and they should stop and get some books. Michonne is reluctant, Judith begs her so she gives in.
They get to the library. Scott looks for supplies while Luke goes to the music section. Micohnne finds some books that she can share with the kids. She gets a call from Hilltop, relaying a message from Alexandria.
Luke finds the music section and a couple of walkers. He gets trapped between the walkers and they grab at him through the shelves. Someone comes through and kills one walker, allowing Luke to kill the other. Luke sees a man on the other side of the shelf and asks for his name, but the man runs away before Michonne and Scott show up. Michonne is very agitated. She informs the group that Siddiq is dead.
Gabriel officiates Siddiq’s funeral. Members of Alexandria and Hilltop are in attendance, including Eugene and Ezekiel. Rosita sits by his grave and everyone leaves her alone. Carol sees Ezekiel and they actually talk…a little. Ezekiel says Siddiq is one of those people he thought would live forever. Too many things are changing. Carol says she wishes they had more time. He heard they have a lead on the herd. He asks if she needs help, but she says they have enough. She asks if everything else is okay and Ezekiel wishes her good luck.
Rosita hears some walkers outside of the walls. She goes out to fight them off and blow off some steam. One of the walkers has a metal helmet melted onto its head. Eugene sees her and runs to help. They pry the helmet off so Rosita can kill it. Rosita thanks him and Eugene says no thanks necessary. He’s headed home and saw them. He’s very sorry about Siddiq’s death and wishes there was more he could do for her.
NEVER THE SAME
Gabriel interviews the newcomers when they arrive in Alexandria. He re-watches Dante’s story. Dante talks about killing only one man who tried to hurt his son Jimmy, but the walkers got him anyway.
Rosita comes home all bloody, prompting Gabriel to ask what happened. She says she helped Eugene fight of some walkers as he was leaving. She turns around and tells him the truth, Eugene was helping her. Rosita is scared because she wasn’t able to handle the walkers like before. She can’t die because then Coco would be an orphan. That scared feeling isn’t going away.
Gabriel says he understands but they need to find out how this happened and find Lydia. Rosita thinks he’s not listening to her. He says he is. She’s scared she will keep needing help, but the feeling will pass. She says Dante was right. They aren’t as strong as they think they are.
Aaron and his daughter play a game, naming the capitals of the United States. The prize is that Aaron gets to tell her a story. He tells her about a time he went hiking in California. They found ruins from Native American village. They tried to imagine what those people were liked. He says they were people who were lost in time. He compares it to Alexandria. She asks what happened to those people, but Aaron cant give her an answer.
Michonne makes it Oceanside and tells Rachel (Avianna Mynhier) and Cyndie (Sydney Park) about Dante and Siddiq. They’ve accepted new people since before the fire, but Dante showed up before the fire. They can’t use that as a marker of safe people anymore. She tells then to change their vetting process.
They hear a man screaming. Oceanside residents bring forth an unknown man (Kevin Carroll). They caught him trying to steal a boat. He’s trying to fight them off as Michonne tries to question him about where he came from. Michonne draws her sword and says not to make her ask again and everyone freezes.
The man says he’s trying to get home. He doesn’t want to cause any trouble he just wants to go back to his family. Luke recognizes him as the guy who saved him at the library, but Rachel recognizes him as the man messing with their security system. Michonne thinks he’s a Whisperer, they don’t know what a Whisperer looks like anymore. Luke speaks up for him saying he was taking books. He thinks the guy is harmless. The man asks to be let go, but Michonne has some questions first.
They hear walkers approaching. Michonne order them to hold them man until they get rid of the walkers. Everyone goes into fight mode, especially Michonne. There are a lot of walkers, almost too many to handle. In the chaos, the man gets away and Judith swings at his legs, cutting him. She fights off a couple of walkers and calls for her mom. Michonne is very proud of Judith in that moment.
PEOPLE AREN’T GOOD
Gabriel visits Dante and asks if he even had a son. It’s one of the things that Gabriel liked about him. That he had a family. Dante doesn’t want anyone to trust people again. He says people did this to the world. People can’t be good and don’t deserve a second chance. Gabriel says he loved Siddiq like a brother. His family will never be the same. His daughter will never know him. He’s afraid Rosita might blame him. He hasn’t always been brave. Do they deserve a second chance? He doesn’t know but sometimes they get one anyway.
Gabriel stabs Dante. Dante tries to push him back and Gabriel keeps stabbing. He screams as he kills Dantes, then starts crying. Meanwhile Rosita is at home talking to Coco when she sees Gabriel emerge from the jail, covered in blood.
Daryl, Carol, and Aaron meet up with Magna, Connie Jerry and Kelly. They are going to follow Mary’s instructions on the herd. They walk through the night into morning, crossing into the Whisperer territory. There are bear traps laid out and Carol almost stepped into one. They must be getting close. Carol says she saw something and Daryl tells her to stop. He doesn’t like that Carol is trying to hard to find Alpha that she puts herself in danger. He tells her to start talking to him, but she doesn’t know how. Daryl says they have a future and she can’t let Alpha have that too.
Gabriel burns Dante’s body outside of Alexandria. Rosita joins him and lays her head on his shoulder. Her unspoken thanks.
SUPER SECRET BASE
The man in Oceanside wakes up and he’s tied up. He sees Judith sitting nearby reading a book. He tells her not to go through is stuff. She says the book fell out of his stuff and it belongs to the library. He tells her to put it back and tries to jump at her. She tells him to be careful not to rip his stitches.
Michonne approaches and asks Judith to let her talk to the man. He tells Michonne that her daughter is a demon with a sword. Michonne wants to know what he’s doing out there and how long he’s been watching them. He says he’s not watching them. He left home for supplies and now he’s trying to get back. Why did he help Luke? He needed help and he’s glad he did it.
The man says mercy is in short supply. He doesn’t expect it or deserve it. That makes Michonne think of Siddiq. When they met him, he said, “my mercy prevails over my wrath.” She starts to cry and realizes the man isn’t a danger to them.
Michonne asks where his home is. He can’t tell her in order to keep his family safe. She says his family doesn’t know where he is or when he’s coming back. She can get him back. He says he lives on Bloodworth Island on Tangier Sound. It’s hard to find and fortified. He didn’t mean to cause any chaos, he just needed a boat. Good intentions or not, he owes them for that damage. He knows she has enemies to fight. He might be able to help her out.
Michonne talks to Judith. She says he lives on a naval base two days from Oceanside. He has weapons big enough to take out Alpha’s herd. He’s going to let her have them, but she needs a way to bring them back. Only Michonne can go because it’s risky. Judith needs to go home to help the community fight. Judith asks if it can end the war. Michonne says maybe. She has to find out. Judith says it’s okay. They can’t lose anyone else.
Michonne tells the man that Rachel, the Oceanside leader agreed to an exchange of weapons for his safe travel home. Michonne will take him. The man says it can’t be that easy and it is. He asks for his stuff back. He introduces himself as Virgil. She tells Scott and her convoy what she’s doing. They will be ready when she returns. Michonne tells Judith that she can reach her by walkie if she needs her. They leave for Alexandria and Michonne leaves with Virgil on the high seas.
CAVE OF WONDERS
The next morning, Daryl’s group finds the sunken valley, but it’s empty. Daryl is frustrated. Aaron says it doesn’t mean that Mary lied. The herd could have been there, they have to investigate. Daryl says no, they have to find Lydia. Aaron looks at Carol and says he wasn’t wrong about this. The group leaves.
Daryl’s group trek through the woods to a river. Carol has a weird feeling and stops. She looks across a clearing and sees Alpha looking back at her. Carol runs toward her and Daryl and the gang follow.
Carol chases Alpha through the woods into a cave with everyone behind her. Daryl stops to fight off some walkers and tells the others to get Carol out of the cave.
Daryl catches up, running into the cave and hears walkers growling. He falls into a hole where the rest of the group is. They are standing on a cliff and below them is Alpha’s horde.
As much as I like The Walking Dead story building and the character development, this silent warfare is slow. The Whisperers are definitely in control and it’s frustrating. It’s time for Team Family to get a win. But they can’t do that by chasing Alpha into the woods. She knows what Carol is looking for. It’s no accident that they ended up with Alpha’s horde. I just hope no one has to pay for Carol’s vengeance. (JERRY!)
I was wondering when we were going to meet Virgil. But I didn’t expect him to be from a super secret community. I wonder if its That community. If it’s not, then I doubt we’ll be hearing anything about Rick Grimes for a while.
Overall, I enjoyed this first half of season ten. The Walking Dead has a new life with this new showrunner. Despite the slow action, the dialogue and personal stories have been captivating for me. It’s something I’ve wanted to see for a while. Everyone has a part to play and everyone’s part is important. It’s finally an ensemble cast where everyone supports each other. I’m excited to see what happens in the second half!