‘The Walking Dead’ Season 10, Episode 6: When Negan Met Alpha

Forbes 1 day ago
Negan and Alpha
Negan gives himself over to the Whisperers while Carol and Daryl try to find the herd in Sunday ... [+] night's episode of 'The Walking Dead.'

Sunday night’s episode of The Walking Dead was yet another very solid, engaging hour of television. There’s a lot happening, both in terms of the overarching conflict between the survivors and the Whisperers, and between our heroes themselves.

The two driving stories in tonight’s episode “Bonds” both had to do with characters seeking out the Whisperers. Negan has been purposefully captured, and is taken to Alpha and Beta. Meanwhile, Carol and Daryl are off hunting down Alpha’s giant herd of walkers.

Never Go Full Negan

It’s still remarkable how much Negan has grown on me this season–and to a lesser degree, also in Season 9. In Season 10, the former Savior leader has become a far more likable character than ever before.

Part of it is his obvious discomfort with his own past. Last week, when Negan is confronted by his demons in the form of Brandon, a child of Saviors slain by the Grimes clan, he’s not at all pleased by the young man’s hero worship.

More than that, Negan–or at least Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s Negan–never really fit the part of terrifying villain king. He’s much more at home in his role as the scrappy jester. Where once Negan was only ever annoying to me, now he’s funny and empathetic and looks out for the outcasts and the little guy.

His going over to Alpha and the Whisperers is clearly not because he’s betraying Alexandria. There’s no way he’s going to happily wear a zombie suit and there’s certainly no way he’s going to continue bending the knee to Alpha. (What is this, Game of Thrones circa S7/S8?)

Negan’s entire foray into Whisperer territory was pretty great. He won’t shut up for one thing, driving Beta into a near-murderous rage. The hulking, masked lieutenant leaves him to die in a throng of zombies instead after a pretty funny exchange.

Maybe that’s the other thing I like about Negan–he brings comic relief to The Walking Dead. I know that was partly what they tried to do with him in Season 7 and 8, but it was hard to swallow, in no small part because of Glenn and Abraham’s brutal deaths, but also thanks to the unbearably crappy writing, much of which had to do with Negan.

When Beta returns to Alpha he tells her–without verifying first, so great is his irritation–that Negan wasn’t strong enough. And then Negan shows up, covered in blood and guts, swinging his bat around with his full Negan swagger.

He kneels before Alpha and tells her he’ll do anything she asks. She leans in real close, sniffs at him, and then raises her finger to her lips and says “Shhhh....”. It’s pretty funny.

The Walking Dead
The Walking Dead

Carol and Daryl Sitting On A Tree

The entire segment between Carol and Daryl was fascinating to me. Carol lies about what she’s doing before coming clean and telling Daryl that she’s hunting down Alpha’s herd. The only way to really defeat the Whisperers, after all, is to either destroy or take control of that giant group of undead.

Meanwhile, Daryl is having a hard time trusting her. When she goes to use the woodland ladies room, he searches her bag, looking for the gun. She asks him if he found what he was looking for when she sits back down.

More interesting than either of these interactions is when Carol ribs Daryl over Connie. She’s seen the sparks flying, the mutual attraction. “It’s not like that,” Daryl insists. “Why not?” Carol asks.

He remains tight-lipped, though. And one can’t help but think it’s because deep down, Daryl wants more than just BFF status with Carol. Or at least likes her enough that way to be embarrassed about any other potential crush.

I know I’ve been beating this drum for a while, but I still find things like Daryl’s complete abstinence utterly absurd. How many years are we into the apocalypse and as far as I can tell, Daryl hasn’t ever hooked up with anybody even once? It’s ludicrous.

At least some characters have been given romantic flings–even Gabriel is sort of in a relationship with Rosita, though she spends more time talking with Eugene and her ex-lover and baby-daddy, Siddiq. Rick and Michonne had one another. Abraham had luck with the ladies. But Daryl–who all the ladies love–is perfectly okay with being all by his lonesome for years on end? Not even a one night stand here and there?

Even Carol had a marriage that lasted for years.

Oh well. “It’s not like that” with Connie, apparently. Whether that means The Walking Dead will finally ship Daryl and Carol remains to be seen. They have a wonderful friendship, and I’d almost hate to see it become something more. Sometimes, at least on TV (though often also in real life) “something more” can mean something less in the end.

In any case, the two track a small group of zombies they spot clearly being led by Whisperers. Across the border they go into Whisperer territory, and here’s where things get dicey.

The Walking Dead
The Walking Dead

The tracking goes fine for a while, but when it gets dark that all changes. The Whisperers notice they’re being followed, and the hunter becomes the hunted. It’s a great, tense scene as our two heroes try to stay out of sight. “Keeeeep looooking” we hear one of the Whisperers hiss to their companion. It brings me back to some of the best moments of Season 9, before we really knew what was going on.

Which makes me think: This new threat was at its most terrifying before they had a name, before they had an Alpha or a Beta, before the negotiated borders or got backstories. In some ways, the Whisperers were almost an elemental threat. Now it’s all become personal. Now we have a set of villains so evil, so willing to kill their own, one wonders why anyone follows them at all.

I’ll say this for Season 9. Those few episodes before the midseason break and the death of Jesus were very scary. There were some after that that were also frightening, but never quite so frightening as before the mystery was unveiled. And as harrowing as those heads on pikes were, the show cheated by not showing us how it was all accomplished. I still think Jesus’s death was the high point (in terms of dramatic impact) of Season 9.

Season 10 has been terrific in terms of character development, but it’s been boiling at a simmer, and even moments of tension or action or bloody violence feel somewhat muted or subdued. That’s part of the problem with having these endless group vs group conflicts.

The Walking Dead
The Walking Dead

Once upon a time on The Walking Dead, the tension came from clearing a house in a new town, looking for supplies. Around any corner, through any door, death could be lurking. At any moment, our small band of survivors could have to flee and move on. I swear, the small groups of bad people they would encounter, however briefly, were more frightening than all the Whisperers and Saviors combined. Because dramatic tension is built on creating believability. A plausible threat is more terrifying than a host of masked lunatics.

That’s why that scene in the bar in “Nebraska” was so excellent. The two men Rick faced were certainly not as daunting as an army of supervillains, but it was far more real, more tangible and relatable. This is the problem with The Walking Dead now, and for several seasons. Even as far back as Terminus, when we first started coming into contact with outrageous enemies (cannibals in that instance). At least that conflict wasn’t dragged out forever, and at least cannibalism in an apocalypse is somewhat plausible (though hunting deer strikes me as a lot less work than hunting people).

I suppose this complaint of mine has surfaced and resurfaced for almost as long as the show has gone on. The Governor was a great villain, but the whole prison vs Woodbury conflict was dragged out too long. Andrea didn’t help matters.

I digress. I think what I’m getting at is that no matter how much better the show has become, with better writing and acting and cinematography and special effects and music, it still remains stuck in this unending rut that’s just not really the show’s strength and never has been. The Whisperers are just another group of bad guys who will do their damage and then dissipate and our heroes will carry on until the next group appears.


The Walking Dead
The Walking Dead

The two secondary plots of tonight’s episode focused on Eugene and Siddiq, as well as Rosita.

At Hilltop, Eugene has used the satellite to expand the range of his radio. He talks briefly with Rosita who is still trying to keep their friendship going despite Eugene’s admission that he only cultivated that friendship in the hopes that it would someday become “something more.”

When that’s over he continues to surf the “proverbial radio waves” until someone pipes up on the other end. A woman. They chat for a while, but she’s hesitant to tell him anything personal. Eugene seems . . . somewhat less impossible to understand? Are they finally toning down his idiosyncrasies like they did with Ezekiel? Or am I just getting better at deciphering Eugene-speak?

In Alexandria, Siddiq takes Rosita to the infirmary where he discovers that half the town is sick. He’s upset with Dante, his assistant, for not summoning him. The sickness has spread quickly, and nobody’s quite sure what it is. I think it must be the Whisperers poisoning their water supply, though I assume they’re not drinking water directly from a river–surely there’s some form of filtration? Maybe the Whisperers are poisoning spring water?

Later, Siddiq takes his baby and rocks it to sleep and when he wakes from his nightmares, finds himself standing near the windmill with the child, with no idea how he got there. An unsettling way to wake, especially with babe in arms. Siddiq needs help.


The Walking Dead
The Walking Dead

All told–in spite of my overarching complaints with regards to the show’s broader setup–this was another very good episode. Negan has become, shockingly, one of my favorite characters and he did not disappoint with his first Whisperer encounter. It’s interesting to see Alpha and Beta so at odds over him as well, and Negan’s whole kneeling monologue was hilarious.

I also like pretty much every interaction between Carol and Daryl, and I hope that they continue as very good friends rather than lovers. I just don’t see that ending well–not necessarily because they wouldn’t work out, but because their relationship might become infinitely less interesting.

I look forward to seeing where the next two episodes take us. I would very much like to see the Whisperer conflict ended sooner rather than later. If it ends by the end of Season 10, that will be a little more than one-and-a-half seasons, so less than the Savior conflict but still pretty long. Long enough.

What did you think? Let me know on Twitter or Facebook.

Previous Season 10 Reviews:

Source link
Read also:
The Inquisitr › Entertainment › 3 days ago
On this Sunday’s upcoming episode of AMC’s The Walking Dead, Negan, played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan, will bow to his captor Alpha, played by Samantha Morton. As The Inquisitr previously reported, the sixth episode of the tenth season of The Walking...
The Sun › Entertainment › 1 week ago
THE Walking Dead hints Alpha will be decapitated by Negan as his motive behind his escape becomes clear. The character – played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan – escaped from Alexandria in the latest episode of series 10. If the TV series follows the comic...
The Inquisitr › Entertainment › 2 weeks ago
Jeffrey Dean Morgan joined the cast of AMC’s The Walking Dead during the show’s season six finale in 2016. Morgan stepped into the role of Negan and served as the primary villain during the seventh and eighth seasons. Negan was eventually...
The Inquisitr › Entertainment › 2 weeks ago
SPOILER ALERT: This article discusses Episode 3 (titled “Ghosts”) of AMC’s The Walking Dead Season 10. Please proceed with caution if you have not yet viewed this episode and wish to avoid spoilers. In Episode 3 of AMC’s The Walking Dead Season...
The Sun › Entertainment › 6 days ago
NEGAN took another life in the latest episode of The Walking Dead. The former leader of The Saviours was once known for his brutality and love of violence. However, since his defeat and incarceration at the hands of Rick Grimes, Negan has show a softer...
Express › 1 month ago
THE WALKING DEAD fans have less than a week until the show returns, but it seems they are in for a shock as Negan could be set to team up with the enemy just as he seemed to undergoing a redemption arc. The Negan actor teased great change is ahead...
Newsweek › 3 days ago
"The Walking Dead" Season 10 continues with episode 6 this Sunday, and there are big things ahead for Negan and the Whisperers. Read these spoilers to find out more.
The Sun › Entertainment › 2 days ago
THE Walking Dead’s Carol is planning on destroying The Alpha’s hoarde. The vengeful mother is determined to destroy the evil rival gang leader’s big weapon with her own cunning. In a spoiler clip of tonight’s episode she tells Daryl: “Alpha...
The Inquisitr › Entertainment › 3 weeks ago
According to Ryan Hurst, his character, Beta, and resident bad guy, Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), is set to meet up in Season 10 of AMC’s The Walking Dead. SPOILER ALERT: This article discusses AMC’s The Walking Dead as well as the comic books on...
The Inquisitr › Entertainment › 2 weeks ago
A new clip has been released for the upcoming episode of AMC’s The Walking Dead that shows tensions are rising — especially between Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) and Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan). SPOILER ALERT: This article discusses AMC’s The...
Sign In

Sign in to follow sources and tags you love, and get personalized stories.

Continue with Google