SEASON 10; EPISODE 1
I know they've been trailering season 10 of The Walking Dead for some time now but it still feels like it's snuck up on me somehow. We've made a concerted effort to avoid some of the promos and trailers as I think the hype and build up can work against the show when it eventually resumes. And tonight it resumed pretty much where it left off at the end of season 9, which is in the middle of an uneasy truce forged with The Whisperers.
In terms of timespan, we've actually moved on a few months from the season 9 finale and little has changed (apart from the weather). Carol has turned into some kind of female Francis Drake and seems to have spent a lot of her time catching fish and looking up at the stars, whilst Daryl and the rest of the gang have been tentatively carrying on as normal, albeit with the constant cloud of The Whisperers hanging over them. Sure, they made a truce but does anyone really trust Alpha and her band of rambling freaks? I don't. Ezekiel is still harbouring feelings for Carol although she has clearly moved on from that and seems keen on the idea of riding (or sailing) off into the sunset with Daryl. However, I think Connie might have some issues with that...
What else is new? Oh Negan is now tending to tomatoes and stuff (just like Carl's dream!) and might have found a kindred spirit in Lydia, who clearly has no idea the kind of shit that he's done in the past. It's difficult to gauge Negan's level or reformation because the guy is as Machiavellian as they come. On one hand you think he might be a useful asset in the fight against The Whisperers but can we really trust him? His advice to Gabriel about how to manage people may have a cold logic to it but it's still a bit shocking that he's now acting as The Hand of the King (God Game of Thrones seems an age ago now doesn't it?)
I tell you what The Walking Dead doesn't need right now though; a clever-cloggs little kid. I know she's Rick Grimes' kid and everything but I just haven't warmed to her character yet. She just feels a bit too sickly sweet to feel genuine. Recounting her father's sacrifice to her little brother just felt rather mawkish to me – or is that just because I'm a bit dead inside? We also don't need to see the gang attempting to recreate the battle scenes from Braveheart either. I mean, honestly, what was that all about? I like that The Walking Dead is prepared to be a bit out there at times and that it's a bit tongue in cheek when it needs to be but stuff like that just makes me frown. I think it's partly down to the fact that I have recently been watching sister show Fear The Walking Dead – and I'm a big fan of the realistic, non-pretentious style and the fact that the smaller cast list means that it doesn't feel quite so spread out. But hey, that's a different show at the end of the day – but I wish that the show would get back a little bit more of the grit that it had in the earlier series.
We also had a few references to Maggie as well. She's due to make an appearance at some point this series, we just have no idea when. She's also apparently going to be back in a more permanent role next season so we'll just have to live with the cryptic clues and name checks until she makes her return. Will it be mid-battle to help defeat the walkers? (Gandalf style). We'll have to wait and see.
Anyway, back to what the episode was really about, which was the beginning of the end of the truce between our heroes and The Whisperers. After discovering a whisperer mask in Oceanside, Michonne and Aaron head out to see if there are any signs that they have reneged on the agreement and ventured onto their land. They stop at the border, with Michonne hesitant of crossing into Whisperer territory. However Yumiko and a few others discover evidence that they have indeed trespassed into the colonist territories. Discussions take place amongst the leaders of the communities about an appropriate response.
However, there's nothing like an old soviet satellite to thrust the storyline forward is there? The fire caused by the impact threatens both communities and the colonists decide to cross the border to put the fire out before it gets out of control. There's a risk of Whisperer retaliation but it's a risk they're willing to take. The good news is, they manage to put the fire out (and potentially retrieve some tech from the satellite); the bad news – Alpha spies Carol in Whisperer territory. Their eyes meet and we all know what this means. Carol may be be keen to ride away with Daryl and put all the fighting and conflict behind her but she's unlikely to walk away from this fight.