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Last night’s episode of the Walking Dead felt like an opportunity for the show to focus on some of the B-story threads that are simmering away in the background. Inc event weeks, conflict between the colonists and the Whisperers has taken centre stage, along with some backstory to Alpha and Beta. The two groups seem on the verge of all out war again and it’s really just a matter of when not if a full scale conflict rages again. However, sometimes you just need an episode to breathe and to gather your thoughts and that’s what we got in episode four. There are a lot of characters in The Waking Dead, despite the numbers lost when Alpha had a load of their heads stuck on sticks. For some of these secondary characters to avoid falling into the ‘irrelevant’ category, we need to be spending a little time with them. In the past, The Walking Dead has been guilty of spending too much time on this.Entire episodes spent with one or two characters on some seemingly pointless quest or journey that in retrospect, had no real intrinsic value. It’s one of the reasons that viewers started to turn off. To be fair to Angela Kang, there hasn’t been as much of that since she took the helm. So besides the fact that The Whisperers are still out there and probably sending wave of walkers to the settlements in an effort to weaken them, here are the other things that are bubbling away under the surface. - Ezekiel looks like he’s a man on the brink. Michonne manages to talk some sense into him but he’s a character that’s fallen from grace a little and as a result, feels a bit useless. He sees to have perked up by the end of the episode though. The kiss between Zeeks and Michonne was a bit unexpected though wasn’t it? But then again half of the recent pairings on the show feel like names have been put into a hat and drawn at random. - Siddiq is still suffering. I can’t be the only one in thinking that his trauma and resulting inaction is going to have dire consequences at some point surely? - Luke’s prolonged farewell seemed a bit ominous didn’t it? That and the fact he is heading to Oceanside to see some chick he likes throw up some big warning signals for me. I wouldn’t be against him coming a cropper in next week’s episode. - Magna and Yumiko are at odds with each other and their relationship is a little confusing to say the least. Did Yumiko used to be her lawyer? Did I hear that right?! - Lydia’s desire to stay sees her being targeted by Gage and a few of his pals. Daryl and Negan offer some ’words of wisdom’ but those two aren’t the most natural at giving parental advice. Lydia is set upon and Negan saves the day but in the process ends up killing one of her attackers. Cue a load of debate on what to do with the man everyone loves to hate. He seemed to show some basic level of remorse in the immediate aftermath but it could have just been the realisation that he could now be in some serious shit. - Aaron voted to have Negan killed at the meeting of the local bigwigs. Come on man! He saved your ass the other week! The overriding feeling from the episode though was just how fragile the peace is within the different communities. The Whisperers may pose a substantial external threat but the disharmony within may be just as dangerous. As to where Negan is or who let him out, who knows? But I have a really sneaky suspicion that Daryl might have something to do with it…

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