SEASON 10; EPISODE 8
Last night’s mid season finale saw the resolution of one story thread and the introduction of a couple of others. Mid-season finales used to be rather explosive affairs back in the day but the main action is usually reserved for the episode before the mid-season finale nowadays. The mid season finale itself is a chance to set up the stuff that is going to be the main focus of the show when it returns next year (February). Siddiq’s death in last week’s episode was really the climax of the first half of series 10 and last night we pretty much resumed where we left off with Dante lying to Rosita about her partner’s whereabouts before deciding to kill her as she clearly sensed something was up. Fortunately Rosita is a bit of a bad ass. She’s also a mother too and her desire to protect her child (and that includes from being an orphan) only makes her a more formidable proposition, as Dante found out. Not only did she manage to subdue the whisperer mole, she also managed to stop a re-animated Siddiq from chomping down on his baby. Once captured, Dante was full of the usual crap you’d expect. The flashback montage right at the start of the episode just reminded us all what he had been doing behind the scenes which were key reasons as to why Siddiq was having a breakdown. I think Dante quite liked Siddiq but it’s really quite hard to believe anything he says or glean to much from how he behaves. He’s everything you’d expect from someone in a cult. However, his confidence that he would be ‘tried’ and suffer a fate akin to Negan’s was rather misplaced. Gabriel, perhaps the calmest and most non-violent of all of the characters in The Walking Dead, basically went berserk and stabbed Dante multiple times. i don’t think anyone has any sympathy for that lying sack of shit but to see Father Gabe lose his rag like that was rather surprising, if not entirely unwelcome. He and Rosita promptly burn the body - we’re guessing no one else is aware that this has happened? Good luck explaining that one to everyone, guys. Although truth be told, we’re not sure how much they’ll care as there are bigger problems surfacing… Michonne’s trip to Oceanside runs into some trouble when Luke is attacked at a library but ultimately saved by a mysterious stranger – who then promptly makes a run for it. 'Who does that?!' screams Luke after his saviour has vanished. It's a fair question. At least hang back and receive the thanks! This same dude reappears later in the episode when he is caught trying to steal a boat by some of the oceansiders. Michonne is instantly suspicious of his intentions, especially after learning that Siddiq has died at the hands of an infiltrator. Balancing mercy and kindness with cynicism and ruthlessness has always been a tough job for many characters on the show – and several of them have come to regret moments of 'trust'. It turns out that this man, named Virgil, is (apparently) trying to return to his family, hence why he needs a boat. He soon reveals that his family are living on an island on a fortified naval base. A naval base that happens to have a shite load of weapons. Cha ching! Michonne reached the conclusion long ago that Alpha needs to be 'dealt with' and this opportunity to win the arms race is too good to turn down, so she agrees to accompany Virgil back to his island in exchange for weapons. There are rumours going around that this may be the last time we see Michonne but I can't believe that. Although Maggie's departure was not signposted in any way so who knows...
The final scenes of the episode saw Carol, Daryl and a few others heading out to locate the super horde after Aaron had received a tip off from Gamma as to their location. Carol has been rather unpredictable this series and her irrational behaviour culminated in her chasing after Alpha and walking straight into a trap. After falling down a hole, our gang find themselves trapped but not alone. Oh no, turns out Alpha has been keeping the horde contained underground in some kind of cave network. I don't quite know how I feel about the decision to make Carol act so reckless. She's oscillated between pacifist and warrior in the past but she's never been stupid. She's never been an idiot. Is she losing her grip on things or is it just slightly shoddy writing? I'm not sure. Either way I'm looking forward to the second half of the series. So far it's been solid if unspectacular but after a couple of years of declining quality, I'm content with that.