‘The Walking Dead’: Daryl Battles With Beta in ‘Chokepoint’ (RECAP)
[Spoiler Alert: Do not read ahead if you have not watched “Chokepoint,” the March 10 episode of The Walking Dead]
You can take Lydia from the Whisperers, but you can’t keep the Whisperers from Lydia.
Or so it would seem in The Walking Dead‘s “Chokepoint,” which sees Daryl somewhat reluctantly protecting Alpha’s daughter from her walker-wearing group members (including Beta!), who are tasked with bringing her back to her mom.
No easy feat to be sure, but Connie and Daryl have a plan. Meanwhile, Carol and Ezekiel struggle with whether or not to battle with a new group of enemies, and Tara and her group run into some trouble on the road to the Kingdom.
The episode opens with Daryl, Connie, Henry and Lydia escaping from the Whisperers. There’s some debate about whether Lydia can stay with them, considering she lied about how many of her people there were. But when Henry says he’s willing to run away with Lydia, Daryl tells Henry to think of his mom and allows Lydia to stay.
They take shelter in a building where Connie and her group had stayed earlier, and they make plans to create a “chokepoint” for the Whisperers pursuing them by forcing them to climb up to higher levels, thus eliminating the threat of the dead. From there, in theory, they can take out the Whisperers and escape.
A Whole World Out There
Daryl tells Connie he’s still not too keen on Lydia staying with them, saying, “If we take her back, my friends die. Your friends, too.” In response, Connie writes, “We have friends, she doesn’t” and walks away.
Lydia and Henry have several cute moments this episode, though Lydia still cares an unsettling amount about the Whisperers and rejects Henry’s offer of a hand-whittled spear because she can’t bring herself to harm any of “her people.” When Lydia asks Henry why he’s helping her, he — after some prodding — says “there’s a whole world out there” where they could run away from Alpha, and tells her he cares about her. They kiss… at least until they’re interrupted mid-smooch by Daryl. Awkward!
Daryl vs. Beta
Beta and The Whisperers arrive soon enough, and while Beta and his followers figure out they’re being led into a trap, Daryl locks Lydia in a closet with Dog to keep her safe. “Anybody comes to this door, he’ll take them down,” Daryl says. “If that happens, you run.” Lydia thanks him, and he closes the door.
Connie and Henry battle valiantly against the Whisperers and take down several of them, but Henry ends up getting pretty badly injured. Lydia hears this happening and pries open the door, then rushes to his aid.
While Connie and Lydia tend to Henry, Daryl gets into a pretty epic brawl with Beta, who demands Daryl tell him where to find Lydia. Of course, Daryl’s not inclined to do that. There are several times where it seems Beta might have the upper hand, but Daryl uses his knowledge of the building — and a secret hideaway spot under the floorboards — to sneak up on Beta and sends him falling down an elevator shaft.
Enter the Highwaymen
Everything’s going a little too well for the Kingdom as they prepare for the fair, and trouble arrives in the form of a new group called the Highwaymen. They’ve stolen Jerry’s sword and sent a letter demanding certain of Kingdom’s resources, otherwise those entering the fair “won’t be allowed to pass.” Carol, Jerry, Dianne and Ezekiel discuss what to do, and Ezekiel orders them to gather “every fighter we can spare.”
Team Kingdom scouts the Highwaymen’s compound and debates whether or not to kill the guards. After a lengthy discussion and based on Carol’s suggestion, they decide to go in and try to talk to the pirates rather than using lethal force. Unfortunately, that ends up not being as successful a move as they hoped. The Highwaymen aren’t interested in gaining access to the fair or any of the “alternative solutions” Ezekiel and his people pose.
A full-scale fight nearly ends up breaking out, but Carol saves the day at the last second by asking a very important question: “When’s the last time any of you have seen a movie?”
Trouble on the Road
Meanwhile, Tara and the others from Hilltop ran into some trouble on the road in the form of a downed tree. They take steps to clear it, but they’re overwhelmed by a horde before they can complete their mission. Things are looking especially grim for Earl and Tammy Rose, who brought the Whisperer baby to find him a new home at the Kingdom.
Earl struggles with a walker that comes just inches from taking a chunk out of his arm, and Tammy is forced to put the baby in a box so that she can go help her husband. Things are looking pretty tense, but just in the nick of time, a group on horseback shows up to help: the Highwaymen! They apparently accepted Carol’s offer of a free movie.
Moving On as a Group
The whole crew, Highwaymen included, arrives at the Kingdom for the fair. Carol greets Tara like the old friends they are and gives her a warm hug, then asks where Henry is. “He’s not here yet?” Tara asks, concerned. She says they were going to meet him and Daryl there. Clearly, that hasn’t happened.
There’s a good reason that hasn’t happened. Henry’s injured, and the closest place to get him fixed up is Alexandria. After that, Daryl says, “We’ll get you back on your feet, and then we’ll move on. All of us.” Apparently Henry’s eagerness to leave instead of continuing to wage war against the Whisperers was contagious?
As the episode ends, a familiar face — or rather, walker face — awakens in the building. Beta survived that nasty fall, and while he’s definitely seen better days, it stands to reason he’ll be okay… and he has a new enemy. Daryl Dixon had better watch his back…
- This might be the first time this season I completely disagree with Daryl’s characterization. Angela Kang has been doing a fantastic job with him in my opinion, but something didn’t feel right about his drastic change of heart at the end of the episode. Daryl would never leave without telling Carol about his plan or letting her see her son. After all, Henry isn’t his kid.
- Beta gets more and more badass every time he’s on screen. The fight between him and Daryl was one of the best we’ve seen on the show so far, and he says a whole lot by saying very little. He’s up there with the Saviors’ Simon in terms of best second-in-commands.
- The Highwaymen feel like the Vultures in Fear. That’s not a compliment. I’m not sure why we needed a second band of antagonists when the Whisperers are already a threat, so the Highwaymen’s addition felt weak and unnecessary. Plus, would the promise of a movie really convince a band of pirates not to blackmail a larger group for supplies? I don’t think so…
- I hate to say it, but overall I feel like this episode was mostly filler. Granted, we used to get far more “filler” episodes during the All Out War storyline, but I’d been enjoying how every episode this season felt important; the most significant thing that happened this ep was the Beta and Daryl fight, and that could’ve been put somewhere else. To end on a positive note, I’m sure next week will be far more exciting!
The Walking Dead, Sundays, 9/8c, AMC