'The Walking Dead' Answers Some of the Season's Biggest Questions (RECAP)
[WARNING: The following contains MAJOR spoilers for The Walking Dead Season 10 Episode 12, “Walk With Us.”]
At last, it’s all coming together.
“Walk With Us” the 12th episode of TWD’s 10th season, starts tying up loose ends while also adding in some new, intriguing details about old mysteries. There are some nifty references to the comics and a faint callback to Season 4, what with everyone separated in the aftermath of the Hilltop battle.
And, perhaps most importantly, a certain character (you probably already know who) gets a Very Big Comics Moment (you probably already know what). But even if you’re going into this with a knowledge of the source material, you might not be able to predict the aftermath.
Don’t Be Happy, Ever
The episode opens with the continued Hilltop attack. Despite everyone’s best efforts, they can’t fight off the Whisperers, and everybody ends up split up; Carol (Melissa McBride) ends up with Eugene (Josh McDermitt), Yumiko (Eleanor Matsuura) and Magna (more on Magna (Nadia Hilker)’s shocking return later), Daryl (Norman Reedus) gets out with Rosita (Christian Serratos), Jerry (Cooper Andrews), Nabila and Diane, Judith (Cailey Fleming) and the rest of the kids escape with Earl after Zeke (Khary Payton) is incapacitated, Aaron (Ross Marquand) manages to drag an unconscious Luke to safety, and Kelly (Angel Theory), Alden and Mary (Thora Birch) make it out together.
Plenty of things unfold simultaneously in this episode, so we’ll break it down by group. First, Mary finally manages to prove to Alden that she knows her sister’s child, and she gets to hold him… but then, because happiness is a fickle b**ch on this show, she dies after saving the lives of everyone in her group. In fighting off a small horde of walkers, she ran into Beta (Ryan Hurst), and the big man wasn’t feeling very forgiving of Gamma’s turn to the Hilltop side. Beta kills her and lets her turn, but before he can lead her away, Alden fires an arrow and puts her down. Beta escapes into the woods.
Magna’s Great Escape
Next, Carol’s group — and the whole Magna thing. During the battle at Hilltop, Yumiko realized that one of the “walkers” was her very alive ex(?)-girlfriend, and in the aftermath, Magna takes a rest and Yumiko comforts her. Magna and Connie made it out of the cave by masking their scent to blend in with the walkers, but they were separated, and Magna’s not sure if her friend is alive. Carol’s feeling antsy, and she’s not so keen on staying put when they could be heading to the rendezvous point. She makes the grave mistake of voicing that opinion, which earns her a punch in the mouth from Yumiko.
“You should try begging her forgiveness,” Yumiko says, but Carol does nothing of the sort, instead going off on her own and almost committing suicide via walker (hello, comic Carol reference). Eugene follows her, and Carol asks him if he’s ever been in her shoes; lost, hated, hopeless and alone. Eugene most certainly has — remember the whole “I can cure the zombie virus” thing? — but he’s lamenting his inability to go to Stephanie, saying he feels he needs to stay and help out his friends. Carol says otherwise, encouraging him to go to her.
Earl to the Rescue
Team Daryl, meanwhile, makes it to the rendezvous point, but they don’t find the kids. A panicked Nabila despairs, and Jerry reassures her they’ll be found. But they won’t be found with Ezekiel — Jerry and Daryl find him pinned under a section of Hilltop’s fence, and once they free him, he tells them Earl has the kids.
Good ol’ blacksmith Earl got the kids out of the burning Hilltop, but not without a walker taking a chunk out of his forearm. Once they get to a safe cabin, he sticks a wooden nail in a table and prepares to commit suicide, but Judith interrupts him. She offers to stay with him so he “won’t be alone,” but he tells her to go make sure the other kids are safe. He tries to kill himself, but he doesn't succeed... and Judith later finds him in the back room, reanimated.
And that’s where Daryl finds her when they make it to the cabin. Everyone’s relieved to find the young’uns safe and sound, but it’s clear Judith is shaken by what she had to do — and Daryl sits down next to her and puts his arm around her, offering her comfort after a haunting day. If Michonne doesn’t make it back from… well, wherever she is, then Daryl would be a darn good caretaker.
Everything She Wants
Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan)’s having a bad day as a Whisperer, which really isn’t so different than any other day he’s had as a Whisperer. Alpha (Samantha Morton) confides in him that she can’t celebrate their victory because she doesn’t yet have “everything she wants,” meaning Lydia (Cassady McClincy). As it turns out, this woman is bats**t insane enough to feel it is her destiny to kill her daughter, believing their “purpose” is to be unified in her death.
As a Good Whisperer Servant, Negan takes it upon himself to track down Lydia, but on his way, he runs into Aaron. Obviously, Aaron’s none too pleased to find Negan walking among the dead, so to speak, but their interactions are pretty limited (Aaron tries to kill him, but they're interrupted by walkers). Negan finds Lydia and captures her, ties her up in a cabin, then brings Alpha out deep into the woods, saying he found what she’s looking for.
Who Released The Negan?
Okay, comics readers, y’all already know where this is going. Non-comics readers — Negan waxes poetic for a time about how he lost his wife, and Alpha counters by saying his regret is because Lucille couldn’t “take him with her.” She intends to do exactly the opposite with Lydia, and as they pause outside the cabin, Negan kisses her (gross?!), seemingly to stall while her daughter breaks free and starts toward the door. It appears she’s too late; as she opens it, Alpha’s on the other side. Except…
They’re in two different cabins. Lydia makes it out into unfamiliar, but Alpha-less, territory. Alpha, meanwhile, is treated to an empty cabin. When she turns around, Negan cuts her throat, and he holds her as she dies. The scene then changes to him dumping Alpha’s decapitated head on the ground, and it rolls toward a familiar pair of boots. Carol’s boots. “Took you long enough,” she says. So I guess we now know who released the Negan…
- This show really is doing its darnedest to make everybody dislike Carol right now, isn’t it? Answering the “who released Negan?” question with her name reframes the cave as something that didn’t even remotely have to happen, unless she thought Negan had turned to the other side, but hadn’t it only been a few days? That whole thing is weird. Not sure I like it. I wish it had been Father Gabriel or Aaron who released him.
- The Magna-Yumiko breakup scene was neat, simply because it subverted expectations in a unique way. It’s interesting that Magna’s closeness to death made her realize it wasn’t going to work, and they parted ways amicably. Eleanor Matsuura and Nadia Hilker were great in that scene, too.
- So… there’s no way Connie’s dead, right? They wouldn’t be making such a big deal of her disappearance if she was going to die, right? Unless they’re going for Sophia 2.0 here, or Magna pulled a Shane and left Connie to die Otis-style so she could get out, but I kind of doubt it. More likely Connie’s extended disappearance has to do with Lauren Ridloff’s filming schedule for The Eternals.
- I knew Mary was a goner the minute she got to hold Adam. Happiness, however fleeting, is a curse on this show. Too bad we’re losing Thora Birch, though — Gamma was a cool character, and I found myself hoping she’d stick around.
The Walking Dead, Sundays, 9/8c, AMC