‘The Walking Dead’ Season 10C Premiere: Fear the Reapers (RECAP)
[WARNING: The following contains MAJOR spoilers for The Walking Dead Season 10 episode 17, “Home Sweet Home.”]
They say “You can’t go home again” and it seems that Maggie (Lauren Cohan) is a firm believer in the maxim. And it’s easy to understand why: It was home where she saw her husband killed by Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), and where she had to live with the fact that Negan wasn’t being put to death for what he did after Alexandria vanquished him and his army.
But, people change. And given that trouble follows Maggie everywhere she goes, it’s perhaps not entirely surprising that in “Home Sweet Home” she has a change of mind. Here’s how it happens.
It Always Goes Sideways
After stumbling upon her old friends in the Season 10 finale, Maggie makes it a priority to go the people who didn’t accompany her on her journey, including her son, Hershel. She gets a team together: Cole (James Devoti), Elijah (Okea Eme-Akwari), Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Kelly (Angel Theory), who volunteers to join so she can look for her sister, Connie (Lauren Ridloff), who went missing last season. The crew takes shelter at night in abandoned shipping containers. There, Maggie and Daryl have a chat — and we learn what she was up to when she left Hilltop.
Turns out, she was helping Georgie (Jayne Atkinson), the mysterious leader we first met in Season 8, give aid to survivors — but when Georgie left the settlement they’d founded to check out a place “out west,” the place fell apart.
They Found Us
She also talks about why she left home. She “couldn’t have Negan taking up any more space in her head,” she says, and she stayed away because she didn’t want Hershel to have to deal with him, either. Daryl invites her to “come on home,” but Maggie’s not too keen on the prospect.
The next morning, Kelly, who’s supposed to be on watch, wanders off to look for Connie. For a moment, it seems she’s found her sister’s belongings, but nothing is hers. She’s crestfallen, but the team continues on…and finds smoke coming from the direction where Maggie’s people are supposed to be. Turns out the Reapers, the people that attacked Maggie’s current home, apparently, they didn’t stop there. The camp where Maggie’s people were is empty, save for a few burned bodies.
A New Threat
Maggie’s determined to find her people and her son, and Daryl helps her track Hershel’s footprints north. Knowing they’ll cover more ground if they separate, Kelly goes with Cole and Elijah, while Maggie and Daryl stick together. The latter group stumbles upon three of Maggie’s people, who explain something’s hunting them in the woods. One of them, who’s been shot in the throat, is convinced it’s the Reapers (he dies after uttering the words).
As any sane people would, they all take off running, but the two women who’d just joined them are also picked off by the same mysterious assailant. Maggie takes off to find the sniper, with Daryl following. She doesn’t see him at first (he’s wearing heavy camouflage), but he sees her and catches her in a rope trap that pulls her by her ankle until she’s dangling from a tree. Daryl tries to help, but the guy’s a good fighter, and one smack of Daryl’s head against a tree trunk puts him out of commission.
Home Sweet Home
Thankfully, Kelly, Elijah and Cole come to the rescue, and they shoot the guy in the chest with an arrow. Maggie, who cuts herself down from the trap, tells the guy to tell her who he is and why his group attacked them or she’ll kill him. He pulls the pin to a grenade he had stashed in his vest, blowing himself up. Guess he didn’t want to answer. Thankfully, everyone else is OK, and Maggie finds Hershel sitting safely in a tree nearby.
Later that night as they all rest in the same shipping containers, Maggie decides that it’s time to go home. She allows Daryl to take her and the rest of her group back to Alexandria, where Daryl’s shocked to see the place in a state of disrepair (rif you recall, the Whisperers had laid waste to it while everyone was hiding out at the hospital late last season). Nonetheless, Maggie insists to a bewildered Cole that this is, indeed, “home sweet home.” As she walks through the streets, Negan looks on, appearing apprehensive — and guilt-ridden.
- Nice to see Kelly get some character development this episode during her conversations with Elijah, who, under that mask, hides a fear of walkers.
- While there are some decent character moments, the episode feels uneven. It’s clear it was a product of the pandemic (for example, it’s hard to tell just how many people Maggie and Daryl find, probably because everyone had to stay six feet apart). And there’s a whole lot of telling, not showing with the dialogue; in normal times, we might’ve gotten flashbacks.
- Carol and Negan are fun in their few scenes last year, and Carol’s lack of a negative response to Daryl’s inquiry about whether she’s “come around on him” makes me hopeful we’ll get more scenes with them.
The Walking Dead Season 10, Sundays, AMC