‘The Walking Dead’: Mommy Dearest

The Walking Dead
February 24, 2019

We’ve been spending a lot of time at Hilltop, but what’s been going on over at The Kingdom, for example? Well, some years ago, King Zeke, Carol, and Jerry are hanging out, talking about how Jerry’s girlfriend, Nabila, is knocked up (yay! but also, oh no! this worries me about Jerry’s safety!) when a very much alive Jesus and Tara ride up to meet them.

Tara gives them some supplies, explaining that when she left Alexandria, she grabbed a bunch of crap that Michonne was unwilling to share, including, I think, medical supplies, suggesting that there was some sort of outbreak of something that Hilltop is still contending with. Tara also took the charter because it’s not like Michonne was doing anything with it, and she was hoping King Zeke would hang on to it in the meantime. He promises to keep it until the communities come back together, which he is sure will happen any day now.

But it doesn’t happen anytime between this flashback and the present, because Zeke is still holding on to that unsigned document. Later, he, Carol, Jerry, Diane, and some other unnamed Kingdomers go elk hunting. After, King Ezekiel encourages Carol to go back to the Kingdom while he and some of the others make a quick side trip, but she’s all, “Are you fucking kidding me?”

And so she accompanies the group to an old movie theater. King Zeke explains that they need to replace their projector bulb so that they can show a movie at the upcoming fair. Carol is all, “Are you fucking kidding me?”

But King Ezekiel insists that something as seemingly trivial as a movie is actually hugely important for community bonds, for bringing people together and giving them something to fight for: each other.

They lure some of the walkers out of the theater via boombox and a little Eddie Harris:

While King Zeke takes down a poster frame for the Charter, in the projector booth, Jerry finds the all-important projector bulb, gingerly removes it, wraps it in bubble wrap and promptly fumbles it, dropping it into the theater. King Zeke considers leaving the bulb, but Carol insists that they retrieve it — and they manage to without losing anyone, the end.

Over at Hilltop, things are considerably more tense, what with a maskless Alpha and her masked friends hanging outside the gates, demanding that they return her daughter, Ol’ No Name. Daryl suggests, instead, that she take her little friends home. Alpha demands to know who the leader is but they’re like, “WE’RE NOT FALLING FOR THAT ONE, LADY,” so she’s all, “sigh, fine, ok, look: here’s the deal. Give me back my kid and there will be no trouble here. Don’t give me back my kid? Trouble.”

After warning the others that Lydia isn’t going anywhere, Daryl decides to go out to talk to Alpha face-to-face where he explains that she can’t have Lydia and that they have enough firepower to “light [them] up.” But that’s when he notices the one Whisperer with the crying baby.

“WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING WITH A BABY OUT HERE?” Daryl demands, and Alpha explains that they are just animals, animals have babies, so they have babies “out here.” That’s when the Whisperers bring out their hostages: Nice Savior and Uncle Melvin. Alpha is offering a very fair deal: two of theirs for one of hers. What’s not to like?

Meanwhile, some actual walkers appear, drawn by all the chit-chat, and Alpha orders her second in command to just keep them away from the prisoners (for now). As for Uncle Melvin, he spots Connie in the corn and signs to her that she needs to stay hidden, the walkers are coming.

Daryl heads back inside, having decided that they should, in fact, hand Lydia over, but LOL, Lydia and Henry are gone. Daryl and Dog are about to head out to find them, when Enid and Some Teenage Girl are like, “No, we’ll do it, we know where he is.”

Outside, that baby starts crying harder, drawing the attention of the walkers, which makes Alpha shoot the mother a look. And in the most chilling moment of this entire series so far, the mother removes the baby sling AND LEAVES THE BABY ON THE GROUND TO BE EATEN BY ZOMBIES.

Nice Savior and Uncle Melvin:

But Alpha is unbothered: it’s natural selection.

The HIlltop guards try to bang on the gates to draw the walkers’ attention away from the baby, but it doesn’t work, so Uncle Melvin signs to Connie that there is a FUCKING BABY just being LEFT ON THE FUCKING GROUND for the WALKERS TO FUCKING EAT, so she darts out of the cornfield and grabs the baby before running back into the corn again. She’s surrounded by walkers, but, somehow, Daryl, Kelly, Tammy, and Earl (WAIT … TAMMY AND EARL?) rescue her and the baby.

Elsewhere, Henry and Lydia are in some cabin where Lydia has changed into a clean outfit for apparently the first time in years. Also, Henry gives her some sort of fake coin that some woman at Hilltop makes which I suppose will prove to be important later because we spend so much time looking at it.

That’s where Enid and Some Teenage Girl finds them, and explains the whole, “Hey, her mom is looking for her and she has my boyfriend and Uncle Melvin hostage so it’s time for your little playdate to end.” Enid tells Henry about Just Survive Somehow and how Carl taught her that life needs to be more than that which, honestly, when you’re trying to convince a teenager to send his girlfriend back to her abusive mother maybe isn’t the best logistical argument?

In any event, Lydia decides to hand herself over and kisses Henry goodbye.

Daryl and Alpha exchange their prisoners, and Lydia apologizes to her mother, which earns her a slap across the face and an admonishment to call her “Alpha, like all the rest.”


Later, Henry gives Daryl grief for handing Lydia over, insisting that while he knows why they had to do it, it’s not right. Daryl agrees, explaining that life is shit sometimes.

But Henry decides that it’s not good enough to just accept that the world is shit and leaves Hilltop, presumably to try to save Lydia. Some Teenage Girl gives Daryl the note that she found on Henry’s bed and with a heavy sigh, Daryl grabs his stuff to go head out and rescue Henry. That’s when Connie shows up and announces that she is coming along, and Daryl sighs even harder.

Not much to add to this episode — especially since it aired literally a month ago — except HOLY SHIT! WITH THE BABY! YOU CAN’T DO THAT! YOU CAN’T JUST MAKE A BABY ZOMBIE FOOD! BUT IF YOU’RE WILLING TO DO THAT TO A BABY, WHAT ELSE ARE YOU WILLING TO DO?

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The Walking Dead airs on AMC on Sundays at 8/9 p.m.

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