‘The Walking Dead’: Getting the shaft

The Walking Dead
“Chokepoint”
March 10, 2019

Let’s begin with Daryl, Connie, Henry and Lydia who are fleeing the Whisperers’ camp. Running through the zombie woods, running through the zombie woods, running through the zombie woods. Once the group finds a safe spot to pause and catch their breath because OMG SIDE CRAMPS, Daryl tells the group that Lydia will not be coming with them to Hilltop. Tara made a deal with the Whisperers, they are breaking it, and this won’t end well for anyone. (TRUTH.)

And Lydia, she agrees with Daryl: if she goes back with them to Hilltop, her mother and her people will destroy the place to get her back — and she’s not wrong. Alpha is a bad bitch.

But then Henry starts making noise about running away with Lydia, and Connie just marches off without discussing it with Daryl. Lydia, Henry, and Dog follow her and Daryl relents. FINE. Lydia can come with them. FOR NOW.

Back at the Whisperers’ camp, once the “guardians” (los zombies) and the chaos are contained, Beta comforts a bitten Whisperer that he is going to be “one of them” soon.

Alpha then orders Beta to go find Lydia OR EVERYONE WILL BECOME GUARDIANS.

Daryl, Connie, and the kids arrive at a deserted town with a remarkably tall office building in the center of it. Daryl likes it: zombies don’t know how to use stairs, so they go inside to one of the upper floors where the Whisperers will have to separate themselves from the herd and then they can be picked off. Lydia confirms that her mother isn’t going to send an army after her, just five or six Whisperers … and her best fighter: Beta. “GOOD,” Daryl declares, “We’ll kill him first.”

Once inside, Connie reveals that this building was one of Team Lady Gaga’s hiding spots and she shows Daryl Chekov’s secret trap door in the floor. They barricade the stairwell — but not too well, they want the Whisperers to get inside and come to them, after all. Connie then writes a note demanding that Lydia be allowed to stay, but Daryl argues against it: she’ll get their friends killed. Connie points out that they at least have friends, UNLIKE LYDIA and Daryl is all, “OH BROTHER.”

Point: Connie.

Elsewhere, Henry is sharpening a Jedi stick for Lydia, but she declines it, explaining that she can’t kill her own people. Henry, who as we have established is an idiot, promises to try to not kill her people, too.

He then promises to run away with Lydia if need be, because he’s so dumb there’s a “whole world out there,” and they make out until Daryl barges in.

The teens go out to a balcony to keep watch, and sure enough, a herd arrives, steered by Beta. Daryl shoots and kills the newly dead Whisperer much to Beta’s irritation. HE WAS JUST OUT OF THE OVEN.

As Beta, the Whisperers, and the walkers break their way into the building, Daryl drags Lydia into a closet with Dog and locks her inside despite her pleas that she wants to help — this, despite moments earlier not only admitting that she couldn’t kill her own people but also convincing Henry to not kill her people either. SUCH HELPING. GOOD ASSIST.

Daryl made the right call here.

Meanwhile, Beta and the Whisperers climb over the barricade, knowing full well that its a trap, and make their way upstairs. There is a lot of fighting. Fight fight stab fight. Connie kills her share of Whisperers; Henry gets his fool self stabbed in the leg, but Lydia and Dog break out of their closet and save him.

And somewhere on another floor? Or in another room? Or on the other side of the room? Who knows. Somewhere in the building, Daryl kills a couple more Whisperers before confronting Beta who is MUCH larger than him and bursting through walls like he’s the Goddamned Kool-Aid Man.

Daryl doesn’t miss out on the sheetrock fun, either, and is thrown through a few walls for his troubles by Beta and very nearly has his throat slit on a table saw. But somehow he manages to sneak away while Beta yells into the empty room that he just wants the girl. That’s when Daryl pops up from the Chekov’s secret trap door behind Beta, and rushes at him, knocking him into a very conveniently placed elevator shaft.

That bit of business taken care of, Connie uses her slingshot to shoot out some car windows to distract the herd away from the building, while Lydia ties up Henry’s leg. Daryl explains they are going to go to Alexandria to get Henry stitched up but they aren’t going to stay: he’s heard there’s a “whole world out there.”

But of course Beta’s not dead — OF COURSE HE’S NOT DEAD — and soon he’s waking up on the bottom of an elevator shaft, spitting out a few teeth and looking HELLA PISSED. If Daryl really wanted to make sure Beta was dead, he should have knocked him down the 50-foot elevator shaft, shot him through the head with his crossbow and then set the whole building on fire, because HAVE YOU SEEN BETA? It’s going to take more than a little fall to kill that motherfucker.

Meanwhile, the Kingdom is preparing for the fair when Jerry and Diane show up to the throne room, stripped of their armor and weapons. Seems they were ambushed on a supply run by some group who called themselves “The Highway Men.” These yahoos took Jerry’s sword but gave him a note in exchange, warning that anyone on their way to the fair will be stopped unless the Kingdom pays their toll.

King Zeke and Jerry speculate that The Highwaymen might be some renegade Saviors — maybe even Billy Walsh and his group? But Carol, having set those particular assholes on fire, shoots down this line of theory, pointing out that Saviors aren’t exactly the epistolary types. King Zeke sighs heavily that they might have to take on these Highwaymen and orders Jerry to gather their fighters.

King Ezekiel, Carol, Jerry and the rest scope out The Highwaymen’s HQ — which they knew how to find … somehow … while Zeke wrings his hands that once again, it comes down to violence. Carol suggests that they might be able to avoid killing all the people: These Highwaymen didn’t kill Jerry and Diane when they could have, and also, THEY WROTE A LETTER! AND IT WAS GRAMMATICAL! Even if these guys are dangerous, it would be a shame to take out people with a decent handle on proper grammar. So instead of going in guns a’blazin’, maybe they could, ya know, try talking to them?

The Kingdom dudes go inside The Highwaymen’s HQ where they are greeted by a fairly large group who are irritated King Z didn’t come alone. When the leader of The Highwaymen asks if they have their troll toll, and King Ezekiel explains that they do not and will not ever have the troll toll, The Highwaymen threaten to take him hostage. Everyone gets all aggro and draws their weapons.

King Ezekiel makes an offer: instead of The Highwaymen pirating the fair guests, they will protect them and in exchange, The Highwaymen can attend the fair. The Highwaymen laugh at this offer, because FUCK YO FAIR. But then Carol is like, “Alright, how about everyone put their dicks away and y’all come to the fair and watch a movie with us.” And The Highwaymen are all, “BAROO?”

And so that’s why when Tara’s group from Hilltop finds themselves in a spot of trouble with a gaggle of walkers on their way to the fair, The Highwaymen swoop in and save the day. Yay, Highwaymen? I guess? But probably?

And then the Hilltop group arrives at the Kingdom safe and sound, except there’s no sign of Henry, and Carol has a worried. Also, that Whisperers baby? Is going to be raised by Brett Butler and her drunk husband even though they’re like 75, because what could possibly go wrong?

Nothing to add here except 1. Henry remains an idiot and 2. I am worried I kinda have a crush on Beta. LISTEN, I KNOW THAT’S FUCKED UP. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go make a therapy appointment because I clearly have a lot of issues to work out.

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

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