The Walking Dead
“Lines We Cross”
October 6, 2019
Welcome back The Walking Dead, season goddamn 10. And frankly, y’all, I wouldn’t be recapping this dumb show anymore if season nine hadn’t made a TREMENDOUS leap in quality, going from a repetitive Rick vs. Whichever Bad Guy + zombies bore, to something more nuanced, character-based and human. And so after a successful season nine — a season that was deeply emotional and resonant — I was, for the first time in a LONG TIME, looking forward to this new season.
So what did we get for the big season ten premiere? A lot of talking, a bunch of walking around in the woods, so much fighting zombies in slo-mo for no particular reason, and a fallen Soviet satellite.
Also, the episode is divided into chapters for style points, I guess?
So Denzel Washington, he’s this crooked cop in the narcotics division of the LAPD and totally on the take — I’M JUST KIDDING. See, the joke is that this section of the episode has the same name as the 2001 film starring Ethan Hawke and Den–
BUT FOR REAL, GUYS: so Alexandria and Hilltop folks, they are on the beaches of Oceanside where they are practicing combat formations. King Z and Jerry release some boat walkers, a few at a time so that the others can use spears, shields, arrows and other Ancient Roman techniques against them. It’s like Gladiator but not at all.
Later, some Oceanside lady flirts with Uncle Melvin, and Michonne and Daryl discuss how proud Tara would have been of everyone, and blah blah blah, we’ve moved on from last season’s finale. Elsewhere, the kids, including Judith and Rick Junior, collect seashells and when R.J. dumps out his bucket, a Whisperer’s mask plops out.
Aaron contacts Alexandria via the radio system to warn them that the Whisperers are back but Michonne is like, “Oh calm down, it’s probably nothing to get all hysterical about … Just be on alert.” Aaron and Michonne decide to take a group out to search the nearby woods, just to make sure.
While they’re out, Aaron begins wondering if they’re actually the bad guys — because we can never have this conversation enough goddamned times — and Michonne is like, “Are you suggesting that we’re the bad guys instead of the lunatics who abuse children, wear the skins of dead people, and who killed ten of our friends because one of them was mad their daughter rejected them? Nah, dude, we’re not the bad guys.”
Aaron then sees some walkers on a bridge and rushes over to kill them, pissing Michonne off for being stupid — he very nearly crossed one of Alpha’s borders AND THERE IS NO REASON TO START SHIT. Aaron complains that he’s tired of being nice, and Michonne is like, “Hey, dummy, it’s not about being nice, it’s about not giving those assholes a reason to kill more of our people.”
Michonne radios the others to tell them to head home, but Yumiko and Lady Gaga call back to say they’ve found something. They show Michonne and Aaron a camp they’ve found in the woods, complete with old gear, bloated corpses, and a carefully carved torso skin, which just doesn’t seem like something you’d just want to leave behind, not after all that work.
Michonne cautions Aaron to BE COOL and not freak everyone out — there’s no sense in scaring everyone when they don’t know the whole situation. And anyway, she knows they are the good guys, and they have to continue to be the good guys even when it’s really hard.
Michonne then overhears Judith telling R.J. the story of their dad saving everyone and she gets all emotional which …
… and that’s when there’s a loud boom and something streaks across the sky. Moments after, Dr. Mullet urgently calls over the radio: he needs to speak to Michonne IMMEDIATELY
because the comet means one thing: DRAGONS.
In Alexandria, Dr. Mullet is keeping busy by taking care of Rosita’s baby, Coco, measuring her and charting and graphing everything like she’s one of his science projects. Dr. Mullet tries to boss Siddiq about how to take care of his own baby, but Siddiq is NOT HAVING IT. And that’s when Father Gabe walks in the room having heard Aaron’s radioed message about the mask. He looks like he’s going to vomit.
Later, Siddiq is taking care of baby Coco, when he has a bit of PTSD in the form of a flashback of being held by Alpha and the Whisperers. When he comes to, he has a completely bizarre conversation with some other doctor, “Dante,” who maybe is coming onto him? I have no idea what is going on here. Stop talking about your mouth, you weirdo.
Over in the meeting hall, a grouchy Lydia is begrudgingly having to learn how to read when the council asks the school to clear the room: they need to have an urgent meeting. Lydia takes out her frustrations by practicing with Henry’s Jedi stick while Negan — free from his cell — picks tomatoes nearby … just like in Carl’s vision:
Anyway, Lydia informs Negan that everyone is freaking out because they found a skin, and he warns her to watch her back. (Fair.)
Later, Gabriel visits Negan in his cell for a little advice on group dynamics. Negan, “baby bird[ing] a little bit of [his] wisdom” to Gabe, explains that, “the boogeyman just stuck his gnarly skin-covered mask out from behind that closet door, and people are puttin’ their shittin’ pants back on because pants-shittin’ is definitely happenin’.” Negan advises to put on a show of confidence for the people of Alexandria and not cause a panic. So, obviously, Gabriel does the exact opposite of that and orders his people to lock the gates and double the security.
And that’s when the BOOM and STREAK
and OH NO DRAGONS happens, at which point, Dr. Mullet races to the radio to call to Oceanside and demand to speak to Michonne.
At Oceanside, shortly after Michonne and Aaron left to hunt for Whisperers, Connie and her sister Kelly are helping the others drag in fishing nets and it becomes clear that Kelly is also suffering from whatever condition Connie has that caused her hearing loss. Connie insists that their hearing loss is a SUPERPOWER, which is very empowering if not exactly accurate in a FREAKING ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE.
Daryl and Dog arrive on the beach and there is some definite flirting going on between Connie and Daryl. Caryl shippers everywhere craft voodoo dolls.
Daryl then heads to a nearby pier where he and King Zeke talk about Ezekiel’s fear of birds. OK. Connie and Dog join them, more flirting, and then a fishing boat arrives, and look who’s on it: Captain Carol.
Carol and King Z exchange some tense pleasantries, but her big hug is saved for Daryl. Caryl shippers set their voodoo dolls down, BUT THEY’RE KEEPING AN EYE ON YOU. CONNIE.
Carol tells Daryl about her time at sea, and when Daryl suggests that she was actually out looking for Alpha, Carol insists she wasn’t. In fact, just the opposite — she’s trying to forget, and hopefully, they’ll never have to deal with those cosplaying weirdos ever again. Daryl’s like. “No such luck,” and tells her about the mask. He then suggests that they go out and look for the Whisperers, but Carol declines, insisting that she’s only there for a little while before she heads back out to sea.
Instead, the pair go out on Daryl’s bike to do a little deer hunting. However, when Daryl hits a deer, and the wounded animal staggers across Alpha’s border, he refuses to cross it to collect the carcass while Carol is SUPER PISSED because they NEVER AGREED TO SOME BULLSHIT BORDERS. While they’re arguing, it becomes a moot point after a few walkers shamble out of the woods and eat Daryl’s kill.
Later, Daryl apologizes to Carol for pissing her off, before asking her to not leave again. He doesn’t want his best friend off living on a boat, he explains, only to be mocked by Carol for calling her his “best friend,” and she suggests that they make friendship bracelets for one another. Carol also proposes that they run away together, and they briefly fantasize about driving off to New Mexico to see who else is out there. Carol briefly imagines a life without fighting, just getting on Daryl’s bike and going. Daryl agrees that it sounds great as he hands Carol a bracelet he made for her.
And that’s when BOOM! and STREAK!
LINES WE CROSS
That night, the group at Oceanside agrees that they have to cross Alpha’s border to put out the raging fire that the Russian satellite has started in the forest. Fires spread — it could destroy their hunting grounds or Oceanside … and anyway, the Whisperers, if they are even around, maybe they’ll be grateful!
So fight the fire, fight the fire, fight the fire, kill the walkers, set the walkers on fire, fight the fire, fight the fire.
The next morning, as they continue to fight the fire, Alexandrians show up to help. ABOUT TIME, DUDES.
Once the fire is put out, Michonne is like, ALRIGHT, LET’S GET OUTTA HERE BEFORE A BUNCH OF BLOODY-MINDED ASSHOLES WHO HAVE NO SENSE OF SMELL OR STYLE FIND US HANGING OUT IN THEIR STUPID TERRITORY. HURRY. But Dr. Mullet, he wants to take the satellite apart “for science” and so Michonne is like, “Oh FINE. You’ve got FIVE MINUTES.”
On their way back, Daryl and Carol happen to stop at the cliff where Alpha brought Daryl to show off her herd, and there, Carol spies Alpha emerge from the woods down below.
It’s not a friendly reunion.
LISTEN UP, CAROL. IF THIS BITCH IS ON YOUR LIST, YOU BETTER FINISH THE JOB AND KILL HER. DON’T YOU DARE PULL AN ARYA ON ME, BECAUSE I CAN NOT TAKE ANOTHER DISAPPOINTMENT LIKE THAT. NOT THIS YEAR.
I’m serious, Carol. Don’t test me.
The Walking Dead airs on AMC on Sundays at 8/9 p.m.