‘The Walking Dead’: Just. Shut. Up.

The Walking Dead
“Bonds”
November 10, 2019

Let’s begin with this episode’s A storyline: Carol and Daryl’s adventure in the woods. Carol wakes up in Alexandria, packs a bag, considers bringing her gun, and heads out. Daryl, watching her from the porch, tags along like a little brother, asking where they’re going, and Carol lies that she’s doing another sweep for Negan. “Cool, I’m coming,” Daryl informs a clearly irritated Carol.

As they make their way through the woods, they contemplate the possibility that Negan might have joined the Whisperers, which they dismiss because: 1. he’s not the mask type (like any good Trump supporter) and 2. there’s no way he’d be able to shut the fuck up. True and true.

They come to a stop where Daryl asks what they’re really doing, and Carol admits they’re looking for Alpha’s horde to destroy it. Carol notes that she’s been watching small groups of walkers moving around and they keep coming back to this general area, and Daryl’s like, “that’s cool and all, but the border is just right there, so we can’t follow them without starting shit.” Carol’s all, “obviously, obviously. We’re just going to sit here quietly and watch and then report back to the council.”

Later, Daryl and Carol pass the time with that classic game “Throw Acorns at a Can.” Carol finds a double-capped acorn and gives it to Daryl for good luck, and considering that we just learned these two get their own spinoff in a couple of years, I guess it helps. Carol asks Daryl about Hilltop and Daryl tells her that King Z sends his regards. Carol then asks him about Connie, and he turns into a seventh-grade boy. “GAH, IT’S NOT LIKE THAT, SHUT UP.” But Carol suggests that it could be like that: he doesn’t have to be alone. He shouldn’t be alone.

Daryl announces he’s hungry, and, curious about what’s in the bag, asks her if she has a gun any food. She takes the bag and digs out a loaf of bread before he can root around in it, and they chomp on their dry-ass bread. That’s when the walkers emerge from the forest, into the clearing and they’re pretty sure there’s a Whisperer among them, seemingly rounding up strays.

Carol is ready to cross the border to get a closer look, but Daryl is pretty sure by “a closer look,” she means “another shot at Alpha.” And anyway, they don’t have any backup. But Carol wonders since when they weren’t enough. Daryl is reluctant and worries that if they fuck this up, everyone else will pay for it. But Carol don’t care: she’s already paid. With that, she goes to pee, and Daryl finally searches her bag where he finds nothing of interest. Carol catches him, and is like, “I didn’t bring the gun, but cool job of trusting me, D.” And so convinced this isn’t about killing Alpha, Daryl agrees to cross the border to investigate this walker situation.

Daryl lays down some rules: no tracks, no killing walkers, and she’s all, GOT IT.

But then things go a little sideways because it’s The Walking Dead: Carol snaps a twig, attracting walker and Whisperer attention and Daryl is forced to kill and gut a walker so as to smear its guts all over his face and avoid detection.

REAL QUICK QUESTION: How do they avoid the whole vomiting issue? You’re going to tell me that everyone can rub zombified intestinal juice all over their faces and NOT get sick at least every once in a while?

Eventually, the threat passes and Daryl finds Carol with a Whisperer hostage bound with zip ties. She swears she didn’t have a choice, and anyway, now they can interrogate him! Daryl’s like, “Huh. And the zip ties? You’re going to tell me you didn’t plan this?” But Carol’s is all, “We really don’t have time to argue. Let’s go!”

Back in Alexandria, Dante, the weirdo medical assistant, flirts with Cheryl, one of Alexandria’s older residents, as he treats her for a stomach bug. Siddiq stops by the clinic and learns that more residents are coming down with this gastrointestinal illness, but no one thinks it’s that big a deal. I, on the other hand, would be profoundly alarmed if a bunch of these folks started mass puking considering the fact that these are a group of people who can control their gag reflexes even when covering their faces in rotting stomach goo.

Dante is all, “I got this bro!”

Spoiler: He don’t got this.

Siddiq checks in on Rosita who has also come down with the stomach bug, and is alarmed at her pallor. He drags her back to the infirmary, which, in the past, what, ten minutes? has filled up with groaning Alexandrians. Siddiq is NOT IMPRESSED with Dante’s work, and orders him to CRUSH MORE HERBS.

Later, Siddiq apologizes to Dante (though he didn’t really need to) and falls asleep holding Baby Coco. When he wakes up, it’s night, and he and Baby Coco are standing on the platform of the windmill, clearly having arrived there in some weird PTSD fugue.

Before she was dragged off to the infirmary, Rosita had been chatting over the radio with Dr. Mullet who is still over in Hillside, but their conversation is cut off when Eugene’s radio malfunctions. Dr. Mullet repairs his radio and, to kill the time, flips around the channels looking for someone else to talk to, and eventually, a woman answers back. Dr. Mullet and The Woman agree that they can’t give each other specific information about their locations — you can’t trust anyone in this world — but they do chat and bond over the beforetimes and some ice cream parlor in Pennsylvania. As a trust offering, Dr. Mullet gives The Woman his full name, and the two agree to continue talking on one condition: it has to remain secret between the two of them. If The Woman hears anyone else on the line, IT’S OVER BETWEEN THEM.

Finally, Negan’s adventures with the Whisperers. Beta and the Whisperers lead a blindfolded Negan through the woods, and he burbles the entire time about how he digs their survivalist lifestyle and how he’d like to join them. Beta CAN’T TAKE ANY MORE and threatens Negan to SHUT THE FUCK UP. TOO LOUD.

But Beta’s mistake is that he doesn’t kill Negan then and there, choosing instead to bring him to Alpha against his better instincts. Alpha is like, “I don’t know, he’s pretty cute. I like the whole look. Why don’t you run him through some tests?” Beta is all, “I don’t know about that …” and Alpha is furious that he is challenging her.

To that end, Beta kneels before her.

Negan watching this whole scene:

Negan begins questioning Beta about his relationship with Alpha in that irritating Negan way. Beta is unamused. He leads Negan out into the woods where they begin a series of tests: skinning walkers, digging pits, killing boars, and dumping them in the pit to be barbecued. But even though Negan did all the boar-killing, Beta tells him he can’t have any of the pulled pork, and throws him to the ground. Still, another Whisperer gives Negan some pork, so he’s making some friends.

As they head back to the Whisperer’s camp, Negan yammers on and on about how he appreciates how tight Beta keeps the Whisperers’ shit and he could have used a guy like him back in the day, and how Beta’s going to have to get used to Negan because he’s not going anywhere. Beta perks up at this and agrees: Negan isn’t going anywhere, and he’ll never be one of them because he WON’T SHUT UP. With that, Beta leaves Negan surrounded by a bunch of walkers with nothing but a pocket knife.

The next morning with Alpha, Beta’s like, “such a shame about that loudmouth. OH WELL.” Which is, of course, when Negan appears in the camp because it’s hard to keep an irritating Negan down. Negan marches up to Alpha, introduces himself, and kneels before her, offering her whatever he has. But Alpha only has one response: “SHUT THE FUCK UP.”

Fair.

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

Leave a Reply