REVIEW: The Walking Dead, S10 Ep12 – Walk With Us

The Walking Dead S10Ep12 - Walk with Us

The Walking Dead treated the audience to a thrilling and significant ending this week but only after a mostly anticlimactic episode. After ending the previous episode in such an explosive way, it was surprising that we only got fiery action for the first few minutes of this one. The ending somewhat makes up for it but it still feels like a missed opportunity.

Now, that’s a major character death, and one I didn’t expect to see before the season finale. But that’s a good sign that The Walking Dead is veering away from the predictable pattern of killing someone important off only at the end of a season. The way things stand now, with a few episodes left, there is much to look forward to that we cannot exactly predict. But more on that later.

The first few minutes of this episode were a glorious frenzy and some of the most exciting action scenes in The Walking Dead in a while. You had walkers bursting through the wall and surrounding the heroes, Daryl running around with his morning star, Ezekiel rounding up the children to take them to safety, Eugene trying to save his radio equipment, Carol loosing arrow after arrow, and the rest fighting their way through the horde. I was ready to sit through a whole hour of this high-stakes chaos. But that was not to be. It was all over before the opening credits rolled.

The Walking Dead S10Ep12 - Walk with UsThen, the episode followed the normal structure of a post-battle chapter, with the survivors running around to find the rendezvous points while taking stock of their losses. And considering how vicious the battle was, there weren’t a lot of casualties (at least among the characters we knew.) Magna even managed to come back, though Connie’s fate is still up in the air (I have hope for her though.)

Some characters still did meet their maker in this episode, notably Gamma/Mary and Earl. The former’s death was more moving because she had already come a long way from her Whisperer days and even managed to redeem herself to Alden. She spent a few precious moments with her nephew, always a sure sign that death is not far away, before sacrificing herself to save the only family she had left. Being a capable fighter, she managed to hold her own against a group of walkers but in the end she was no match for Beta, who murdered her and tried to unleash her on everyone. Luckily, Alden took down walker Mary before she could do any damage though he should have aimed his first shot at Beta first, surely?

The Walking Dead S10Ep12 - Walk with UsEarl took over babysitting duties from Ezekiel but found out he had been bitten by a walker. So Baby Adam loses another family member, but at least Alden’s there. Earl did get to spend some good moment with Judith, who already understands, at such a young age, the sacrifices that must be done. After Earl kills himself, it’s Judith who finishes the job and makes sure his walker form doesn’t hurt the other children. Daryl, Ezekiel, Jerry, and Nabila find the children safe and sound and Daryl comforts Judith after learning of what she did.

And now we come to the main event, Alpha’s death at Negan’s hands. Readers of The Walking Dead comic would have seen this coming ever since Negan joined the Whisperers and even non-comic readers have been suspicious of Negan’s motives from the get-go. Despite his chattiness, he seemed to make a place for himself in the group and even managed to gain Alpha’s trust. But it turns out, he was a spy all along, and one working in cahoots with Carol, no less.

The Walking Dead S10Ep12 - Walk with UsStill, he seemed to harbor some affection for her, in the end, opening up to her about his dead wife and essentially giving her a chance to change her decision about killing Lydia. From what we have seen of Negan so far, he always protects the children. So it was very unlikely that he would offer Lydia up like a lamb to the slaughter. But why did he have to tie her up in another location in the first place when he had no intention of letting her mother kill her? For the suspense?

Whatever his motives, he did not falter when the moment came. He cradled her in his arms as she lay dying and even managed a tender kiss on the lips. To each his own, I guess. He still delivered the Whisperer leader’s severed head to Carol, who confirms that she was behind his infiltration of the group. This was a pretty challenging test of Negan’s loyalty but he passed with flying colors.

After that game-changing death, the Whisperer war is essentially over. As Negan himself noted, Beta is no Alpha, and when the group find out that their leader is gone, they will surely falter in their strange convictions. Farewell to Samantha Morton, whose eerily effective performance as Alpha made her truly intriguing to watch, even as she engaged in increasingly bizarre antics. Yet another British actor creating a compelling villain on The Walking Dead.

But with the major conflict with the Whisperers now done, it will be interesting to see what transpires in the rest of the season.