REVIEW: The Walking Dead, S10 Ep15 – The Tower

The Walking Dead, S10 Ep15 - The Tower

The Walking Dead ended its latest season with a quiet episode that nevertheless introduced a new character, showed Beta on the move, and brought about the reconciliation between several people. Still, this was a fairly lackluster episode, obviously written to be a transition to the thrilling finale that we won’t be seeing for a while. It did not even follow The Walking Dead tradition of having a big death in the penultimate episode. Luckily, the whole chapter is saved by the introduction of Princess and a few heartfelt moments between main characters.

Princess was the highlight of the episode. She’s one of those rare new characters who is sure to elicit extreme reactions from audiences – she will either delight or irritate them. In my case, I found her to be a breath of fresh air in the bleak world of The Walking Dead. Sure, she’s a bit off-kilter and fairly dangerous, which is expected from one who has been on her own for so long, but there’s something refreshing about her bubbly personality and eccentricity that makes her stand out in a way that other relatively new characters never did. She has the lively chattiness of Negan but without the villainy. That’s the kind of positive vibe the group needs at the moment.

After gleefully greeting Ezekiel, Yumiko, and Eugene last episode, the colorful loner tries her best to win them over despite her suspicious circumstances. Yumiko and Eugene are wary but Ezekiel likes her immediately, probably because they both chose to use royal monikers. There was a hilarious pause as he introduced himself as simply “Ezekiel.” After inadvertently scaring off their horses, Princess volunteers to lead the group to the garage where there are alternative means of transportation.

What follows is a tense passage through a minefield which turned out to be completely unnecessary and which alerted the group to the girl’s untrustworthiness. But Princess admitted her mistake about lying to them and, in a testament to Paola Lazaro’s performance, she demonstrates genuine emotional vulnerability. When she says that people have called her “hard to love,” it hits home and even the skeptical Yumiko eventually relents and invites her to join them. I look forward to her interacting with the rest of the cast, though that might be a long wait.

Carol shares a brief moment with Kelly, apologizing to the latter about her role in Connie’s disappearance. Since no corpse of walker of Connie has been found at this point, and this is The Walking Dead, anyone is living until proven a zombie. Kelly seemed to forgive Carol a bit too easily but this was still a good moment for them both, especially when Kelly mentioned that she learned to appreciate her own gifts, despite losing her hearing, and that she was so proud to be teaching everyone how to use sign language.

The Walking Dead, S10 Ep15 - The TowerBack at the community, somehow all the Alexandrians hastily relocated to a tower in a nearby hospital where they hid in silence while only leaving Alden and Aaron to spy on the Whisperers. They used sign language (taught by Kelly) to communicate in silence while figuring out Beta’s plan with the horde. Beta, as another Whisperer observes, is clearly unhinged and continues to hear ominous voices in his head, presumably of Alpha, “showing” him the path to take. At this point, the Whisperers are following him mostly out of fear than admiration of his leadership skills.

Beta eventually figures out where the others are hiding and the episode ends with the Whisperers and the horde arriving just outside the hospital. Given that Aaron and Alden were dangerously close to the said horde, it’s unsure if they were able to make it out safely, but we won’t know that until sometime in the future. There’s clearly one battle left in this Whisperer war, but sadly, while the world endures its own version of the apocalypse, there will not be any resolution on this storyline of The Walking Dead for some time.

There were two instances of young girls bonding with their “paternal” figures in this episode, but in wildly different ways. Judith joins Daryl as he scouts the perimeter and she gets a rude awakening about the way they treat enemies. And Negan decides to come clean with Lydia about killing her mother, leading to an uncomfortable but cathartic confrontation.

The Walking Dead, S10 Ep15 - The TowerNegan has really become one of the best characters on The Walking Dead, and he has clearly come a long way from the cheeky villain that he was when he was first introduced. He demonstrates genuine concern for children, like Lydia, and he seeks a reconciliation with her despite their complicated relationship. At first, she refuses his attempts at making peace, explicitly saying she was avoiding him and even harshly saying that people wished Negan was dead too.

But Negan is nothing if not persistent, so he continues to reach out to Lydia, even using the strange tactic of saying he had liked her mother. (Good thing she doesn’t know about what he and Alpha got to do in the woods. That would be awkward.) But Lydia lashes out and says that she hates her mother and the hell the woman put her through. In the end, Negan elicits an emotional reaction from the girl, prompting her to cry and hit him, letting out all her pain and frustration, and somehow leading to a proper reconciliation between them.

The Walking Dead, S10 Ep15 - The TowerGiven their closeness, it’s always a treat to see Daryl and Judith interacting, and this time Daryl actually trusts the young girl enough to let her tag along. It’s a better call than allowing her to go off on her own. At least, there’s a sort of “buddy system” in place that will keep them both safe. Daryl tries to contact Michonne on the walkie – another conversation that should have happened before Michonne went off on her own! But Judith mentions that she was able to speak to her mom and vaguely refers to Michonne’s journeys without giving specifics. After all, the girl is justifiably worried that if Daryl has an inkling that Rick is alive, he would leave her too.

In a touching exchange, Daryl reassures Judith that life will not always be so tragic. His sincere words may bring a message of hope for us too, in these trying times.

“Nothing can take the place of someone you love being gone. That doesn’t mean that everything that follows is going to break your heart.”