An episode that has to go down as one of the TWD all time greats - a round of applause to Laura Belsey for directing, and Geraldine Inoa and Channing Powell for writing.
Jaw drop in amazement time, or what? There was me, thinking that Carol turning round to wave goodbye to Ezekiel as the gate closed meant that it would be he who died... little knowing that all those cute/positive/amusing scenes with Enid, Tammy Rose, DJ, Tara, etc were to be their last. I was even thinking, you know what? I'm really starting to like Tara now.
She was the one who saw that as long as they had Lydia, everyone was at risk. When they sent all their best fighters off to Hilltop, I so wanted to do that 'he's behind you' thing ~ knowing that Alpha had already been told that everyone was at the Kingdom. Would Rick have made the same decision, I wondered?
Oh, but that ending...TWD gold. The discovery of 'Alpha's border' was so emotive, with the grey sky and the wind blowing, and the mournful violin music as background (round of applause for that)... and Daryl trying to stop Carol from seeing the end spike. Then the final scene, with Daryl and Lydia on the hill, the first flakes of snow blowing across the ground. Perfect suspense, atmosphere, acting, everything. Bravo.
The only aspect of this brilliant episode that I wasn't so sure about was the end of Siddiq's speech, when he talked about the ten lives being cut short, them dying as heroes but honouring them (that was the sort of talk that got Carl killed, mate); the terrible scene when the hapless ten tried to fight off the Whisperers could still have been shown, but I thought Siddiq's heartwarming sentiments came too soon after the losses, and were not in tune with the shocking, stark horror of the end, which was every bit as tragic and heart-wrenching as the morning after the night in the woods with Negan. I think if anyone had made a similar speech to Maggie, Sasha and Rosita on that day, it would not have been well-received.
How will the lost of Henry impact on Carol and Ezekiel? Well, we did say that he was going to get people killed...
The fair itself was a delight to see, and Ezekiel's tribute to Rick, Carl and Jesus most moving, though someone ought to have reminded him that whenever he does rousing and inspirational, lots of people die... Jerry should have nudged him and said, dude, remember Some Guy?
Some lovely reunions, though, the one between Michonne and the King bringing a tear to my eye, and Carol and Judith; I was waiting for Carol to tell her about when she first saw her :)
The pre-titles part was inspired, too—I do love a flashback showing how someone got to where they are now. Later, it was pretty gross to think that Alpha was not only wearing Hilda's hair but her scalp.
The anticipation of the horror to come built when Alpha took Daryl high up, to see the herd that the 'skins' walk amongst, steering them... Daryl still showed no fear, when he said that Alpha's people living 'as nature intended' was 'just the bullshit you feed your sheep to keep them following you'.
Alpha talked about marking the border between their territories, but what filled me with dread was just before; she said that as the alpha she had to assert herself, and Daryl said, 'What did you do?'. His voice was laden with apprehension, the fear returning, like he just knew that something horrendous had gone down. I expect I'm not the only one who thought it was going to be Ezekiel's head, as per the comics, though I give myself a pat on the back for not falling for the Rosita red herring later on!
Then there was the relief when he was reunited with Carol, Michonne and Yumiko in the sunny dawn, with the slightly mournful but 'it's okay now' music... not knowing what awaited them.
Other stuff I liked:
- The scene with Rosita and Eugene; loved how he got a bit bold, and she said, 'Don't push it.' Abraham would have been proud of her.
- The grown-up Rachel from Oceanside - very well cast.
- Michonne's speech at the signing of the agreement between the communities, about giving people a chance.
- The lingering look that Daryl gave Connie when he asked her to look after Dog...💓
|(couldn't find a picture of just Ronnie and Addy!)|