Writer: Jim Barnes
Director: David Boyd
First of all, at the risk of annoying straight male readers, can I just say how totally hot Daryl looked all the way through this episode?
The title is 'Ghosts' ~ and it's all about those loved and lost, tricks of the imagination, and that which may be there...or may not. It's also one of those more 'human' episodes—though not without some serious Walker action and Whisperer threats, it seemed, to me, to be more about the people, and their relationships with each other. Daryl and Carol, Aaron and Negan, Siddiq and Dante, Rosita and Eugene, with Eugene coming to terms with the fact that their friendship won't be 're-zoned into love town' 😂 any time soon—and I'm really hoping the writers never decide to make that happen! Loved the most uncomfortable look he gave increasingly handsome baby-daddy Siddiq on walking away, too 😆
On first watch, I was less gripped by this episode than the last two; I find the dark episodes, with much of it taking place at night, a bit frustrating to watch. Second time round, though, I liked it far more, and saw all the clever little nuances. I always find that with new episodes; I'm too busy concentrating on the plot unfolding to see all the detail. Everything that happened this week was such a necessary progression, leading up to the troubles within the communities next week, as many become increasingly frightened about a Whisperers attack.
'I forgive you, mother to mother' ... so sad to see Carol sent back into a dark place during the meeting with Alpha to 'discuss' the new borders between territories. Daryl conceded that she might have been better off on her boat. I hope not - we so want to see her with Daryl and happy, don't we?
She looked so drained and tormented all the way through, as she faced all she has lost and how alone she is, in comparison with Michonne, who, although heartbroken over Rick and Carl, has held it together. The comparison between Carol waking up alone at the beginning, and Michonne returning home to her children was so poignant.
But Michonne was always a natural leader of people, who considers all aspects of a situation, whereas Carol deals with pain by taking herself away from others, and being single-minded about the path she must take; perhaps this is why she and Daryl understand each other so well.
It got off to a great start, though, with the Alexandrians doing twenty-four hour shifts in order to deal with the sudden influx of Walkers outside their walls ('thicker than fleas on a farm dog': Eugene), and the subsequent meeting, in which Gage and the remaining Highwaymen insist that Alpha is sending the Walkers their way, and they should declare war to avenge their lost friends, and Michonne talks sense—showing herself to be a wise leader yet again (Rick would have been so proud!).
What with Siddiq clearly unwell, Carol taking tablets, Negan itching and Aaron going temporarily blind, I thought that Alpha had somehow sent some curious disease their way, but it turned out to be lack of sleep for the first two, and hogweed-covered Walkers for the latter. I liked the exchanges between Negan and Aaron—just when you think the thinner, older, greyer Negan really might have changed for the better, he gets that look in his eyes again....
'If you don't protect what belongs to you, sooner or later it belongs to someone else ... the story of the whole goddamn world'
Now, the hallucinations. I am not a fan of hallucinations or dream sequences in either TV or books; I want to know what IS happening, not what is imagined. When re-watching S3, I always fast-forward the Rick and ghost-Lori/imagined phone call bits. However, as they were there for a reason, so were Carol's in this episode.... and what about that ending, eh? Not just hallucinations, then....
Other stuff I liked:
- Meant to mention before—the image of Rick and the bridge in the titles.
- 'Peanut butter—meet jelly'
- The way that many of them are using Morgan type sticks as anti-Walker weapons now—made me think of Rick in S2, saying to Shane that they had to get used to using their knives rather than guns...how far they have come.
- Carol being back at Alexandria, and seeing her, Daryl and Michonne working together—especially when you consider that she hasn't been there since she left, back in S6!
- How, like Merle, Aaron has turned his stump into a weapon.
- Seeing inside the old world buildings, and how faded and irrelevant all that stuff looks now.
- That Rosita still looked stunning and cool, even after fighting Walkers all night!
I hope Carol gets her act together next week—and we want more lovely scenes with her and Daryl!
...and I see that 'Silence the Whisperers' is directed by the lovely Michael Cudlitz, and written by Geraldine Inoa, who co-wrote the fabulous The Calm Before, from S9, which has to go down in the list of all-time TWD greats.