Review: S10x06 BONDS
Written by Corey Reed
Directed by Michael Cudlitz
Wow!!! 😲 An episode of so many unexpected developments, ending with the plot twist to end all TWD plot twists—my mouth actually dropped open. 😱 I take my hat off to you, Messrs Reed and Cudlitz, and everyone else involved; Open Your Eyes ticked every box. An atmospheric and emotive masterpiece of suspense with perfect dialogue, and totally unpredictable. This is what TWD is all about :)
Just when I was thinking that all the theories about Siddiq having 'bought' his freedom from Alpha would have made a much better storyline than him having PTSD, the far more shocking truth was revealed—and this is surely the most sinister of all TWD villainous plot developments to date: because he is walking around Alexandria, respected and undetected. More worrying still, Dante is now their only doctor—who will, presumably, cook up a tale about Siddiq having killed himself.
'Keep everyone hydrated' ...even more dangerous than the enemy you can't see is the one you have yet to recognise—that we know who the baddie is but our gang don't is a brilliant, previously unexplored slant. Worse still—isn't Mr Tongue-Clicker supposed to be Maggie's new love interest, when she returns? And there was me, finding his 'You're my friend' to Siddiq almost as touching as Rick's 'You're my brother' to Daryl. Though he did display genuine remorse when he killed him; maybe he will yet save the day, a long way down the line, though I suspect that honour is to be saved for Negan.
The conversations between Siddiq and Rosita were a delight, and made my eyes water—I should have remembered that characters always have some exceptionally moving scenes before their demise...at least, I assume he's dead, but if Glenn can reappear from underneath that Walker swamped wheelie bin...
Most scary of all: if he's dead no one will know about the water... nah, Michonne will suss it out. She's good like that :). And Rosita's as sharp as hell, too; surely she will know what Siddiq wouldn't have killed himself? Not when he had Coco.
Elsewhere, Carol did her Carol-ish stuff once more, storming in there like the all-seeing angel of don't fuck with us that she is. Running alongside the potential for danger and death in a way we have not seen before (still can't get over how awesome the Dante plot development is!) is one of hope; now that Gamma knows Lydia is alive, she will see Alpha as weaker. She was already confused, of course; her guilt about her sister was all too apparent. When Alpha said (about Aaron), 'He will tempt you with his lies. Do not be seduced', Gamma's face told us that she wasn't entirely sure who was doing the lying and seducing.
Carol always sees several steps ahead, and knew that the key was the Whisperers knowing that Alpha had lied to them about her great sacrifice ... I'm guessing her plan developed earlier, when Lydia made the point that the survival of a settlement like Alexandria is a threat to Alpha. 'An idea like that is dangerous. It would spread, and there's nothing my mother could do to stop it'. Remember some of the other Whisperers talking about how fabulous Hilltop was, when they first saw it?
This episode was masterfully constructed, with every little thread absorbed into the whole, such as the hemlock that was Dante's way of ensuring that the hostage didn't talk (probably?). Little twist after little twist; Carol's tray of what one assumed to be torture implements turning out to be afternoon tea....
...then the hostage gobbling down his first piece of bread and jam for years that ended up all over Carol's face—and he saw the side of her that isn't all beet and acorn cookies. Remember, all who would cross her: this is the woman who killed Karen and David. And lured men to the Kill Floor. And burned Jed and his band of rogue Saviours alive. Don't mess with her.
Why else was this episode so stunningly good? A shirtless Daryl earns a 👍 every time, of course; another one for him having some quality time with Dog, and looking wistfully at the acorns that he appears to have saved as a memento of his and Caryl's day out. That's how I saw it, anyway! That aside, it's one I know I will return to again and again, probably seeing a little more in it with each watch. 😉
- Carol's face when Lydia walked off into the night—I've thought since The Storm that Lydia could become another Sophia replacement ... did Carol think of Henry walking off, when he was younger (remember when she and Morgan went to look for him, in S8:14 Still Gotta Mean Something?), and when Sophia ran off, all those years ago? And she saw Gamma crying; will she, too, end up under Carol's fiercely protective wing? Tobin was so right when he said what he did about her back in S6—'You're a mom. And it's not about the smiles or the cookies.'
- Alpha ticking off Gamma for killing a Walker ('one less Guardian for our hoard') makes me think we're going to get a fabulous Walker herd episode before the end of Season 10!
- Note to self: stop reading theories about what might happen, and just wait ... of course Rosita wasn't going to be killed off. I don't imagine the writers saved her from Alpha's spikes (in the comics, she was one of the heads) only to have her die from drinking water. Hope I don't have to eat my words!
- When do we get to see Michonne again?
- I liked how Gamma and the hostage both muttered the Whisperers' Chant to give themselves strength. I read that this originated from Ryan Hurst; it's something he would recite to get himself in character, was heard and included into the show.
- Rosita has definitely gained a more mellow side ... not just since motherhood, but since Sasha died.
- When do we get to see Michonne again?
I'll add the trailer for the mid-season finale (eek!) as soon as it's available. Until then.....