S10:01 Lines We Cross
Written by: Angela Kang
Directed by: Greg Nicotero
Thank you, Ms Kang and Mr Nicotero; season 10, and just as good as ever - a cracking first episode that reminded me of the openings to Seasons 3, 4 and 9: we've skipped a bit of time here, so here's a little bit of everyone and everything to show where we're all at now. As, in my opinion, 3, 4 and 9 were three of the four best seasons (the other being 6), I'd like to think this bodes well.
It's been such a long road now, as we see the remnants of even the early post-apocalyptic world crumble into dust - the dried up skeletons with the tin can fence remains of those camp sites that survivors used to make back in the early days, the collapsed roads with the rusty car parts.
Still, though, there is that question often talked about by Rick and Glenn - the subject of who we are, when, in a reflection of Negan's observation to Michonne at the end of S8 ('everyone thinks they're the good guys'), Aaron pondered whether they still are. I hope he doesn't lose his lovely-Aaron-ness in his pain and anger... that would be a shame. Remember what Michonne said to Tyreese.... anger makes you stupid, and stupid gets you killed.
A few inspired ideas this opening episode - a nice change to see Oceanside. Love the crashed satellite idea and the fire scenes, and ditto the Walker coming out of the water looking like Jesus with the cross over his shoulder.
The feeling of creeping suspense in this episode was so good ... there are few things more frightening than the foe you suspect might be around the corner, but isn't actually doing anything yet. A hundred times more scary than any gun fight. Glad, glad, glad that the writers/directors/producers appear to have realised that this is what makes the show so good; that, and great dialogue ('Do you know why they call bird droppings guano?' 'No. I just call it bird shit'), and plenty of Walker stuff. The suspense in this, especially when they found the skin, was almost as good as the brilliant final episode of Season 6 (the road to the Hilltop...).
I hope we continue to be reminded of those we have loved and lost - not quite sure why Judith didn't tell RJ that the brave man on the bridge was his dad, but one assumes he will find out at some point. I don't usually do cutesy, but when it comes to Rick's kids, I'm totally up for full-on schmaltz.
As for the fun stuff, I thoroughly approve of the newly slimline Luke, and Rosita's get-up with the long black cardigan thingy - no doubt we will continue to be amused by her fan club playing Daddy, while she gets her general kick-ass-ness back up to speed.
In other areas, I'm not quite sure about this cheesy Dante character - I know he is important in the comics, and I've read that he's going to become Maggie's new love interest when she returns. I hope Carl would have been pleased to finally see Negan on gardening duty....
Only two things I wasn't so sure about with this episode - this slow motion, Spartacus-action type stuff. Not necessary. Would this have happened on Hershel's farm and at the prison? Come on, producers, keep it real - not all your viewers are 14-year-old gamers! The other thing was the appearance of Alpha at the end (though I'm still trying to convince myself it was Carol's hallucination) - if it was her, it's too soon. We need more creepy is-she-around-or-isn't-she stuff yet! But on the whole I loved it - it was a great all-rounder.