Monday, 28 October 2019

Review: #TheWalkingDead S10:4 SILENCE THE WHISPERERS #TWD

Review: S10:3 GHOSTS
The Story of Daryl and Carol 

Written by: Geraldine Inoa
Directed by: Michael Cudlitz

'Never take your enemy at their word.  Measure them by their actions.'

Oh what a lovely start: Daryl smiling, sitting down to dinner with Rick's kids!  Normal life: Gabriel walks along with Rosita and the baby, Magna and Yumiko have a romantic moment—but then not so normal, as the increasingly disturbed Siddiq has a wobble or several, and a tree falls through the wall of the hilltop and lets the Walkers in.  

...a reflection of S6:08 Start To Finish, except that this time there's no Rick to motivate the band of Walker slayers, and no Daryl, Sasha and Abraham turning up with a petrol tanker.

Well done, Geraldine Inoa and Michael Cudlitz, and let us not forget the producers and editors; these more human episodes are fascinating, and underline how any society will have its problems, even when they should be banding together against common foe.  That our very nature makes us form alliances with those who have similar grievances, beliefs and prejudices—and how those allied will egg each other on to persecute a scapegoat, too, as Lydia is set upon by Gage, Margo and the other Highwaymen guy, in retribution for the death of their friends—even though she played no part in it.  Many real life parallels to be made here, of course. 😶

As Daryl so rightly says, it's a mess—you can understand Gage etc's feelings, the eagerness of Earl and Alden to blame the Whisperers for the Walker onslaught and the tree, and the way in which our lovely Saint Aaron allowed his halo to slip as he taught people to fight, stirring up the desire for retribution: 'These people took our land, our friends—they must be stopped.'

There is no right or wrong; nothing is black and white.  That Negan killed Margo by accident when protecting Lydia is one thing, but when he called her a 'goddamn asshole, beating on a kid', one could not help but remember him beating the not-much-older Glenn to death in front of his pregnant wife, and that he would have killed Carl in S7:16 The First Day of the Rest of Your Life if Shiva hadn't arrived at the right moment.  

Daryl was so right about Lydia hanging out with Negan doing her no good—like the misfits who band together in the school playground, such an alliance only exacerbates their image as social pariahs.  Not least of all because Lydia doesn't know what Negan did, six or seven years before.

Like Daryl trying to get the prison group to accept Merle, and Negan being allowed to be a part of the Alexandria community as per Carl and Rick's ideals, perhaps Lydia living there will never work.  

Who do you think let him out, then?  Next week is looking great (see trailer, below) - action packed, lots of stuff going on, and LIGHT!  This was another episode with too much dark, I thought.  And I found it hard to hear what Lydia was saying.  Twice, I played back the bit when she was talking about someone smelling of garlic and onions, and I still couldn't catch it.

I do think Michonne has hit the nail on the head - that Alpha will not kill them while she thinks Daryl is protecting Lydia.  She knows, mother to mother ... and the scenes with her and Ezekiel were so emotive.  Poor Ezekiel is wallowing in his own losses, not fully aware that for Carol it's all about the lost children, and maybe always was; he wasn't around in the Cherokee Rose days.  But I think it's easy for us to forget all that Ezekiel has suffered, too ~ and his 'and yet I smile' line at the end of that lovely scene on the broken bridge (that is where they were, right?) showed the more positive side of him that made him King Ezekiel in the first place.

Like Michonne said, it's worse the second time round, though with Carol's attachment to Lizzie, Mika and Sam, as well as Sophia and Henry, it's more like the fourth time.  Sob sob: when Michonne was talking about the pain of being without Rick, echoing the feelings of any bereaved wife, in any time.

Incidentally, whoever first leaked that picture of Ezekiel kissing Michonne needs a slapped wrist for making us all think the two of them were about to get together!

Other thoughts:

  • I'm assuming that Luke's touching goodbyes with the rest of his original group mean that he's going to die next week. Especially as he's got some potential love stuff going on. Call me cynical.  
  • Good to see Judith acting every inch Carl's sister—and I don't care if she is biologically the daughter of Lori and Shane; she's every inch the daughter of Richonne, too. Though it has to be said that neither Lori or Shane were ever slow in coming forward.
  • Does Daryl putting the one-winged waistcoat back on mean that he's gearing up for a fight?  I see it as his warpaint!
  • Just love those wagons made out of cars.  I want to live in a post apocalyptic world just so I can travel in one.
  • I am most pleased to see that the lovely Scott is still alive 😍
  • Like the little hint of backstory about how Magna and Yumiko got together; we know that Magna was in prison, and now that Yumiko was her lawyer.

A most compelling episode that gave much food for thought, and laid more bricks on the road to what might be in store.... but kept us all guessing, in the best and time-honoured TWD fashion.

Next week.... looks brilliant!


  1. I agree with all of your points. I had the exact same reaction to Negan's hypocrisy about "beating on a kid"--although it was made clear from the beginning that his character does have a soft spot for children, you can never unsee him lifting the bat at Carl's head (or the awesome intervention-by-tiger). The actor who plays Negan is likable and charming and it is easy to see how anyone could get sucked in by him, but ultimately he is still a psychopath. A charming and likable psychopath, but many of them are. As you know, Ezekiel is one of my favorite characters and last night was a real exploration of how he maintains his conscious naivety in such a brutal world. I love how the whole society is kind of floundering without Rick's guidance, but it doesn't make you necessarily long for Rick. They need to figure it out on their own, and it is an interesting, twisty mess.

    1. Oh yes - you only have to watch Season 7 again to see Negan's pleasure in their pain when he did what he did. He's attractive, intelligent and interesting, though... as you say. I like Ezekiel much more now, and can see what you mean about him - he's become more endearing as he doubts himself more, somehow!

      As for floundering without Rick's guidance - YES. Although Michonne is a good leader, she doesn't have that 'everyone stop and listen to him' thing that Rick had going on, all the way through. I do long for Rick, though - the more I've watched it, the more he's become my favourite character; and I didn't even like him at first.

      An interesting, twisty mess is a PERFECT summing up! Thanks for reading and commenting :)