by Transmute Jun
Warning: this review contains multiple spoilers for The Walking Dead Season 10, Episode 15.
While this episode was not originally meant to be the season finale, it certainly left viewers on the edge. Beta is marching his horde on the hospital housing the Alexandria and Hilltop refugees. Aaron and Alden have been captured. And Eugene is running behind on his deadline to meet Stephanie.
Beta is losing his grip on reality. He hears walkers talking to him, and follows what they say. The Whisperers are afraid of him, and some of them are deserting. Yet does Beta truly need them any longer? He is one with his horde, and is guiding them to accomplish his goals. Right now, his goal is vengeance, and he only wants to destroy the people who killed his Alpha.
This episode takes place a few days after the previous episode. The Alexandrians have received a warning of what is happening, and were perhaps already on edge due to the burning of Hilltop. Yet clearly, they have a plan. Carol was sent off on a mysterious mission, possibly for parts for some kind of device that Luke is building. However, Beta seems to have circumvented the plan, as evidenced by Gabriel’s frantic call to Daryl. Whether or not Carol, Daryl, Judith, and Kelly can still enact the plan remains to be seen.
While Beta’s mental state is going over the edge, Princess is working to pull her mental state back from the edge. She has been alone for a long time, and all she wants is to stay near these new people whom she has just met. (With all that’s going on in the world right now, I think I can empathize…) Princess’ new friends want to leave, but she is desperate for them to stay with her. That causes her to make some poor choices. Fortunately, Ezekiel and Eugene, and eventually, even Yumiko, can understand her motivations, and invite Princess to come with them. Of course, they are trying to make a good impression on Stephanie and her people… what will Stephanie’s people think of Princess? Then again, that’s a problem for another day. First, Eugene and his crew have to make their rendezvous on time.
Lydia is going through her own turmoil. There is a piece of her that still loved her mother, yet there was a bigger part that hated Alpha. Now that Alpha is gone, Lydia is forced to deal with the fact that something in her is glad that her mother is dead. Negan makes an easy target for her frustration, because he is something of an outcast from the rest of the group, and he was the one who physically prevented Lydia from being present when Alpha was killed. It says a lot about Negan’s ability to empathize with others that he can see through Lydia’s roiling emotions and still reach out to her. Negan has always been someone who bonded well with children, as first seen back when he met Carl. I am glad to see that Negan hasn’t lost that compassion and empathy, despite everything that he has been through.
Judith is another young person forced to face her fears head on. Rick ‘died’, and now Michonne has left. Judith is afraid that Daryl, the last parent-figure she has remaining, will also leave. It is for this reason that Judith did not tell Daryl about the hints that Rick might be alive. She understands that Rick and Daryl were close, and knows that Daryl might head after Rick, if he knew that there was a chance that Rick had survived.
Carol is still coming to grips with the results of her reckless actions. Kelly’s understanding and admiration is extremely selfless, and it is clear that Carol understands the gift that she is being given when Kelly does not blame her for Connie’s absence. I am glad that they have come to an understanding, because it looks like they will need to work together next episode to help save the people of Alexandria/Hilltop.
One murky issue from this episode was the question of how Beta knew that his enemies were in the hospital. I understand that the appearance of the cat led him to believe that they were close, but how did Beta zero in on the location so exactly? Did he have some specialized knowledge of the area, or was there something else that gave them away? I also have to wonder how the horses were killed in the minefield without anyone hearing the explosions. Even from a block or two away, there is so little ambient noise that you would think that someone would have heard the mines go off.
The introduction of Princess led to many humorous moments this episode, but my favorite was when she mentioned that she had a stash of candy, and Eugene’s head snapped up. I also appreciated the pregnant pause as Ezekiel chose to introduce himself without the ‘King’ in his name.
While it will be some time until viewers can see episode 1016, they can look forward to the return of Maggie, which will happen in that episode. Hopefully, we will get to see the original season finale some time before the end of the summer.
For those who play the AMC Walking Dead mobile games, Walking Dead: No Man’s Land’s season episode this week shows Ezekiel and Eugene scavenging for bicycle parts in Princess’ minefield.
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