The mid-season eleven finale for The Walking Dead delivers solid action, betrayal, and a surprise casualty. “For Blood” opens on the lookout wall in Meridian during the day. Pope (Ritchie Coster), Leah (Lynne Collins), and Daryl (Norman Reedus) watch walkers walking in a circular pattern outside of the gates. Pope knows something is wrong. Daryl volunteers to lead them away, but Pope sends Wells (Robert Hayes) instead. Who’s surrounded by walkers in the woods. Then knifed by Maggie (Lauren Cohan) and Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) wearing skin masks. Maggie picks up Wells’ radio as he’s torn to pieces.
A storm ravages Alexandria that night. Magna (Nadia Hilker) notices the hinges on the rattling door are failing. Judith (Cailey Fleming) keeps the other children calm as they huddle together. Suddenly, a tree branch crashes through the window. Kelly (Angel Theory) looks outside. A fire rages in the windmill. A piece of the wall is blowing down the street.
Pope knows the missing Wells has been killed by his “enemy.” Leah is furious that he sent Wells outside if he thought “she was there.” Pope confronts her, “You’ve had a lot to say since your boyfriend showed up.” In Alexandria, Aaron (Ross Marquand) gathers everyone. They decide to split into three teams. He’ll take care of the fire with Magna. Kelly, Connie (Lauren Ridloff), and Carol (Melissa McBride) will fix the wall. Rosita (Christian Serratos) and Virgil (Kevin Carroll) will stay to protect the house. Judith wants to go with Carol, but is asked to stay and care for the children with Gracie (Anabelle Holloway).
Pope asks Daryl for information about “her.” Daryl claims to know little. Pope wonders why he keeps Daryl around. He compares Daryl to a “Tick dog” that he had to strangle. Daryl promises not to “lick him.” They go back to the lookout. When Daryl asks about the strength of the walls, the walkers enter a minefield around the gates. They start to explode in chunks.
At the house, Rosita continues to board up windows with the furniture. Gracie tells Judith that “she wishes she were like her.” Virgil smiles at the interaction. He tells Judith “he sees her mother in her.” Gracie stands by the window and is grabbed by a walker. Judith chops off the arm then stabs it in the head. The walkers start to pound on the door.
The Reapers watch as the walkers continue to explode. Pope knows Leah blames him for their losses. He spouts bible verses in a rant. Daryl and Leah share a concerned look. Daryl sees Maggie and Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) in their skin masks veer away with his binoculars. He walks to the other side of the wall and offers the Reaper on watch a cigarette. He stabs him in the neck and tosses his body over. Daryl points Maggie to a gate. He runs down a stairwell and breaks the lock. Outside the wall, Elijah (Okea Eme-Akwari) is hit by mine shrapnel. He’s steadied by Negan. Daryl returns to the lookout with his crossbow. Pope orders Leah, “Ready the hwacha!”
Maggie and Father Gabriel infiltrate Meridian under a garbage pile. She tells him to “wait for her signal.” They split up. In Alexandria, everyone tries to hold the door. Rosita grabs a club and orders them to open it. Judith watches in awe as Rosita bludgeons the walkers on the porch. She comes back in exhausted, “Stay away from the windows.
Father Gabriel reaches the second floor of a building. He opens a panel behind a wall and searches. Daryl follows Leah to the roof. Where another Reaper is preparing the hwacha, a rocket launcher loaded with arrows. Leah is still distraught by the loss of Wells. She asks Daryl “what it would be like” if they had “never left the cabin.” She’s become concerned about Pope’s actions. Pope radios that he’s on his way to join them.
Daryl tells Leah the truth, “There’s people down there walking with the dead…my people.” She’s floored by the admission, “You lied to me.” Daryl was “protecting his family.” He begs for her help. Pope arrives on the roof. Leah whispers “family.” Pope believes there’s “nothing more important.” He then orders Daryl to “find the woman and bring her to him when this is done.”
Maggie breaks into a red pick up truck. She hotwires it, but a Reaper sees her. Maggie floors it and the Reaper is knocked away. She drives full speed, and then rolls out. The truck smashes into the gates creating a breach. Walkers start pouring into Meridian.
The Reapers race to kill the walkers. On the roof, Pope orders them to open fire into the courtyard with the hwacha. The Reaper engineer is stunned, but readies the rocket launcher. Leah begs for him to stop. Their people are down there! Pope dismisses her, “God will protect them.” He screams, “The Lord speaks through me! Don’t question me!” The engineer lights the fuse. Daryl whips out his knives. When Pope turns to confront him, Leah stabs him in the throat. Daryl throws his knife and kills the engineer. Daryl quickly cuts away the burning fuse.
A hobbled Maggie tries to run. She’s knocked down by a Reaper. Who is then shot in the head by Father Gabriel with a sniper rifle from above. Pope clutches his gushing neck as he tries to crawl away. Leah steps on his back, then plunges her knife through the back of his skull.
Daryl tries to lead Leah, but she refuses. She clicks on her radio, “Pope is dead. Dixon murdered him. He’s with the enemy.” Carver (Alex Meraz) responds “they’re on their way.” “Why would you do that?” Daryl asks in utter disbelief. Leah calmly replies, “You’d do anything to protect your family…so would I.” Daryl jumps down from the roof as Carver’s men arrive. Leah takes command, “We’re going to kill everything inside these walls.”
In Alexandria, the front door can no longer hold. Rosita tells everyone to go upstairs. The group makes a run for it. Judith doesn’t see Gracie. She hears her yelling from the basement. Water is flooding in. She breaks off a piece of wood and gives it to Gracie as a weapon. They try to escape, but walkers are outside the basement door. Judith locks it as they huddle in fear.
It’s a melee in the Meridian courtyard. Maggie and Negan are together fighting off walkers and Reapers. Daryl is alone doing the same. The Reapers suddenly fall back. Maggie looks up to the roof. Leah meets her gaze furiously as the hwacha fires. A fusillade of arrows rocket towards Maggie.
“For Blood” sets up an epic showdown between Leah and Maggie. Pope’s death and Leah’s refusal to leave with Daryl was a brilliant climax. Will he be forced to kill his love to save Maggie? It’s doubtful that Gracie or Judith are in any real danger. But it’s not known what happened to the other Alexandrians who went outside into the storm. The second half of season eleven will surely bring the Commonwealth troops into the fray. The Walking Dead returns for its final season next February on AMC.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of TVweb.
“Promises Broken”, the latest episode of The Walking Dead, continues with Maggie’s group escaping into the woods. Negan wants to turn back after Daryl’s (Norman Reedus) warning. Maggie and Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) refuse to return empty handed. Negan knows they need him. He’ll help them with a new tactic if Maggie promises not to kill him. She begrudgingly accepts the truce. They see walkers approaching that were previously their friends.
In the Commonwealth, Eugene (Josh McDermitt), Stephanie (Chelle Ramos), Princess (Paola Lazaro) and Ezekiel (Khary Payton) are forced to clear walkers as punishment. Eugene asks Stephanie if he can trust Lance Hornsby (Josh Hamilton). She swears that he can. A sick Ezekiel struggles to fight the dead. Princess begs him “to see a doctor, they got real hospitals here.” They see Mercer (Michael James Shaw) and his troops guarding a preppie couple that sniggers at “the smell.”
Yumiko (Eleanor Matsuura), now wearing a dress suit and her hair up, is being interviewed by another administrator. She wants to know how long her friends will be punished. Then demands to see Pamela Milton. In Meridian, Daryl watches a Reaper lock the warehouse door for the food rations.
In the woods, Father Gabriel holds a funeral. They tie up the remaining walkers. Elijah (Okea Eme-Akwari) wants to find his sister. Then kill the Reaper that murdered her. Gabriel leaves the group to scout ahead. Maggie tells Negan to get walkers “that weren’t her friends.”
In Meridian, another patrol comes back with no sign of Maggie’s group. Pope (Ritchie Coster) berates the men angrily, “There are dozens out there!” Leah (Lynne Collins) defends them. She volunteers to search again with Daryl. As they trek into the woods, Daryl probes her for more information. He asks why they need to find these people. They have “walls” and “food”, so “you kill everybody and he goes back to being a good guy?”
Maggie wears a skin mask. Negan, also masked, tells her to “lower your shoulders” and “go limp.” He releases the walkers. Maggie struggles and the walkers attack her. They tie them up again. Negan says he will find her a better face.
Father Gabriel surveils Meridian from a tree with binoculars. He sees Mancea (Dikran Tulaine) praying as he walks to their graveyard. Mancea grabs his knife as he senses someone around him. He prays loudly to show him the way. Gabriel unsheathes his cutlass, but stays hidden and doesn’t kill Mancea.
In the Commonwealth train station, Yumiko talks to Tomi (Ian Anthony Dale). She begs him to be a surgeon again. He tells her she can never reveal his true skills. He’s happy with his life. Suddenly they are surrounded by guards. A stunned Tomi is dragged away from his sister.
Maggie, wearing a better fitting skin mask, leads more walkers into a rope pen. Negan watches her with a smirk by their campfire. Elijah asks Maggie, “If he’s changed.” She replies, “We can’t know that.” In the Commonwealth, Yumiko confronts Lance Hornsby. She wants to know why Tomi was arrested and how long her friends will be punished. Hornsby knows that she’s been groomed as “another Harvard graduate” for Pamela Milton. He hopes she “will be inclined to return favors.”
Daryl and Leah come upon a house. Daryl sees fresh tracks. They find a man (Burke Brown) hiding. He swears his wife is hurt. Leah asks how he’s been able to avoid them. They force him to lead them to his family. Leah radios Pope. He orders her to “kill them.”
In the woods, Maggie and Negan talk over a roasted critter. He “feels for her” seeing her friends as the undead. He suffered losses when Rick killed his friends. Maggie tells him there were “no children at the satellite station.” Negan retorts, “Where did Aaron get Gracie?” Maggie fires back that he killed people “in front of their families.” Negan admits it, but the “world is different now.” When Maggie asks if “he would have done things differently”, Negan starkly replies “yes.” He “would have killed them all.”
A healthy Ezekiel returns to the others with Lance Hornsby. They are covered in bloody jumpsuits stacking bodies. Ezekiel brings them lollipops from the hospital. Hornsby orders Eugene and Stephanie to clear more walkers “near the fence line.” Gabriel returns to Maggie’s group, but lies to her about seeing Mancea.
Eugene and Stephanie see the preppie couple having a picnic with walkers approaching. They race to defend them. They kill the walkers, but the preppie man (Teo Rapp-Olsson) is furious. His “date was interrupted” and “we have private security for that.” Stephanie tries to pull Eugene away, but he’s irate at the rude and ungrateful man. A walker comes up behind the girl. Stephanie races to kill it, but sprays the girl with blood. When the preppie yells at her, Eugene slugs him.
Hornsby and Mercer run to the commotion. The arrogant preppie berates Mercer, then claims “these lunatics attacked us.” Eugene admits to hitting him. Hornsby asks, “Do you know who this is?” Yumiko enters Pamela Milton’s waiting room. Her secretary offers an “herbal tea” and is greatly concerned about Yumiko’s friends. She wants to know if “the new group” is okay. Drumroll please, this is the real Stephanie Vega (Margot Bingham). The phone rings. Pamela Milton has to reschedule, “Someone has attacked her son.”
Eugene sits on a cot in a dark prison. Hornsby walks in. He orchestrated the guards not being on duty, “You were supposed to save him. You’d have been a hero. You could have asked for anything.” Hornsby demands the location of Eugene’s home. Eugene wants promises they will be safe. Hornsby acidly replies, “Look how we’ve treated you.” When Hornsby turns to leave, a broken Eugene relents.
Maggie’s group, in their skin masks, leads a group of walkers. They come to a building and open a boarded door. A horde of trapped walkers start pouring out. In the woods, the young father takes Leah and Daryl into the home’s basement. He pulls apart a duct to reveal a boy (Brisco De Poalo) and his mother (Liz McGeever) with a terminal stomach wound.
Leah tells the father “to take his son and run.” The boy weeps, but his mother begs them to go. Her “prayers are answers.” Leah cries as she cannot shoot her. Daryl kills the mother with an arrow to the head. Then covers her body. He wants to tell Leah something, but the radio crackles. They are needed back in Meridian immediately. She’ll tell Pope that Daryl killed them. Maggie’s group leads the horde toward Meridian. Elijah sees his sister as a walker. Maggie gingerly holds his hand.
Lance Hornsby has cleverly duped Eugene from the beginning with the fake “Stephanie.” His true motives are still unclear as we haven’t met Pamela Milton. Using a walker horde against the Reapers is a smart move. It’ll be interesting to see if Daryl can turn Leah against Pope. The Walking Dead heads into its mid-season finale next Sunday night on AMC. The episode is available to stream now on AMC+.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of TVweb.
Connie (Lauren Ridloff) returns to The Walking Dead in a terrifying episode. “On the Inside” begins frantically with her and Virgil (Kevin Carroll) fleeing through the woods at night. They are being chased by an unseen enemy. They come to a forked path. Virgil sees a mailbox. Connie wants to go the other way, but Virgil thinks “there’s a house.” They run to a decrepit white mansion. Connie barges down the front door with walkers in pursuit. Virgil kills one after they tussle on the floor. Connie slams the door as walkers pound the outside.
In Alexandria, Carol (Melissa McBride) and Aaron argue about how to search for Connie. Rosita (Christian Serratos) believes they should “split into two groups.” Magna (Nadia Hilker) rushes towards them. Kelly (Angel Theory) is missing. We then see her riding away at a furious pace on horseback.
The next morning at the mansion, Connie looks around the creepy house with animal heads on the wall. She pulls out a small, handwritten map that has noted markers to Alexandria. Virgil methodically searches the house. He returns to the den. They are safe. He wants Connie to rest, but she refuses. She writes “unsafe” in her notebook. A tired Virgil collapses. Connie looks outside at the walkers, then has a flashback to her time in the cave. She writes to Virgil that she will “search the house again.”
In Meridian, Frost (Glenn Stanton) is tied to a chair and tortured. He screams as Carver (Alex Meraz) pulls out his fingernails with pliers. Pope (Ritchie Coster) motions for Daryl (Norman Reedus) to take a turn. Daryl sadly looks at the brutalized Frost, but has no choice. He puts him in a headlock, but is warned by Carver not to kill him. He punches Frost in the face, who refuses to break. Daryl takes out his knife, but Frost sees that Carver has his gun.
Daryl tells Frost he’s close to the woman that’s “the leader.” He screams for her “location.” Then cuts off Frost’s finger. Frost screeches in pain before burbling “yellow house” by the “antenna.” Daryl backs off with a pained look. Leah (Lynne Collins) volunteers to find it. Pope orders her “to take a squad” and “see if our friend speaks the truth.” Daryl offers Pope the finger.
At the mansion, the audio goes silent as deaf Connie searches the house. She notices that all the paintings have the eyes scratched out. Connie looks at herself in a dirty bathroom mirror. When she opens the cabinet, yellow eyes look back behind a peephole. She scrambles downstairs to wake Virgil. She’s too scared to write in her notebook. She grabs his knife and slashes “NOT ALONE” in a painting.
The Reaper squad has found the yellow house. As Leah tells Carver and the men to search it, Daryl pulls down on a powerline behind them unseen. In the house, Maggie (Lauren Cohan) sees the lines dangling. The Reapers kick down the door and go room to room. They find nothing. Leah orders them to continue searching.
In the woods, Kelly finds Connie and Virgil’s camp. Their horse has been gutted. She spots Connie’s pack on the ground. Kelly weeps as she looks through another of her sister’s notebooks. Connie had documented her escape from the cave.
At the mansion, Virgil finds nothing in the bathroom. He wonders if Connie was tired and hallucinating. Connie refuses to stay there. As she walks away, a trap door slams down and separates them. The audio is silent as a terrified Connie carefully moves ahead. Suddenly, a ragged “feral” man in a loincloth chases her on all fours like an animal. She slams a door behind her, then props her foot on the wall to hold him back.
In Meridian, the search continues. In an adjacent house, Leah sees signs of people in the kitchen. When she turns around, Daryl pulls a rug to cover a hidden hatch. Below them, Maggie’s group hides in silence. Daryl argues with Carver. He loudly talks of their numbers, ammunition, and capabilities. Leah tells him to stop aggravating Carver. Maggie listens intently below.
Kelly leads her reluctant horse. She falls down in the mud. Magna, Carol, and Rosita find her. She tells them the information from the notebook. Connie is with someone that Michonne knew. At the mansion, Connie gingerly walks over the cannibalized bones. She sees a vent, tears off the grate, and starts to climb. There are hidden passages between the walls. She has another flashback from the cave.
Virgil is also being chased. He locks himself in another room. Behind the walls, Connie sees Virgil through a crack. She thumps on the wall to alert him. Virgil takes his knife and warily approaches. Connie watches in terror as another “feral” crawls behind Virgil unnoticed. He leaps on Virgil and starts pummeling him. Connie tries to tear away at the drywall. Virgil grabs his knife and stabs his attacker in the chest.
Connie continues to pound away. Virgil slams his knife in the wall creating a hole. She puts her hand through. Virgil realizes it’s her and pulls her out. Back in Meridian, Daryl loudly declares more information about the Reapers. Carver has become suspicious. He tells Leah that Daryl cannot be trusted. Leah retorts that Carver knew about setting them on fire and did nothing. Daryl proclaims that he’s there for Leah. Carver sees the rug. He pulls it back to find the trap door. When they open it, Maggie’s group escapes from the back.
That night with a storm rumbling. Kelly’s group comes to the fork. But they go in the other direction. The mailbox has been hidden. At the mansion, Virgil realizes that they were “being herded” to the house. He gives Connie the knife. He tells her “to keep running” no matter what happens. Connie slams it down. She will not leave Virgil. A shaken Virgil talks about his choices. If Connie dies, then it “would all be for nothing.” Connie will never leave him. She grabs his hand. They are in this “together.”
Virgil hears the “ferals” coming. He grabs a furniture leg as a weapon. They run through the house with ragged cannibals chasing on all fours. Virgil crushes one in the head. A female jumps on Virgil and stabs him in the back. Connie drags him to the front door. The “ferals” surround them. She covers herself with the guts from the walker. She puts Virgil behind her and opens the front door. Walkers pour in to attack the “ferals.”
Connie watches as the cannibals are torn apart. She takes Virgil outside onto the grass. Two “ferals” come after her. But they are quickly cut down by a slingshot and arrows. Kelly rushes to embrace her sister. They break down in tears as the others watch solemnly.
Leah’s group returns to Meridian, a smiling Pope greets them. He’s not upset they couldn’t find their targets. Pope tortured Frost after they left. He was a lot more forthcoming. Pope hugs Carver, whispers in his ear, and looks at Daryl with a knowing smile. Daryl sees Frost as a walker tied to a pole. He and Leah share a worried glance. The Walking Dead returns every Sunday night on AMC. The following week’s episode is available immediately after on AMC+.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of TVweb.
The Walking Dead: World Beyond takes place a decade after the zombie apocalypse. The show follows a group of teenagers as the first generation to grow up in a decimated society. The series premiere, “Brave”, introduces sisters Iris (Aliyah Royale) and Hope (Alexa Mansour) Bennett. They live in the “Campus Colony” at Nebraska State University near Omaha. It’s part of three surviving communities in Omaha, Portland, and the Civil Republic in between. They are symbolized by three interconnecting circles. As seen previously in episodes of The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead.
World Beyond begins with a nightmare sequence. Walkers lumber as animation is rotoscoped over their bodies. Iris wakes up in a huff. That morning, she approaches Silas (Hal Cumpston) as he works in the courtyard. She invites the new student to a “rager” her sister is throwing the following night. Iris walks stridently as the student body president. Her VP has prepared a welcome banner for a distinguished guest.
Felix (Nico Tortorella) and Huck (Annet Mahendru) prepare weapons for the trip outside the walls. Iris loads the student welcome party on the bus. Her sister, Hope, sneaks into the luggage compartment with a small bouquet of flowers. The gates open. Felix and Huck lead the bus in an armored Jeep. They smash an “empty” in the road. Its wiggling upper torso latches onto the undercarriage and tries to grab Hope. She successfully pushes it away.
The convoy arrives at an open field. Hope absconds into the woods and comes to a cemetery. She places the bouquet on her mother’s grave. Hope looks up to see five black helicopters, some carrying containers, circle above. The students unfurl the welcome banner. It reads, “The Civil Republic Sucks.” Iris realizes this is her sister’s work. She quickly cuts off the sign.
Felix waits as a chopper lands. Three interlocking white circles are emblazoned on the side. Black armored stormtroopers escort a woman in a coat. She introduces herself as Lt. Col. Elizabeth Kublek (Julia Ormond) of the Civil Republic Military (CRM). Felix introduces himself and Huck as Senior Security Force Officers, Campus Colony of Omaha. They also have the three ring insignia on their jackets. Felix expected to see government officials. Elizabeth tells him, “Major General Beale wasn’t comfortable sending civilians.” He could only spare one helicopter for their “Monument Day” holiday.
Hope, still hiding behind the bus, gives Elizabeth the finger. Elizabeth sees her, but says nothing of the offense. Walkers approach the chopper. The CRM soldiers blow their heads off with three-pronged rifles. The welcome sign now says, “The Civil Republic Us.” Iris eloquently states, “That’s what the Alliance of the Three is about.”
The convoy returns to the campus. Silas watches Hope sneaking off the bus. She asks him not to tell her sister. She also invites him to her “rager” in storage room C-12. Hope goes back to their dorm-style apartment. Iris chastises her for the sign. Hope replies, “We don’t know where they are or what they do.” Iris reminds her that their father left to join them. He wanted to share “knowledge” and work towards a “cure.” Iris asks her to sign a birthday card for Felix. Hope wonders why her sister gave up art for “science, AP classes, and volunteering.” She also asks if Iris “checked the cabinet today.” Iris did, “nothing” was there “again.”
Iris awakens from the same nightmare. She goes to her desk and works on her speech. Her notebook becomes animated in pencil. It explains “Monument Day.” They survived, but the rest of the world didn’t. A plane crash is followed by a map of America. It shows Portland on the west coast, the Civil Republic in between, and their school near Omaha. The remaining country is in question marks.
Iris walks through the campus quad the following morning. Her voice over continues, “I live for my mom, who died that night, ten years ago today. And for my father, doing important work that will one day benefit us all.” She goes to her father, Leopold Bennett’s office, and opens a cabinet. Inside a beeper is attached to a printer. It reads “no messages.” She opens a book with messages taped inside. Her father has been communicating with them. He apologizes for missing Monument Day. He warns that sending the messages is risky.
Iris attends a lecture. She flashes back to “the night the sky fell.” The teacher asks Elton (Nicolas Cantu) what his wishes are for Monument Day. He doesn’t want to be afraid again. He wants to see what the world is now. Another student drops a note on Iris’ desk. Felix found her sister’s booze cache. He’s holding her in the jail in his office.
Felix is exasperated by Hope’s behavior. We learn that he worked for her father and was made their guardian when he left. Hope wants this lesson to be over. Iris arrives and Felix releases Hope. They are approached by Elizabeth. She thanks them for their sacrifice, being “away from their father can’t be easy.” His work is critical for the planet’s future. Iris is genial, but Hope cannot hold back her scorn. They walk away, but Hope confronts Iris about her nightmares. She tells her that “b*tch is the reason why we’ll never see our father again.” In their father’s office, the beeper flashes and prints a message.
Iris visits her therapist, Dr. K, whose office is behind a steel door. She’s dying and needs breathing tubes from an oxygen tank. Iris remembers the night the planes fell. Her father was leading her mother, sister, and her through the streets to the campus. A pregnant woman begged for help in the chaos, but they had to leave her behind. Iris and her father were separated from her sister and mother. Their mother died, but not from the plane crash. Iris blames the “empties.” Her sister saw it happen. The therapist tells her to not worry about the future. She must learn to live for today.
Hope trains to fight with Huck in the gym. They watch as Elton, a black belt, teaches other teens. Hope laments the loss of her alcohol. She asks Huck about life in Omaha. Huck warns her to not even think about leaving. There’s “a hundred miles of crap” to the city. Hope thinks building everything back is a waste of time. The world is going to end regardless.
Hope remembers fleeing through the plane crash debris with her mother. She saw walkers for the first time. Hope holds her necklace. It’s a string through a red marble. Iris finds the message in the cabinet. It says, ” MY !2SAFETY NOT ASSURE$.” Silas and Elton open the office door. They see Iris reading the secret note. They were bringing her a cake Elton made in an Easy-Bake Oven. Hope comes into the office. She’s stunned Iris would have the cabinet open with others in the room.
Hope is alarmed by the message. Elton and Silas swear they won’t tell anyone. Elton admits that he sneaks out regularly. That’s how he found the oven and his “TuffyStitch” bite-proof suit. He ventures outside to find something he lost. Now they all know each other’s secrets. Iris doesn’t want to read anything into the note. Then Hope tells her there were five helicopters. Elizabeth came in just one of them. She knows the CRM is bad and their father is in danger.
Outside the walls, Huck and Felix spray paint walkers to track their movements. It’s revealed that Felix’s boyfriend left to protect the girls’ father. His radio blares to life. Hope Bennett needs to see him immediately. They show him the message in their apartment. Felix is worried what the CRM would do if they found he’s been communicating with them. Felix promised to keep them safe. His boyfriend, Will, is the best fighter they have. He will protect their father.
Hope storms into the night courtyard. Iris follows her enraged sister. How can she not see that bad people have their father? Iris responds that the message has numbers and letters. It may not be a distress call. Elizabeth appears out of nowhere. She overheard their conversation. Iris confronts her about the Civil Republic’s secrecy. Elizabeth admits her daughter was also sent away. She’s also doing secret work for the Alliance of Three. Elizabeth beckons them to be “brave.” She confides their father is at a research facility. She gives the girls a coded map of New York. Elizabeth would be in serious trouble if her superiors knew. She hopes to have gained their trust. And might be a little tipsy from Hope’s confiscated booze.
The girls get drunk in their father’s office. A new message arrived overnight, “IT’S GONE BAD. KEEPING MY HEAD DOWN. DON’T TELL THE COUNCIL, DON’T TELL FELIX. I LOVE YOU GIRLS.” Iris has her Monument Day speech in thirty minutes. She goes to her therapist’s office, but is attacked by a walker through the security door. Dr. K died and turned. A distraught Iris watches as the body is taken away.
Elizabeth speaks to the campus residents on Monument Day. The Civil Republic will always support Portland, Omaha, and the Campus Colony. She thanks them for “loaning Dr. Leo Bennett.” Iris pulls no punches in her speech. She scraps her prepared remarks and speaks truthfully. She has dreams where they are dead. She hasn’t been really living since the sky fell. She wants the truth. She doesn’t know Elizabeth, trust her, or have any idea what the Civil Republic actually is. Elizabeth watches solemnly.
After the event, Iris tells Hope they need to leave and find their father. She admits to hating that Hope saw their mother die. Hope holds the necklace. She flashes back to what really happened. They saw a truck with an open door through the plane fire. But the pregnant woman got there first. She had a gun to hold them off, but accidentally shot Hope’s mother. The pregnant woman was mortified. She dropped the gun in anguish. The young Hope picked it up and killed her. The woman was holding the marble necklace.
Iris and Hope tell Elton and Silas of their plan to leave. They have the map. They know he’s somewhere in New York. It’s eleven hundred miles on foot. Elton and Silas volunteer to go as well. Elton knows karate, and he’s looking for something. Silas wants a chance to be different. The next scene has the teens with backpacks and weapon staffs leaving behind the campus.
Felix reads his birthday card in alarm. Hucks tells him that Silas and Elton are also missing. The teens walk by the plane crash. Walkers still trapped in their chairs are covered in moss. That night on the highway, Elton finds what he was searching for. It was the horn from his triceratops toy. It was supposed to be a gift for his unborn sister. He got separated from his mother when the sky fell. He never saw her again. He looks at her picture. She was the pregnant woman that Hope killed.
Felix and Huck leave the campus in the morning. The girls know Felix will come to find them. They need to get moving. Elton attaches the horn to his staff. Iris didn’t have a nightmare the previous night. They come upon a walker. Iris takes Elton’s weapon. She needs to learn to fight them. The scene then cuts to a massacre at the campus. The CRM has killed everyone in the colony. Elizabeth takes a three pronged rifle and kills a painted walker. A blood splattered soldier approaches her. They’ve searched the buildings and surrounding areas. They cannot find “the girl.” Elizabeth calmly surveys the carnage and replies with one word, “good.”
We finally get confirmation of the Civil Republic, Alliance of the Three, and first hint of the overarching villain. The CRM took the injured Rick from the bridge explosion in season nine of The Walking Dead. Anne, aka Jadis, told them that Rick was a “B” not an “A.” She had been supplying the CRM with “strong” people. In Fear the Walking Dead, Althea falls for Isabelle, a CRM soldier. I’d bet that Isabelle is the daughter that Elizabeth refers to. We’ll have to wait and see how the timelines converge, but the threads between the shows are now apparent.
“Brave” is a disappointing start to the World Beyond series. The premiere plays out like a bad CW episode. Poorly written teen characters bumble about while complaint rock blares in the background. The characters appear out of nowhere to propel the plot. The Campus Colony’s crack security somehow misses a fleet of helicopters sent to destroy them. Something that a scrappy protagonist girl notices in the first five minutes. The subplot between Elton and Hope is laughably stupid. The pilot is loaded with ridiculous contrivances, meant to spoon-feed important details in The Walking Dead universe. World Beyond is slated for twenty episodes over two seasons. I pray it gets better. The Walking Dead: World Beyond returns next Sunday night on AMC.
Fear the Walking Dead returns with a red-eyed, gangrene-infected Morgan (Lennie James) on the run. The season six premiere marks a change of philosophy for our hero. “The End Is The Beginning” introduces Morgan to several new characters. They force him to examine his passive, do no harm mantra. The character that emerges is the ass-kicking, take no prisoners, apocalypse warrior that TWD fans have been begging to see.
This Fear the Walking Dead episode opens with the sun glaring in the sky. A man smoking a cigarette spray paints “The End” on a red surface. That night, the cowboy hat-wearing bounty hunter, Josiah LaRoux (Demetrius Grosse) adds Tabasco to a can of beans on a campfire. The bushes rustle, a desperate man (Damon Carney) stumbles into the camp. He pleads for help, “They have been after me for days.” His name is Walter. The cowboy offers him the can of beans.
Walter gulps down the beans. The cowboy chats while holding a wicked looking axe. He looks at a key around Walter’s neck. A bloodhound comes charging out of the bushes. Walter stands up terrified. That hound “has been chasing him from Laredo.” Josiah pats his dog, Rufus. He chops Walter’s head off in a swoop. Josiah takes the key, then puts Walter’s walker head in a picnic basket with his name on it. Josiah’s truck radio squawks. Virginia (Colby Minifie) has a new job for him. She’s searching for Morgan Jones. She doesn’t know if he’s dead or alive. Josiah writes Morgan’s name on a box.
Morgan awakens with bloody eyes in the back of a limo. His hair has grown and he has a full beard. A walker approaches the rear window, then gets its head blown off. Morgan hides under the shattered glass. Four of Ginny’s rangers pass by on horses. Morgan gingerly gets out of the car. His shoulder is bandaged, but still bleeding from the gunshot wound. Another walker ignores him completely. Morgan screams he’s here. Then beats the walker with his staff. Blood oozes from the necrotic wound.
Morgan walks to a rusty water tower. He climbs the ladder with great difficulty, then hoists his gear. Inside is a shelter lined with mattresses. Morgan has collected food, water, and medicine. He fills his backpack with supplies, then writes the GPS coordinates on the handle.
Morgan explores an abandoned town. He finds a handgun in a wrecked police cruiser, but the clip is empty. He falls down while looking through a storefront. Again, a walker ignores him. A dirty man wearing a knit cap kills the walker. He lurches towards Morgan with a knife, then realizes Morgan’s not a zombie.
The stranger takes Morgan into the store. Morgan tenderly touches his wound. The stranger guesses it’s been that way for “five or six weeks.” He tries to examine the wound. He was a “corpsman in the Marines.” Morgan doesn’t want his help. The stranger tells him the smell is “gangrene, tissue necrosis.” Morgan warns that the woman who did this is still looking for him. The stranger offers Morgan a bag of pickle chips. They were meant for his wife. He introduces himself as Isaac (Michael Abbot Jr.). Morgan refuses to tell him his name.
Rufus barks outside on the street. Josiah wonders if “Mr. Jones” is inside. Isaac goes out with his hands up. Josiah kills a walker, then examines its guts. No sign of a new meal. He holds up a drawing of Morgan. Isaac swears he hasn’t seen that man. Josiah wonders why his “dog is so intrigued.” Josiah and Rufus enter the store.
Josiah finds a bloody blanket, but Morgan is gone. Isaac offers that whoever used that died and turned. Josiah goes on a rampage. He smashes through the cupboards with his axe. He finds nothing and leaves with Rufus.
Isaac kills walkers behind the store. He sees Morgan passed out in the dirt. Morgan wakes up in the water tower. He pushes Isaac away who’s trying to take the bullet out of his shoulder. Isaac found the coordinates on Morgan’s backpack. He needs Morgan’s help. His pregnant wife is about to give birth. The walkers have their hideout surrounded. He was looking for a gun to take them out. He shows Morgan a handful of different bullets. Morgan gives him his gun. But Isaac still begs for his help. He calls Morgan by his name.
Morgan grabs his staff. How does Isaac know who he is? Isaac had seen one of his video tapes. Morgan still refuses to help. Isaac draws the gun. He’s sorry, but he doesn’t have “options left.” The tower begins to rumble. Outside, Josiah pulls the tower down with a rope attached to his pickup truck.
Morgan looks up at Rufus in his face and Josiah approaching. Isaac fends off a walker. Josiah hacks the rest to pieces. Morgan finds the gun and draws it on Josiah. He scoffs, “You’re already dead. I can smell it.” Isaac yells for him to shoot. But Morgan just wings Josiah in the arm. He and Isaac race to the truck, then drive away.
They come to an impasse on the road. Morgan turns around to go back. The walkers won’t bother him. Isaac is stupefied. The bounty hunter will easily find him again. Morgan admits that the tower wasn’t his. Someone else had found him at Humbug’s Gulch. They killed the walkers and stitched his wound. When he awoke, his rescuer had left a note, “You don’t know me, but I heard your message. You need to do the same. You still have things left to do.”
Isaac warns him that the tower will never be safe. He has a better place, “You get me to my family and I will take care of yours.” Morgan agrees. As they walk, he tells Isaac how he found out Grace was pregnant the night he got shot. Isaac asks if Ginny split up his people. Morgan draws his staff again on Isaac, “You knew my name. You know hers. Is there something you’re not telling me?”
Isaac admits that he was a former [NE7tW15vVkt6aa||ranger}. He and his wife ran from Ginny as well. He saw Morgan’s tape on patrol. Morgan was giving for free what Ginny was charging for. Isaac leads Morgan to a dam with a crack in the foundation. Walkers mill around the entrance. Isaac hands Morgan his supplies. He can just walk past them.
Morgan ambles through the walkers. But he falls over in pain from his wound. Isaac shoots a walker near Morgan. Morgan screams, “I’m right here.” He starts to impale the walkers with one hand and his staff. Isaac joins the battle. The two men kill dozens of the undead.
Isaac takes Morgan behind the dam. There used to be a lake, but the water leaked out when the dam failed. The structures left behind were previously submerged. Anyone looking at a map would just see the lake. They hear a woman groaning in a decrepit building. Isaac embraces Rachel (Brigitte Kali Canales) as she continues to have contractions.
That night, Isaac continues his story. They were searching for his grandfather’s fishing cabin. “There’s water here, the soil is rich from the silt, we can rebuild this place.” Morgan refuses, he was wrong to try and help anyone. A dog barks in the distance. Morgan tells Isaac and Rachel to stay put. He’ll give up to the bounty hunter.
“Even I can smell you from a mile away,” snarks Josiah. Morgan offers himself, if he leaves the others alone. He throws down his staff and kneels in the dirt. Josiah approaches with his axe, but is knocked over by Isaac. Josiah throws Isaac to the ground. He’s about to kill him, but is tackled by Morgan. Morgan whacks Josiah in the head. He orders Isaac to take Rachel and leave, but he can’t. Isaac lifts up his shirt. He was bitten before he went searching for the gun.
Isaac’s goal was to bring Morgan back. Josiah springs up and knocks out Isaac. He pushes Morgan down, then jams his finger into the festering wound. Josiah swings his axe. Morgan blocks it with his staff, whips Josiah off his feet, and then stabs him in the chest. He picks up the axe. A gurgling Josiah mocks him, “You couldn’t do it before.” Morgan chops his head off, then falls over. He hears a baby cry in the background before passing out.
Morgan awakens to Rufus licking his face. His shoulder has been cleaned, sutured, and bandaged. The bullet and chunks of flesh are in a bowl beside him. Rachel cradles her newborn daughter. They named her Morgan. Rachel begins to weep. She takes Morgan to Isaac’s grave. Morgan sees Josiah’s head. He picks up the key from the dirt. A walker approaches him. He grabs his staff, then tosses it away. He picks up the axe, then decapitates the walker. Morgan’s eyes are no longer bloodshot.
The MRAV leads a convoy. It’s blocked by bodies piled in the road. Ginny and her rangers get out. She sees the box with “Morgan Jones” written on it. Ginny opens it to find Josiah’s head. She looks around terrified. Ginny radios Morgan, “If you can hear me, listen good. I thought I needed you dead. I just need them to think you are. If you try the tiniest bit to convince them otherwise. I will add them to this pile.”
The radio crackles back, “Morgan Jones is dead. And you’re dealing with somebody else now.” Ginny rushes back to the safety of the MRAV. Morgan looks down on her with binoculars. He’s wearing Josiah’s cowboy hat and trench coat. A determined Morgan rides away on horseback. The scene cuts back to the opening. The smoking man finishes his text in spray paint, “The End Is The Beginning.” He smashes a walker’s face with the can. Another man approaches, “He should have been here by now. We need that key.” The camera pulls back. They are spray painting the hull of a nuclear submarine.
Finally! Morgan’s ridiculous pacifist ideology is gone. It made zero sense and ruined season five of the series. He’s now free to rescue his friends and bring a beatdown to Ginny’s Pioneers. It’s obvious that the showrunners heard the clarion call of irate fandom. Sherry is obviously the person who rescued Morgan. The handwriting on the note is the same as the message to Dwight. She also responded to the radio when Morgan was shot at Humbug’s Gulch. As for the key, I’d guess that has to do with the missiles on the submarine. Fear the Walking Dead has reset its storyline once again. An unshackled, axe wielding Morgan is a huge step in the right direction. Fear the Walking Dead returns next Sunday night on AMC.
Fear the Walking Dead changes its focus to the supporting characters under Ginnie’s (Colby Minifie) iron rule. “Welcome to the Club” has Victor Strand (Colman Domingo) and Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey) assigned a dangerous, seemingly impossible task. They’re reunited with Charlie (Alexa Nisenson), but she shares their fate. Daniel Salazar (Rubén Blades) suffers from amnesia after a brutal beating. A member of Ginnie’s inner circle becomes a valuable ally.
“Welcome to the Club” opens at night. A ranger forces a group of survivors, wearing numbered jumpsuits, into the loading bay of a factory. They’re giving spiked poles as weapons. Walkers pound at the lift gate. A frightened man, Sanjay (Satya Nikhil Polisetti), runs away, but is forced back at gunpoint. The ranger beckons them forward and opens the lift gate. Walkers covered in molasses start oozing out. The gate jams, the walkers grab the screaming prisoners. Then the ranger’s foot as he’s also pulled inside. Sanjay runs back as the gate slams shut.
Outside of Lawton, Victor and Alicia are burning latrine refuse. The MRAV drives to the gate. The lead ranger, Marcus (Justin Smith), orders them to move the burn pits. Victor refuses. Marcus gets out of the vehicle. Victor throws a bucket of sh*t at his feet. Marcus draws his gun. But a teen girl, Dakota (Zoe Colletti), orders him to stop. Victor and Alicia are handcuffed, then taken through Lawton for the first time. Alicia thanks Dakota for helping them.
They are brought to Ginnie’s office, where a meek Daniel cuts her hair. He doesn’t recognize Alicia or Victor. Daniel has an obvious head scar. Ginnie explains he got whacked when he refused to be separated from his cat. He survived the punishment, but now suffers from amnesia. Ginnie has a job “that better suits their natural talents.” She gives Alicia back her trademark gun barrel weapon. Victor tries to speak to Daniel in Spanish. Daniel is fearful, he doesn’t know them. He gives Victor a necklace similar to one his wife wore.
In the MRAV, Victor and Alicia believe that Daniel has really lost his memory. A ranger drives them to the sugar factory. He explains the “key to the future” is in the plant. They need to recover it. Another prisoner tries to escape, but is shot by a sniper. Charlie and Janis (Holly Curran) are in the batch of prisoners. Janis explains that the night team was killed. Only nine rangers remain. Victor thinks they have the numbers to take them.
They meet Sanjay scrubbing blood off the floor. The molasses tanks ruptured. The covered walkers stick if they grab you. Sanjay admits he ran away and didn’t help. Victor, Charlie, and Alicia are taken to the weapons truck. They grab spears, but Alicia thinks Victor’s plan will fail. These people aren’t strong enough to fight armed rangers. Victor believes it’s time they make decisions and stop listening to others. They hear a noise, Dakota is hiding in the truck.
Dakota refuses to go back to Lawton. She’s Ginnie’s little sister. There’s no escape, Ginnie will kill them if they try. Dakota has seen their tapes. She tells them there’s a weapon inside the factory. Something so valuable, her sister “continues to throw bodies at it.” There’s someone out there Ginnie desperately wants to kill. She wants to use the weapon against them. Victor is skeptical, but Dakota has further proof. She overheard a deal Victor made with Ginnie.
Victor goes after an angry Alicia. Victor admits that he gave Ginnie the MRAV to keep Alicia with him. He couldn’t survive without her, “Daniel told me to remember who I was.” Alicia convinces Victor that they can’t kill the rangers. They need to get the weapon inside the factory.
That night, they back up a cattle truck to the loading dock. Sanjay raises the lift gate. The syrupy walkers come stumbling out. They are herded into the truck, then killed through the bars. The other prisoners remove the bodies as soon as they fall. The pile begins to grow. The walkers start falling over. The makeshift wall leading to the truck begins to buckle. Victor yells for Sanjay to close the gate, but he’s run away again.
Charlie and Janis race to prop up the wall. Charlie is dragged inside the truck. Dakota spears a walker and saves her. The other rangers show up. They separate Dakota from the group, and radio her location to Ginnie. Dakota refuses to leave. Victor orders them to let the wall fall. The walkers pour on top of the rangers. They are torn to pieces. Dakota hides under the truck.
Victor grabs Dakota and runs outside to an RV camper. Sanjay is hiding inside. Victor honks the horn, but the walkers aren’t distracted. He takes Sanjay’s knife, then leads him back to the factory. Victor is furious they didn’t stick with his original plan. They could have killed the rangers and been “miles away.”
Victor stabs Sanjay in the leg. He throws him towards the walkers, “Today is your day to be the hero!” The walkers surround the bleeding Sanjay. He screams as they devour him. Alicia and the others grab the ranger guns. They shoot the walkers and clear out the factory. Charlie sees Sanjay’s mangled body. Victor lies and says he sacrificed himself to save them.
They search the factory and find nothing. Victor demands to know if Dakota lied. Charlie believes her. Ginnie arrives with her men. They can’t fight her. Victor leads the group back to the loading dock. Ginnie embraces her sister. Victor offers himself for punishment. Ginnie is not angry, but congratulates them. They did something that no one else could.
There was no weapon in the factory. Ginnie was looking for the “key to survival, a true leader.” People are the key. Victor has “started an army.” He wants to know what her army is for. She will tell him in time. Ginnie gives him a key, “This will allow you to use them however you see fit.” But when the time comes for “the big show, y’all best be ready,” she warns.
That night in Lawton, Daniel cuts the molasses from Charlie’s hair. She’s heartbroken he doesn’t remember her or Skidmark the cat. Victor arrives to collect her. He now wears the key over his shirt pocket. He has her belongings. Charlie plays a song on the banjo, “End of the Line.” Daniel whistles along. Charlie tells him he taught her the song.
Charlie walks to a truck where Alicia is waiting. Janis informs them she isn’t coming. Victor wants her to remain in Lawton “on laundry duty.” He has his reasons. Victor asks Marcus for a minute with Alicia. She remarks he “has the key to the city.” Victor reassigned Alicia away from him. He didn’t trust his instincts. He can’t be ruthless with her around. She “makes him remember who he is.” He needs to forget that person. He gives her Daniel’s necklace from Ginnie’s office. Alicia gets in the truck and is driven away with Charlie.
Victor walks by Daniel as he’s getting into a horse-drawn cart. “Welcome to the club,” a ranger says approvingly. Victor tells Daniel in Spanish, he’s lucky to not remember. Outside the gates, the cart is ready to leave. But Daniel has forgotten his scissors. The ranger goes back inside to get them. Daniel hears someone whistling “End of the Line” in the bushes. A cowboy hat-wearing, heavily bearded Morgan (Lennie James) kills a walker and then emerges. Daniel remarks, “You look like you could use a haircut. I thought it was you she was looking for.” They shake hands.
Daniel was obviously playing the fool all along. Ginnie used her sister to test Victor’s strength and cunning. He has power now. And with Alicia gone, he can do whatever is needed without burdening his conscience. Using Sanjay as walker bait was just the start. Morgan and Daniel in cahoots also spell trouble for the Pioneers. The bad-ass characters are all being unleashed. Fear the Walking Dead returns next Sunday night on AMC.
Fear the Walking Dead delivers a rare beautiful moment in the zombie apocalypse. “Alaska” has Al (Maggie Grace) and Dwight (Austin Amelio) on scouting duty for Ginny. She’s forced them to wear body cams and check in on their progress. Dwight discovers that Al has been hiding a treasured secret. They search for it together, find a new group of survivors, and a long-awaited reunion.
“Alaska” begins with Morgan (Lennie James) installing a mobile for baby Morgan over her crib. Rachel (Brigitte Kali Canales) comments, “She likes it.” Rachel looks through the bags of food, clothes, and supplies Morgan has brought them. She realizes they come from a Pioneer town. Morgan has a man on the inside, and that person doesn’t know their location. He still doesn’t hold the baby.
Morgan cuts off the broken head of his staff. He affixes the axe blade to the top. He plans to find Grace, the others, and bring them there. Morgan wonders if his friends will recognize him. Rachel replies, “You’ll still be the man they knew.” He twirls the new weapon with a deft touch.
Al and Dwight clear walkers in an upscale funeral home. They have GoPro cameras on their shoulders, documenting their efforts. Dwight gives Al a license from Arizona for her collection. They separate to investigate further. Al’s radio squawks to life. She hears Isabelle’s voice tell another person the details for “Drop Site Baker.” She looks at the radio longingly, and is surprised by an embalmed walker. Dwight rescues her. He radios back to the rangers their location.
Outside the funeral home, they drink skunked beer on top of a casket. Dwight asks Al if she thinks about “beer lady” aka Isabelle. Her radio blares again about “Drop Site Baker.” Dwight is stunned, “Who is that?” Al refuses to say anything. Dwight realizes it has to be about the beer lady. Al makes sure their cameras are off. She thinks Drop Site Baker is in the city. She has been tracking their movements.
Dwight thinks they can be there when the helicopter arrives. He wants Al to leave with her lost love. “If I go AWOL, she’ll kill our friends,” Al replies. Dwight has a plan. They can find a walker that is Al’s size that has recently turned. Blow it’s face off, and then tell Ginny Al was killed. He “walked halfway across the country” to find Sherry. He won’t let Al miss this chance, “Get in the truck, let’s go find beer lady.”
That night, they drive to a tall office building. Al believes it is Drop Site Baker. There’s a helipad on the roof. Dwight searches the pockets of a smashed walker in the front. He finds an Alaskan driver’s license for “Mark Smith.” He gives it to Al for her collection. Al sets her watch for six hours. That’s when the helicopter arrives.
Inside the lobby, they see “The End Is The Beginning”, spray painted on the wall. They dispatch walkers at the base of a stairwell. Al sees rats in a cage. Dwight comments he had one in his sleeping bag a few nights ago. They start to ascend the staircase. It’s blocked by walkers behind a barricade of office furniture. They get off at the fifth floor, then are met by two people with guns.
Nora (Devyn A. Tyler) asks why they are in the building. Al responds that they’re trying to reach the roof. “If you think whoever’s been landing on the roof is here to save you, think again,” Nora warns. They shot her friend and threw him over the edge. She also wants to know why they’re recording. Al and Dwight are taken prisoner while Nora watches their footage. She gives them back the camera and asks them to turn it on.
Nora takes Al and Dwight to her group. Everyone is deathly sick. Dwight is about to give water to a man with pustules on his neck. Al holds him back. She turns off her camera. They can’t stay. Ginny will kill these people. They have Bubonic plague. She saw it before in Algeria. She pulls Dwight into the stairwell, and uses a fire axe to jam the door.
Nora begs for them to help, but Al keeps climbing. “The last time I felt alive was with her,” she weeps to Dwight. They have three hours left. Dwight decides to keep going. They reach the twenty-ninth floor. Dwight kills a walker with a Tennessee driver’s license. He wonders why Al collects them. She tells Dwight about the game with her brother.
Al asks what Dwight will say to Sherry when he finds her. Dwight says he never will, “I came to peace with the fact that’s not gonna happen.” He heard her voice on the radio, but now thinks it was a delusion. Rats are running everywhere. Al hears them in the wall. She breaks through to the pipes. They continue climbing.
The radio blares to life. The helicopter will be at the drop in thirty minutes. They crawl while surrounded by rats. They break through another wall back to the floor. Walkers surge towards them. They hide in a bathroom. Al notices a pustule on Dwight’s neck, “You’re infected.”
Dwight warns her to stay away. He remembers the rat in his sleeping bag. Al wants to get help, but Dwight refuses. Shots ring outside the door. Nora has killed the walkers. She asks them to contact Ginny for antibiotics. Dwight tells her that Ginny will not help. They have gas in their truck. Help Al get to the roof, and then they can look for a pharmacy. Nora replies that Al is probably also infected.
Roof access is blocked by an office furniture blockade. They’ll kill the walkers “nice and slow.” Nora uses her remaining bullets. Al grabs a fire extinguisher and starts smashing skulls. Nora kills a co-worker, then breaks down crying. Al gives her the Alaskan driver’s license of her friend. They make it to the roof, “five minutes ahead of schedule.” Al begs Dwight to leave and find a pharmacy. He tells Al goodbye, and that he’s left her message on her camera.
Al stands alone on the roof by supply containers. She finds a flare gun. Three minutes to spare. Al watches the video Dwight left. He tells her not to forget the pretzels when she’s drinking with the beer lady. Al hears the helicopter approaching. She fires a flare into the night sky.
Al calls them on the radio, “Reverse course.” Isabelle responds, “Who is this?” Al replies, “Just someone who wants to help you out.” She warns of the plague. It’s not safe to land. Isabelle recognizes her voice, but has to play it cool. She asks if Al is infected. Al doesn’t know. Isabelle knowingly responds that there’s beer in the supply crates, “Hope it’s not your last.” The helicopter turns around, “Drop Site Baker has been burned.”
Al finds bottles of Ciprofloxacin under the beer. She radios Dwight. On the fifth floor, everyone takes the antibiotics. Dwight asks what happened. Al lost a brother once, “I didn’t want that to happen again. The dear friends embrace. Al promises Nora they will find a place for her people. Everyone descends the staircase. Al examines the cage that held the rats. She finds spray paint beside it. The plague was no accident. Someone made these people sick. Al guesses it was whoever wrote the message.
A woman’s voice crackles from the radio, “I saw your flare. Is someone in trouble on the roof?” Dwight is stunned. He grabs it and whispers, “Honey, is that you?” The voice slowly replies, “Dwight?” He races outside of the building. Dwight stares in disbelief as Sherry (Christine Evangelista) stands in an alley. They fall into each other’s arms, laughing and kissing.
Dwight’s search for Sherry ends on a surprisingly happy note. She had been missing since season seven of The Walking Dead. We’ll have to see how long their reunion lasts, but it was a rare scene of joy on a bleak show. It’s likely that Sherry patched up Morgan when he was shot. So the others will know he survived. Al reconnected briefly with Isabelle, who I think is Elizabeth’s (Julia Ormond) daughter from World Beyond. The CRM storyline continues to bind the shows together. Fear the Walking Dead returns next week with John Dorie (Garret Dillahunt) on AMC.
The Mandalorian returns to Tatooine in a spectacular season two premiere. Jon Favreau pulls triple duty as showrunner, director, and writer of the episode. He delivers an action-packed, space western chock full of epic Star Wars lore. Tusken Raiders, an old ally, and a new friend help Mando (Pedro Pascal) take down a monstrous Krayt dragon. We also get a surprise cameo from a fan favorite that will have audiences cheering.
Chapter Nine, “The Marshall”, opens with Mando walking down a dark street on a dangerous looking planet. Baby Yoda floats beside him in his pram. Feral creatures with ominous red eyes lurk in the shadows. Stormtrooper graffiti lines the dingy buildings. Mando approaches a Twi-lek bouncer at a door, “I’m here to see Gor Koresh (John Leguizamo).” He walks into a cavernous room where two Gamorreans are fighting with vibro blades in a ring. Gamblers hoot and holler with glee at the savage combat.
Mando sits beside the one-eyed Gor Koresh. He asks for the location of other Mandalorians. “It’s uncouth to talk business. Just enjoy the entertainment,” Gor Koresh replies. He wants Mando’s beskar armor as payment. Mando refuses. Gor Koresh shoots his Gamorrean fighter, and then turns his blaster on Mando. His bodyguards do the same. The gamblers race for the doors. Gor Koresh gloats, but Mando warns him, “Tell me where the Mandalorians are and I won’t kill you.”
Mando activates the Flying Sparrow darts on his wrist. Baby Yoda closes the cover for his pram. The darts whip around and kill the guards. Mando pummels the rest in hand to hand combat. Gor Koresh runs into the street. Mando snares him, then strings Koresh over a lightpole. Mando promises that he won’t die by his hand. Gor Koresh tells him, “The Mando I know of…is on Tatooine.” Mando doesn’t believe him, but Koresh swears it’s true. The Mandalorian is at a settlement called Mos Pelgo. Mando walks away, then shoots out the light. The red-eyed creatures devour the hanging Gor Koresh.
The Razor Crest soars towards Tatooine. Mando lands in Peli Motto’s (Amy Sedaris) repair bay. Droids run bumbling to the ship. Peli Motto picks up and cradles a cooing Baby Yoda. Mando asks her for the location of Mos Pelgo. She calls R-5. The droid pulls up a holo-map that shows Tatooine before the war. A section looks blank, but Peli Motto says an old mining settlement is there. Mando borrows her speeder.
Mando crosses the desert with Baby Yoda smiling in a satchel. He talks around a campfire with Tusken Raiders. Then speeds across the dunes to the shabby Mos Pelgo. Wary residents watch as he enters the cantina. Mando asks the bartender for “a man that looks like me.” The bartender replies, “You mean the marshall.” Mando turns around to see a Mandalorian at the door.
He orders two drinks, then sits down. Mando is stunned when the stranger takes off his helmet. “I’ve never met a real Mandalorian before,” he introduces himself as Cobb Vanth (Timothy Olyphant). He got the armor from Jawas. Mando demands he take it off. The two men get ready to square off with their blasters. Then the building starts to rumble.
They go outside as an alarm blares. Everyone runs into their homes. The sand surges as a massive wave ripples through the street. A poor bantha is gobbled up by a huge Krayt dragon. Cobb Vanth offers Mando a deal. Help him kill the beast and he will give up the armor. The two men ride across the desert. Cobb Vanth’s speeder looks exactly like Sebulba’s from The Phantom Menace.
Cobb Vanth tells his story. He was in the cantina when the Death Star was destroyed. That night, the mining collective ransacked the town. He escaped and grabbed a container from their transport. It was filled with Silicax crytals. He was rescued by Jawas in the desert. He traded the crystals for a beat up suit of Mandalorian armor. Then returned to the cantina and wiped out the mining collective. He shoots their fleeing transport with the jetpack missile.
Mando leads them to the Tusken Raiders. Cobb Vanth grabs his rifle, but Mando talks to them with grunts and hand gestures. They want to kill the Krayt dragon as well. Everyone sits around a campfire. Cobb Vanth refuses a drink from the Sand People. They are insulted. Mos Pelgo stole their water. Vanth retorts they attacked the town. Mando breaks up the dispute with his flamethrower. They need to work together.
They ride single file to an old Sarlacc cave. A Tusken Raider puts out a bantha as bait. The Krayt dragon barrels out and chomps down the raider instead. Back at the camp, the Sand People have a plan to lure the beast out. Mando volunteers the Mos Pelgo residents to help.
Cobb Vanth makes his pitch to the town. They need to get rid of the dragon. He’s willing to return the armor to save Mos Pelgo. The residents refuse to work with the Sand People. Mando tells them they’ve struck a deal. The Tusken Raiders will leave their town alone. They just want the carcass of the beast.
The Tuskens enter the town on banthas. There’s a minor scuffle as they load explosives. Everyone treks through the desert, single file to the cave. The Krayt dragon sleeps. The Tuskens says the belly is the weak spot. They bury the charges at the mouth of the cave. The plan is to lure it out and blow it up from below. Cobb Vanth shares a drink with a Tusken.
Three Tuskens call out loudly at the cave entrance. The Krayt comes charging out. The Tuskens harpoon it with ropes and try to drag it. The huge monster starts to retreat back. Everyone opens fire. The Krayt raises up and spits out acidic bile. It melts a few before Mando blows the charges. It doesn’t work.
The Krayt punches through the top of the mountain, spraying bile everywhere. Mando and Cobb Vanth launch into the air. The creature pops back up from the side. Mando orders Vanth to get its attention. He grabs the detonator and asks Vanth to take care of the child. Mando leads a bantha with explosives to its mouth. They are swallowed.
Baby Yoda watches with fear. The Krayt tears out of the ground. Mando comes flying out of its mouth. He blows the charges and kills the beast. Everyone celebrates together. The Tuskens carve up the meat. They hoot as they find an egg. Mando loads a chunk of meat on the speeder. Cobb Vanth fulfills his promise and returns the armor.
The two men shake hands as friends. Mando and Baby Yoda zip across the desert. As they ride towards the setting twin suns of Tatooine. A bald man is seen looking at them ride away. He turns around to reveal a weathered, aged Boba Fett (Temuera Morrison).
I had to watch “The Marshall” twice to absorb its monumental impact. Boba Fett is indeed alive and looks to be a key player in the series. He must have escaped when the Krayt killed the Sarlacc. Seeing Temuera Morrison again was freaking awesome. Jon Favreau has given fandom what we’ve hoped for literally decades. The Mandalorian‘s Chapter Ten will premiere next Friday on Disney+.
The Mandalorian goes from sand to snow in a wildly entertaining detour. Chapter Ten, “The Passenger”, has Mando (Pedro Pascal) and Baby Yoda making a special delivery. They pick up a side job on Tatooine after an ambush by bounty hunters. What starts as essentially an intergalactic Uber ride becomes much more complicated. Our heroes dodge New Republic X-wings, crash land spectacularly, and fend off monstrous spiders. The Razor Crest takes a beating, but continues to be a resilient ship.
“The Passenger” opens with Mando and Baby Yoda speeding across the Dune Sea. A group of bounty hunters rig a rope across a narrow passage. Mando’s speeder hits it and they tumble unto the sand. Mando fights them off. The last creep standing puts a knife to Baby Yoda’s throat. Mando warns him, “Put one mark on the child and there will be nowhere in the galaxy you can hide.” The bounty hunter agrees to accept Mando’s jetpack as payment. He grabs it and scurries away, but Mando activates the jetpack from his wrist panel. The bounty hunter shoots into the air before plummeting to his death.
Mando collects his gear, the child, and starts to trudge across the burning desert. He walks through the night to the Mos Eisley Cantina. Peli Motto (Amy Sedaris) gambles with an ant-like alien. It agrees to share information about other Mandalorians if Mando stakes his bet. Peli Motto wins the hand, but the ant is true to his word.
Back at the hangar, the droids roast the Krayt Dragon meat. Peli Motto orders them not to overcook it. She tells Mando the contact knows of a Mandalorian covert in the sector. All she wants is a ride to her destination, but it has to be at sublight speed. Motto introduces the Frog Lady (voiced by Dee Bradley Baker). She has her eggs in a water filled container. If they use hyperspace, her “spawn” will die. The Frog Lady and Peli Motto croak to communicate. She wants to go to the estuary moon of Trask. Motto vouches for the Frog Lady, even though she met her “ten minutes ago.”
The Razor Crest soars through space at sublight speed. The Frog Lady sits in the cockpit with Mando. She croaks, but Mando has no idea what she’s saying. Downstairs in the hold, Baby Yoda eyes her eggs hungrily. Mando decides to get some rest. He snatches Baby Yoda before he gobbles up more eggs. “This is not food,” he explains before getting in the sleeping apartment. It’s “nap time” for them both.
Mando wakes up to an alarm blaring. The Razor Crest has been intercepted by two New Republic X-wings. They ask him to turn on his beacon to identify his ship. He stalls, but “they can wait.” Mando watches as their wings lock into attack position. They’ve identified the Razor Crest as a ship that attacked a New Republic prison transport.
“We got a runner,” Trapper Wolf (Dave Filoni) exclaims as the Razor Crest races to a nearby ice planet. The X-wings chase Mando through the clouds. They warn him to stand down or “they will fire.” Mando cuts his engines. The Razor Crest tumbles down. The Frog Lady screams and flails. Mando takes the Razor Crest into a canyon, then hides under an ice sheet. The X-wings fly overhead. But the Razor Crest breaks through the ice below. It lands with a thud in an ice cave.
Mando gets up groggily. The hull has been breached. The ship is filled with snow and ice. He brings blankets to the shivering Frog Lady. The damage is extensive. There’s a hole in the side of the ship. He finds Baby Yoda munching on more of her eggs. He burps with a guilty look on his little green face. The Frog Lady croaks hysterically. Mando tells her they need to get some rest and figure out their next move.
Mando awakens to the voice of Q9-0 (Richard Ayoade). The Frog Lady has rigged the broken droid’s voice box to communicate. She begs Mando to keep his word. Her children are the last of her line. Mando goes outside and starts to repair the ship. Hours later, Baby Yoda gets his attention. The Frog Lady has walked off into the ice cave.
Mando picks up the child, and turns on his heat sensor. He follows her footprints in the snow. The Frog Lady is bathing in a thermal pool. Her eggs float beside her. Mando warns it’s not safe outside the ship. He gathers her eggs back into the container. Baby Yoda tries to take one, but is stopped. He turns his attention to other egg-like sacks in the cave. He tears one open and munches on the spider-like critter. Suddenly, the other egg sacks start to wiggle ominously.
Baby Yoda runs back into Mando’s arms. Ice spiders start swarming the pool, followed by their gigantic mother. Mando and the Frog Lady run back to the ship. She starts to gallop on all fours. Mando shoots the spiders, but they are everywhere. He throws three thermal grenades to collapse the cave behind them. They reach the ship, but it’s too late. The spiders are pouring in. Their beastly mother jumps unto the ship.
Mando puts everyone in the cockpit. He struggles to close the door under the spider onslaught. The Frog Lady saves Baby Yoda from an attack. Mando uses his flamethrower to clear the door. He starts the engines. The Razor Crest rises, but smashes into the side of the cave. The big spider pulls it back down. It’s hideous circle of teeth chews at the glass.
Laser fire starts hitting the spiders on the ship. They are taken out by the barrage. Mando cautiously walks outside. The X-wing pilots have eliminated the spider threat. Mando asks if he’s under arrest. Trapper Wolf informs him that he has an arrest warrant for “Prisoner X6911.” However, Mando left three higher value criminals behind. The security records also show that he protected a guard on the ship. Mando confirms this is true.
Mando offers to forego the bounty on the three criminals in exchange for help “fusing” his hull. The pilots have done enough. They remind him to fix his transponder, before “they vaporize that antique the next time.” They fly off with that warning. Mando repairs the cockpit. It’s the only part of the ship he can “pressurize.” He tells the Frog Lady to use the bathroom now. The Razor Crest gingerly lifts off the ice. He leans back to nap with Baby Yoda in his lap. The child looks longingly at the Frog Lady’s eggs. She wraps her hands protectively around her spawn. The Razor Crest limps through space towards Trask, with sparks and a gaping hole in the side.
“The Passenger” had the perfect mix of adventure, humor, and action. The scenes with the Frog Lady were hilarious. Baby Yoda continues to be a ravenous little guy. He can’t help but scarf down any critter in his path. The production value of the show continues to be amazing. The escape from the X-wings looked incredible. It was great to see co-showrunner Dave Filoni get some screen time as Trapper Wolf. We’ll see if that character turns up again. The Razor Crest will need a complete overhaul after the Frog Lady. The Mandalorian returns next Friday on Disney+.
Ever since Castiel was introduced in Season 4 of Supernatural after he gripped Dean “tight” and raised him “from perdition,” moments between Heaven’s angel and the hardened hunter were often peppered with hints that alluded that they share more than just a mere bromance. And after denying to embrace it completely for years in the show and even the actors sharing their discomfort with the idea, Supernatural has done it. It has made Destiel canon in its ante-penultimate episode but in a problematic way that has left Dean-Castiel shippers more frustrated than disappointed.
In Supernatural Season 15’s “Despair,” we see Dean and Castiel carry out a futile attempt at killing Billie, the new Death. Angered, she makes a beeline for Dean, intent on killing him as he is the “living incarnate of disorder.” The duo makes it to the bunker and hide, keeping Billie at bay by a spell they put on the door. But they know it’s temporary and a dejected Dean turns to Cas to say how sorry he is for landing them into a deadly trap yet again.
Just then, the angel realizes that the one thing that can stop Billie is The Empty who will instantly appear on Earth the second Castiel experiences a moment of true happiness and take him somewhere worse than Hell. This was a deal Castiel made while saving Jack from the cosmic entity. In an emotional confession, Castiel shares how, ever since he made the pact, he has wondered “what my true happiness could even look like” as he knew that the one thing he wants “is something I know I can’t have.” But in that moment, he realizes that “happiness isn’t in the having. It’s in just being.”
With that, he goes on to confess how Dean Winchester has changed him and made him for the whole world. And then Castiel says the three words Destiel shippers have been waiting for years to hear.
“I love you.”
Just then The Empty shows up and absorbs Cas and a charging Billie (with whom it has a different beef) behind him, leaving a shocked Dean to sob in the silence. The End. What’s bothersome here is not that Castiel dies, we already knew about his pending deal with The Empty, this end was bound to appear sooner or later. What is truly problematic is why he dies.
For long, many Supernatural fans have pointed out the show’s running trope of killing off its gay characters and it was only recently, that it somewhat redeemed itself by insinuating that God himself is bisexual. But it continued baiting when it came to scenes between the elder Winchester and Castiel that more than hinted at simmering feelings, though these were feelings that were never explored, not even in a one-sided capacity.
But they accept it now, just to stage an emotionally moving ending for a beloved character, only for the idea to majorly backfire. Arguably, Castiel finally saying “I love you” and confessing his feeling that fans have predicted since his appearance in “Lazarus Rising” should be a big deal but the fact that Dean doesn’t get the time to return or reject his feelings and no time is given to explore this new development, kills the moment.
Instantly after his confession, Castiel is gobbled up by The Empty and taken to some hellish area that the entity promised. So only did Supernatural mishandles the introduction of Destiel, but also goes ahead to reinforce the infamous trend of “Burying your gays.” For long, showrunners have been known for adding gay characters and then allowing them to come out to confess their feeling only to be killed, sometimes in the same episode. Remember Tara Maclay’s much-critised death in Buffy The Vampire Slayer?
Soon after “Despair” aired on The CW, “Destiel” trended on Twitter worldwide with some celebrating the long-due inclusion but mostly airing their ire over the way it was done and sharing their disappointment over Supernatural sticking to the “bury your gays” tradition.
The fact that Castiel goes to Hell the moment he admits his true feelings, sends another toxic message– that being an LGBTQ is a crime so severe that one deserves nothing but hell. While the underlying meaning was supposed to be one sacrificing himself for the person he loves, given Supernatural‘s long perceived history of prejudiced against LGBTQ people, it just ends up insulting a moment fans have been waiting for the last 12 years.