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Wednesday, October 16, 2019

[RECAP] Season 10, Episode 1 of The Walking Dead, "Lines We Cross"

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Well, it’s October and it ‘tis the season Apple Picking, Pumpkin Spice and the scent of Fall and Halloween is in the air.  And it WOULDN’T be Halloween without a new season of The Walking Dead, just in the nick of time!  The season premiere of season 10 (this show has been on for TEN years now) aired Sunday night, slightly earlier than past season premieres which usually coincided closer with Halloween (akin to when the show first aired 2009).  But the question is, after 10 years of this zombie post apocalyptic drama being on the air, can this show still bring it?  Based on the first episode of the season, the answer seems to be YES.

The episode weaves several different storylines with the one connecting thread being what appears to be a sudden meteor shower, which turns out to be a Soviet Satellite that crashes back into the atmosphere (how trippy was it to see that random space shot of the satellite in orbit?  Part of me was waiting to see some space zombies but whatever).  After the initial shot of the satellite, we come to see that the rest of the episode is broken down into labeled segments including the following: Training Day, Bird Wisdom, Skin, Sea Dogs, New Mexico and Embers (to name a few) which allows us to view where some of our characters are, months after the horrific murders at the fair and the historical snow storm that shut down the Kingdom.
The first segment entitled “Training Day” illustrates what many of us thought was potentially an epic showdown, based on the trailers released.  Instead, this Oceanside Army with melee weapons and armored shields is all part of a very elaborate training session at the Oceanside community.  By the way, is it just me or are these water logged walkers the absolute grossest/coolest things ever?  In any case, we get to see the very elaborate battle tactics that our heroes have developed that end up coming to good use when the walker onslaught gets a little out of hand.  We get some really great fight scenes throughout the whole episode and this scene is no different.  It’s also during this segment that Judith and RJ uncover something that many haven’t seen in some time...a Whisperer mask.

This leads to a heightened sense of alert to everyone that has not been felt in some time.  Aaron, Daryl and Michonne quickly radio back to Alexandria about the found mask in order to make them aware.

It’s in this moment that we get to see some of what’s been going on at Alexandria including the 3 Men and a Baby dynamic that is Eugene (also known as Eugenius, BRILLIANT), Siddiq and Father Gabriel in respect to Rosita’s baby.  Eugene seems to be the baby’s primary caregiver/pediatrician while Rosita seems to get out quite a bit of pent up anger on a boxing bag (or just working on a getting rid of the baby weight because that really does help, trust me).  More disturbing however is Siddiq’s mental state, because as we notice during his one and one moments with his baby daughter,  he is clearly suffering with some PTSD from his harrowing ordeal with Alpha and the Whisperers, where he essentially had to witness so many of his loved ones brutally murdered before his eyes.

We also get to meet a NEW character: Dante!  In this episode, he appears to be another medic who is assisting Siddiq, but much more confident and with quite a bit more “swagger”.  This is very much in line with the Dante character in the comic (as comic readers are WELL familiar with).

And speaking of swagger, we do see the return of Negan, now with more “relaxed” prison terms that allows him to work the gardening grounds and even interact with Lydia who is spending her time at Alexandria learning how to read as well as train.  
But without a doubt, the appearance of Carol, returning triumphantly on a boat, to dock at Oceanside was one of the most highly anticipated moments.  It’s also with a tinge of sadness that we see King Ezekiel’s wistful, hopeful reaction at seeing her again...and her dismissal of him to run into the arms of her friend Daryl.  ALSO: Let’s be clear now.  These two are close personal FRIENDS and nothing more.  This is evident by the pamphlet of American Sign Language tucked into the back of Daryl’s pants (looks like Connie has Daryl on her hook, get it?).

With that being said, we do get some close conversations between these two pivotal characters, contemplating what’s really the point of all this.  Carol seems to want to just run away from everything (including the pain of losing her son to Alpha) and when Daryl says that the pirate life isn’t for him, she suggests that they just ride off on his bike and keep going west.  Daryl actually considers this until their conversation is broken by the main them of the episode: the crashing satellite.
This causes all our heroes at Oceanside to react to fall out from the satellite crash which is an extensive wildfire.  Everyone immediately reacts with water buckets and axes and weapons to try and control the fire, by an means necessary.  Eventually the fire is diminished and everyone works to collect themselves and get back to camp, since they had to stumble into Whisperer terrority, while they reacted to the wildfire (something Carol is very incensed about, since she doesn’t understand why there should be any respecting of Alpha’s rules).  Before they all leave, Eugene and some of the others work to extract valuable equipment from the crashed satellite and Daryl and Carol step away again for a moment.

In our final scene, these two stand overlooking a quarry and woods with Daryl imploring Carol to STAY rather than run away again on a boat for months.  Carol stays quiet and thinks about it....and it’s at that moment that we see Alpha come out of her area in the quarry out in the open and it’s then that these two fierce women make eye contact with each other, fearlessly and with all the anger in the world.  Two vengeful, angry mothers.  OH IT IS ON.

For a season premiere of a show that is on its tenth season, this was a strong forward step into this new stage for The Walking Dead.  Will it really be Carol who gets to have the pleasure of taking out Alpha?  How much will the setting of the ocean play into the season’s storyline?  Will Michonne’s eventual show exit be via a boat?  All in all though, it was very action packed episode that got the viewers very quickly caught up with where all our heroes are and where they likely will be going as this conflict continues (all within an hour, might I add).  Based on what we saw Sunday night, it looks like it’ll be quite a ride.


The Walking Dead airs Sunday nights at 9:00pm EST on AMC.

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