Here’s what went down in Episode 11 (titled “Bounty”) of Season 9 of AMC’s The Walking Dead.
The Kingdom Flashback
Episode 11 opens with a flashback. We can tell this because Carol’s (Melissa McBride) hair is at that god-awful in-between stage of growing out. Jesus (Tom Payne) and Tara (Alanna Masterson) turn up and it freaks me out to see Jesus so soon after his demise. All this scene tells us, though, is that there is conflict between Michonne (Danai Gurira) and Maggie (Lauren Cohan) already and that shit is starting to go down between the groups for some reason that no one is elaborating on other than Tara who is pinching supplies for the Kingdom and defecting to Hilltop rather than go home to Alexandria.
Oh, and now the Kingdom has the charter that Michonne was writing up for all the communities. Because Michonne appears to give zero shits about pulling all the communities together and Tara seems hopeful that the Kingdom will be the community to pull them all back together.
CF: I loved this little touch, particularly the fast cut to the present where you see how burned out Ezekiel looks as he reads over the charter. Seeing Jesus was a bit of a shock, but the Carol Hair(tm) was a giveaway that it was a flashback, so it went away quickly. But I loved how Tara was like, “Yeah, I pinched a bunch of shit, so I’m not going back.” Girl never did have any fucks to give.
The Kingdom Goes To The Movies
Now, we flash forward to what appears to be the present day in The Walking Dead, not only because Carol’s hair is long but because they are talking about the upcoming Fair they have planned as a way to draw all the communities back together.
While out on a supply run, they decide to stop in at the local movie theatre and pick up a globe so that they can run some old movies for the kids who have never seen them before.
Long story short, they encounter some walkers and they manage to defeat them, get the globe, plus a frame to put Michonne’s charter in because Ezekiel (Khary Payton) is determined to have everyone sign it when they all gather at the Fair. Which tells me that Carol has forgotten to tell her hubby that she dealt with the remaining Saviors a while back and there is no one left except for Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) to sign on their behalf.
Now, for the exciting stuff.
CF: For the first time since the season restarted I was going, “Yeah, move along, nothing to see here.” It’s really the first mistep they’ve taken–so far. Let’s hope we’re not going to see more.
Alpha Breaks Her Own Rules
Alpha (Samantha Morton) is demanding her daughter back in Episode 11 of The Walking Dead Season 9. Daryl (Norman Reedus), along with the others, doesn’t want to give Lydia (Cassady McClincy) back to her horrible mother so are trying to negotiate. Alpha gives zero shits about that and pulls out her hostages Alden (Callan McAuliffe) and Luke (Dan Fogler) and threatens to kill them if they don’t hand over Lydia.
Everyone knows they are dealing with a crazy woman so they figure they might as well hand Lydia over.
CF: “Wrong Answer!” That has become my favorite phrase of the season and it really shows, without going into detail, that Alpha isn’t someone with whom to fuck. Daryl fell back into his old habits of being a mean redneck and it seemed out of phase with the character we’d seen in the last couple of episodes, but at least he was smart enough to drop that facade when he realized it wasn’t working–as opposed to someone else we know *coughRickcough* who would have continued acting like a bad ass.
Except Henry (Matt Lintz) is fucking shit up again by taking Lydia and sneaking off with her. Luckily, everyone knows where the kids hang out when they sneak out of Hilltop so Enid (Katelyn Nacon) and another girl head off to negotiate with Henry.
In the meantime, a herd approaches and some of the Whisperers try to lead the group away. However, one of the Whisperers is a mother and has her crying baby in tow.
Because that’s what animals do, according to Alpha.
When the baby doesn’t stop crying, the mother just puts the baby down on the ground and walks away. And, I have never officially hated a group in The Walking Dead more at this point.
CF: When the baby began crying and Alpha gave that shrug, that was when the knife came out and I wondered if AMC and TWD was really going to show a baby getting a knife in the forehead. No, let’s go one step further: we’ll leave the baby on the ground to be eaten. That has got to be one of the most cold-ass actions we’ve seen the show take in a while and that’s saying a lot. I did enjoy how The Whisperers began, well, whispering as soon as the herd was in view: they fell back into their habits and it was completely second nature for them. This makes them an even scarier bunch in that they don’t fear a walker herd, so what do they have to fear from the living?
RT: AMC is really amping up this group in all different ways to show just how fearful everyone should be of them.
Lucky for that poor baby Connie (Lauren Ridloff) is still hiding in the cornfield, after becoming separated from everyone in Episode 10 of The Walking Dead, In addition, the rest of Hilltop are banging on the walls in an effort to distract the herd away from the crying baby. When this doesn’t work, Connie sprints out and grabs the baby before ducking back into the cornfield.
Connie is nearly overcome by walkers until Daryl’s group turn up and help her to safety.
Lydia decides that she really does want to go be with her mum on account of the fact Alpha broke her own rules by coming back for her daughter. Unlike that poor woman who was made to abandon her baby while they were trying to rescue someone else’s child. If ever there was a person that will turn on the Whisperers, this mother has to be it, I figure.
So, back she heads to Hilltop and gets swapped over for Alden and Luke.
Alpha promptly slaps Lydia as well as hugs her and I can’t quite work out why Hilltop didn’t attack at that point. Instead, they allow the Whisperers to leave and return to their lives.
Or, so they think.
CF: Alpha’s motivations are never clear. The woman is broken and it’s hard to figure out what’s going on in her head most of the time. While she probably loves her daughter, she also has to treat her like another of her “herd”. Also, she’s an abusive mom and they can be messed up even in the best of situations.Because Henry is still itching to get laid and decides to head off and look for Lydia.
Which means Daryl has to risk his neck to go and find him.
Connie, who also thinks it was wrong to give back Lydia, decides to go with Daryl. Now, fans have to wait until next Sunday night to find out what happens next in The Walking Dead Season 9.
CF: A few points. First, they are playing out the Lydia/Henry storyline pretty much as it was in the comic, with Carl in place of Henry. So if they follow this ALL the way through, yeah, Henry’s getting laid. Though he won’t be 14 like Carl was in the comic.
Second, there was Enid’s admission that Carl was special to her. Goddamnit, I really wanted to have those two get together and Gimple had to take it away from us. At the least, with that relationship we’d have seen Carl go completely batshit insane after someone attacks Enid (Sophia in the comic), at which point he beats them almost to death with a shovel.
And third, we’re gonna get a good look at Beta next week and if you think Alpha’s fucked up…
Season 9 of The Walking Dead returns to AMC with Episode 12 (titled “Guardians”) on Sunday, March 3. AMC lists the following synopsis for this episode.
“While one community struggles to ease tensions that threaten to divide from within, the true nature of another group comes into focus. A mission to rescue a friend has deadly consequences.”
[Featured image via Gene Page/AMC]