‘The Walking Dead,’ Season 9, Episode 12: “Guardians” Recap

AMC's 'The Walking Dead,' Season 9, Episode 12, Guardians, Beta, Sean, Lydia, Alpha

[Image via Gene Page/AMC]

With bushfires in my area, it has been a crazy week, so my recap is a little late and I apologise for that.

Here’s what went down in Episode 12 (titled “Guardians”) of Season 9 of AMC’s The Walking Dead.

Lydia Reunites With Her Mother

After being returned to Alpha (Samantha Morton), Lydia (Cassady McClincy) seems determined to get her mother to admit that maybe she loves her daughter.

Alpha is not about to admit this.

Although, the pair do have a chat about lies and all that crap.

CF:  And all they while they’re walking back they talk in whispers.  At least when they’re together like that they don’t break character.

RT: It’s really interesting watching them do this. All along, I was watching Lydia and realising that this is totally her way of life. This is how she is raised. The adults, they remember the time before. I wonder how much Lydia actually does.

AMC's 'The Walking Dead,' Season 9, Episode 12, Guardians, Beta, Sean, Helen, Alpha

[Image via Gene Page/AMC]

Camp Whisperer Is The Shitest Camp Ever

It was interesting to have a look around inside the machinations of Camp Whisperers.

Basically, it involves sitting around in mud all day and remaining quiet.

CF: Not the sort of camp you want to go spend a weekend hanging out in the caravan. And it seems like everyone’s living rough, being out in the open and stuff.

However, viewers do get to see some members cracking the absolute shits because Alpha broke her own rule and went back for Lydia. Alpha tries to justify her behaviour by telling everyone about how they know more about the enemy now. Regardless, the two Whisperers, Sean (Benjamin Keepers) and Helen (Allie McCulloch), that brought it all up challenge Alpha’s authority.

Alpha responds by killing them.

Beta (Ryan Hurst) is also introduced in Episode 12 of The Walking Dead Season 9. And, let me tell you, he is some sort of freak. I would not want to be messing with him. At. All.

CF: First off, let me say that Samantha Morton does an incredible job playing Alpha with a fake zombie face over her features. I’m watching how she uses her eyes, her voice, and her body language to convey what she’s feeling, but at the same time, she’s masking what she really has in mind.  The Walking Dead has never had someone nominated for an Oscar playing a role before and now we get to see what they can do when they’re given good material.

RT: I hate Alpha so much, yet I am totally mesmerised by her for the reasons you state. That is some sort of brilliant acting going on there.

CF: Second, Ryan Hurst is the perfect person to play Beta. In the graphic novel he was almost seven feet/2.13 meters tall and it’s eventually discovered he was a former basketball player turned actor. He was also quite crazy and ruthless, which probably came from living like a zombie.  Here’s a picture of him next to Negan, so you can see he’s a pretty massive dude.

RT: I am totally looking forward to his backstory.


CF: And lastly, I have to say I love the crazy Alpha brings to the party.  Of all the villains that have appeared on the show, the TV version is probably the closest to the GN version. She is not the sort of person you want to fuck with–and if you do, you’re taking your life in your hands.  Literally.

AMC's 'The Walking Dead,' Season 9, Episode 12, Beta, Henry, Alpha, Lydia

[Image via Gene Page / AMC]

Henry Continues To Make Bad Life Choices

Last week, Henry (Matt Lintz) decided to sneak off and rescue Lydia. It takes him all of a few minutes to get snuck up on by the Whisperers in Episode 12 of The Walking Dead.

While in the camp, he really gets to find out just how dangerous the Whisperers are. Not only does he get to witness Alpha killing her own members when they disagreed with her, but he is also then challenged by Alpha in a fight. Except, it’s a fight to the death with Lydia. Kind of like when Peeta and Katniss were tricked into fighting each other in The Hunger Games. Except, in The Walking Dead the victor gets to stay at Camp Whisperers and sit silently in the mud and make skin masks out of walkers.

Personally, I’d pick death.

CF: And it’s really a shame that Carl is dead, ’cause all of this would have been on his back. And then we could have said, “Like father, like son.”

RT: Haha! So true!

Daryl Dixon And Connie Get The Party Started

While Henry is busy shitting his pants, Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Connie (Lauren Ridloff) are doing a much better job of tracking and not getting sprung. They keep an eye on things as Henry’s day progressively gets worse.

Then, when Henry is tasked with killing Lydia or be killed, a herd of walkers conveniently encroach on the Whisperers. In the chaos, Daryl sneaks in, complete with walker mask and grabs Henry.

Henry, still determined to get himself a girlfriend, insists that they also take Lydia with them. Which simply means that Alpha will be pissed in Episode 13 and, according to the synopsis below, returning to fuck shit up.

Thanks Henry.

CF: Once again we see Daryl actually coming up with a good plan to pull off getting Henry.  After which he blows it by agreeing to take Lydia along.  But could you imagine Rick trying to do this shit?  No.  He’d have probably burned down the forest.

RT: I totally agree with what IGNsaid about this. If it were Rick in this situation, it would have involved “an extra scene where he hesitated, pondered, and then mentally talked himself into wearing a gooey zombie mask.”

AMC's 'The Walking Dead,' Season 9, Episode 12, Guardians, Negan and Michonne

[Image via Gene Page / AMC]

Meanwhile, In Alexandria

Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) is trying to assimilate now that he has escaped Alexandria and voluntarily returned. Michonne (Danai Gurira) doesn’t like being reminded by Negan that maybe she is dictator thanks to her being head of security and able to veto any vote made by the council.

Honey, you are so a dictator.

However, by episode end, she has decided that Alexandria can go to the Fair being organised by the Kingdom.

CF: This was really the moment in the show were I actually started hating Michonne because she was being such a crazy, controlling bitch. She was bringing back the Ricktatorship and it wasn’t sitting well with people–

Which meant I loved watching Negan and Judith (Cailey Fleming) call her out on her bullshit. Bad guy or not, Negan knows a bit about control: how it’s held and how it’s lost. And he’s seeing how it won’t be long before the good people of Alexandria pull a Gregory on their Head of Security.  And Judith has spent her life growing up with her surrogate mom and knows how to call her on her bullshit, because it seems Judith has a knack for doing just that.  Something that just about sends Michonne right through the roof.  Now, if only she could have done that to her daddy when he was around…

RT: I totally agree that Michonne needs to be pulled up more on her behaviour. The last thing we need is another dictatorship and she is the very person who should realise this. As for Negan and Judith ganging up on her, that is just priceless. Could you imagine if these two really did pair up for reals? it would be FREAKING amazing!

AMC's 'The Walking Dead,' Season 9, Episode 12, Guardians, Dr Eugene Porter, Father Gabriel

[Image via Gene Page / AMC]

The Rosita / Father Gabriel / Siddiq / Eugene Love Circle

The whole big mess of Rosita (Christian Serratos) falling pregnant to Saddiq (Avi Nash) while in love with Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) is explored further in this episode of The Walking Dead.

Eugene (Josh McDermott) makes everything weirder by admitting to Gabriel that he loves Rosita as well. Because, you know, just in case no one could work that one out…

CF: No matter who ends up where, it’ll end in tears. You know it will.


Season 9 of The Walking Dead returns to AMC with Episode 13 (titled “Chokepoint”) on Sunday, March 10. AMC lists the following synopsis for this episode.

“Daryl’s daring rescue mission forces Alpha to unleash a group of her own to retrieve what belongs to her, even if the price is paid in blood. The Kingdom’s plans to reunite the communities is put in jeopardy.”

[Featured image via Gene Page/AMC]

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