In ‘The Walking Dead’ recap, Alpha returns to the Whisperer’s camp with Lydia, Beta introduces himself to Henry and Michonne runs into problems in Alexandria…
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
After a two-episode absence, our recaps for ‘The Walking Dead’ have returned!
Since we’ve been gone, the Whisperers have been fully introduced after killing Jesus to close out the mid-season finale and that is a whole new kind of threat outside the walls of the three main communities.
In Alexandria, Michonne has been living behind those walls, locking the door behind her faster and faster after losing Rick and she’s slowly transforming her community into one of solitude to prevent the bad people from ever getting inside.
As she cuts off Alexandria more and more from the other communities, the rest of the town council is beginning to wonder if this is truly a democracy or they are just playing pretend while Michonne is actually the dictator.
Meanwhile, the Hilltop had the closest brush with the Whisperers after Jesus was killed and they captured a girl named Lydia, who just so happened to be the daughter of the leader of the rogue group who wears the skins of the dead over their faces to blend in with the walkers.
After capturing Alden and Luke out on a search, Alpha — the leader of the Whisperers — orchestrates a trade to hand over the two of them in exchange for her daughter. Despite signs that Lydia has been terribly abused most of her life, Daryl is forced to make the trade to save the lives of the two members of the Hilltop community.
As for the Kingdom, there’s no real appearance from them this week outside of the information we learn that the community is slowing falling apart and may not be able to survive much longer without a steady stream of food and supplies. That’s why King Ezekiel has been planning a massive trade fair so all the communities can get together and begin helping each other again because without that, the Kingdom will fall.
With that said, let’s get into the recap for ‘The Walking Dead’ this week with the episode titled ‘Guardians’…
Trouble at Home
In Alexandria, Michonne discovers the radio relay that Gabriel, Rosita and other members of her council have been secretly setting up behind her back. The relay was meant to serve as a way for the communities to communicate with each other while hopefully finding more and more people they could add to their numbers but the group went around Michonne because they knew she would shut down the plan.
Ever since Rick ‘died’, Michonne has become increasingly more paranoid about the security of Alexandria and as part of the council rules she’s able to veto any plan that could serve as a threat to the community. The only problem with that rule is that Michonne has started to use it more and more lately as everything has seemingly become a security threat in recent years.
Michonne is obviously upset and she only grows more irritated when the group brings up traveling to the Kingdom’s trade fair after she previously shot down the idea. Yet again, Michonne is worried about safety and security concerns, especially with the Whisperers lurking around in the woods and the areas surrounding the three main communities in the area.
Still the council wants to vote again on the proposed fair that would allow the communities to come together, trade goods and hopefully start a relationship with each other again. The only person who backs up Michonne is Aaron, who saw what happened when Jesus came in contact with the Whisperers for the first time and they killed him.
Aaron believes that Michonne just has everybody’s best interests at heart and he’s siding with her when it comes to these security concerns.
Meanwhile, Gabriel is dealing with his own problems at home after finding out that his new girlfriend Rosita is pregnant with another man’s child. Rosita was ‘fooling around’ with Siddiq before she hooked up with Gabriel and now they are in a very difficult situation while awaiting the birth of the child.
Gabriel is unsure if he can handle it considering his relationship with Rosita is still fairly new and now he’s already been asked to serve as stepfather to somebody else’s kid.
Eugene does his best to calm any fears or anxieties by laying out a post-apocalyptic spread sheet of the pros and cons of raising somebody else’s child and whether the end result would be happiness or misery. In the end, Eugene deduces that it would be worth Gabriel’s while to stick with Rosita and raise this child together.
He even makes a pair of maternity pants for Gabriel to give to Rosita as her jeans are fitting a little too tight these days.
In the end, Gabriel decides to sit down and have a conversation with Rosita and Siddiq about this baby while Eugene watches from the outside looking in. He’s madly in love with Rosita but she won’t even allow him to express his feelings so he’s going to do everything in his power to keep her happy even if he’s not the one doing it.
As for Michonne’s problems at home, things only get worse when she’s summoned to visit Negan in his jail cell.
Among her many problems at Alexandria while she was away is that Negan was allowed to escape yet for some reason he decided to return all on his own. Now she’s forced to pay him a visit because she’s the only person he’ll talk to after coming back to town and allowing himself to be imprisoned again.
Negan explains to Michonne that he’s a changed man and going outside the walls of Alexandria, he learned all too well that the world has changed as well without him.
He also knows thanks to the window in his cell that Michonne is having leadership issues within her own council, which means she’s probably having larger issues with the community as a whole.
Negan offers to serve as a sounding board for Michonne so she can bounce ideas off him and he can give her advice as a former leader to a current leader. Obviously, Michonne shuts down his offer but then she peaks outside his window and she sees Judith lurking nearby and in that split second she realizes who has been giving Negan all his information.
She tells Negan that they will be outfitting his jail cell with new locks and closing off his windows to the outside world before then rushing off to deal with her daughter.
At home, Michonne questions Judith about her conversations with Negan and the little girl tries to tell her mother that he’s changed — the proof of that is when he escaped, he didn’t hurt a single person and ultimately he returned to be placed back in prison.
Judith also explains that Negan is the one person in the community who actually listens to her and as much as Michonne wants to treat him like a monster, he’s still just a human being.
Michonne isn’t convinced that everybody is capable of change. That’s when Judith reminds her that she’s a perfect example of somebody who changed over time.
In an attempt showcase her ability to adapt and change for the better, Michonne decides to allow the council to hold another vote on attending the trade fair but this time she won’t veto it no matter what they decide.
She may not be ready to believe Negan is a new man but Michonne wants to prove to her daughter that she’s still capable of changing when it counts most.
Obviously, Michonne believes the trade fair will be a disastrous idea but if that’s what the people want, she’s no longer going to try and stop them.
A Day in the Life of the Whisperers
On the road away from Hilltop, Alpha questions her daughter Lydia about her time spent inside those walls and what she learned. Lydia offers up some information about the community while lying that she as always putting on an act to gain their trust while secretly gathering as much information as possible that she could give back to her mother.
In reality, Lydia never expected to be rescued because in Alpha’s ‘laws’ for the Whisperers, they never go back for one of their own. They see that as a sign of weakness and essentially it’s survival of the fittest at all times.
Alpha continues to manipulate her daughter by prying away to get more information while also welcoming her back to the larger Whisperer community, which we learn is quite massive once we get a sense of the entire size of the group.
The community is filled with people all burrowed down beneath trees, their living dead masks hanging nearby as a reminder that this group can transform into pseudo-zombies at any given moment. Once Alpha returns, she overhears a girlfriend and boyfriend discussing their disdain that their leader went back for her daughter when the group has been explicitely told that this group is like a pack of animals — if you can’t keep up, you get left out.
Meanwhile back at camp, Alpha’s No. 2 in charge is finally introduced when Beta (played by ‘Sons of Anarchy’ favorite Ryan Hurst) catches Henry following the Whisperers back to their camp ground. Henry has been following them ever since they left with Lydia, which in turn forced Daryl and Connie to go on the hunt for him.
Beta captures Henry and brings him back to Alpha and the boy tells them that he was following the group solely for Lydia. In return, Lydia comes over and punches him in the face because she knows expressing even the least bit of emotion for Henry will probably get them both killed.
Later that day, the couple that were questioning Alpha’s leadership finally decide to make a move. The boyfriend says that he’s dissatisfied with Alpha after she exposed them and put the entire group at risk by going back for her daughter. He wants to challenge her as leader, which is the right of every person inside the Whisperers.
But Alpha has already sniffed out this attempted coup by overhearing the couple talking earlier in the day. She knows that it was the girlfriend who was upset by her actions when going back to retrieve Lydia so Alpha wants her to stand up for herself.
Beta puts a knife to her boyfriend’s throat while Alpha tells the rogue member that she has to be the one to challenge her because she’s really the one with the problem with her decision making. The girl says she doesn’t want to fight and in return Alpha pulls out a piece of razor wire and decapitates the would be usurper.
Alpha then hands the dead woman’s head to her boyfriend before stabbing him to death as well. Both corpses are then left in the clearing so the dead nearby can have a fresh snack.
What Alpha doesn’t see in the distance this time is the hunting party with Daryl and Connie closing in on their location as they seek to rescue Henry after running away. Daryl promised Carol that he would toughen up her son and instead he’s managed to escape, get captured and very likely will get himself killed if they don’t intervene.
Back at camp, Alpha spends some time with Beta while telling him a story about the time her daughter got a plastic bag caught over her head and nearly died. Rather than crying with joy when she helped save her daughter’s life, Alpha slapped Lydia for showing weakness and that’s why she’s got to teach her a lesson again right now.
Alpha knows that Lydia is withholding information about her time at the Hilltop so it’s time to test her loyalties to the Whisperers.
She takes Lydia to a clearing where Beta arrives with Henry as Alpha hands her daughter a knife and tells her to kill the boy to prove her loyalty. Lydia begins to cry, which is definitely not allowed within the Whisperers but a second later before she’s forced to make the decision, a herd of walkers crashes the party.
As members of the Whisperers scream out in terror as the dead turn on them, they rush to put on their masks and fight back before they are overrun. You see the Whisperers look at the dead as their ‘guardians’, which is why they are all so horrified when the zombies attack while they were not prepared.
In the chaos, a person comes rushing through the herd and grabs Henry — it’s Daryl and he’s wearing a skin mask just like one of the Whisperers as he lead the zombies to the camp to serve as a distraction so he could lead the rescue mission. Henry refuses to leave without Lydia so Daryl has no choice but to take both of them and along with Connie, they all escape together.
Now Lydia has been taken by the members of the Hilltop community twice and there’s very little chance that Alpha is just going to let this attack slide without issuing her own brutal form of retaliation.
‘The Walking Dead’ returns next Sunday night at 9 p.m. ET on AMC. Take a look at a sneak peek below: