In ‘The Walking Dead’ recap for the season 10 debut, the survivors receive a frightening reminder of the fragile peace being kept with the Whisperers as a fire in the sky threatens to undo everything…
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
Time jumps have become a staple of ‘The Walking Dead’ in recent seasons and after moving forward several years following Rick Grimes’ disappearance, the survivors faced a whole new threat from a group known as ‘The Whisperers’.
Led by the ominous Alpha, the Whisperers hide amongst the walkers by wearing skins of the dead while commanding a massive herd that serves as a ‘nuclear weapon’ for anyone stupid enough to oppose them. Unlike the Saviors, the Whisperers have soldiers numbering thousands who are completely expendable yet Alpha can point them in whatever direct she sees fit to destroy any enemy who opposes her way of life.
A season ago, Alpha lost her daughter Lydia to the survivors so in return she exacted revenge by decapitating several people including Enid, Tara and Henry before setting up a series of boundaries that would serve as the dividing line between her Whisperers and the communities between Alexandria, Hilltop and Oceanside.
When we pick up in ‘The Walking Dead’ season 10, several months have passed yet again since the show ended during the winter as the survivors are beginning to adapt to their surroundings while doing everything possible to avoid conflict with the Whisperers.
Boundaries are set and the survivors know better than to crossover into the Whisperers territory but when a falling satellite from space crashes down in the woods, threatening to burn down the communities that surround it, Michonne, Daryl and the rest of the group are forced to choose between respecting the borders or traveling into enemy land to stop a potential forest fire.
Before the fire starts, there’s plenty more to get to as we recap ‘The Walking Dead’ season 10 debut episode titled ‘Lines We Cross’…
As the episode begins, many of the survivors are going through a rigorous training session at Oceanside to learn how to fight off groups of walkers. It’s a successful endeavor as the survivors learn how to take out larger threats without getting panicked or separated in the midst of a fight.
Michonne makes the trip from Alexandria along with Daryl to help with the training session that also includes King Ezekiel and Jerry as well. All of the children are brought along to enjoy the ocean for the first time as Judith and her brother RJ join Jerry’s children searching for seashells and other artifacts in the sand.
When the kids dump out their buckets, they find a few starfish and crab shells but Judith discovers one other thing picked up from the ocean — a skin mask that obviously once belonged to a member of the Whisperers.
By this point it had been months since the cease fire was called after several survivors were murdered and decapitated and the members of the various communities have learned to move forward while still living with a healthy dose of fear that the Whisperers may return at some point. This is the first sign that Alpha’s group was still potentially somewhere nearby after not making any appearances since the winter.
Michonne sends a warning to Alexandria to be on the lookout for any potential danger as she prepares to lead a group out into the surrounding areas for any further signs that the Whisperers have returned.
Along the way, Aaron wonders if the communities are actually the good guys or just the bad guys in someone else’s story. It’s a question that’s been asked by a lot of ‘Walking Dead’ fans when it came to Negan and the Saviors. Perhaps if seeing the story from their point of view, Rick Grimes and the survivors would actually be seen as the villains of this particular story.
Either way, Aaron is obviously getting fed up with catering to the borders created by the Whisperers after slaughtering several members of their community but Michonne is quick to remind him that Alpha commands a massive herd that trumps any weapon they could use to counter it.
After fighting off a few walkers, Michonne gets a call on the radio from Magna and her scouting party asking to join them in the woods. When they arrive, Michonne finds a campsite that’s been ransacked and the campers who have been dead for quite some time.
The most disturbing discover, however, is another skin found at the campsite, which indicates yet again that the Whisperers have not only returned but they are inside the boundaries set up by Alpha months ago.
Returning to Oceanside, Michonne finds Judith sitting with RJ telling him the story about Rick’s ‘death’ while saving the survivors from a horde of walkers trying to cross a bridge. She also speaks with Aaron about their place in the world where they choose to be the good guys rather than allow themselves to become the villains.
Michonne and Aaron also debate whether fear is more dangerous or useful in their situation with the fragile peace with the Whisperers. Michonne has seemingly been living in fear ever since their last encounter while Aaron has started to feel resentment and anger towards the group responsible for killing so many of their people without any repercussion.
Before the conversation can get much further, Michonne looks up in the sky as everybody in the community soon notices a giant flaming object hurdling towards the ground. That’s when Michonne gets a frantic call from Eugene back in Alexandria with a warning about what is falling from the heavens.
Us vs. Them
Back in Alexandria, Gabriel is the person who receives the initial call from Michonne that Oceanside found a skin that belonged to a Whisperer washed up on the shore. While the initial order is to lock everything down, Michonne calms down the situation and asks Gabriel to be on alert rather than to send the entire community into a panic.
Inside the walls of the Alexandria Safe Zone, Eugene is acting as a surrogate father of sorts to Rosita’s baby while she is training in hand-to-hand combat. The baby’s actual father Siddiq soon returns for daddy duty but in the midst of caring for his child, he’s haunted by visions of the past when the Whisperers kidnapped members of the group and eventually slaughtered them. Siddiq is struggling with his post traumatic stress as everything around him serves as a reminder of the horrors he saw from the Whisperers.
He’s interrupted by Dante — a new member of the community — who is also working in the infirmary alongside Siddiq.
Outside, Negan is tending to the garden in a work release program of sorts while Lydia attends school with the other children as she begins to learn how to read. The school day is cut short when Gabriel arrives to warn everybody about the potential return of the Whisperers. Lydia soon moves to the garden where she begins practicing with a staff — perhaps in memory to Henry as that was his weapon of choice — when she talks to Negan about the rumors that have begun circulating around the community.
The return of the Whisperers means just about everybody in Alexandria is keeping a watchful eye on Lydia because her defection helped lead to the initial fight between the two groups. Negan warns her that when a threat arrives, people tend to start picking sides and they’d both be better off looking over their shoulders for the time being.
Negan eventually retires to his cell where Gabriel pays him a visit wondering why Alexandria’s most famous inmate was inside when he was finally allowed to enjoy some sunshine while working outdoors. Negan tells him that the return of the Whisperers puts everybody on alert and that immediately puts him into danger as his existence in the community might suddenly be seen as a threat.
“Until this whole thing passes, I’m going to keep my head down so people don’t move me from the proverbial semi-us category to the category of them. See the boogieman just stuck his gnarly skin-covered mask out from behind that closet door and people are putting their shitting pants back on because pants shitting is definitely happening”
Negan does offer Gabriel some friendly advice from a former leader to another — keeping the peace by calming everybody’s fears and making them feel safe, even if it requires a little lie, is better than allowing a full blown panic to break out amongst the survivors.
Gabriel goes against Negan’s advice by telling the people in Alexandria to close quarters, lock the gates and keep a watchful eye out — when that same flaming object goes streaking across the sky. Eugene races to the radio room to reach out to Oceanside to warn Michonne that a falling satellite from space is about to land near them.
Fire in the Sky
Back at Oceanside, Connie is leading a fishing expedition when Kelly starts to experience further hearing loss. It seems Kelly’s hearing will eventually go non-existent, which is rather frightening but Connie assures her that it will all be OK even if she’s no longer able to translate for her to the rest of the group.
Daryl soon arrives as his flirtation with Connie continues and he’s even learning some sign language so they can communicate with each other.
It’s around this time that a ship arrives at Oceanside with Carol as the captain on the high seas. She’s been leading fishing trips out into the ocean to find food for the communities while also allowing her to time she needs to properly grieve over the loss of her surrogate son Henry after he was butchered by the Whisperers.
There’s an uneasy tension between Carol and Ezekiel, who broke up in the wake of Henry’s death.
Carol has apparently been spending more and more time on the boat, away from the communities, but Daryl decides to spend a day with his best friend while she’s still on dry land.
They go for a motorcycle ride and then do some target practice with a few walkers before eventually deciding to go hunting for a deer running through the woods. Daryl hits the deer with a glancing blow from his crossbow but the wounded animal is still able to crawl out towards the borders set by Alpha and the Whisperers.
When the animal falls across the boundary, Daryl tells Carol to leave it alone as a pack of walkers approach. He warns her that Alpha has made it clear that crossing these boundaries could lead to a full blown war and that’s not a fight the survivors believe they could win.
Obviously none of it sits well with Carol, who is still seething with animosity towards Alpha and the Whisperers for killing her son.
After missing out on dinner for the communities, Daryl and Carol catch up as he asks her to spend a little more time at home and she instead invites him to go with her on the boat. They eventually discuss the possibility of leaving the communities all together and perhaps take a trip out west to some place like New Mexico.
The conversation is cut off by that same flaming satellite falling through the sky before it lands in the woods just outside of Oceanside.
The survivors are forced to crossover into enemy territory to fight back the fire caused by the falling satellite because in a risk versus reward situation, they decide that it’s better to knock down the flames now and stop a potential disaster reaching their front doors than sticking to a boundary set up by Alpha. A forest fire that gets out of control would be nearly impossible to stop under these conditions so Michonne, Daryl and the rest of the survivors band together to stamp down the flams before the blaze can spread any further.
In the midst of the fire fight, the group is also forced to battle back against the walkers who have been drawn to the flames. In the end, however, the survivors are able to stamp down the fire but Michonne quickly orders everybody to get back on their side of the border before risking any further conflict with the Whisperers.
Eugene begs for a few more minutes to dig into the satellite that fell from the sky in order to harvest any technology from inside that may have survived. Michonne reluctantly gives him time but then she notices that Daryl and Carol have disappeared.
It seems they decided to go for a walk in the woods to return to the site where they first confronted Alpha a season ago before looking down in a ravine where she was harnessing her ultimate weapon — a massive herd that would be pointed at the communities if they defied her. Daryl gives Carol a few moments by herself as she thinks about her son but just at that moment, a figure emerges from the shadows.
Alpha has returned and she spots Carol staring back at her — and if Carol is standing there that means the survivors have broken the borders that have been keeping the peace for these past few months. The Whisperers have apparently never gone away but they stuck to the boundaries set up as part of the peace agreement — until now.
The look in Alpha’s eyes is undeniable — she sees an intruder while Carol is staring back at the woman responsible for murdering her son. What’s certain is that these two factions have been surviving through a fragile peace that has now been broken and a fight to the death is most definitely coming.
‘The Walking Dead’ will return with a brand new episode next Sunday night at 9 p.m. ET on AMC. Check out two preview videos below: