Khary Payton as Ezekiel, Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier - The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 13 - Photo Credit: Jace Downs/AMC
Photo: Jace Downs/AMC
Photo: Jace Downs/AMC

‘The Walking Dead’ recap (‘Chokepoint’): season 9, episode 13: the fair goes bad

Originally posted Sunday, March 10, 2019 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

Carol isn’t just a “Terminator”-quality fighter. She also has learned “the art of the deal.”

She convinced some Highwaymen/pirates to cooperate with the Kingdom trade fair and ensured it would happen. 

In the meantime, Daryl and Connie made a good team keeping Henry and Lydia alive while dispatching with a bunch of Whisperers.

There was plenty of action and more moments of tension than the typical episode lately. Sure, idiot Henry had more eye-rolling dialogue and got to kiss da girl again. But Daryl also showed why he isn’t dying any time soon. 

Earlier, Lydia had basically failed her mom’s loyalty test, then ran away with Daryl, Connie and Henry. On the surface, there seems to be no reason why the Whisperers should go after her but Alpha has her pride. She is out for vengeance and a mom’s desire to punish her daughter. 

Plus, they lost at least one guy to a surprise walker attack. (Again, how the timing seemed more like a script contrivance than something that could actually happen to the Whisperers.)

Daryl at first doesn’t want Lydia around. She’s a liability. Henry offers to go with her separately. Then Connie goes off in a direction Daryl doesn’t want to go. Does anyone listen to Daryl? He feels a need to “protect” Henry for Carol’s sake, no matter how idiotic he is. So the foursome go her direction. 

Anyway, Connie finds a “chokepoint” building to try to fight off the Whisperers. In the building, Lydia wonders to Henry why they haven’t just left her behind by now. She knows she’s probably a dead woman since there is no way the Whisperers would keep her alive in her mind. 

He says saving her was “the right thing to do.” 

“It was stupid,” Lydia says, correctly. “You made mom look weak. She’s not going to let this go.”

Then Lydia finally gets Henry to admit the obvious: “I care about you,” he says before she gives him another serious kiss. 

Beta and his crew arrive with his kill crew moments after Lydia and Henry make nauseating googly eyes at her. Daryl and Connie are ready. Henry? Not so much. He gets injured. After a cool fight sequence, Beta says something stupid like, “Your world is already dead. We just want the girl.”

Daryl then pushes Beta - looking the wrong direction - down an elevator shaft. But Beta survives. 

***

Meanwhile, back at the Kingdom, Nabila, Jerry’s wife, tells Carol that the Kingdom fair is “what we fought so hard for, to be different people, not warriors. We couldn’t possibly give up now.” She sounds like a proper Ezekiel acolyte.
But alas, problems arise quickly.

Some pirates jumped Jerry and demand ransom. Folks coming to the fair would have to pay a “toll” to get there. 

So in response, Ezekiel sets up to ambush the pirates. He is resentful of having to resort of violence since the whole point of the fair was peace. Why can’t people just get along?

Carol suggests they could skip the ambush and try to talk to the pirates instead. They didn’t kill Jerry and even wrote a grammatically correct letter. They aren’t savages! For once, Carol is being the reasonable one. But if they don’t accept a verbal negotiation, she said blood will be shed.

The pirates talk tough but Ezekiel suggests instead of a toll, they open the roads up for the Kingdom for access to the fair. The leader isn’t convinced until Carol suggests they can see a movie! (And she doesn’t even name the movie!)

A little wink to Hollywood is the elixir of diplomacy in the post-apocalyptic world. The pirates - apparently calling themselves the Highwaymen - help out Earl, Tammy, Tara, Magna, Yukiko and Kelly from a bunch of walkers (minus Whisperers.) It’s amusing to see Brett Butler (”Grace Under Fire”) as Tammy join in and kill a couple of walkers, including one tormenting her hubby.

Now where is Alpha going? And where is Daryl going to eventually take Henry? Three more episodes to go. Who will die? And will any more major characters leave? 

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About the Author

Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
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