Originally posted Sunday, February 17, 2019 by RODNEY HOfirstname.lastname@example.org on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog
This is a highly unusual “Walking Dead” episode because a good portion of it harkens back to the early days of the apocalypse in “flashback” form.
The problem is the “flashback” is not necessarily accurate.
It’s basically Lydia - the Whisperer who was captured by the Hilltop crew - telling her “story” during much of the episode to Henry, then Daryl.
She goes back to day 23 after the apocalypse happened. She’s in a moldy basement as a young child (maybe five or six) and some of the survivors want to leave. She recalls her mom being the softie, wanting to stay and her dad wanting to leave. She recalls her singing a song about Lydia and showing off a tattoo with her name on it. Later, her dad shaves his beard and head. (As we learn later, it’s actually her dad who sings her a song and her mom who goes all “Alien”-esque Ripley.)
Henry, who has the obvious hots for Lydia, starts freely revealing info about the Kingdom. Daryl, the eavesdropper, drops in and frees Henry, putting the kibosh on this burgeoning romance.
Lydia tells Daryl some more about her pat: By day 43, a man goes stir crazy and Lydia’s mom (now named Alpha) ends up killing him. Yes, she’s the real bad*ssin this family.
Daryl pours on the Daryl charm to glean more info. “There are a lot of good people here. They’ll help you if you help them,” Daryl says . When he offers her water to help swallow some pain pills using a ladle, she grabs his arm and he grabs hers and sees all these marks on it.
He comes back later with a birch branch, an illustration of how he thinks her dad beat her and must be still alive. Lydia says it was actually her mom who beat her.
“Where is she?”Daryl asks.
“Be glad you don’t know,” Lydia warns.
“This place isn’t real,” she adds. “The world changed and you are all acting like it’s going to change back. My mom walks because that’s what the dead do. It’s their world and we have to live in it. What my mom does, she does for a reason.”
“Your mom beats you because she loves you?” he said. “That’s bulls***.”
“It’s not. When you stay soft, people die,” she says.
She says her dad was soft and it was her fault he died. At least that’s the tale her mom has spun over the years.
Henry tries to convince Daryl that Lydia is redeemable. Daryl isn’t totally buying it.
Henry, being a teen with hormones, decides to let her out without telling Daryl that night. They hide in a spot where there are some worms on the ground. She eats them. Since he’s trying to please her, he eats one, too. He brags about how the Hilltop is growing and doing so well.
She in the meantime finds a hammer and is about to use it on his stupid noggin. Then she hears a baby crying. It triggers her memories and she freaks out and asks to be put back in the cell.
“Can you stay with me tonight?” she asks. “Please?” They hold hands. It’s surprising, they don’t do more.
The next morning, she tells Daryl and Henry what really happened a decade earlier: when the dude Alpha killed reanimated and began eating folks, all mayhem broke loose. Alpha decided it was time to leave, calling their friends “idiots.” Frank, Lydia’s dad, refused. She chose to kill him and take Lydia with her.
Yes, her mom had brainwashed Lydia and has been painted as a ruthless, awful human being.
So when Alpha and her Whisperers show up at the Hilltop - courtesy of Luke and Alden, Alpha demands her daughter. That’s how the episode ends.
But as trailers for next week show, Daryl says no. “Wrong answer,” she says and a new war has begun.
The secondary story line features Magna’s crew worried about Luke’s absence.
They go out with Tara and seeing the dangers, decide to turn back.
Then Magna’s group decides to go out without Tara’s permission. They don’t find anything and one of them freaks out because Luke had saved him. They return separately.
This whole sequence is boring because are we supposed to care about them?
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