9.13: The Walking Dead - Chokepoint

ctg

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

ctg

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"We could run," Henry said. "You guys head back and we keep running! They can't blame Hilltop if we disappear!"

Man, of course you could run, but what good would it do for the communities? Unless it's super obvious that you were heading to other direction I'm with Daryl, it is stupid and Henry is far less capable of surviving out in the Dead Wastes than his mentor Morgan.

Although Daryl had a couple of seconds to think about it, it was clear that he knew that Henry and Lydia weren't going to make, even if Lydia would teach Henry to survive out there. If the Rickland would have a training program that is set to churn out fighters and scouts, Henry is far from ready to be living out there without support from much more experienced people than him. But that only speaks to the strength of the actors and the script, as we are genuingly scared that he'll commit another stupid idea that gets people killed.



So, the mark seen in the last episode didn't belong to the Whisperers but the Highway man, which I believe is Kang's idea as it isn't present to my knowledge in the comics. I just cannot be sure, because I stopped reading them around the time they were putting together the fair.

What surprised me more is that Ezekiel admitted that they put together the fair to kept up to date on the stock situation. But why? What could have changed so much in six years that the communities cannot support themselves any more, when earlier they were able to support the Sanctuary and not see starvation looming at the horizon.

Although the King agreed to deal with the Highway man, the opposition was loaded with arms, making the question of what happened to Rickland's ammo and firearms even more dire. During the war between Rick and Negan, nobody counted weapons or ammo, now it's all medieval for them and old world guns for the villains.

It is making my blood pressure higher because once again I am actually scared for the major character losses. I loved that Carol seems sensible and not scared of losing her sanity, just like Daryl and Connie on planning to take out much scarier group than the Highway men.

I have read rumours that Connie is going to be Daryl's new love interest. It's just I don't see it, as they both seems to have a professional relationship, instead of being supremely interested in each other. Thing is, unlike Henry and Lydia, both the Kingdom group and Daryl & Connie are all experienced fighters, some could say veterans.

So, when Ezekiel and Carol actually started to talk to the Highway men, I was gaping once again, because for the first time in TWD's history, they tried diplomacy first. It is unheard in both series.

Have they been reading the forum again? I am not aware that other forums would have talked about diplomacy as much as we have.



"Here, I made that for you!" Henry handed over the gift. I bet he was thinking along the the lines of Lydia saying: "Oh, Henry, it is so big and pointy," instead of being dumped for thinking that Lydia would kill "her people."

"Sorry I cannot do it," Lydia said as she handed it back. Then she asked: "Will you...?"

"I try not to," Henry answered as if he could stand behind his words after he'd committed a revenge killing in his young age. Nothing is certain in his young age. Nothing. He doesn't even realise what the wisdom means as he hasn't experienced life as the old ones has.

Between him and Lydia, it's all about chemistry. They are both in that age, when YA's shag like bunnies. Neither one of them really know what it's like to be in a long relationship. All they know is that they want each other. I hope Uncle Daryl will teach young Henry a thing about condoms. It's just I doubt he'll can, or will. So, I bet if they'll stay together, Lydia will end up being a teenage mum sooner than later. Luckily she doesn't have to deal with the social services and benefits as those things are dead.

If they survive, will the love last between them or will one day Henry find a secretary and Lydia a tennis instructor?



I loved that the Highway Men ride to Hilltop rescue when the Whisperers attacked, and they play at same time a western cavalry tune. It was so fitting. Well done AMC and TWD writers. This is what TWD needed. Hope instead of misery.



Magnificent fight. Truly awesome. I have not felt my heart beating so far for a TWD fight for a long time. I'm not going to spoil it by writing what happened as you'll have to see it on your own. It is really that special.
 

Dave

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Just a couple of observations (some spoilers):

  1. Beta hiding out in the Herd isn't very feasible. I hadn't noticed it before because of camera angles but he is about a foot taller than most people. It doesn't really matter if he wears a mask and shuffles along, it's pretty obvious which one is him.
  2. Carol determines who is good or bad on the basis of their knowledge of English Grammar now??? And The Highwaymen were prepared to help them for food, water and to watch movies??? And to critique a few letters maybe? What is going on with these plots?
  3. When did they stop making sure that every dead person is stabbed through the brain? Not checking on Beta and leaving him in the lift shaft goes against everything they usually do. Obviously, they are short of villains and they don't want to kill them off too soon, but from what I have learnt of Daryl, he would have made sure he was dead. Even if Beta doesn't die, trapped there. then he would turn.
  4. Even as stupid as Henry is, I wouldn't expect him to totally trust Lydia. I can't believe Daryl and Connie were prepared to do all this for her.
 

nixie

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Carol is suddenly a diplomat?
Now I'm being cruel but if Henry and Lydia have a baby the poor kid will be a simpleton, I know they're young but both are a sandwich short of a picnic.
I do like Connie, hope she's around for awhile.
The highwaymen, sorry I don't buy they could be bought so easily mind you if it was me I'd do it for books. Did anyone else have The Adam and Ants song in their head?
The fight was epic.
 

ctg

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Carol determines who is good or bad on the basis of their knowledge of English Grammar now??? And The Highwaymen were prepared to help them for food, water and to watch movies??? And to critique a few letters maybe? What is going on with these plots?
Carol is suddenly a diplomat?
Yeah, these got me too, but I thought that they fit her normal self and not the psychotic one. She is really smart and I think the point with the grammar is that they'll know who went to school and who might have been born in this world, or didn't receive a full education.

Letters and way they are written tells a lot of about the character even if it's a simple one. But I like that Carol wasn't just GRRR and off with the head, but she has had a lot of healing over the years to be able to confront shooters and smile.

I think she was worst when she was alone on the road, facing Saviors.

Even as stupid as Henry is, I wouldn't expect him to totally trust Lydia. I can't believe Daryl and Connie were prepared to do all this for her.
Now I'm being cruel but if Henry and Lydia have a baby the poor kid will be a simpleton, I know they're young but both are a sandwich short of a picnic.
Every life matters, even if it's a simple one, but I hope they'll learn to use rubber first. There must be millions of them left, still wrapped in plastic.

Not checking on Beta and leaving him in the lift shaft goes against everything they usually do.
He was bleeding from head. So at least he has a blood loss and concussion. Hopefully he'll have a couple of broken ribs, and that stab wound in the chest. Martha took quite a bit punishment before she gave up, but Beta might be gunning for her place.

Even if Beta doesn't die, trapped there. then he would turn.
Lifts have emergency access. He might be able to fit through it. If he's bleeding and having a concussion, he might not be able to play a convincing dead.

The fight was epic.
Dog saved the day!
 

REBerg

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So, when Ezekiel and Carol actually started to talk to the Highway men, I was gaping once again, because for the first time in TWD's history, they tried diplomacy first. It is unheard in both series
I liked the unexpectedly lighthearted outcome of the armed standoff between the Kingdom and highwaymen. Road security in exchange for free tickets to the fair? No deal. What if they throw in a movie? Saddle up!:LOL:
Has Carol really gone soft? I don't think so. Talk first, she said. If they wouldn't listen, then kill them. That's the Carol I know and love.

Beta hiding out in the Herd isn't very feasible. I hadn't noticed it before because of camera angles but he is about a foot taller than most people. It doesn't really matter if he wears a mask and shuffles along, it's pretty obvious which one is him.
I had no trouble spotting Big Beta, so Daryl should have easily been able to put a bolt through Beta's brainbox and kept his promise to "kill him first." Daryl finishing that knock-down, drag-out fight with a loogie instead of a kill shot probably says more about what AMC is paying Ryan Hurst than anything else.

Dog saved the day!
I find myself fearing far more for Dog than I do for Henry. He and Lydia are just annoying.
It cracked me up when Dog went along with everyone else in choosing to follow Connie's escape plan over his master's. Et tu, Dog?
 
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Judderman

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The Daryl vs Beta fight was great. Probably the best close combat fight we have ever seen on the Walking Dead. Hero v big baddy movie style. Jesus had some great moves but this was more of a tough guy contest.
Would have been useful if Lydia had pointed out Beta in the crowd outside to get him shot.

The Highwayman stuff was quite funny. They write good letters, but their leader seemed dumb enough to do a suicidal last stand until he heard about the movies. Still there was some humorous stuff with them. As Daryl and co took out a few Whisperers, and now the Highwaymen are on board, surely this makes the odds a little harder for the remaining Whisperers. Though Beta will have the element of surprise and wont be getting pushed down any more holes.
Connie is a great catch for our hero Daryl. If she can survive Beta's revenge.
 

ctg

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The Highway Men were first teased weeks ago when members of the Kingdom road past a street sign with a mysterious red symbol painted on it. Later, they would receive what was essentially a ransom note, before encountering the group who claim passers by have to pay their "toll." Ultimately, there would not be bloodshed, but a barter between the Highway Men and Kingdom soldiers as it was the idea of watching a movie which brought everyone together.

"The idea for these guys came from the brains of the writers who wrote this episode, David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick, and Eddie Guzelian," Kang told EW. "They were brainstorming, and I believe that they were the ones who were kind of like, 'You know what? It might be fun to have this left turn.' In an earlier episode we saw a group of wagons going by, and you saw this kind of sign that was painted on the back of a street sign. It’s sort of like the apocalypse version of tagging or whatever, saying that 'This is our territory.' The symbol, it’s a horizon and then a road going up to meet the horizon at a point. So that was the idea behind that."

Not only was the introduction of the group less than traditional (although the teasing offered similar vibes as the Wolves of Season Five and Season Six) but the resolution was unlike any other on the zombie series. They really did settle their differences over an agreement to watch a movie.

"What we were really looking to do was introduce a group that has sort of an unusual MO, and had a really unique perspective on life, and a unique way that our people have to deal with them," Kang said. "It was a lot of fun, and we were really lucky to get the wonderful actor Angus Sampson to play the role of the lead Highway Men, so that was a lot of fun for us to work on."

As with all new characters on The Walking Dead, some questions remain even after an agreement. "Really, are they bad guys, or did they just have their own thing that they’re trying to do just as our people do?" Kang said. "Certainly our people have done some things that are in the gray area themselves."

It is all meant to juxtapose the story unfolding with the Whisperers, one which fans have seen many times over with various villainous groups. "We wanted to tell this story of how do groups coexist with each other or not?" Kang explains. "Because there’s certainly a very specific story with the Whisperers that’s happening. Then here’s a different kind of group, and how do you negotiate what are your borders, or where you go? I guess the long-winded answer to your question is, I don’t really see the Highwaymen as being good or evil. They’re just people who exist in this world, and they’re trying to grapple with having neighbors just like our people are."
'The Walking Dead' Showruner Explains Highway Men Story's Origin

The Walking Dead's current villains have a unique view on the dead, walking among them, and using them as tools which is something showrunner Angela Kang put a lot of deep thought into.

To start Episode 9x13, the Whisperers were recovering from a walker attack on the camp. While most survivors introduced on the show choose to put down their peers after a scratch or bite claims them, the Whisperers do quite the opposite. As revealed by Beta, the group looks forward to their own turning into "Guardians" (a term used for zombies by the Whisperers) and will then be protecting the rest of the survivors.

"We were just thinking a lot internally about… If you’re the Whisperers, what is your attitude towards zombies?" Kang told EW. "It’s clearly not the same attitude we have towards them. They’re not seen as a threat in the same way. In a lot of ways they have used the zombies, used their skins, but also just their physical presence to protect them. There’s something that’s so cult-like in a lot of ways about how the Whisperers think, and the way they behave, and the way they call Alpha, Alpha and Beta, Beta. It made sense to me and the other writers that they would try to make it seem like if you die and you’re a warrior, that this is a thing of honor, and you will always be with us."

The Whisperers have already put their barbaric thought processes on display several times over. First, the group's leader Alpha was willing to let a baby be eaten by the dead as a means of natural selection playing out. Then, she was willing to let her daughter Lydia be killed if she was too weak to kill a member of the Hilltop community.

Now, priding themselves in turning into walkers as a means to protect the group is simply the next step in establishing the group's bizarre mythology.

"It’s part of making that entire philosophy feel as if it’s one piece, and putting importance on different things than our people would," Kang said. "We thought that it was interesting in this episode, which really kind of deals with what we call the Field Team Six of the Whisperers. That that’s part of their warrior mythology, it’s like you die and then you still are with us forever, which felt kind of true to the general belief system that they have."
'The Walking Dead' Showrunner Explains Interesting Whisperer Tactic
 

Judderman

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This does make the suicidal attack on Jesus make more sense.
Though if one of them turns into a walker and then that walker is "killed" such as in the Daryl bowshot example I suppose that is the end.
 
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