10.16: The Walking Dead - A Certain Doom

Dave

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Beta engages the final battle of the Whisperer War.

I see comments that this episode is "amazing" or "full of emotion" but for me, this series isn't a patch on earlier series. I know this wasn't meant to be a stand alone episode, but the fact that it is, and is fairly mediocre just underlines how much has been lost. The big surprise, and this may be a spoiler so look away now...

....is the return of Maggie!

For me, the best part of this episode was that it was the final end to the Whisperers plot that has been lame and unbelievable. I still don't understand why no one has murdered (or at least tried to murder) Neegan or Lydia. They are just accepted, Given complete redemption (except by Oceania) because they helped defeat the Whisperers. I wouldn't trust either of them with my wallet never mind my life. Not one person holds a grudge for the killing of Glen? What, not even Maggie? Totally unbelievable, but there it is.

So, the only real surprise was in the last few minutes. An unsubtle link to the Walking Dead films. I appreciate that the survivors are, by their very nature of surviving, dangerous, lethal and very capable fighters, possibly mentally unstable, and trigger happy. However, after so long, they would be longing for home comforts, safety, a quality meal, an undisturbed night's sleep. I don't see the need for what we saw. Negotiation would work far better. They were only armed with knives in any case; not even throwing knives. It makes little sense because these survivors are 'the Last Best Hope of Earth', to quote Abraham Lincoln, and their orders cannot involve shooting at them, so why point live weapons at them?.
 

REBerg

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Overall, I liked the episode, although I don't know if it was worth the wait.
I am glad that the Whisperers saga has finally come to end (I hope). It was never clear to me how the herd was being controlled
Leading by example? Power of suggestion?
The walkers here seemed to exhibit more of a mental presence than I remember. Were they actually chanting under Beta's leadership? He even appeared to exert something like telepathic control over his minions.
Beta's demise was anticlimactic. The fight with Negan was disappointingly brief. As Beta sank blissfully into his followers, I couldn't tell if they were eating him or rendering first aid.
I understood how they were using sound to lead the herd to its destruction. If Lydia knew the secret to keep them under directional control, she should have volunteered that knowledge before the wheels came off the boombox plan.
Meanwhile, on Eugene's quest, the cliffhanger ending might have been more effective if the latest soldiers had looked less like Imperial Stormtroopers.
 

ctg

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69jxRrC.jpg

"What's that? You want me to burn down the house??? Okay, ere we go..."


What a clever brilliant idea to get the mega-horde moving! They could not have done a better job, but you have to wonder where did the horses stay, while the Dead moved towards the tower. It is a plot hole and I think it's a wise move that they didn't show, because it would have been a flaw.

It is however quite a thing that they had all of this planned and almost perfectly executed. And it forced Beta's hand to turn around and engage the the diversion plotters. After all he needs the Dead to trap the Ricknation's last survivors inside the tower, so that he can join them in grand old plan for the end of the world.

It was unexpected that they carried nail-bombs with them, but then again, the invention of the black powder happened a long time ago and grenadiers have been in the existence for centuries. As a siege strategy, he should have started literally burning down the house sooner than later. At around the time when he saw the shooters in the upstairs windows.

Like Dave said, there's really no need to send in the fighters, because in every knife fight one or two goes to hospital. That's just the harsh reality. But in the fantasy land people survive without scratches. Luckily there wasn't really any besides Gabriel's last stand that Maggie's companion saved from turning out to be a survival story.

Is it possible that Gabriel will make it to the end of the series?

So, the only real surprise was in the last few minutes. An unsubtle link to the Walking Dead films. I appreciate that the survivors are, by their very nature of surviving, dangerous, lethal and very capable fighters, possibly mentally unstable, and trigger happy. However, after so long, they would be longing for home comforts, safety, a quality meal, an undisturbed night's sleep. I don't see the need for what we saw. Negotiation would work far better. They were only armed with knives in any case; not even throwing knives. It makes little sense because these survivors are 'the Last Best Hope of Earth', to quote Abraham Lincoln, and their orders cannot involve shooting at them, so why point live weapons at them?

Princess had her machine gun. And the fact is you cannot survive in the Kirkman's world without killing something. Preferably the Dead should be the top priority. Eugene's gang has survive almost ten years in the wasteland, while the armoured gang might have been holding out somewhere else.

I suspect they are as you say a connection to the movies through the helicopter people. Who else would have material and knowhow to make light, durable armour that hasn't seen before the conflict started?

You look at Kingdom's armour and it's made from the ice hockey pads. Literally. And it's construction is clever, while the helicopter people pieces are new technology.

fvsb4p5.jpg


What's important, their weapons are loud, not even suppressed. Eugene's posse was mainly armed for silent fighting, even though we know how scared Dr Evil can get when the pressure piles up. He won't go down silently.

But looking at that kit, they should have shown carrying blades and blunt instruments to deal with the zombie encounters. Instead, what they're showing is to intimate Eugene's gang, just like the villains always do. The military calls it Show of Force tactics.

Make them scared so that you don't have to fight, because in the fight someone always get hurt.

I assume that the helicopter people are the government in hiding, as I've predicted for a long time. It would make sense that when they abandoned the people and the military that they would have had something in the back pocket, while everyone else could be sacrificed for greater good.

Not one person holds a grudge for the killing of Glen? What, not even Maggie? Totally unbelievable, but there it is.

How many years you can keep the grudge? Maggie was born and thought to be a Christian, so in her core principles would be the command to turn another cheek. We know that she went off and did something with the old lady that gave them the book to rebuild the society. She might have been in the contact with the helicopter people and she might be therefore their ambassador.

Who knows? I don't know. But there's also the letter that divulged her information about the situation in the Ricknation. It might have included things that Neegan had done, therefore giving him more time.

But I get that the viewers should hold the grudge even though Negan has walked the path of redemption for a while now. He gave everything to save Lydia and Rick's daughter Judith.
 

ctg

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The walkers here seemed to exhibit more of a mental presence than I remember. Were they actually chanting under Beta's leadership? He even appeared to exert something like telepathic control over his minions.

No. You got it wrong. He was hallucinating. And he has been ever since he went bonkers. The Dead speak to him. And as a horror piece, it was well executed because it showed us what it's like to be in his head.

Rewatch the previous episode and you'll see that he's having that same effect in there.

Beta's demise was anticlimactic. The fight with Negan was disappointingly brief. As Beta sank blissfully into his followers, I couldn't tell if they were eating him or rendering first aid.

I bet a lot of fight scenes had end up in the cutting room floor or in the virtual storage as everything is digital these days.
 

ctg

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I guess old Beta picked a bad time to lead the final battle.

Yeah. He really did, but then again, we have seen that it didn't stop the Filthy Woman from being a baddie. Beta had to do it, because the Dead demanded it. When you are in that deep into the hallucinations there's very little you can do to fight them. It's easier to just let to them flow and carry you wherever.
 

ctg

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In the final minutes of the episode titled A Certain Doom, Eugene's group met some new soldiers which were previously only known to comic book fans. The soldiers are heavily armed and decked out in white, Stormtrooper-like armor. This group is from the Commonwealth, a thriving bunch set in Ohio in the books, but presumably in West Virginia for the TV show.

"First and foremost, the bulk of my work on The Walking Dead for 10 years has been zombies and gags and killing and murdering walkers and disembowelments," Nicotero, who directoed Episode 10x16, explained. "Then we got Shiva and that was a lot of fun because that was different. And then all of a sudden, when we started designing the Commonwealth armor, I think the thing that was challenging was taking Robert and Charlie's artwork and adapting it. Because there are certain aspects of a human body that have to be able to move, but the way the armor was designed and drawn, we had to sort of adapt it to something that was three-dimensional and real. I was really, really excited about getting to make something different for the show. Something that KNB is really good at, but doesn't get the opportunity to do it on the show."

Some extra behind-the-camera movie magic came into play during production because there were not as many soldiers in suits on the set as there appeared to be on the series.

"Interestingly enough, about that scene, we only made eight of suits armor and what we did was we cast somebody up at KNB, and then we sent the measurements to our casting people in Georgia and said, 'You have to cast people that are this body size because it's kind of a one size fits all scenario,'" Nicotero says. "So, we actually designed the armor to fit a certain body size and we 3D printed it and we sculpted a lot of it and then we molded it. We made it out of the same material that we use when we did Predator's and a Alita: Battle Angle and something that is flexible, that looks painted and the gloss can be added to it. But when we shot that scene, we only had eight suits, but I wanted to make it feel like there was more, so we would lock the camera off and then have a couple of guys run in from one direction and then we cut and then we put the same eight guys come in from another direction. And when you put all those pieces together in one frame, it looks like there's like 18 or 20 of them running at the group."

The Whisperer War more or less ended when Alpha was killed but the aftermath feels a bit like an epilogue as the remaining Whisperers lead by Beta came crashing down on Team Family. Now, the dust has officially settled, as the group's former second-in-command was killed off when Daryl shoved two giant knives into his eyes and Beta became one with his horde. As it turns out, part of Beta's sendoff being carried out in such a fashion was the idea of none other than Daryl actor Norman Reedus.

"Well, that was a big kill for Daryl in the episode," Nicotero says. "Norman had pitched that idea. Norman had said, 'Oh, I just should come up with both of my knives and stab him in the eyes. Part of the story arc there is that Beta can't die from those stab wounds. Norman's knives are f-cking 12 inches long. We sort of justified it in our heads that because he stabbed straight down it's like the knives go down, they don't go back into his brain, they go straight down. We made a dummy head of Ryan with pullouts. So he did that straight shot where you see the knives being pulled out."
 

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I liked it, not brilliant, little disappointing for a seasonal finale. Beta's death could have been more intense, liked it was Daryl who finally ended him.

Still not sure how they managed to get the walkers to go over the cliff, I know Lydia said she knew how Alpha controlled them but I'm not sure how it was possible.

Would have liked to have seen Maggie's reunion with Daryl and Carol.

Stormtroopers a little over the top.

Pleased Connie is still alive.
Kelly, for me she is to young to be in the thick of the action, she's what sixteen? Her hearing is going, could make her a liability. The young should be protected, would have been better to leave her to protect the children, would have been safer. I know she has been surviving a long time but she is still a child, the only one who is looking out for her is Daryl.
 

Judderman

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I enjoyed this one overall.
The highlight was that the actors portrayed the characters as looking genuinely fearful and disgusted when they were walking amongst the horde. Though it didn't quite have the tension of that similar scene several years ago when we were waiting for the boy to crack up in another escape. There was a number of significant deaths and an injury on that one.

Maggie's arrival with the suited up Jesus style fighter was rather convenient. And I agree that her lack of mention of Negan was bordering on absurd. Even if she had received letters about his help to the group.

The Beta fight was somewhat anticlimactic but perhaps it was for the best that we didn't see another big Beta fight considering the crowd of walkers would have been straight on them.

Beta was meant to be hallucinating. but somehow he got the walkers to start gathering closer together.

The stormtrooper soldiers appearance was a little odd. Another comic book style element. Clearly Eugene had been tempted to go to this location. So maybe the troopers are just being wary, rather than really anything untoward to Eugene's gang. Of course it is possible they want to get to Alexandria and plunder resources, but seems unlikely with the risk and distance involved.... then again they are being introduced for some reason.

Good to have the story moving on!
 

ctg

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Oh so Father Gabriel was meant to die.

The Walking Dead ends the Whisperer War without significant casualties from the survivors in its Season 10 finale, where a last-minute rescue from Maggie (Lauren Cohan) spares Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) from his grisly comic book fate. In "A Certain Doom," the priest prepares to meet his maker when Beta (Ryan Hurst) descends upon the group's hospital tower hideout with a zombie horde of biblical proportions. As Daryl (Norman Reedus) and a troop of heroes wage war with Beta's army outside, Gabriel is overpowered and nearly gutted by invading Whisperers on the top floors of the hospital tower when a bolt-shooting Maggie arrives with a metal-masked fighter.

In The Walking Dead issue #158, Gabriel acts as lookout atop a water tower when he spots the Whisperer horde advancing towards the survivors' position. Descending the tower ladder in a quickened panic, Gabriel slips and is left dangling helplessly with a snapped ankle. Beta steps out of the horde with a blade and guts Gabriel, warning he "should have whispered." A mob of walkers eats Gabriel alive, leaving him a husk of picked-over bones.
the-walking-dead-father-gabriel-dies-comic-book-1239634.jpeg
 

svalbard

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I for one really enjoyed this episode. There was closure on a number of story lines. The Whisperers, Carol and Daryl making peace, Lydia proving here worth and finally deciding upon her place in this world, Negan completing his redemption(loved the line about Beta and Daryl's response). There was a lot to like here. For the first time in years the writers in this series managed to inject pace into the story.

A few seasons back this episode would have taking a whole season to tell.
 

Dave

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I for one really enjoyed this episode. There was closure on a number of story lines. The Whisperers, Carol and Daryl making peace, Lydia proving here worth and finally deciding upon her place in this world, Negan completing his redemption(loved the line about Beta and Daryl's response). There was a lot to like here. For the first time in years the writers in this series managed to inject pace into the story.

A few seasons back this episode would have taking a whole season to tell.
I think now that I was harsh in my comments. I agree with the closure to story lines, the better pacing, the personal redemptions. As I said, this episode suffers more because it was been awaited so long, but was never meant to be a stand alone. I still don't understand the need for the Stormtroopers, or why Maggie doesn't stab Negan in the back (but I don't think Negan will never be able to relax among this group, and should have left whenever he had a chance). Lydia will eventually be accepted (she was just a child and cannot be held responsible for the sins of the Mother)..
 

ctg

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Lydia will eventually be accepted (she was just a child and cannot be held responsible for the sins of the Mother)..

The weird thing about Lydia is that when you encounter her in the comic, she's kind of off putting, but Carl (with one eye) finds her sexy. Therefore, both being in the prison, with Carl being dummy, he ends up falling in love. And then he runs off with her to join the Whisperers.

Boys and their willies, what can you say? Nothing.

Maybe the most disturbing thing is - at least for me - Lydia likes to lick Carl's eye socket. It is such a sight that it disturbs you and really puts you off from liking her, and it comes straight after the Saviour Conflict.

She is almost like a villain. And I get that in this season Angela Kang and other writers turned us to look her in the other light, as a vulnerable young woman who needed to be rescued. That's just who she is, but we also see in this last episode that she's willing to take the sins of her mother and her own personal past to her shoulders. That is truly a redeeming moment, before she goes to rescue Carol from her foolishness.

I was kind of disappointed that Carol didn't act on her urges. She is trying to deny the psychopath inside her, and I think it was that hunt that lured him into Alpha's cave without really thinking what she was doing.

She's a hard character to play and we, the audience tend to think her as a house wife. With cookies and sweet smile, while at the background lurks a monster. So, while the Whisperers were attacking I imagine that she wanted to release her darkness and just start dropping bodies.

I wonder does putting down the Dead satisfy her needs?
 

ctg

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I still don't understand the need for the Stormtroopers,

The stormtroopers. Apparently as it is known the Commonwealth is a very large group of people with tens of thousands under their wings. So think them as a small nation instead of just a group of survivors.

These guys aren't just a merry band of liked minded people, because there's a great deal of diversity among them, but they also tend to carry some of the Old World habits with them. So, assuming that stormies are their frontline unit, you want them to intimidate people. You want the people to scared, in a state of shock, so that they don't draw out weapons and start shooting.

In the other side, the uniform and the similar armour makes them to feel like a real elite unit, because of their full body protection in the Kirkman's world is superb. The Dead can get through the cracks and joints, but overall they are better protected than anyone we've seen so far.

I still wonder why Rickland's blacksmiths didn't develop chainmail production facilities. I know they are present in the canon material, but we also know that this series does its own thing.

To be honest, I think it would be a time to watch a Rick Crimes movie, because this ending and the intro to the realm of the helicopter people would be perfect. But AMC cannot shoot them, because of the Covid situation, which is a shame as I assume they acknowledge this fact as well.

Babylon 5 is the only series that I know which has done the TV movies perfectly.
 

Judderman

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The Walking Dead Compendium 4 (final 49 comic issues) has come down in price now. Probably time for me to get it and see how this thing is meant to end.
 
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Judderman

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I wonder if the storm trooper armour is any better than police riot gear. As demonstrated by Frank in 28 days later.
Maybe their armour is lighter. Depends if there is any gaps. It looked like some parts overlapped.
 

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