In This Episode...
Lydia is back with the Whisperers, filling her mom in on what little intel she was able to glean. She tells Alpha they are farmers, there are no signs of other communities, and they don't have much firepower. The group rests for a few minutes, and Henry watches them from a nearby ravine. He knocks out one Whisperer but is taken by surprise by Beta, the second-in-command. They take him as a prisoner and go back to their paltry "camp." Alpha doesn't quite believe Lydia when she says Henry was just in the cell next to her, but she lets it go.
At camp, a man takes issue with Alpha's decision to go back for her daughter, as well as giving up two of "theirs" for only one of "ours." He challenges Alpha's leadership, as is their custom. She accepts the challenge and kills his girlfriend, then kills him. So, I guess she wins. Other followers drag their corpses out into a field to feed the zombies. As night falls, Alpha tests Lydia's loyalty by handing her a knife and insisting she kill Henry. Lydia hesitates, even when Alpha tells her to kill Henry or Beta will kill the both of them. Suddenly a swarm of zombies flood the camp, eating anyone who isn't in their zombie skins. Those who are wearing masks scatter -- slowly. A zombie -- Daryl in a mask -- grabs Henry and drags him out of there. Henry drags Lydia with him, and they meet up with Connie and run.
At Alexandria, Michonne is facing a lot of pushback from her council for making the unilateral decision not to partake in the fair, despite the fact that Kingdom is hurting worse than they originally let on. Michonne is willing to take the denizens of Kingdom in to Alexandria, but she doesn't think Ezekiel is ready to give up. In order to protect her people, she refuses to go to the fair.
Michonne goes to Negan and wants to know why he left and came back. She suspects he tried to make a go of it outside the community and found he couldn't. "The world has changed," Negan admits, "but so have I." He hopes that Michonne can learn to trust him, make him part of the community. He offers to be her sounding board. He hears how unhappy the council is with her leadership. Michonne responds by telling him his lock will be fortified and his windows will be covered. After confronting Judith about her interactions with Negan (Judith insists that Negan is human, he listens to her, and he isn't the monster Michonne knows him as), Michonne finally agrees to allow the council another vote on attending the fair. They vote "yea," and Michonne is left fretting as the rest of the community packs up to leave.
Rosita's Love Quadrangle
Rosita has chosen Gabriel, even though they both know the baby is Siddiq's. And it seems that they are going to have a three-way parenting plan -- which, of course, makes Eugene sad and jealous. I find it a nice solution. After all, Rosita loves Gabriel; that is who she wants to be with. But so many kids no longer have their biological parents in this world. Judith doesn't. Gracie doesn't. Henry doesn't. Enid doesn't (though she hasn't been a kid for a while). I don't see this situation as leading to a polyamorous relationship, which would have been a nice, progressive storyline.
I like that Judith doesn't lie to her mom about Negan. I get the sense that this is calculated on her part. It's not that she doesn't have the ability to lie; she just doesn't see a point to it. Judith is very mature for her age (she's like ... nine? Ten? I am so lost by the timeline of the show).
Skinning the dead
This felt like a scene just for the gorehounds -- and I am here for it. But seeing a couple Whisperers skin a zombie just raises more questions for me. You have to imagine that these zombies have been dead for a while. Wouldn't their flesh have rotted, making it difficult -- or even impossible -- to strip off their skin in one piece? These are the questions that plague me.
Another one for the gorehounds: Alpha decapitates the challenger's girlfriend. This is delightful, but again, it raises more questions for me. A living person would not be that easy to garrote (not that I have any personal experience with that), let alone have the garroting lead to decapitation. This is why doctors have saws to saw through bones. Alpha would have to be incredibly strong to garrote a head completely off, and even if she could do that, it wouldn't happen that quickly or cleanly.
Alpha shares an interesting story about her parenting style. When Lydia was three years old, Alpha turned from her for a minute and she found the little girl in a closet, choking on plastic dry cleaner wrap. Instead of panicking, Alpha watched her daughter choke until she turned blue and stopped breathing. She cleared her airways and held Lydia until her breathing returned to normal. Then she smacked her daughter hard so she wouldn't forget. "You have to do what you can to protect what you love" was Alpha's reasoning.