In This Episode...
Daryl, Connie, Lydia, and Henry rush through the night, desperate to escape the Whisperers. Connie leads them to a tall building and suggests they set up a chokepoint. They set up on a top floor. The zombies can't climb, so anyone who makes it upstairs to attack them has to be human. When the Whisperers arrive, they recognize the setup as a trap, but they head in anyway, assuming they can take on whoever they need to in the name of getting Lydia back. Many Whisperers are killed, and there is an impressive battle between Daryl and Beta that ends with Daryl throwing Beta down an elevator shaft. Henry is injured in the fight. Daryl decides they will take him to Alexandria, the closest community, to get patched up, then the four of them will continue on. He does not specify where.
Jerry and his crew were assaulted on the road. They bring a note to Ezekiel. The men who did this call themselves the Highwaymen. They "own" the roads outside of the Kingdom, and if they want the visitors to get to the fair safely, the Kingdom will fulfill a ransom note. Ezekiel and Jerry are ready to go to war, but Carol and Dianne first want to try reasoning with them. They meet with the Highwaymen, who are not interested in negotiating. Carol has a suggestion: We give you access to the trade fair (including food and supplies), and they make sure the visitors arrive safely to the fair. The Highwaymen are unconvinced -- until Carol asks them when they last saw a movie.
The Hilltoppers are escorted to the Kingdom by the Highwaymen. Upon arrival, Tara and Carol are concerned to hear that Daryl and Henry had not arrived yet. Meanwhile, at the "chokepoint," Beta didn't die in the fall down the elevator shaft. He is stuck, but he is not dead.
I love that Shiva is still at the Kingdom -- even if she is only there in papier-mache form.
I love that one of Carol's reasons behind trying to reason with the Highwaymen is that they had a "grammatically correct" note. Don't get me wrong; I look at notes and tweets and such the same way. I take them more seriously if they are grammatically correct. It doesn't necessarily mean that someone won't be violent -- some of the world's most prolific serial killers had above-average intelligence -- but there is something comforting about proper grammar.
This storyline also offers an interesting way of looking at how men and women handle situations. Ezekiel and Jerry immediately assumed the worst about the Highwaymen, and wanted to go to battle. Dianne and Carol, however, believe that if the Highwaymen wanted to kill them, they would have already attacked. They want to talk to them.
What I find interesting is that this goes along traditional gender roles. Men want to fight; women want to talk. It comes across as a simplistic reading between the genders. I would have rather seen Carol and Jerry be on one side, Ezekiel and Dianne on the other.
Either way, I love that what convinces the Highwaymen to join the Kingdom is the promise of a movie!
Beta vs. Daryl
This as an epic battle. It was the fight I didn't even know I wanted, but once I got it, my life felt complete. There is something about Beta's huge size and Daryl's wiry ... Daryl-ness that just make for a perfect fight. On top of that, it was a good, lengthy fight. Lots of physicality. I don't know if the reveal of Beta being alive at the end really needed that much drama around it -- no one is surprised that Beta survived that fall -- but it was still a nice scene.
Henry and Lydia
I have the maturity of a 12-year-old, I know, but when Lydia asked Henry why he wanted to save her so badly, my first thought was "Because he wants to get laid!" Can you imagine how hard it is for a kid to have sex in the zombie apocalypse? There aren't many people your age around, and Henry had already failed to hook up with Enid. He must have been thrilled to meet a new, pretty girl around his age.