|C/o Undead Walking|
|C/o TV Movie Fix|
This COMPLETELY disables Gamma. Remember: To all the Whisperers they are in a full worship mode of Alpha because of this fable that Alpha sacrificed her OWN DAUGHTER for the greater good of the pack (Kind of God-like if you will, very cultish). To be confronted with that fact that Lydia is very much alive undermines EVERYTHING that Gamma believes and this leaves her crippled and sobbing in the woods, unsure of what her next move is. After all, why did she sacrifice her OWN sister for Alpha if Alpha would NEVER actually sacrifice ANYTHING for THEM? On the flip side, on Lydia's part, she is ENRAGED that Carol would use her as a pawn to freak out Gamma and the Whisperers and not even be honest with her on her plan. She's tired of being manipulated by both Alpha and Carol and runs off into the woods. Personally, I can't see running off into the woods as a good idea but we are talking about a teenager here so....Yeah. Guess we'll see how far SHE gets.
I would be very interested to see if she DOES rejoin the Whisperers and Negan (don't forget he's at their camp) comes to witness the typical ritualistic "training" (ie, abuse), perhaps being inflicted from Alpha to Lydia, upon her return. If this IS the case, this could set up the stage for Negan to decide to go after Alpha himself, since he has already come to protect Lydia once already.
But speaking of Carol and Lydia, let's discuss the Carol and Daryl storyline. From the last episode, we know that Carol captured a Whisperer and they bring him to the cell at Alexandria. Father Gabriel is VERY weary of all this since really, NO ONE consulted him on ANY of these decisions that put the community at large at risk. Completely understandable but of no concern to Carol (of course). Instead, Carol warns Daryl that this Whisperer will likely not easily bend during interrogation. Daryl doesn't seem to want to deal with it and instead elects to spend some quality time with dog, shirtless in his room (I'm sure Norman Reedus fans were losing their minds during that scene).
Unfortunately, we learn that Carol didn't apparently listen, as evidenced by her interaction with Gamma (refer to passage at the start of this review). Now we need to see if she's put the whole community of Alexandria (and Hilltop) at risk by not protecting Alpha's most valuable asset: Lydia.
|C/o Indie Wire|
Throughout all of these scenes, however, we keep seeing these brief and sporadic flashback moments that Siddiq keeps having. These nightmarish flashbacks to that night at the barn. But during these flashbacks, this time around, we get more tidbits of information. We find that Siddiq is mostly plagued by not acting to protect ENID, his protege, who had to just stay there and watch her be killed right before she tells him goodbye (UGH, heart-wrenching). We find out that Siddiq's guilt comes primarily from NOT acting during that evening's massacre (as opposed to what many of us suspected of Siddiq being a participant in the murders). We also find out that there was a Whisperer that held him down and mandated him to "Open his Eyes" and witness these horrific murders happening in front of him. This all happens after a failed suicide attempt by Siddiq, only stopped by a recovering Rosita, who jumps into the lake and pulls Siddiq out after he throws himself in, in an effort to stop these nightmares. Rosita wants no more excuses and that allows Siddiq to finally talk about his PTSD openly and his feelings of shame and guilt that haunt him every single day. Rosita gives him some tough love but also gives him loving reassurance that he is NOT in this alone and that he has the support of everyone around him, including her.
So is Siddiq's PTSD getting the best of him that now he's not functioning at the capacity where he should be? We're not entirely clear as viewers at this point. Eventually, after the talk with Rosita and his mind is clearer, we see him have a moment of epiphany and realize that the water filtration system had been tampered with and of course, water is the common thread among all the victims. AH HA! Problem solved! Kind of.
|C/o Talking Dead Podcast|
Siddiq goes into flashback mode and realizes the reason he has so many "moments" in Dante's presence is because it was DANTE that was also at the barn that night, it was DANTE that held him down and told her to "Open his Eyes", it was DANTE that was getting the townspeople sick. DANTE is a Whisperer. Siddiq comes to this realization and attempts to quickly get the best of Dante, only for the two men to tussle with Dante eventually overpowering Siddiq and tearfully and remorsefully pleading with him that he didn't want it to be him, not like this. He holds him in a sort of sleeper hold and pleads with him to now "Close his Eyes". Except that sadly Siddiq doesn't. He dies in Dante's arms, eyes wide open, for the first and last time.
SO. Where do we go from here? The reason, at least partial reason, that this ending was such a HUGE shock is because many comic book readers are well familiar with Dante from the comic version of the show. As soon as Dante came to light on the show, most viewers were deliriously happy because the actor on the show (Juan Javier Cardenas) epitomized the comic character of Dante to a T. His look, his words, his attitude were VERY much in line with his comic counterpart and in the comics, he plays a huge role alongside our heroes. This is why it was such an incredible shock to learn that TV Dante was apparently a Whisperer spy who seems to have infiltrated Alexandria to cause havoc and chaos from within. But the question that still needs to be answered (besides the question of HOW did he get into Alexandria in the first place) is WHAT are Dante's current motivations? He seemed completely gutted at feeling that he had to kill Siddiq, once he realized that Siddiq recognized him. Does this mean that the time at Alexandria has changed his mindset? Or was that just a brief moment of weakness? Is he now on the fence like Gamma? And can he ever be redeemable or will he be swiftly killed by our heroes?
From my personal perspective, I happen to think that if Negan is redeemable (after let's not forget, murdering dear Glenn and Abraham), then I would imagine so would Dante. Also, the comics are not great at providing all that much depth to even the most vibrant of characters. So that being said, giving Dante this complex background, while still perhaps positioning him to be an eventual hero, would be a very rich character development worth tuning in for.
I'll definitely be tuning in to see what will befall this newly discovered Whisperer spy during the mid-season finale on Sunday. We have many storylines in motion at this point so it'll be very interesting to see how they will all converge and set the stage for the second half of the season.
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9:00pm EST on AMC.