The Walking Dead Season 9 Episode 11 Recap
The reinvigoration of The Walking Dead rolled on with Alpha’s arrival at the Hilltop’s gates. Her promises of “no conflict” were reasonably met with suspicion from those lining the rusted-out community walls. Regardless, business took priority over bloodshed as Alpha offered a simple exchange while putting the societal devolution of her followers on full display. The standoff was made more tense when compared to the Kingdom’s light-hearted quest for a projector bulb. The distance between the two was novel in a way. The change Ezekiel believes his Fair will bring has already occurred. Unfortunately, it manifested as a bunch of creepers in masks made of flesh.
Alpha remains at the Hilltop’s door, demanding the return of Lydia. Her promises of non-violence don’t move Daryl. His “wrong answer” causes Alpha to summon even more Whisperers to her side. Either Lydia is returned of conflict begins. Daryl comes down from the wall and confronts Alpha face-to-face at the gate. Daryl won’t give Lydia back and threatens violence against the trespassers. The words barely escape his lips before the cries of a baby emanate from the group. Alpha confirms Daryl’s disgust. They’re animals, adult or child.
Alpha produces Alden and Luke as trade bait as a small group of walkers skulk toward the community. Daryl sees no choice: he must turn over Lydia. Problems arise when Lydia and Henry are nowhere to be found. Even worse, walkers are coming. The Whisperers attempt to divert the group fails when the baby continues to cry. The mother, at the instruction of Alpha, leaves her child on the ground as a sacrifice only for Connie to save it and rush into a sea of cornstalks. Both the dead and Whisperers give chase but Daryl and crew rush in to lead her to safety.
The burning question regarding the whereabouts of Michonne’s multi-community charter have been answered. Ezekiel has it, delivered to him by Jesus (RIP) and Tara some time before present events. The parchment is yet another representation of the solidarity Ezekiel believes his fair will cultivate. Preparations aren’t quite done though. Ezekiel has one more item to procure to bring the splintered whole once again: a projector bulb. The side mission catches Carol off guard, but she joins Ezekiel’s guard as they pull off their movie theater heist.
Jerry removes the fragile treasure as Ezekiel swipes a poster frame. It will house the charter and display the renewed commitment for all to see. That will have to wait though because Jerry dropped the bulb into a theater brimming with walkers. Ezekiel is ready to abandon their treasure until Carol rights their focus. A unified front takes out the threat and brings the bulb, and movie nights, back to the Kingdom. Maybe they’re done losing for a while.
Living With It
The Kingdom’s favorite son isn’t too much into losing either. Henry brings Lydia to the cool teen hangout spot in the woods, but Lydia’s nerves remain frayed. She doesn’t understand why her mom came after her. It violates all of her society’s rules. Her rationalizations are corrected by Henry as Enid discovers their hiding spot. She uses Henry’s attraction to her to change his mind. She even invokes Carl’s dying wishes as a means of saving Alden and Luke. Lydia speaks up as Henry falls silent. She agrees to go back after sharing a parting kiss with Henry. Everything will be OK in her mind.
Daryl and Alpha make their trade and Lydia catches an open palm for addressing Alpha as her mother. Sending Lydia back into the arms of an abuser sits just about as well with Daryl as it does with Henry. They difference between the two is that Daryl knows how to live with his decisions no matter how much they crush his soul. Henry doesn’t subscribe to that ideal and decides to pursue Lydia on his own, leaving a note for Daryl as he leaves. Daryl suits up and walks toward the Hilltop’s gates as Connie cuts him off. She’s coming with him. Daryl resists initially, but Connie can’t live with these kinds of decisions either. The two enter the wilderness as the gates close behind them. Conflict is imminent.
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