Never one to let fair trade get in the way of personal convictions, Daryl set the stage for this week’s installment of The Walking Dead. Daryl and Connie’s rescue mission proved successful, but tearing Lydia away from her skin-wearing family again brought their ire. Worse, it brought Beta. Diplomacy was on the docket elsewhere, but such concepts warp into something completely different when you subsume yourself in hordes of the dead. The only acceptable outcome is to turn your foe into a Guardian.
Can’t Go Back
Daryl, Connie, Lydia and Henry rush through the woods, putting as much distance between themselves and the Whisperers. A short break allows Daryl enough time to let Lydia know that she won’t be joining the others once their safety is guaranteed. Henry isn’t keen on the idea, but any discussion is suspended when the group continues running. They eventually come across an apartment building. Daryl and Connie decide to rig the place in order to separate the living from the dead. Connie takes the opportunity to let her voice be heard regarding Lydia. She believes Lydia should stay with them. Daryl pushes back on the idea until Connie points out that Lydia has no friends or allies left in the world.
Henry and Lydia are pitching in elsewhere, but Lydia’s doubts about Henry overwhelm her. He cares about her, but he is lethally naive to think that the two could run to a place where Alpha wouldn’t find them. Henry made her look weak and she remains intent on correcting that perception. The young man is unimpressed and the two share an intimate moment before Daryl swoops in to kill the buzz. There’s still more work to be done before Beta and company arrive.
Elsewhere, Ezekiel and the kingdom have a new foe to confront: the Highwaymen. The group purport to control the roads outside the Kingdom and request a toll from the community or else they’ll block anyone from attending the fair. The emergence of a new enemy exacerbates Ezekiel. Disillusioned with unending violence, Ezekiel mobilizes the Kingdom’s fighters to meet with the Highwaymen.
Ezekiel’s frustration doesn’t lower once on site. Carol senses such and suggests that the group might be open to diplomatic talks based off of the grammar and lack of death threats in their ransom note. The two sides meet and the Highwaymen are convinced to aid the Kingdom as protectors for fair attendees with the promise of future goods and the occasional movie night. The negotiate couldn’t come at a better time as the Highwaymen mobilize and help Tara’s Hilltop procession defeat some walkers and arrive safely in the Kingdom. There may be hope for the charter yet.
Those That Fight Together…
Daryl and Connie’s best efforts aren’t enough to fool Beta. He recognizes the multiple choke points as traps and split his team up in order to block both exits. Daryl stashes Lydia in a closet as the Whisperers enter. Each hold their own, outside of Henry’s stab wound, until Daryl is forced to go one-on-one with Beta. The two brawl until Daryl dupes Beta into falling down an elevator shaft. Believing Beta to be dead, Daryl decides to let Lydia stay with the group. Unfortunately, they won’t be able to head straight to the Kingdom to rendezvous with the rest of the Hilltop’s delegation. Henry’s injuries are severe enough that they need to be treated soon and the closest place for that is Alexandria. The group leaves the building without realizing that Beta is still alive. He’s bloodied, yet standing at the bottom of the elevator shaft.
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