You don't mess with Alpha's horde and expect to live to tell the tale.
The Whisperers arrived at the Hilltop on The Walking Dead Season 10 Episode 11, and it was a pulse-pounding installment from start to finish.
What could have been a straightforward battle between the skin freaks and the Hilltop was so much more.
Alpha has shown that she is not opposed to flipping the script when necessary, but the decision to block everyone, including the kids in, clearly came from Negan.
It was reminiscent of the heroes trying to escape before Glenn and Abraham were murdered on The Walking Dead Season 6.
Together, these two villains bring a lot to the table, and they could make what's left of the world their oyster. It's a worrying thought, but I'm not buying Negan turning his back on everyone.
Granted, he was made a pariah for his part in past horrors, but he cares for both Judith and Lydia. To an extent, there is some good in him, even if it has taken years for him to understand that being a bat-wielding villain is not a requirement in the post-apocalyptic Atlanta.
Carol: Please don't hate me.
Daryl: I'm never gonna hate you.
Negan didn't want to witness a massacre, and that's why he planted seeds of doubt in Alpha's mind to make her entertain the possibility of getting everyone to surrender and join the Whisperers.
I appreciated Negan trying because it does highlight there has been a change in his mindset over the years, but it should have been the red flag Alpha needed to realize his loyalty is not to her.
He's merely going wherever the power is, and those are the people that can be problematic.
Negan does have a way with words, but so does Alpha, and the wicked woman telling him that she thought about it and everyone can join her horde was a typical thing for her to say.
She's done messing about and knows that there is going to have to be a fight before long. That's why she's taking the weaker of the three remaining locations out of the equation.
The Hilltop may do well when it comes to making weapons, but they are severely outnumbered when it comes to fighting.
She trusted me to keep our chats mano-a-mano and you just made me break my promise. Now, go before I say something I truly regret.Eugene
The Whisperers sending the horde first to destroy the defenses was a stroke of genius, but all of the Hilltoppers waiting outside didn't make sense logistically.
If they wanted the Whisperers to think they were just the people in front of the walls and that there were way more inside, that would have been fine, but the episode missed out on the explanation for that.
Alpha has been pretty straightforward about her plans thus far, and I was stunned when the Whisperers sent oil to everyone on the front line, and then flaming arrows.
Maybe I underestimated Alpha, but she's winning this war so far. We stand to lose a lot of lives on The Walking Dead Season 10 Episode 12, and that's worrying.
Alpha managed to trap everyone in flames, and even burned an unidentified individual to a crisp. The issue here is that the children were still inside the Hilltop.
Alden: Alexandria taken in another stray?
Earl: No, they are under lockdown.
Alden: They brought them to us before.
If Negan makes his way in, there's a good chance he will save the kids and return to working with the good guys. At least, that's what I'm hoping happens.
There are a lot of possibilities right now because the series likes to off characters at any given moment.
The most frustrating aspect of the episode was Eugene and his continued chatter with the woman on the radio. He was giving away too much information because he desperately wants to be loved, and he's putting everyone in danger.
Sure, he has managed to score a date out of it, but how does he know these people can be trusted? Then again, he could potentially have saved lives if this other community show up to help in the war.
Lady: Don't tell anyone yet.
Eugene: Will do, Waterloo. I promise.
I wanted Rosita to flip with Eugene, but instead, she wanted to make sure her friend was talking to this woman for all the right reasons. His apprehension when he failed to kiss her upon request showed that he did have feelings for this person.
Maybe it was the constant pursuit of Rosita or the fact that she previously shut him down in a big way by telling him they would never be an item, but their relationship has changed.
Both working together felt final for them, more like one of them is going to perish in the battle. It would be a shame to lose Rosita, but something tells me it would hit Eugene hard because he spent their final day together talking about a woman he's never met.
As annoying as Eugene can sometimes be, the electric fence was a great idea, but he could have spent some more time researching to make sure it would hold up well.
It was a great line of defense against some of the early waves of walkers, but with their backs against the wall, it remains to be seen what becomes of them.
Carol and Daryl's relationship has been on thin ice ever since the cave on The Walking Dead Season 10 Episode 9, but Daryl needs to heal before he can think about forgiving Carol.
His one-line response to her query said it all. There was pain behind his eyes, and Norman Reedus and Melissa McBride played that scene to perfection. These two characters have a dynamic that no other character has been able to replicate.
Carol understandably felt horrible about the way she had treated Ezekiel falling Henry's death, especially when she learned about his likely-terminal cancer returning.
Daryl: You okay?
Ezekiel: Nah, I got cancer. But that’s okay, ya know what I’m saying?
Ezekiel is in a different stage of his life. He's at peace knowing that he's either going to die during the war or slowly and painfully thanks to his condition, but he and Carol had to have some semblance of a chat.
I didn't expect them to have sex, and I'm unsure whether it was a build-up of feelings from both sides, or if there is still an emotional attachment there.
Either way, Ezekiel is earmarked for death, and there's a good chance he will not be making it out of the battle. Maybe he'll sacrifice his life to save Carol or Daryl. It's hard to believe it, but Ezekiel knows Daryl is the only man in Carol's life -- even if it is on a platonic level.
Ezekiel is understanding now that Daryl has been with her since the beginning as a shoulder to cry on and as someone to guide her in the right direction. That's why I believe he would put his life on the line for Daryl if the opportunity presents itself.
"Morning Star" was only the tip of the iceberg. There was a lot to take in, but the battle is here, and it's going to be a tense bunch of episodes.
What did you think of the beginning of the battle? Do you think Ezekiel would save Daryl?
Hit the comments below.
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Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.