The Walking Dead S10E6 Negan’s a Guardian?

Bonds: Season 10 Episode 6

At least now we know that what condition you have when you accidentally ingest blood of the dead from a contaminated water supply: a stomach bug. Ha! Who would’ve thought? As more and more sick Alexandrians head to the community infirmary, the two doctors scramble to try to ease their symptoms as they try to find out the source of the problem. Again, Siddiq is forced to hold himself together while continuing to suffer from the effects of PTSD.

 

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Negan’s Ascension continues

Negan tries to ease his way into the whisperer’s group by purposely allowing himself to get captured offering information he has on Alexandria. However, they may have gotten all the information they needed from their spies because they immediately began putting Negan to work having him follow a series of tasks they perform to test his ability to become one of them. The tasks were difficult, but not impossible as Negan tackled them all. It shouldn’t have been a surprise though that he actually seemed to enjoy his time as a guardian even when Beta proved he was superior in strength and overall ability, but it WAS. He smirked his way through every trial.

These scenes are when we learn that Negan has the best lines in this episode. Sure, it starts to get annoying to Beta and funny to viewers when he starts to irritate the crap out of Beta with his constant babbling, but it was a good idea to have Negan act as a cocky recaptured fugitive after he is caught by the guardians. Funny thing is he was probably only alive long enough to joke and smile because Alpha had convinced Beta that he could be useful to them. Beta even went as far as kneeling to Alpha to show his respect for her decision and his loyalty towards her as a leader.

In the end, Negan finally proved himself after Beta left him to die surrounded with walkers in the middle of the woods: his final test. He went back to the guardians’ campsite alive, well, cocky, and full of the ego Beta despised. After Alpha saw that he passed the test Beta assumed that he would fail, Alpha appears to have made him a guardian. But how long will he last if the co-leader of the group hates his guts? Or how long will it be until his ego forces him to have to take over the group?

More Survivors?

In other news, Eugene came in contact with a survivor over the radio. She seems sincere and normal. Are there still good people out there who haven’t turned in order to find a way to survive in their new environment or could it be another trick to lure them in? Hopefully, Eugene tells someone else about the survivor(against her wishes) before disclosing their location.

 

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Since when are Daryl & Carol not enough…

When most of their flock were killed off due to a variety of unfortunate circumstances leaving only a few good fighters left. Carol has decided to go off and find the guardians on her own only allowing Daryl to tag along because he insisted. Daryl doesn’t trust Carol going out alone and rightfully so. Carol seems ready and willing to take on the guardian situation alone while Daryl is a lot more cautious as he knows there are a million ways their decision could go horribly wrong. While the two of them are good fighters and more skilled than most in battles against rival groups, they don’t have the numbers to fight their enemy alone, but will they be able to get an upper hand with a good plan before a fight begins?

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The Walking Dead S10E5 Negan obsession

What it always is: Season 10 Episode 5

It took me a while to review this episode. I’m honestly still trying to figure out the point of it all since it was lacking in some way…

 

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The episode focused on Negan’s official departure from Alexandria and his journey through the woods as a free man with Brandon, an enthusiastic Negan fan whom you’d never mistaken as a companion. I’m still unsure whether or not Negan’s freedom was a good thing. He escaped just to find himself entangled in a web of annoyance and attachment to a man who seems to honestly believe that Negan is ready to reign as the leader of another group like the saviors he had lost in battle. I can’t figure out what’s worse: having a guy that wants “THE” Negan back or having the guy murdered by Negan for annoying the hell out of him. Either way, Negan’s response to the guy’s persistence showed viewers that Negan WAS back even if that part of him had been kept buried somewhere deep inside of himself for years after he was caught and stripped of his pride.

Probably the creepiest part of these scenes is how realistic they become if you picture them playing out in different situations. Maybe you’ve heard of stories where a determined admirer, ex-boyfriend, or ex-girlfriend thought that all they had to do was be persistent and SHOW that they were worthy of the other person’s attention and then that person would want them. Right! Horror stories! These situations often never turn out well and do sometimes result in someone being harmed in some way. Why they would choose to give one of their characters such annoying characteristics that only seem useful for the purpose of showing that the other side of Negan has returned, I don’t know.

One of the hardest things to watch during this episode is one of the guardians poisoning the water supply. Aaron follows one of the guardians in the woods and watches from behind as they cut open a walker and allow blood to spill into the water… just to offer a bandage to them when they accidentally cut themselves??? Fighting evil with kindness? The effects of this decision are unknown, especially when many of the guardians seem to be operating out of fear of Alpha and Gamma seems to be buckling under the psychological stress as she has flashbacks of past events before her sister died while out on a mission. It seems possible that Aaron’s generosity may be beneficial if he could revert just one of Alpha’s followers. It doesn’t seem as if Alpha has gotten over the border crossing and/or the loss of her daughter even after they had accepted the loss of more hunting grounds in exchange for their unauthorized entry into Alpha’s land.

Least we forget, They’ve killed countless zombies in various bodies of water that they drank from in previous episodes and they’re still fine. Still, let’s just pretend for a minute that they are carrying out Alpha’s plan to poison them and it should produce the desired result. With more of their own sickened and their land taken due to the border crossing, what would prevent Alexandrians from planning an attack on the guardians? They’d have nothing to loose.

 

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We later learn that Ezekiel has been hiding a very personal hereditary secret: he has been secretly suffering from the effects of thyroid cancer. After spending years fighting for his life due to external situations he was forced to deal with, he now has to accept the internal situation that will eventually claim the life he fought so hard to sustain. How will the group accept another great loss?

As the guardians/whisperers find Negan in the woods, Negan gets an unexpected “hello” when one of them pushes him to the ground when they arrive. When he looks up at Beta in his black leather jacket with Lucille in his hand, he appears to want to take him on, but why? What could Negan be planning next and why?

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Reviewing the greatness of the Halloween franchise

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As usual, I recently watched Halloween once again and it was amazing as always, and since it’s Halloween I wanted to review some of the movies from the franchise that started with just one independent film that became such a hit and led to a cult following of slasher films that later included Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street. It’s crazy how one 1978 film that required around $300,000 to produce started a horror film obsession that produced a series of films that went on to gross $620 worldwide.

The movie became known for it’s chilling theme song, it’s abnormally calm yet calculating masked serial killer, and it’s rebellious young cast.

Halloween begins when a young boy dressed in a clown costume brutally murders his sister on Halloween night. After being committed to a mental institution because of the incident, he escapes just before he is scheduled to be transferred to an institution that has minimum security which resulted in the deaths of countless victims.

 

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The film established Psycho actresses’ Janet Leigh’s daughter Jamie Lee Curtis as a successful actress who would continue to star in a number of successful films throughout her acting career. She was the likable, resourceful, smart character in the group with two other teens whose promiscuity seems to have made them easy targets for the serial killer. She did however have her flaws. Her unwillingness to see the seriousness of a masked grown man watching her outside of her classroom window, behind the bushes as she walked home from school, or in the yard of her home was a bit… odd.

Her friend Lynda brushing off the incidents was understandable though, but even after Lorrie found out how much of a threat he was she always had a tendency to turn her back to Myers after she had thought he was dead giving him too many opportunities to attack her from behind. Least we forget, Lynda was attacked from behind after he slipped into her car and waited for her in the backseat and Annie was attacked from behind while she was on the phone with Lorrie thinking that the white sheet was covering her boyfriend who was playing a joke on her instead of a psychopath who was planning to kill her.

It soon became obvious that Michael’s ability to slip in and out of places unnoticed, stalk victims outside and inside their homes unnoticed, and repeatedly evade capture or death even after being noticed and shot at turned him into somewhat of a supernatural force led entirely by the sadistic plans of his troubled mind.

 

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The motivation of Michael Myers

It isn’t until Halloween II that Dr. Loomis(Donald Pleasence) discovers that his patient Michael Myers is on a mission to kill all of his sisters as well as his sister’s children on Halloween night.

Dr. Loomis says in Halloween II: 

Samhain, the Lord of the dead, the end of summer the festival of the Samhain, October 31.

In order to appease the Gods the druid priests burned people and animals alive. They believed that by observing the way they died they could see omans of the future. 2,000 years later people have come no further. Samhain isn’t goblins, ghosts, or witches, it’s the unconscious mind.

He reveals that the real purpose of Halloween is for samhain worshippers(or satan worshippers) to offer human sacrifices to their gods(demon gods) in exchange for great knowledge from these gods. The costumes of ghosts(the dead) or witches(members of the occult) are just loose representations of Halloween that miss the central point of it.

He is also mentioning the possibility that Michael Myers was connecting with the unconscious mind, which is why he killed for the Lord of the Dead without a consciousness of the consequences of taking a life or the feelings of the lives he is taking. 

After finding out what drove Michael Myers’ to kill and realizing what he was capable of, he felt a personal responsibility as his doctor to make it his mission in life to save as many people as possible from the psychopath beneath the mask.

 

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In spite of his efforts, Michael Myers seems to have become more brutal and sadistic in his murders in Halloween II. As he still carries his signature weapon, he now chooses to use syringes, a hammer, scalding hot water, and also his bare hands to end the lives of his victims. The movie seems to focus more on his insatiable need for more victims regardless of the means of obtaining his goals adding to Dr. Loomis’ desperate need to kill him in the explosion in the end even though he knew it might cost him his own life.

Great characters introduced years after Michael burned in Halloween II

After saving Lorrie in Halloween I and II, he manages to help save her daughter Jamie with the help of her step sister Rachel in Halloween 4 and Rachel’s friend Tina in Halloween 5.

After the brutal murders of the paramedics transporting Michael’s burned body, Halloween 4‘s suspense was driven mostly by the risks people took to avoid Myers than the gore of the murders committed as Jamie and Rachel spent the whole evening trying to get away from the determined serial killer. They had also built a connection between Myers and Jamie when she holds his hand possibly because of Jamie’s need to fill the emptiness she feels as the adopted child in her family. This spiritual connection led her to murder her step mother on Halloween night possibly transferring the will of his unconscious mind to hers. After Dr. Loomis is frustrated by authorities who fail to recognize the dangers of not handling Michael Myers more carefully, he becomes horrified by the creation of another Michael Myers being born inside of a little girl and he almost seems tempted to shoot her out of anger and despair.

In Halloween 5, new characters were introduced to give the movie the light humor it needed to keep it interesting. The two cops that were more comical than useful couldn’t even be expected to do a thorough search of Rachel’s home before allowing her to go back inside just to be killed by the murderer she had barely escaped from in Halloween 4. Tina was destined to be the life of the party since she crawled in the window of Jamie’s psychiatric clinic with Max. She was fun when the good times were rolling, but she didn’t get serious until she realized the threat of Michael Myers claiming the lives of more victims was a reality. Like Annie in Halloween, she thought Myers was her boyfriend driving his car due to his Halloween mask switch that came conveniently before he went to pick her up. His constant struggle to contain his anger around her showed as he gripped the stirring wheel harder, but his reasoning for refusing to kill her right away isn’t clear unless we consider the possibility of just another psychopath wanting to keep the impersonation scheme going for as long as he could until he was able to choose the ‘right time’ to do his deed.

 

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Her friend Sam may have been almost as fun as she was, but I’m hoping that her idea of a good time wasn’t sharing her first time with such a goofy boyfriend in a dark scary barn on the hard floor with hay in her butt… Myers sure put a pick fork through those plans though.

It was still the child actress that stole the show with her great acting skills and passion in the film. Jamie calling Myers her uncle and recognizing him as a part of her natural family ignoring the more prominent sadistic side of him evoked an emotional response, possibly forcing him out of his unconscious state and into the state of awareness most people share. This wasn’t enough to stop him from forgetting about his original plan to carry out the murder as he continues to chase her until he is captured by Dr. Loomis just to be released by… a stranger. Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers was the last Halloween movie Dr. Loomis played in before passing away in 1995 from heart failure. His dedication to his character and his passion for his role is what the film needed to create a passion for the chase for Michael Myers.

Halloween’s story line and cast begin to go downhill

In Halloween: H20, Michael Myers finds Lorrie living a new life with her son 20 years later, but she appeared to be even more prepared to face him and finally end is life after his presence in her life had left her with PTSD and in constant fear of him coming back. The way the events unfolded weren’t nearly as good as the previous Halloweens with the typical rebellious young cast being killed off pretty quickly, Lorrie having a romantic evening with a guy before she feels forced to tell him about her past as Lorrie Strode, and a few comical scenes of LL Cool J striving to become an erotic novel writer until he is almost shot, but it’s always good to see Lorrie’s character come back for another Halloween movie. The trailers of the movie that indicate it will be where there is a fight to the finish is probably what drove so many people to the theaters because it was the most anticipated end to a Halloween movie after all these years. The last scene with Michael and Lorrie was iconic, but the movie as a whole… not so much.

Even after severing the head of a masked man who she believed to be Myers, Halloween: H20 would not be the end of the successful franchise as Michael Myers had been revived to continue to horrify his fans with more gory scenes with the deaths of the new cast in Halloween: Resurrection.

Eventually in Halloween: Resurrection, he is able to break into a psychiatric hospital where Lorrie is being held and end her life after years of her living in constant fear of him coming back for her and narrowly escaping death after each encounter with him. Unfortunately & fortunately, Halloween: Resurrection was different from the other Halloween films in that it focused more on comedy and nonsense than anything else, which was fortunate because some of the intentionally funny scenes were actually entertaining, but unfortunate because the other scenes were only funny because the bad acting and scripts were laughable. But as with any slasher film, the young cast members are probably made to be unlikable so that you could enjoy seeing them die, so I guess it’s not all that bad. Its ratings were almost as bad as Halloween III though it was more successful, grossing 37 million. 

After years went by with no Halloween films being released after the failure of Halloween: Resurrection, people probably thought that was the end of the franchise, but they were wrong. In 2007, Rob Zombie released his own version of Halloween after expressing his disinterest in the way the latest versions of the series turned out. And yet again, we see that the series changes and is overdramatized for the shock value.

It was after this film was released that I had realized that what I really loved about John Carpenter’s original Halloween was its simplicity. Sure, they had a much smaller budget to work with, but the advantage of that was that they had to focus on developing ways to naturally capture the attention of audiences without relying on expensive theatrics or unnecissarily enhancing the look/persona of “the shape.” Michael Myers was feared because of his ability to go unnoticed for long periods of time when he searched for his victims, hiding in the shadows at night and appearing in plain sight in the day while stalking them, displaying superhuman strength when he was the average size of an adult male, walking slowly as if he were psychologically unconscious yet conscious of his ability to find his victims no matter where they run, and he was unpredictable. These attributes of his character cannot be replaced with artificial attributes of what someone wants Myers to be unless you are creating an entirely different character that is appealing to another audience for different reasons. 

My favorite Halloweens 1, 2, 4, & 5 will be remembered as some of the best slasher classics regardless of what comes next.

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The Walking Dead S10E4 Negan Escapes

Season 10 Episode 4: Silence the Whisperers 

The episode begins with brief moments of the character’s lives, complete with Daryl’s fun, caring side, Carol’s solitary side, and unfortunately, a surprise lesbian love scene to ruin the mood set by the passionate opening song. I guess after they killed off the other two gay characters, one with an unexpected arrow that went through her head while she was in the middle of saying something and the other from a wound sustained during a fight with the saviors, they felt the insatiable need to bring in two more to start the whole thing all over again. Honestly, their need to form new relationships between characters in the show has gradually been devaluing its content. What was once a powerful story about the value of love, trust, and forgiveness as well as the resilience and determination of man has been turned into a less entertaining story of drama filled love triangles, never ending heartbreaks, and multiple scenes of characters making out instead of a more entertaining scene where they fight more walkers. I know that after a while producers may want to change the direction of the show, but good change is always better than bad change.

 

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Anyways, there were some brief entertaining moments in the episode. My immaturity came pouring out when the three brats that hated Lydia teased her about being one of the walker skin mask wearing guardians. While it was quite amusing at first, it was a reminder of how cruel people can be in an already cruel world, which eventually ended in the former abuse victim’s request to be kept in a cell just to get away from the untrusting eyes and unwelcoming attitudes of those in the community.

 

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And once again, Negan brings the entertainment to the episode… with his kindness and generosity for others? As more people are showing their disapproval in the group’s decision to let Lydia stay in their community, more people begin to show their distrust in Negan after he accidentally kills one of her attackers while he was saving Lydia from being abused by another member of their community. Surprisingly, after not trusting Lydia alone with him, Daryl is the first to jump on Negan’s team and defend his actions while the others weren’t so sure about him.

Somehow, Negan managed to slip away while the other group members were still deciding what his fate should be, but is he really gone this time? Will they find him soon after he left and bring him back again or will he enjoy living on his own the second time around?

 

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And really? After years of Rick being gone, people still want to see Rick again and you have Ezekiel kissing Michoone? I’m guessing this solidifies Carol and Ezekiel’s unofficial divorce… Instead of these forced relationships, why not have scenes switching back and forth from the events occurring in their community to Rick’s life elsewhere, so we can see why he’s been gone for so long and what he’s up to? Just a thought.

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The Dark Side of the Plastic Surgery Boom

Is getting plastic surgery really even a big deal?

I wouldn’t really think so, but I guess you don’t really think about it until you’ve heard all the horror stories about it. While I believe these instances only account for the results of a small percentage of all plastic surgeries, many peoples’ testimonies on their negative experiences going under the knife should make some people think twice about it or at least try to verify the legitimacy of their doctors and/or clinics before they get a procedure done.

 

Plastic surgeon fails

(https://youtu.be/vGdR3CfcFFo)

In a video about why a Korean woman didn’t get plastic surgery, she talks about ‘ghost’ plastic surgeons that are less experienced than the surgeons that had the initial consultation with the patient who performs the surgery without the patient’s knowledge, botched surgeries where increased swelling or other issues ruined the work that was done, increased facial sagging after face lifts possibly leading to a cycle of either future face lifting surgeries or a life with a thick layer of expensive skin care cream on your face at all times, etc.

Unfortunately, she lives in Korea where the standard of beauty is extremely high as you could loose a number of job opportunities if you don’t fit their ideal beauty standards even if you don’t want a job in the entertainment industry. Since they are bombarded with plastic surgery advertisements in their country, I’m really surprised when I hear of a Korean woman that doesn’t want plastic surgery. She is a strong woman for not caving under the pressure to get some work done even after some idiots told her that she wasn’t attractive.

 

Plastic surgery nightmares

(https://youtu.be/wp4YZdSz2aA)

In yet another video of the negative experiences of those receiving plastic surgery, they share the stories of people who hate to look in the mirror or go outside after a procedure they had went wrong. Some say they wish they had never attempted to change their appearance after realizing that while their previous appearance was less than ideal, their look was much more acceptable than the look they were forced to live with after the botched plastic surgery.

And with the plastic surgery industry becoming a booming business there came an increase in doctors wanting to become plastic surgeons, along with some nurses and other individuals not authorized to perform plastic surgeries in backdoor/yet to be raided clinics that often offer multiple procedures at lower costs. Such clinics are seen in various nations where unlicensed staff administer experimental alternative procedures to more effective expensive surgeries or attempt to perform surgical procedures they aren’t knowledgeable enough to perform.

Even after performing a number of botched jobs without a legal right to practice, some individuals resorted to fleeing the clinic never to be heard from again when faced with complaints from patients or shameless continue to operate their business until they are caught by authorities. This leaves their victims to suffer from the emotional burden of living their lives with the permanent damage and physical pain of the surgeries sometimes not knowing if the additional cost of surgeries would correct the problem before it leaves them further in debt.

 

Plastic surgery addictions

(https://youtu.be/2dwAqNStM3Q)

Additionally, while it is argued that plastic surgery is generally a harmless procedure that is a personal choice that should be left up to the individual, it must be noted that plastic surgery as with many other things can be abused. Sometimes giving a person the ability to play God and create a human being within another human being goes horribly horribly wrong, but why?

Even after seeing evidence of a plastic surgery addiction during the consultation process, many plastic surgeons will STILL accept the patient’s money and perform even more procedures on them! Not being satisfied with the results of a previous procedure is bound to happen sometimes, but an event where an addict is STILL unsatisfied with their looks after multiple surgeries have drastically altered their looks will happen ALL THE TIME. In this case, it is no longer just vanity it’s a mental illness and the doctors need to say NO.

Some have suffered from nerve damage, collapsed noses, skin damage, permanent disfigurement, etc from repeated surgeries especially multiple surgeries on the same body part, so doctors who know the risks of performing these surgeries can be just as bad as the patients.

 

Before & After plastic surgery 

(https://youtu.be/8yDpdvOEUCw)

I still believe that because of the positive results people can gain from these surgeries that they will continue to get many more surgeries in spite of the negative results of others, especially if the massive amounts of positive reviews continue to drown out the negative ones.

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The Walking Dead S10E3 Negan rises

Ghosts: Season 10 Episode 3

 

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While the previous episode ended preparing viewers for a battle between the Guardians and Michoone’s group due to the group’s disregard for Alpha’s borders, the next episode only offered viewers with mental disturbances from Carol, emotional disturbances from Aaron, and fatigue from Michoone’s group. Episode 3 left a lot to be desired and appeared to be yet another episode created for the purpose of building up a series of events that would eventually lead to another fight between the two groups whenever they get around to actually having them fight.

Viewers would think that Carol’s time away from the group would’ve been enough to clear her head and get a new start of sorts with her old friends, but the combination of meeting with Alpha again after crossing her border and sleep deprivation may have brought back enough grief and old memories to bring surreal images of Henry back to life. Henry who was once a young child Carol and Ezekiel mentored and supported had grown into a naive, headstrong, love stuck boy who… still needed mentoring and support. However, they developed a strong bond for this child they had adopted and wanted viewers to see how strong that bond actually was. And as many stories go in the walking dead, the grief a mother feels for her deceased son had to be dramatized as she saw her son appear in her dreams AND while she was awake. The more she saw him the more it began to feel like allowing her to get revenge from the death of Alpha would somehow allow her to be at peace with his death.

Hence, they had her carry a gun to meet with Alpha at the Northern border making it appear as though it may have some great significance in their survival while it was only there so that she could attempt to get justice for her son. Michoone and Daryl stopped her to keep the peace between the two groups, but how long will their patience last? Alpha has already proposed to expand her imaginary border into more of their hunting grounds instead of fighting them in a time where food is already scarce.

As time goes on we see that Carol’s mental instability worsens to the point where it becomes increasingly difficult for her to recognize what her hallucinations are and what her reality is. Then, Carol was seen dangling upside down from a rope that was planted to trap someone. Could the masked perpetrator among the dead that she stabbed be one of the individuals that were wearing them out with the hoards of the dead sent to their community?

If Alpha didn’t send the dead to them, then who did? Could there be yet another group destined to fight with Michoone’s group while a fight between them and Alpha is still a major possibility in the near future?

 

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The emotional pain Aaron had when he was forced to face Negan seemed forced and strange for him to mention after so much time had passed, but it turns out that it was Aaron’s emotional instability that lead him to act irrationally with Negan allowing Negan to break out of playing the supporting roles he had been forced into after the fall of the sanctuary. Their scenes allowed Negan to steal the show and keep the episode interesting. His use of hog weed to temporarily blind Aaron and run away from him may have led some viewers to believe that the old Negan was back, but it was soon obvious that having remnants of the old Negan resurfacing would’ve happened sooner or later even without someone tempting him with memories of how his wife passed. Viewers have to admit that they’d love to hate Negan almost as much as they’d love to love him when he plays the good guy saving little girls in winter storms and innocently picking tomatoes the group will soon prepare for meals.

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The Walking Dead S10E2 Alpha+Beta

We Are the End of the World: Season 10 Episode 2

 

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This episode of the walking dead opens with the backstory of Alpha and Beta as we see how the two met. Alpha was fighting for her and her daughter’s life when she kicked open the door of a seemingly abandoned building to escape a hoard of walkers outside. Once inside, she reprimanded her daughter for nearly getting them killed AGAIN after screaming from the gruesome sight of seeing a woman getting eaten by a group of walkers. After Beta welcomes them into the building where he happens to live, Lydia begins to abandon her old self and adopt a persona that helps her thrive in her new society. After living in constant fear of walkers and witnessing the new philosophy her mother developed fearlessly carry them through life in a world taken over by the dead, it’s no wonder she wanted to become more like her mother. While the shame and guilt of being the only one that may hold them back from overcoming their unfortunate situation may have played a part in her will to change, her battle with intense fear made her walk among the walkers covered in the blood of the dead. Ironically, she wasn’t forced to be fearless as the guardians were. She chose to be fearless because she knew that she could not survive in the new world with intense fear.

Alpha may have kept the stuffed bunny her daughter used to sleep with because she embraced the child that was within her, but she seemed to get angry because of the conflicting emotions she had that also needed her daughter to be strong like her in order to continue being a guardian.

 

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Beta surprisingly showed compassion for Alpha when she showed emotions because her child was gone and admitted that she couldn’t kill her daughter even though she told the others that she did. Something tells me this is going to backfire if one of the other guardians find out. It isn’t that unlikely that they will run into Lydia again in the future. Well, it probably isn’t that much of a surprise since she told Beta the first day that they met that if he wanted to kill her, then he’d have to kill her daughter too because she wasn’t going to die without her. I guess the exception to their freedom from emotion belief is their emotions for themselves.

 

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The tale of the two sisters was an interesting story because it also shows how there are others in their group who have built relationships long before they had become a guardian, yet they are still expected to abandon their emotions for those people whenever necessary and stay loyal to their cause. Beta tried to punish one of the sisters for not following the rules, but Alpha showed compassion remembering how hard it was for her to let go of Lydia when she left the group. Unbeknownst to them, the sister that was forced to physically let go of her child while still retaining emotions for her child was forced into a state of mental instability that would later cost the lives of some of her group members due to the difficulty of attempting to abandon emotions that make a person human. Her sister was loyal to the cause possibly because of the security and physical support the group could offer her, but it’s clear that some of the others would like a better lifestyle and it was only a matter of time before some of these followers wanted more than temporary security and hot skin masks that smell like the undead.

While Alpha and Beta’s idea of not having fear or emotions in order to be one with the dead may seem like a good idea when it gets you through a lot of tough situations, we see that it can actually lead to the fragmented mental state of some members of the group just as this idea had harmed Lydia.

Now that the guardians have been made aware of their borders being crossed, viewers can anticipate a war between the two groups.

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The Walking Dead S10E1 Guardians return?

Lines We Cross: Season 10 Episode 1

 

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Aaron and Michoone head out to look for signs of the guardians’/whisperers’ presence after a zombie skin mask washed up ashore at oceanside. Painful memories of Michoone’s past resurface after Aaron runs ahead of Michoone to a bridge where he is almost overtaken by a group of zombies, which reminds her of how she lost Rick on a bridge. Aaron then reveals his own personal struggle with being forced to respect the boundaries of the guardians and being expected to live in fear of them for as long as their presence remains. Carol seems to share Aaron’s feelings when a deer she and Daryl was hunting stumbled onto the guardians’ territory.

 

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After finding evidence of the presence of the guardians in the woods nearby, Michoone and others warn other groups to stay alert. Why Negan would advise Gabriel to hide this vital information from the group to avoid causing a panic is puzzling, but sure enough Negan’s role in this episode was to give unhelpful advice. And as people began to panic over the threat of an attack from the guardians, Siddiq began showing signs of PTSD after suffering from flashbacks of the murders he witnessed the guardians commit.

Carol admits wanting to leave again while Daryl tries to convince her to stay. After having to go back to respecting supposed borders it’s not wonder Carol wants to sail far away from that place.

 

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And who could forget that fearless look in Carol’s eyes when their eyes met after Carol curiously watched Alpha as she walked out onto the edge of the cliff with her eyes closed and her movements free displaying the carefree yet somewhat emotionless emotions of a psychopath. Carol convinced herself that Alpha was gone up until this moment.

And it isn’t until Carol and Alpha lock eyes when Alpha sees Carol on her territory that we see that a fight was practically inevitable between the two groups. The fire in her territory posed a threat to their territories nearby so they had to cross borders to extinguish the fire and eventually the two groups would clash on imagined territory boundaries due to their will and human right to thrive in any territory they wish in a world where their survival is threatened everyday. If storms, fires, and indifferences have driven them across her imaginary borders so far, then we can expect the others to join Carol and Aaron in their will to fight against the guardians on their own territory.

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The Walking Dead S9E16 Michoone chooses

The Storm: Season 9 Episode 16

 

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When it came time for a leader to stand up and decide whether the group should risk their lives crossing through the guardians’ territory to reach a safe location nearby or take their chances in their own territories where they would be trapped in the sanctuary without enough food or heat available to wait out the storm, Michoone chose life for the group. Unfortunately, it was a risk that everyone was forced to make due to the worsening conditions of the weather. The anxiety came when they were expecting to encounter the guardians along their trail, but instead what they encountered was the usual zombie leg grab or the zombie pop up surprise from beneath the snow fun. There was no real danger present at all.

It was later revealed that the guardians had spent some time away during the snow storm. All that anxiety they built up for nothing!

If the numerous footprints in the snow coming from outside their territory, the dog barking, the people yelling out to the dog and Judith to find them, or the trail of freshly killed zombies didn’t get them caught if the guardians were present, I don’t know what would’ve. Since these group of people portray themselves as being more rugged than the others they’ve encountered, they could have actually had these characters play that part by having the guardians hide and wait in the woods for the trespassers to make a mistake and cross their boundaries. BUT… they didn’t. Oh well… Who needs the anxiety anyways, right?

 

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They even had Negan play the hero after he broke away from the group to bring Judith and Daryl’s dog back to safety. Michoone had somehow brought herself to thank Negan for what he did for Judith. Thanking someone who had murdered your friends, stole portions of what you found or produced on a regular basis, and made it a point to reduce you to nothing after you tried to defy his authority over you couldn’t have been an easy thing to do. Making someone like this give viewers that warm and fuzzy feeling inside could be genuine, though it is usually meant to leave you blindsided when he does something that is pure evil.

However, after anxiously waiting for him to revert to his old ways so many episodes ago with no signs of deception in sight, it appears as though they have actually turned Negan into someone who can actually be trusted.

 

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In the middle of the potentially dangerous decision to cross through the guardians’ territory, Lydia decides it is better to end her own life instead of sacrificing more lives. After escaping from the abuse inflicted by Alpha, she was faced with a new set of challenges after those in her new home made it clear that her presence made them feel unsafe and the death of those at the festival brought her even more shame and guilt as she was already struggling for acceptance. After her main source of strength, Henry, was senseless murdered she didn’t seem to have the strength to go on, which led her to attempt to become one of the undead before she was caught by Carol. It was one of the saddest events of the season since she was willing to end the life that Henry risked his life to save.

 

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Towards the end of the episode, Alpha has Beta bring pain to her arm so that she can build up her strength after she claims she needs to prepare for what she’s going to do next, but what exactly is she preparing for?

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The Walking Dead S9E15 Alpha cries

The Calm Before: Season 9 Episode 15

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One of the worst ideas in this episode was to put the main characters in yet another situation where they could’ve easily been killed when they were surrounded in the woods by the guardians, and NOT kill any of them. No one wants to see any of their favorite characters get a serious injury or die, but no one wants to see them in so many positions that make them vulnerable in the first place. It makes them seem like it’s their first time doing this type of mission, which is almost as unlikely as it is for them to basically hand themselves over to the enemy just to be let go unharmed. And after the group’s best fighters are allowed to live to fight another day, the more vulnerable ones from the festival were beheaded to “teach them a lesson.” The logic just isn’t there unless we consider the necessity of shock factors like having the group near death and leaving them alive AGAIN for the fate of the continuity of the show.

Instead of having them all surrounded, why not just have Daryl and the others walk through the woods alone until they stumble across a cliff where they see a number of walkers and people dressed as walkers below them and allow their educated guesses to conclude the magnitude of Alpha’s superiority through the number of her followers. Then, have them run away and tell the people at the festival about it when they got back. They could have also had the group see the heads of the dead on their way out to show them that the guardians were one step ahead of them the whole time.

It does seem as though Alpha’s talk with Daryl was to show Daryl what Alpha had already known from information on their group possibly gathered from their spies, which was the fact that Alpha did have the numbers to kill off Daryl’s group if she wanted to. But, how many of her group are zombies they can shield themselves with and how many are living is the question.

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Alpha isn’t playing fair… or is she?

Alpha managed to effortlessly slip into the kingdom by disguising herself as a member of one of their other communities in one last effort to convince her daughter to go back with her. Unsurprisingly, her daughter didn’t chose to go back to senseless beatings and mistreatment based on her mother’s philosophy on survival and strength and somehow she managed to capture a group of people at the festival without anyone knowing they were gone until it was too late. So, while she herself could trespass, capture, and kill members of their group, they weren’t allowed to do the same to the guardians. While they did purposely go after the guardians after jesus was killed, they had no way of knowing that they were on land that the guardians claimed were theirs.

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Alpha shows signs of weakness/humanity

After Alpha is seen crying over losing her daughter to another group, she either finds it necessary to kill the person that saw her because he wasn’t supposed to see her show emotion or because the kill gives her the emotional stability she needs to show external strength, which is appearing more and more like a facade. She was angry over the loss of her group members in spite of her rule to leave them behind and forget about them, and she was mostly upset over the loss of her daughter, which drove her to kill multiple people including Henry, probably the only guy that actually showed her love and compassion.

Lastly, the scene where those captured by the guardians from the kingdom were fighting for their lives just before they died wasn’t supposed to be funny, but to me it was kind of funny. What was meant to be a harrowing moment when everyone came together to face their attackers in one last face off, turned out to be a comical scene where a few of the characters actually attempted to fight like they cared about their lives, others appeared not to care as much, and Alpha walked into the scene and just gave them this unfazed “resistance is futile” look.

The good thing about this season though is that Alpha as a mother, leader, and a persona is keeping the storyline interesting and giving the audience something to look forward to.