The Walking Dead 1001 – Lines We Cross
The Walking Dead is back for a tenth season and if you like zombie cannon fodder getting sliced and diced then the opening sequence of Lines We Cross is just for you. Michonne, Daryl and the group are in Oceanside training for war just in case they cross paths with the Whisperers again. Walkers are sliced, diced and impaled with impunity in a display showcasing the battle readiness the group will need to fight off Alpha and her followers.
A sense of normalcy, one which the various communities were attempting to maintain before the arrival of the Whisperers, has returned somewhat with everyone working together and establishing bonds that before now seemed unrealistic. Aside from the training session there are several examples of a cohesiveness and ease amongst everyone including Jules and Luke flirting with each other, Judith and the kids from Oceanside playing together and even some playful banter and smiles between Daryl and Michonne. The good feels don’t last long however after a walker mask is discovered near Oceanside forcing the brain trust to decide what their next course of action should be. Aaron wants to alert everyone that there may be a clear if not quite so present danger around them. Michonne argues for a more cautious approach to avoid any chance that news of the Whisperers may cause a panic among those in the various communities.
A search party soon reveals that the established boundaries between the Whisperers and everyone else have been crossed. The question surrounding what to do next after months of peace arises as does the moral virtue behind the group’s fight for survival. The concept of who is the real enemy has flowed through The Walking Dead’s narrative for several seasons, particularly when Rick struggled to find an answer to Negan’s brutality. The lessons of the past aren’t to be forgotten though and Michonne helps Aaron to mend any cracks he may have in his convictions.
Life goes on in spite of the Whisperers reappearance or falling space debris from the sky. Back in Alexandria the delicate science of raising Rositia’s baby twists Eugene and Siddiq into knots. Speaking of the falling space debris, it’s the catalyst for what comes next. The fire caused by the wreckage of the Russian satellite forces Ezekiel and the others to make a fateful decision: stay on their side of the boundary and respect Alpha’s demands or stop the fire from spreading and destroying their community.
This being a milestone season there are echoes of The Walking Dead’s history throughout the episode. Callbacks to Rick, Maggie, Carl, Tara and Jesus are littered throughout Lines We Cross and it is a rewarding episode for long time fans of the franchise. Carol’s return to Oceanside is a welcome sight. The ease her reunion with Daryl exudes is in stark contrast to the awkwardness of her exchange with Ezekiel. Popping back into Oceanside after some time away Carol’s new path comes into conflict with the attitudes held by those closest to her, including Daryl. Whether it’s on the open sea or the open road a show centered on these two would be interesting to watch. Negan makes an appearance and his scenes, although brief, offering insights into what makes him and other ticks were some of the stronger moments in the episode.
The interesting questions posed during Lines We Cross will no doubt be answered throughout the course of the season and there will be some changes along the way. One change that will happen is in the cast, especially since Danai Gurira previously revealed that this season would be her last. If the season premiere is indicative of how things are going to unfold then the journey toward the just announced 11th season of the Walking Dead promises to be an entertaining one.