Review of 'The Walking Dead' Season 9, Episode 12: 'Guardians'

Review of ‘The Walking Dead’ Season 9, Episode 12: ‘Guardians’

A Gruesome Twist

In the latest episode of “The Walking Dead,” viewers were treated to one of the most shocking deaths since Negan’s brutal killings in Season 7. The unsettling demise occurred after Alpha brought Lydia and Henry to the Whisperer camp, where tensions escalated. Two members of the group challenged Alpha’s leadership, only to be swiftly dealt with by her right-hand man, Beta. In a chilling display, Alpha decapitated one of her own using a wire. Although the scene was undoubtedly gruesome, the impact was diminished by the lack of emotional investment in the character.

A Slower Pace

Surprisingly, the rest of the episode unfolded at a slower pace, leaving some viewers expecting more action. However, with Daryl and Connie on a mission to rescue Henry, who refuses to leave without Lydia, it’s clear that tension is building. The Whisperers thirst for revenge, and once Alpha discovers her daughter’s disappearance and attributes the recent walker attack to Henry’s people, a clash between the two groups becomes inevitable.

The Upcoming Fair

The impending fair, organized to foster unity and trade between the three communities, looms in the background. Initially, it seemed that Alexandria would abstain from participating. However, a sudden change of heart by Michonne, who surprisingly refrains from exercising her veto power, leads to Alexandria’s involvement. As delegations from Alexandria and Hilltop head towards the fair, the possibility of a surprise attack during the event adds an element of uncertainty.

Stagnant Relationships

Unfortunately, recent episodes have made little progress in terms of plot development. One particular subplot involving the romantic entanglements of Rosita, Siddiq, Gabriel, and Eugene fails to capture interest. The forced pairing of Rosita and Gabriel lacks believability and chemistry, serving only to introduce unnecessary character drama. On the other hand, Siddiq and Rosita appear to have more compatibility, but their potential relationship faces an uncertain future due to Gabriel’s presence.

Henry’s Choices

The budding romance between Henry and Lydia carries potential, but Henry’s decisions are increasingly frustrating. His determination to save Lydia, despite the imminent danger, demonstrates bravery but also reveals a lack of foresight. It is questionable whether Henry possesses the necessary survival skills for such a harsh world, relying instead on seemingly endless strokes of luck.

Negan’s Return

In a long-awaited scene, Negan interacts with Michonne at Alexandria, expressing his willingness to assist in maintaining order. While Michonne promptly rejects his offer, she also begins to question her own dictatorial tendencies. The thought-provoking exchange between Michonne and Negan highlights the complexities of human nature and the potential for personal growth, albeit within the confines of a post-apocalyptic world.

Final Thoughts

  • Beta’s character, portrayed by Ryan Hurst, adds a compelling dynamic to the series, and his gruesome zombie-skinning scene leaves a lasting impression.
  • The vast number of Whisperers raises questions about their loyalty to Alpha. Additionally, the prevalence of psychotic leaders across various groups prompts a desire for conflict with more nuanced adversaries, as seen in shows like “The 100.”
  • The inclusion of Daryl’s loyal companion, Dog, adds a heartwarming touch to the episode.
  • Alpha continues to prove herself as a formidable villain, with Samantha Morton delivering a chilling performance. However, the ongoing “strong vs. weak” narrative feels reminiscent of Martha from “Fear The Walking Dead,” lacking originality.
  • Overall, this episode felt largely uneventful, serving primarily as a setup for future episodes. With a bloated cast and the absence of beloved characters, the show struggles to generate momentum. The 16-episode format necessitates extensive padding, resulting in filler content and a lack of substantial development.
  • In subsequent posts, I will delve further into these issues and explore the diminishing impact of the show’s expansive character roster. Share your thoughts on “Guardians” with me on Twitter or Facebook.