Each week, we comb through the guts of The Walking Dead, much like a horde of hungry walkers, to bring you the episode’s best moments, surprises, and other post-apocalyptic curiosities. This week: File a claim for a tree on your house, file a claim for a head wound, and file a claim for a missing Negan.
Season 10, Episode 4: “Silence the Whisperers”
Most obvious: If you haven’t figured it out yet, the major theme of this season is that everyone’s fighting their own inner demons. We like the concept, but it’s been a bit over the top.
Best cast callback: This week’s episode was directed by none other than Abraham himself, Michael Cudlitz, who previously directed last season’s “Stradivarius” and will also direct this season’s seventh episode.
Delayed reaction: We’re not surprised that most of Alexandria hates Lydia, we’re just surprised they seemed to wait six months to really give her hell.
Most important tactical lesson: The most important takeaway from a tree falling onto the Hilltop’s wall is that it’s time to fell some trees. Keeping a clear perimeter around your defense means that it can’t be used against you and you can see the enemy coming.
Second smartest guy in the room: We love the slight nod Eugene gave Luke after the latter was able to decipher the former’s speech.
Least judgemental: If there’s anyone who can’t be mad about cleaning a freshly caught squirrel at the table, it’s got to be Daryl. You know he’s done that at some point.
Best nod to the comics: That scene where Ezekiel kisses Michonne had a completely different feel when it appeared in the season 10 trailer—many assumed that the show was going to pick up the comic book plot of the duo being romantically involved. But that was a total misdirection, at least for now, as Ezekiel explains that he was just caught up in a moment and Michonne notes they’d never work as a couple because they’re both too stubborn.
Biggest moral dilemma: We really appreciate the way this season is playing with the idea of good guys and bad guys. Negan, who was always a villain you loved to hate, is now downright likable. He clearly saved Lydia’s life in this episode, and it’s very easy to forget that he’s the guy who bashed in Glenn and Abraham’s heads, among other things. At the same time, he bashed in Glenn and Abraham’s heads, among other things. Negan was always a complicated villain, but continuing to twist and turn how the audience feels about him makes for excellent TV.
Most wanted deleted scene: Is anybody else curious about the breakdown of the council votes on Negan’s fate? We know it was a tie, but who voted for what, and why?
Biggest mystery: Who let Negan out? Our money’s on Daryl. He was on watch, immediately knows it wasn’t Lydia, and doesn’t seem at all concerned.
Michonne: Eugene, you’ll need to lead a wagon back to Alexandria.
Eugene: Actually I’ll be staying put. Much like my amigo here, I feel an energy calling to me, urging me on to help our good neighbors by employing my expertise in architecture and engineering to plug the metaphorical gap tooth in the metaphorical smile that is the Hilltop’s fortification.
Michonne: You want to fix the wall.
Most disturbing image: Ezekiel’s mental breakdown. Ever since he first came on the scene, chewing the scenery as the king, Ezekiel’s been a favorite of ours. Seeing him utterly defeated and on the verge of suicide was hard to watch.
Best kill: Michonne and Judith taking out walkers with their respective swords, side by side. Michonne has clearly taught her daughter well, as Judith’s form mirrored her mom’s. The bond between these two is sadly never given enough screen time, and seeing what a badass pair they made in this episode . . . yeah, one of them is going to die. It’s been 10 seasons, we know how this game is played.
Episode MVP: Negan, for saving Lydia’s life and once again being the Dr. Phil child-whisperer of the TWD universe. At this point, we’d take a prequel set before the zombie apocalypse where Negan just coaches a ragtag team of misfits a la Bad News Bears.