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Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon, Samantha Morton as Alpha - The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 11 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon, Samantha Morton as Alpha - The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 11 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead: 10 Details you might have missed on ‘Bounty’

Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

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The Walking Dead’s “Bounty” was chuck full of intricate details for the keenest of eagle eyes to spot and ponder.

This article contains spoilers for The Walking Dead season 9, episode 11.

    1. Daryl’s Angel Wing Vest missing half a wing is symbolic
    2. Daryl’s missing wing on his leather stitched vest was first noticeable post Rick Grimes time jump in season 9. It wasn’t made clear whether the ripped off patch of wing was intentional or the product of wear and tear initially. However, tonight’s episode “Bounty” subtly hinted that the missing wing was not an accident without any direct verbiage about it.

      After turning over Lydia back to her mother Alpha, an individual responsible for the bruises on her arm and promptly slaps her post-trade, Daryl makes a bold statement. “I did what we had to do today. We all did.” He tells Henry to “Live with it,” quite a departure from his sleepless nights crawling up the walls over the inadvertent death of Denise. Right after, Daryl turns away from Henry as his half wing is explicitly noticeable to the viewer for more than a few seconds. It appeared to symbolize the fallen angel, perfectly meshing with Daryl’s apparent icy personality changes. Reminiscent of the “One Winged Angel” of Sephiroth for Final Fantasy 7 fans.

    3. Oceanside, Sanctuary spotted on charter for signatures
    4. Ezekiel was handed the ‘Multi-Community Charter of Rights and Freedoms’ from Paul “Jesus” Rovia and Tara Chambleron tonight’s Walking Dead. A distinguished eye likely caught the signature lines for Oceanside and Sanctuary before the camera panned away. While we know Sanctuary went ‘bust’ post-time jump, the whereabouts of Oceanside’s residents has long been a topic of interest. Did Michonne have them all executed or exiled after Rick’s disappearance? If so, was it punishment for causing the events that led up to the end of the bridge or something else? A thinly veiled response to Maggie’s singular decision to hang Gregory?

      The rift between Maggie and Michonne might indicate as such. That said, Oceanside’s appearance on the charter means they were at least part of the greater plan initially. Michonne keeping the charter she originally proposed on ice might be due to Oceanside’s inclusion post-Rick disappearance. Perhaps, Maggie’s reluctance to sign was due to Sanctuary’s inclusion. Nevertheless, if there was a stalemate, it caused the dissolution of both communities.

    5. Movie theater in Alpha’s lands
    6. Just as Ezekiel, Carol, Jerry and the rest of the Kingdom’s group were riding off into the sunset in victory, with Ezekiel commenting about them not losing anymore… The camera showed a sign exhibiting an ‘A’ with a line over it! Alpha stated The Hilltop’s people had been into their lands during the trade off but promised no conflict if Lydia was to be returned. When Alpha and The Whisperers realize The Kingdom had ‘sullied’ their lands by entering their cinema, will they come for retaliation?

    7. Enid is aware Henry likes her
    8. Enid openly told Daryl she knows Henry likes her when volunteering to change his mind about giving up Lydia. It appears Henry isn’t so good about hiding his feelings for Enid to be so blunt about it. Though a high-pressure life and death situation caused the trade…

      At its core, Enid essentially asked Henry to give up his potential girlfriend so she could have her potential boyfriend back. Lydia volunteering to leave is likely the only reason Henry went along with it. The love-struck Kingdom-ite has eaten a live ground worm for Lydia prior and would likely have done anything for her even before the kiss. Post kiss, all bets are off.

    9. Daryl’s tasteful scar over eye, Carol’s half-grown hair
    10. Daryl has a 300-style tasteful scar going across his eye Gerard Butler’s King Leonidas would be proud of! Meanwhile, The Walking Dead kept up continuity by having Carol’s hair be only half-grown in length in tonight’s flashback with Paul “Jesus” Rovia and Tara. The long locks were given symbolic reasoning by Henry last episode.

      Carol and Ezekiel’s adopted son mentioned she used to be afraid of Ed pulling her by the hair when she would try to run away to escape. Hence, cutting it short to begin with. Now, that she feels comfortable around Ezekiel she’s let the hair flow once again like an ad for Pantene Shampoo.

    11. Alpha’s crew whispers to her as well, hierarchy in place
    12. Alpha slapped Lydia for calling her momma in front of the group instead of Alpha “like all the rest.” The others whisper to Alpha rather than speaking at a normal level, indicating a type of submissiveness to the Alpha of the group. Though previously it appeared they whispered to avoid confrontation with the zombies they occasionally blend into, it seems whispering is also part of a hierarchy of classes within the group.

    13. Daryl acted as The Hilltop’s leader
    14. Daryl was the first to ask “the hell does it matter” when Alpha requested to know who the leader of The Hilltop was in tonight’s episode… Yet, he is the one to go out of the gate to speak to Alpha and the one to ultimately make the decision to give Lydia up. Daryl has unofficially been appointed leader by the group rather than Tara, who leads in title only. It’s Daryl that’s rose to the occasion in place of Maggie and Paul “Jesus” Rovia.

    15. Addy is tattletale, enters Henry’s room without permission
    16. Not only does Addy eagerly give up Henry’s location to Daryl, she goes into his room post-Lydia trade without invite. Addy seems like the type you don’t tell secrets to quite frankly. Is all this stemming from a crush Addy has on Henry? Is she trying to ‘save him’ from Lydia or just being the good samaritan?

      Or is it Daryl she secretly has her sights on? Addy sure had a long stare at the shrouded in darkness Daryl before informing him of Henry going AWOL.

    17. Tara’s abandonment of Alexandria
    18. In the flashback during he onset of tonight’s Walking Dead episode, Tara makes it clear she took more than her share of supplies upon leaving Alexandria… And also doesn’t plan to go back and be ruled by Michonne’s law and order. Tara along with Maggie and Daryl didn’t see eye to eye with Rick’s dream of fulfilling Carl’s vision for a new world.

      She was originally on board with Daryl wanting to smash a truck into The Sanctuary, thereby ending the community… Regardless of the innocents inside. It appears this thought process has followed Tara into her current mind state at The Hilltop. One wonders if she’d drop her weapon had she met The Governor in the current era of The Walking Dead.

    19. Alpha/Daryl reminiscent of Beth trade, Governor at Prison
    20. Alpha showing up at The Hilltop’s doorstep with a battalion, felt like a homage to The Governor’s infamous arrival at The Prison during season 4. Even right down to having two hostages in Alden and Luke like The Governor’s Michonne and Hershel.

      The scene also recalled Daryl’s trade for Beth with Officer Dawn Lerner, albeit without tragedy striking mid-trade. The Hilltop’s impromptu leader is certainly no stranger to hostage standoffs, and what can arise within seconds of misjudgment or even the perception of such. Just as he’s told Henry dozens of time now when confronted over his decision making, “You don’t know a thing about me. Not really,”

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Lydia, Negan steal show with shades of TLOU’s Ellie and Joel

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Cassady McClincy as Lydia, Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan - The Walking Dead _ Season 10, Episode 15 - Photo Credit: Jace Downs/AMC
Photo Credit: Jace Downs/AMC

Cassady McClincy gave her best acting performance to date on “The Tower” as she and Jeffrey Dean Morgan made a strong play for the roles of Ellie & Joel on HBO’s upcoming adaption of The Last of Us.

This article contains spoilers for The Walking Dead Season 10 Episode 15 (“The Tower”) and The Last of Us.

Is it time for Negan to trade in his vintage leather jacket for an olive-green plaid shirt in-between seasons of The Walking Dead? Lydia’s chaotic outburst at the father figure who ironically made her an orphan tonight was magic. A frenzied tearjerker with the same intentionally unrefined edges that once made Rick Grimes’ breakdown ‘snot’ memorable. Vicious, raw screaming at the man who took away both Lydia’s mother and right to self-sacrifice at her hand. Cradled, sheltered, and snatched from fate. Just as Joel did to Ellie at the conclusion of The Last of Us.

The type of father/daughter on-screen chemistry Cassady McClincy and Jeffrey Dean Morgan share is a rare sight. Negan pleading with Lydia to hit him, desiring nothing more than to lean down to present an unguarded mug was one of the show’s more powerful visuals. What do you say to an abused teenager whose mother you just pushed past death row? Lydia, rejected the guilt-filled plea initially. Opting to pierce Negan where it hurts the most… With words of truth. ‘You just wanted to be a hero to them but you’ll never be one!’

Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan, Cassady McClincy as Lydia – The Walking Dead _ Season 10, Episode 15 – Photo: Jace Downs/AMC

Though TWD’s audience has seen a youngster losing a parent before with Carl Grimes, it was to an extent, mostly bottled up by Carl postmortem. Here we see the full spectrum of emotions from detachment, disgust and unbridled rage to complete shock, vulnerability and sadness by Lydia. Rockbottom.

The last remnants of Lydia’s innocence, of her childhood, forever gone. No chance of making her mother or father’s heart be filled with pride ever again. Not even the faintest, unrealistic daydreams of her mother’s starry-eyed happy tears at a college graduation or wedding. Every day forward will be spent alone, even when others are there. Instead of being gently guided, Lydia is shoved into the mud of adulthood.

Tonight’s TWD just needed Gustavo Santaolalla’s “All Gone” (No Escape) to complete the moment…

Be sure to read Lydia’s mistreatment proves Second Chances are Fashion Statements and more TWD Season 10 coverage in The Natural Aristocrat’s Walking Dead category section.

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The Walking Dead

Negan, Daryl scene brings danger back on ‘Look at the Flowers’

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Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon, Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan - The Walking Dead _ Season 10, Episode 14 - Photo Credit: Jackson Lee Davis/AMC
Photo Credit: Jackson Lee Davis/AMC

Negan and Daryl’s standoff felt like a lost treasure from Season 7’s glory days washing up onshore. Delightfully unpredictable.

This article contains spoilers for The Walking Dead Season 10 Episode 14 (“Look at the Flowers”).

Picture Negan caught in a tug of war between the sweet nectarine taste of freedom and signature bureaucracy of morality. Going from accused captive on his final march to the gallows to bestowed the title of Alpha. Rope removed from neck, a sudden insurrection switching his presumptive executioner on trial instead. Whisperers kneeling like The Saviors of yore before the might of Lucille’s bearer. An opportunity to rebuild TWD’s great antiquity from the ground up. Breathing new life into Sanctuary by pumping its heart full of fresh residents.

Negan confesses to relishing his lengthy, unauthorized parole granted by one Carol Peletier. A tongue defending against a sword will always be a flimsy substitute for another sword. Now, that Negan owns the calvary, denial is no longer necessary. Denial is for the weak. Should Negan surrender his leverage, all that awaits him are voting tribunals and paperwork. His chief recommendation: Gone a-wall. Evidence of his valor: Missing-in-action. There will be eyes judging his every movement as intrinsically vile even with proof of improved character.

Negan can reach for the key dangling in front of his ‘barred’ memories right at that second and reclaim his crown. Freedom swings back and forth in front of his eyes, a clock’s pendulum. Fully bejeweled, Easy Street. Daryl kneels in silence as the moonlight dances over his tattered vest’s wings. Live or die. Full circle, transported right back to the scene of the ‘crime’ where he took a swing at the leather jacketed one. Danger permeates the air, the will of Lucille. For the first time in a long while on The Walking Dead, true unpredictability reigns again.

Negan asks one of his newly recruited Whisperer henchman why he’s holding the ‘badass shotgun’ instead of the Alpha… Once the handoff is complete, it’s clear Season 7 Negan’s spirit reemerged only temporarily. Negan and Daryl team up to vanquish the Alpha followers with relative ease. What could have been one of the show’s greatest comebacks has the brakes put to it, instead of thriving ala The Governor’s return to the prison. Negan preemptively abandons a newly formed reclamation army in favor of civilized red tape back at Alexandria.

A narrative fit for an entire future season: Negan rebuilding the Saviors through his Whisperer influence is put to rest before it started. No internal war between Negan and Beta establishing a Negan/Simon redux-like reverie. The bigger picture. Thus, a lead episode highlight is only held back by not keeping Negan’s original spirit alive for at least a couple more chapters.

Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon, Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan – The Walking Dead _ Season 10, Episode 14 – Photo Credit: Jackson Lee Davis/AMC

“Look at the Flowers” firmly establishes that although Negan is capable of heroic deeds, he’s absolute dynamite as a ‘bad guy’. Being a ‘good guy’ comes with rules and regulations… Negan shines consistently in the absence of both. Leave the iron anchor behind and let the man be as bad as he wants to be. ‘That is the look Negan I wanted to see!’

All that being said, the scene is one of the high points of Season 10. Capturing the magic elixir formula that made Negan such a force to be reckoned with in the first place. Uncertainty.

Be sure to read The Walking Dead #TBT: Negan asks Daryl ‘Who are you?’

Missed an episode or looking to reflect on a scene past? No problem! Purchase episodes on Amazon today.

More TWD Season 10 coverage is available on The Natural Aristocrat’s The Walking Dead category section.

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The Walking Dead

Ezekiel broke the bro code when he picked up Carol at Daryl’s place

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The Walking Dead Season 10 - Daryl Dixon [Norman Reedus] and King Ezekiel [Khary Payton] - Photo Credit: AMC
Photo Credit: AMC

What kind of guy goes to another man’s riverbed tent to pick up his ex-girlfriend? King ‘Hide Your Carols’ Ezekiel, the ex always on the prowl for tragedy to strike before sending a 2 am feel out text.

This article contains spoilers for The Walking Dead Season 10 Episode 11 (“Morning Star”).

No scruples. Ezekiel is the type of guy to test waters by liking a girl’s Facebook photos 24/7 before texting ‘HYD?’ right after she has a fight with her boyfriend. Always queued in the shadows, waiting to pounce like his tiger Shiva before him at the right moment. Grinning from ear-to-ear in anticipation of hearing something has gone wrong, so he can make a move to ‘comfort.’ Why Daryl Dixon was reduced to being ‘the bigger person’ and telling Ezekiel, ‘he’s always respected what he’s been through’, post-coitus with Carol was just strange. It’s okay to be angry sometimes or even hold grudges like Daryl once did at Rick’s decision to spare Negan.

It didn’t feel realistic. Can you imagine Jessie Anderson getting back with Pete Anderson (had he lived) and Rick Grimes exchanging pleasantries? How about Lori sleeping with Shane again? Would Rick tell Shane how he’s always respected him right after the act? What is this ‘The Bold and The Beautiful‘ or one of the most savagely brutal shows in the history of television?

Why does Daryl have to ‘respect’ Ezekiel after he sleeps with the person Daryl presumably loves and seems to want a relationship with? There was no Governor type psychology/larger plan to be found in the scene… Really, you felt sorry that things have come to this. How would Season 1-2 rebellious Daryl Dixon look at Season 10 Daryl Dixon? Daryl seemed to be a Morgan-like clone on “Morning Star”, just happy to see everyone else be happy. Even at his own expense. Judith stitched together a new wing for Daryl’s vest on tonight’s episode… But he might as well have been completely de-feathered and wingless after that Ezekiel conversation.

There’s a range of pieces that don’t add up as of late on TWD, like why Negan didn’t just take out Alpha right then and there in the Season 10B Premiere, for example. Negan, the man who choked Simon to death with his barehands to finish a pure Rome-Gladiatorial style fistfight… Suddenly, can’t take out a vulnerable, unarmed naked Alpha and decides to sleep with her seemingly out of fear. In fact, recently Negan seems practically subservient, larger scheme in mind or not. Do you remember what Negan whispered to Rick Grimes after his first visit to Alexandria as a parting shot? Now the man is letting Alpha literally mutilate his wrists with a stick.

Eugene opting for a long distance relationship when he finally made Rosita jealous enough to want a kiss. Forgoing the opportunity so he can keep talking to a person he’s never actually met by radio. Literally after working to obtain Rosita’s affections for countless seasons. It just took almost all other competition to ‘drop out’ for Eugene to get a chance, true love right there. Now the peak has arrived, Daryl complimenting Ezekiel after he sleeps with Carol. Maybe it’s time TWD moved away from the ‘ships for a while and went back to basics.

Be sure to read Daryl and Ezekiel’s talk felt like a stiff handshake from a girl’s boyfriend and more TWD Season 10 coverage in The Walking Dead category section on The Natural Aristocrat.

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