Everything matters again in The Walking Dead. Actions have consequences and inaction also has repercussions. Silence the Whisperers introduced some new dynamics to the season with the same underlined message that the communities are slowly starting to unravel again.
A collapsed tree just so happened to fall into Hilltop. Already dealing with a deep depression after his multitude of losses, Ezekiel couldn’t come up with a strategy to rescue those trapped underneath.
This was as good a time to give Yumiko and her crew an opportunity to do something besides being background players as they helped lead the rescue and eventual defense against surging walkers beyond the tree wreckage. This was a very well shot sequence as well.
Like Andrew Lincoln before her, Danai Gurira is getting some of her best material on her way out of the series. First it was in a nice scene with Judith and then as she stops Ezekiel from potentially killing himself. Distraught and emotional, Ezekiel kisses her before quickly apologizing.
I loved the comic book nod of Ezekiel saying in another universe they could have worked out. These are two characters who have experienced a high level of loss — more so than most of the surviving characters with the exception of Carol and Daryl — so it was nice to just take a moment and have them acknowledge it.
Ezekiel got his mojo back and helped repel the walker surge.
Lydia was an outcast long before folks had their heads on spikes. Now she’s got a fan club who wants her to feel a fraction of their pain. First it starts with a makeshift mask then escalated to a spray painted message on her house – Silence the Whisperers.
The community leaders — Aaron, Gabriel and Daryl — favored inaction indirectly leading Lydia to Negan, the one person who could relate to outsider life. Naturally this didn’t make Daryl happy and he promised to talk to Lydia’s tormentors, but in the meantime could she just not react?
It was interesting seeing Daryl’s reaction after Lydia walked off. This was the reaction of a guy who knew he would blow off anyone advising him to just walk away from bullies at least before Glenn. Now he knows nothing good can come out of these situations and wants to spare Lydia that hard lesson.
But sometimes trouble comes regardless. Lydia’s tormentors come back for another round and start savagely bearing her until Negan makes the save. In his effort to break them away from Lydia, he inadvertently kills the ringleader Margo. This is the kind of mistake a lot of characters could overcome at Hilltop provided their names aren’t Negan and Lydia.
The council discussed Negan’s fate, which led to a great scene with Daryl and Negan and Michonne and Daryl. Michonne doesn’t want Lydia feel unsafe as she’s the main reasons the horde and the Whisperers haven’t attacked. Alpha wants her daughter protected at all costs.
Gabriel doesn’t want to make a vote then and the next morning Negan is gone. Who let him free? Lydia wants to take credit as she’s seeing firsthand how shaky the convictions of the communities for turning on each other for nothing. Daryl wants to argue, but he can’t.
All he can do is clean the graffiti suggesting the Whisperers need to be silenced. It’s a fitting ending for a deeper than normal episode with so many unanswered questions.
Rating: 8.5 out of 10
Photo Credit: AMC