The Walking Dead: A Certain Doom review S10 E16

It’s hard to get into a season finale months after the penultimate episode. Turns out momentum is a hard thing to recover, but A Certain Doom had other issues to contend with that made for a somewhat lackluster ending to an otherwise great tenth season.

There was something immeasurably weird about seeing all these crowded hordes as the audience is watching under social distancing parameters. Dr. Fauci would lose his mind watching this episode.

If ever there was a need for an extended recap it was this episode. Beta managed to gather the horde on a final assault on Alexandria, which packed up and set up shop at another location.

Thanks to the news of the latest spin-off we know Carol and Daryl can survive a face-off with a million walkers. Clearly they’re the ones to get through the horde since they’ve got the spin-off shield.

the walking dead a certain doom review - kelly, judith, carol and beatrice

It’s hard to overstate that breaking the spin-off news during a slow news cycle was a bad idea. The old if ‘Daryl dies we riot’ meme was real and by saying he’s safe in the season finale effectively ended all suspense for him.

With Michonne and Rick gone, Carol and Daryl were really the only old school characters audiences still deeply cared about. Well, Maggie too but it’s not like Lauren Cohen came back to get killed off in one episode.

The gang devised a new plan to use a sound system via horse and carriage to lead the horde away. This plan seemed hecka flawed and problematic especially with the carriage on the other side of the herd. Time for the old trick of dousing in walker guts to navigate through a herd.

While suspense was in short supply the sight of characters clad in walker blood surrounded by walkers always makes for a tense moment. This was aided immeasurably by that iconic Alexandria scene where Jessie and her son got panicked and devoured.

the walking dead a certain doom review -

Like Dr. Fauci would agree with me, the group’s decision not to wear masks seemed pretty stupid. Sure, the walkers wouldn’t care, but the Whisperers would spot them easily and kill them.

Gabriel had a partial plan for it with snipers in the window taking them out with arrows. Of course that didn’t account for Beta tightening the ranks to make the Whisperers harder to spot.

Beatrice was around Carol so she had to get killed in gruesome fashion. She was always just a B level supporting character, but that was a crappy way to go. At this point being near Carol and Daryl is akin to wearing a red shirt.

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Negan kept questioning his face turn, but helped Lydia escape the compound with a Whisperer mask. Instead of escaping, Lydia used it to retrieve Beatrice’s book bag with the rest of the supplies.

The carriage distraction worked until it didn’t. That was when The Whisperers just decided to use the walkers as shields to advance and flank the carriage. This was a better strategy than the hope for the best with the carriage plan conceived at Alexandria.

Why does everyone have so few arrows? In a big assault defense like this everyone should be lugging around quivers full of 100 arrows each instead of six. It’s not like they didn’t know the Whisperers were at war with them. Arrow production should be a main industry at these communities.

the walking dead a certain doom review - carriage crew

Daryl wants to hunt down the Whisperers, a plan I can get behind since it’s more aggressive than reactive.

It might be too late as Gabriel’s evacuation is nearly overrun. His sacrifice play gets spared as Maggie and her hockey mask blade-wielding pal save him. If this were a comic book, this would be a previously thought dead character operating under a new identity. Either way, this guy looks cool and I want to know more.

Daryl and Negan team up to take down Beta as he gets overrun by walkers after taking a pair of knives to the eyes. In a funny bit, Negan knew Beta’s identity. Would that be like Kevin Sorbo or Dean Cain leading a swarm of brainless lemmings? Hmmm.

Lydia and Carol take turns trying to make the big hero play of leading the horde to the cliff before “hiding” in a very tiny ditch. With all that commotion I was shocked the walkers didn’t react and kill them.

The special effects of the walkers going off the cliff still seemed a little dodgy — part of the reason for the delay was to sweeten the effects before COVID shut down everything — but it was effective enough. And that ends the Whisperer War, one of the true highlights of the entire series. This didn’t feel as satisfying as it was months after Negan killed Alpha and Beta vowed revenge, but in binge format I’m betting this will feel like a well-earned payoff.

the walking dead a certain doom review - carol

Eugene and company wait for his love connection and instead are greeted by a squad of stormtrooper (First Order) soldiers. Looks like a Eugene is gonna have to wait a little longer for some loving…

Turns out Connie wasn’t dead after all. Can someone get us word on Heath though? She stumbles out of the woods only to randomly get spotted by Michonne’s old “pal,” Virgil.

Along with Maggie and her new friend, that gives us three solid subplots to pick up when Season 10’s expansion plays out next year. For now it’s off to other TWD Universe spin-offs. Let me know if you’re interested in me reviewing The World Beyond.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Photo Credit: AMC

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