In the aftermath of “The Calm Before”, the survivors must face nature’s wrath as well as their own trauma. Here’s our review of “The Storm”!
“The Storm” opens with the news that the Kingdom has fallen. All the survivors will be taken to Hilltop, but a storm is blowing in that’s not leaving them a lot of time on the road. Before the Kingdom is abandoned, Carol takes some things from Henry’s memory box. It’s very obvious that things are strained between her and Ezekiel through the flashbacks of what happened to Kingdom, but the outcome is very unexpected.
On the road, Alden makes some comments to Lydia after seeing some walkers in a field. He asks if they’re her people, but Daryl shuts him down for being so rude to her. Honestly, I don’t see how Daryl can disregard these people’s feelings for Lydia. She’s literally the cause of this war, and she hasn’t proven herself worthy of anything compared to the lives these people lost.
I know that’s harsh, seeing as how Lydia is a survivor of abuse, but I’m trying to see this from all angles. Alden’s anger is valid. Ezekiel’s anger is valid.
Carol speaks to Daryl on the road, and she tells him that when she sees Lydia, all she can see is Henry.
“What do you see when you look at me?”
“I see you.”
Carol and Daryl’s relationship will always be salvageable because they’ve been friends for so long. Still, there’s a lot to work through here. It becomes even more obvious after Daryl kills a walker off to the side of the road and goes to retrieve his arrow. Ezekiel follows him and makes a not-so-subtle suggestion.
“You given much thought to your plans after this?”
“The past few months have been difficult for Carol and I. I’m hoping for a fresh start with her at Hilltop, and it’d be easier if it was just us.”
“You think that’s what Carol wants?”
“Carol wants the same thing I do. To hold our son again. I’m not trying to be a bad guy here, man. I just want to get back a piece of what I lost. What we lost. After everything, you think you could give me that?”
During this, Lydia ventures off and almost lets a walker bite her before Carol shows up. She’s not working through Henry’s loss well or her role in it. They walk out of the woods together to find everyone on the road. The weather is getting really bad so they seek shelter in the nearest place…the sanctuary.
In the Sanctuary, Daryl approaches Carol. He doesn’t tell her what Ezekiel said even though she asks him. Carol tells him:
“He only blames you because he can’t let himself to blame me. I feel like I’m losing myself again. I’m really trying to hang on, but I don’t I don’t know what I’m doing.”
“I could take her away from here. I can keep her safe on my own.”
“You want to go?”
“No. No, I don’t. What do you want me to do?”
Lydia hears it all from her place beneath the stairs.
After this everyone gets together to make a plan, and Carol is the one to say that the Northern boundary is Alpha’s not theirs. They should pass if it will help them survive. This is exactly what they do, too. Along the way, there are walkers, but they kill them easily.
The emotional point for Carol is when she goes and looks for Lydia, only to find the girl and have her tell her to kill her. She’s the reason they’re all dead, and it should be Carol who does it. She’s weak. Just like her mother said. At this point, Carol recognizes the same thing Daryl did. The survivor. Instead of killing Lydia, she kills a walker coming up behind her. Then she leads her to the rest of the group.
They finally get to Hilltop, and in blindside, Carol tells Ezekiel that she’s going with Daryl, Michonne, Aaron, and Lydia back to the ASZ. She even gives him her ring back.
“I know you have to do this, but I will never stop loving you.”
“And I’ll never regret the fairy tale.”
All I have to say about this is it’s bullshit. I understand that Carol needs time, like she did in season six/seven, but I don’t like this at all. It’s also playing that Carol can flip between Ezekiel and Daryl to be a surrogate mother to another child, and y’all can do better things with her character than this.
Meanwhile, the ASZ prepares for the incoming bad weather by gathering in the houses with the biggest fireplaces since the solar panels aren’t working anymore. Gabriel tells them they can’t leave Negan in the cell, so he’s going to have to come up and stay in one of the houses.
Negan is having a blast being out. He’s staying with Gabriel, Saddiq, Rosita, and Eugene, along with Judith and RJ. There are other’s there, too, but we don’t see them until much later for some reason. He’s being an asshole about the baby situation, and Judith won’t step away from the window because she’s lost Dog. YES, DARYL’S DOG.
The fireplace is gunked up and backfires on them. Afterward, Eugene explains what happens, and Negan even says he has missed Eugene. This segement of the episode should be called, “We Redeem Negan” because the writers are desperately trying to make you forget what an asshole he is. Yes, the theme of this second half has been change, but some things are harder for me to stand than others.
Eventually it’s decided that they’ll tie ropes around each other to make their way to Aaron’s house in the storm. They won’t survive where they’re at since they have no heat.
During their trek to Aaron’s, Judith hears Dog barking and abandons the line to chase after him. Negan immediately runs after her. He finds her, but he’s hit with a piece of siding and gets a cut on the leg. It’s not bleeding as much as it should because of the cold. He carries Judith and walks Dog back to everyone else.
When the group from Hilltop reaches the ASZ again, they have a sweet little snowball fight that will launch a ton of AU fics. Then Michonne goes to Negan to thank him for saving Judith, and in the end, offers some very sage advice.
“Thank you. For saving her. You always did have a flair for the dramatic.”
“Well, last time we were here together, Rick had just slit my throat open.”
“So this Hell, this ain’t nothin’. She’s a special girl. A damn spitfire. And you You’ve been through enough.”
“You know, Dr. Babydaddy said that you got caught in the storm with the Royalty Brigade. Is everyone okay?”
“Do you care?”
“Look, I don’t know any of those people from Adam. I do know what it’s like to lose a kingdom, see things fall apart. And it sucks ass.”
“The Sanctuary’s a shithole now.”
“Well, hell, I could’ve told you that. All you had to do was ask. So, you cut through their territory. Ballsy.”
“We don’t even know if they were there. The point is, we came together, and we made it. Common enemy, common goal. Or facing evil brings good people together.”
“Same thing. It’s just that no one ever thinks that they’re the evil one.”
Ain’t that the truth! I’ve been saying it for years now. If we had been following someone else group, and Rick showed up? We wouldn’t have been so easy on his self-righteous ass. JS.
The episode ends with Ezekiel talking to Judith over the radio. He leaves the room, and a woman’s voice comes over the radio.
“Is anyone there?”
It sounds like Jadis, and I CANNOT. Are we seriously bringing her back? And if we do, Rick Grimes better have lost his memory or be dead after not trying to come back to his family after all this time.
Take aways from “The Storm”:
Maggie hasn’t responded to any letters about Jesus’ death or Tara’s. She MIA, and we don’t know if that’s forever yet or not.
Ezekiel is now leader of Hilltop, I assume.
Negan won’t be in a cell when the new series airs. I guarantee it. Consider his ass redeemed.
Oh, I didn’t forget about the Whisperers either. They went south for winter, and relaxed a bit. They’ll be coming back in the spring with vengeance on their minds. In fact, Alpha’s preparing by having Beta whip her arm with a switch like she did to Lydia.
Next season is going to be off to a running start.
The Walking Dead will return for its tenth season next fall on AMC.