Sometimes, the truth is right in front of you. Lines are crossed and bonds are tested on The Walking Dead. Here’s our recap of “Open Your Eyes”!
“Open Your Eyes” sets up The Walking Dead for an explosive midseason finale, but does it offer a big reveal too late? The main threads of the episode follow Carol and Daryl, Saddiq and Dante, and Aaron and Gamma. They are the major players and pawns in a game that’s bigger than everyone.
Let’s start with Carol.
She’s been on a mission since “Lines We Cross” to avenge Henry’s death. Her one-track mind is going to cause some big issues between her and Daryl, especially with how the episode ends.
“Open Your Eyes” starts with Gabriel confronting Carol about bringing a Whisperer into the ASZ. She hasn’t thought about what this will cause if Alpha finds out, but I think she has. She just doesn’t care.
It’s been established that when times get emotionally hard for Carol, she’ll bail and live on her own. As much as people want to say that Carol is a team player, she’s shown, many times, that she’s protective of her own interests. Is she friends with Daryl? Absolutely. However, she knows Daryl can survive on his own, and if shit goes down, he’ll probably be okay.
Beyond Daryl, I don’t think there’s any one that Carol wouldn’t be willing to sacrifice to kill Alpha.
After Gabriel talks her out of torturing the Whisperer, she speaks to Lydia who tells her that hope is more alluring than torture. If she wants this guy to talk, all she needs to do is show him that this way of life is sustainable.
It’s curious that Lydia also knows who this Whisperer is after only seeing him for a few seconds. More on that later, though.
With this new information, Carol gives the Whisperer food. Jellies and jams. Fresh bread. It seems to be working, but when Carol asks if it’s good, he spits it back into her face and tells her no.
“You lie to yourselves. To each other. You fight for what? Sanwiches? You ignore the truth when it’s staring you in the face. I’d never betray Alpha. She rescued me. She protects me. She loves me. She loves us all. She sacrificed her own daughter for us.”
Carol sees an opening to make all the Whisperers doubt Alpha if she can show them that Lydia still alive. Daryl tells carol that he doesn’t want Lydia a part of this.
“Please. That kid’s been through enough.”
“Let her make up her own mind. This is the only way, and you know it.”
All y’all thinking Carol and Daryl are still endgame don’t understand how she’s about to fuck stuff up.
Later, Dante and Saddiq go back inside to check on the Whisperer, but he’s burning up and has a seizure before dying. Lydia and Carol come in right at the end, and Daryl pushes them out before Lydia can see anything.
Dante shows Saddiq what he gave the Whisperer for pain and swelling, but it’s not the herb he thought. It’s hemlock.
“I didn’t know. I didn’t know. I never thought.”
“You thought? You thought what?”
“I never thought hemlock would be in the bag because…”
“Because what, Dante?”
“Because you packed it.”
This is a big reveal that further plagues Saddiq this episode. We’ll get to him soon.
Gabriel is concerned about Alpha finding out about the dead Whisperer, and he shares his concerns with Daryl. Daryl says that she won’t find out at all.
“I’ll clean up the mess.”
“I’ll help. It’s not your mess to clean.”
Meanwhile, Carol has taken Lydia away on horseback. They seem to going into Whisperer territory.
During “Open Your Eyes,” Aaron has been sitting at the bridge, still speaking with Gamma. Aaron is trying to forge a relationship with Gamma, but she’s holding him at a distance. He asks if she has siblings, but she claims to be an only child. She slips up once, and it seems like she was talking about a sibling, so Aaron tells her about his brother.
At this point, Aaron tells her that digging for intel isn’t the point. Maybe they just talk about nothing worth reporting. He pushes her too far with that, and Gamma rushes off, repeating the Whisperers oath because she’s all tempted.
In Whisperer territory, Gamma looks at the picture that Grace drew for Aaron when a walker comes up on her. Instead of luring it got he horde, she freaks and kills it. Alpha sees, and after asking Gamma about Aaron, she switches her arm.
“You’re always being tested. You just remain strong. I believe in you. Never doubt that. You are mine, Gamma. This, Aaron, he tempts you with his lies. Do not be seduced.”
At the border that night, Gamma drops the picture Grace drew but when Aaron goes to pick it up, she grabs him and puts a knife to his throat. She wants details of their community, but before Aaron can talk, Carol comes out of the woods with Lydia.
Seeing Lydia shocks Gamma so badly that she backs away, saying no over and over, before running away. Once she’s gone, Carol explains things to Lydia:
“You’re mother told her people that she killed you.”
“You said you wanted my help.”
“You used me.”
“Lydia, I’m sorry.”
“You’re just like her. You said you wanted me to choose a side? I choose mine.”
“You can’t go out there. It’s too dangerous.”
“You can’t stop me.”
Lydia hits Carol with her staff and backs over the line. Aaron tries to stop her, but she runs away. Daryl will never forgive Carol for this, and it sets up Negan to have another, more pressing reason, to kill Alpha. When they see Lydia isn’t dead, Alpha will need to reestablish control. That will mean killing Lydia in front of everyone.
Since Negan is there, he’ll come forward to protect Lydia and kill Alpha.
This will definitely leave Negan stans feeling really good, and give them more ammunition against Daryl and how he’s not actually the father figure in Lydia’s life. It’ll be a damn mess.
The title of the episode, “Open Your Eyes,” seems to be geared toward Saddiq. He’s been trying to solve the mystery illness around the ASZ, and adding in the fact he seems to have killed a Whisperer, he needs to be more aware of what’s going on.
Also, his flashbacks are getting more intense and worse. The little old lady he’s very attached to isn’t getting better, and that’s stressing him out. Toward the end of the episode, Cheryl dies, and Saddiq finds Dante digging a grave for her. He leaves Dante, and rushes away to the water treatment area where he has a panic attack and jumps into the water reserve.
He continues to have flashbacks with a loud ticking sound over them.
Rosita, who has somehow gained enough strength back from earlier in the episode, jumps in and saves him.
“I want the real shit. Whatever’s been eating you up for weeks.”
“It’s like I’m still there. All the time. It’s like I never left. It’s just pieces. They’re all jumbled together like a puzzle or something.”
Saddiq carries a horrible burden that he didn’t do anything to try and save the people he was with. It bothers him still because of Enid. He watched her die, and he misses her so much.
“This isn’t your fault. What that skin bitch did ain’t on you.”
“You weren’t there. Enid. Tara. People I loved died right in front of me, and now i get to watch it over and over and over. And i did nothing. I didn’t move. I didn’t help. I just watched. Now because of me more people. I’m not smart enough.”
“Bullshit. Bullshit. You have to pull through. You have to fight it. For Coco. For me. For everyone else that loves you. You can. You will. Because you’re not alone, and you’re the smartest person I know. Besides me, of course.”
He finally makes the connection that it’s the water that’s poisoning everyone. When he gets to the taps, Saddiq realizes someone tampered with the water valves. Later that night, he’s in his room, and Dante comes to visit.
During their conversation, Dante expresses concern for Saddiq and calls him his friend. Dante tells Saddiq that they’re all in this together, and no one’s at fault because they all shoulder blame. For the first time ever, Dante makes a clicking noise with his tongue.
This triggers a flashback for Saddiq.
A Whisperer held him in place and forced him to watch as Alpha killed Enid. That Whisperer made the same clicking noise. When he comes out of his flashback, Saddiq looks at Dante’s reflection in the window and sees a Whisperer mask covering his face.
This revelation causes Saddiq to jump for an ax, but Dante grabs him. They fight for a minute before Dante gets Saddiq in a chokehold. Saddiq starts to go limp, and Dante appears to say:
“That’s it. Let go.”
“Open Your Eyes” ends with Saddiq’s death, which is a damn shame. Why The Walking Dead continually wastes character development is beyond me. Especially when they could do so much more with his character.
The Walking Dead airs Sundays on AMC at 9/8c!