In our first face-to-face talk with Alpha, we find out just how dangerous the Whisperers are. Here’s our review of “Bounty”!
“Bounty” was an intense episode that balanced two communities on the same day but in two very different situations. We see Hilltop realize the dangerous threat outside their gates. The Kingdom, while still in a serious situation, is in the dark about the Whisperers and Jesus’ death and their scenes have a certain levity to them.
A notable difference between the two storylines this episode is music. Scenes featuring The Kingdom take an almost Preacher-like approach, playing music during their fight scenes. I understand it’s to draw off walkers, but it’s also a very specific choice by the writers to illustrate the difference in seriousness between what’s happening here and what’s happening at Hilltop. Not that we’d need.
The main mission of The Kingdom is to hunt for some elk for meat for the fair, but a side trip takes them into territory they haven’t been before to get a projector bulb. Ezekiel wants to show a movie during the fair, and it’s been five years since theirs worked at the Kingdom.
Things don’t go as planned and before they leave, they have to kill a bunch of walkers to get the bulb that was dropped into the actual theater after being removed from the projector. As they leave town, Ezekiel brings up something Carol said while they were in the theater.
While they were removing a movie poster case, Carol asked if it was time to think about moving somewhere else. The case is supposed to be for the treaty the communities were supposed to sign and never did. Ezekiel still has hope that one day they’ll come together.
In the wagon as he addresses her concerns, Ezekiel’s words are a jinx for The Kingdom:
“It’s smart to be ready for any eventuality, but maybe we’re done losing for awhile.”
Yeahhhh, probably not. In fact, as they leave town, they pass a road sign with a special symbol painted on the back. I think we’ve accidentally entered Whisperer territory again.
Big takeaways from The Kingdom’s part of “Bounty”
1. In the opening, the audience is shown a flashback. If we still believe that time holds a significance to the writers, the watch is somewhere around 9:05, so this flashback happened sometime in between the time jumps. Jesus and Tara meet Ezekiel, Carol, and Jerry and hand over the treaty. They say they want him to hold onto it since Maggie isn’t too happy with Michonne at the moment.
2. The Kingdom doesn’t know about The Whisperers or Jesus’ death yet.
While all this was happening, at Hilltop we see the standoff that will start the war with the Whisperers.
Alpha requests her daughter again, but Daryl tells her that they won’t hand her over. She tells him that’s the wrong answer, and at her signal, more Whisperers come out of hiding.
At this point, Magna asks if they’ve killed Alden and Luke and Alpha says no.
“Your people crossed into our land. There will be no conflict. Your people killed our people. There will be no conflict.”
She goes on to say that if they don’t give back Lydia, there will be a conflict.
Daryl refuses to let Lydia go back to Alpha, and instead has them open the gates so he can talk to Alpha face-to-face. He’s in full protector mode, and he won’t give up the girl unless his hand is forced. By talking to Alpha, he gets a true feel for how savage she is.
“You can’t have her. Now, if it’s a fight you’re looking for, we got enough fire power to light you up right here. Right now.”
That’s when Daryl notices a baby out in the field being carried by a Whisperer. He can’t believe they brought a baby with them and tells her that much. In response, Alpha says they’re animals and animals have babies out here. So they have babies out here. Then like it’s another day, she proposes a trade.
Alden and Luke for Lydia.
They’re brought out by other Whisperers to show they’re still alive.
“I wanted to kill them, but I want my daughter more. One of mine. Two of yours. It’s a good trade which is why you’re gonna take it. Now bring me my daughter.”
Daryl honestly has no choice at this point. Add in the real walkers that start heading their way, and he has to hand Lydia over. Especially since Alpha tells her group not to lead the walkers away.
All the while, Connie is still in the corn field watching.
When Daryl enters Hilltop and explains how he has to hand over Lydia, he finds out that Magna and Tara already went to go get her. They’re empty handed, though. The cell is open and Henry is nowhere to be seen either. Everyone splits up to find them.
This is where the writing and score create an anxiety filled few minutes for “Bounty”. No one can find Lydia or Henry. The baby keeps crying, causing walkers to go toward the woman whisperer. The mother looks plaintively at Alpha who shrugs and turns around. This woman removes the sling from her body and lays the baby on the ground for the walkers.
Naturally, everyone on the fence freaks out, and Alpha simply says:
“If the mother can’t quiet the child, the dead will. Natural selection.”
Holy shit, y’all.
The walkers move for the child. Alden and Luke are trying to get them to stop. The people inside are banging on the walls to gain the walkers attention. Finally, Connie runs from the corn and grabs the child. Alpha lets her go, motioning the other Whisperers away.
Connie fights through the corn field until Daryl, Kelly, and Tammy rush out to save her.
This scene is crazy, and probably one of the best uses of a score moving the scene along since Season Six, “Not Tomorrow Yet”. It also provokes the opposite feeling that music had the audience feeling during The Kingdom’s scenes.
Outside of Hilltop, Lydia and Henry are in his hiding spot, and she tells him that her mother wasn’t supposed to come for her.
“She broke her own rules. Maybe she misses me. Maybe she’s sorry.”
Finally, Enid makes it to them and has a much needed heart-to-heart with Henry. She tells him that no one wants this, but Lydia doesn’t belong to them. Alden and Luke do and Alpha has them. She’ll kill them if they don’t give Lydia back.
Henry says it’s not fair, and I didn’t realize you could be so sheltered in the apocalypse, but somehow Ezekiel and Carol have managed to shelter the hell out of Henry.
“But it’s something we’re gonna have to live with. When I was your age, I saw my parents die. It changed me. I became all about surviving somehow.”
She talks about falling for Carl and how he explained that surviving wasn’t living. He changed her perspective, and she’s never sounded more like Beth Greene than in this moment.
“You can’t let the bad things change you.”
Lydia comes out of the shack and says she’s going to go. She wants to. It’s her mom. She kisses Henry and goes back to Hilltop.
Daryl leads her down the path, and they let Alpha in with Luke and Alden. Alpha nods when she sees that Lydia is okay and Daryl lets Lydia go. Alpha signals for her people to let go of Luke and Alden. Everyone is all reunited, but Lydia makes the mistake of calling Alpha “mom”. She gets slapped and Alpha tells her to call her Alpha like all the rest.
Daryl watches the whole exchange, and you know he’s not going to let it go.
Afterward, Henry confronts Daryl and says that he understands why they did it, but how can he live with it?
“I think you know better than anyone what we just sent her back to. How can you live with that?”
“Look, the world is just shit sometimes, and you live with it. Sometimes that’s all you can do.”
“What about before. At Alexandria. I know what you did to help when things we went bad there.”
What went bad? I need answers and not all this runaround. Help your audience out.
In the following montage between the communities, Ezekiel and Carol fix the projector, Jerry is holding one of his babies, and the new group is having a drink. Enid and Alden sleep together. Tammy and Earl have the new baby and seem happy to care for her. Daryl’s sitting up in the barn and gets approached by a teenager with a note that Henry left. He’s run off to find Lydia so Daryl goes after him.
Connie stops him before he can leave and writes a note:
Where are you going?
He shows her Henry’s note that says he can’t live with what they did, and Connie says she’s going with him. When Daryl asks why, she writes that she can’t live with it either.
They leave together to go find Henry and Lydia.
P.S. If this is the ship the writer’s are finally giving Daryl Dixon, I’m more than okay with it. Please and thank you.
There are five more episodes left this season, and it looks like Daryl and Connie’s mission will be one of our main focuses. I’m here for this. I know Angela Kang played a big role in Daryl’s development in S4, so I can see her hand in this, too.
I’m really anxious about character deaths moving forward. Much of “Bounty” focused on intimate connections between characters, and if there’s one thing we know about The Walking Dead, it’s that they can’t let people be happy for too long.
What did you think of “Bounty”? What are looking forward to next week? Let us know!