Will the “nicks” the Whisperers have inflicted cause Team Family to fail on ‘The Walking Dead’? Here’s our recap of “The World Before”!
Despite “The World Before” being the midseason finale, it doesn’t pack the cliffy punch that The Walking Dead is know for. Instead, it sets up characters facing emotional, moral, and deep shit obstacles in the back half of the season. Because of that, I’d like to focus on the “nicks” that Alpha has properly hit on Team Family, and what they could mean going forward.
Gabriel and Rosita
“The World Before” opens with Dante getting his orders from Alpha, but those don’t matter. We already know what she wanted, and how well Dante executed her plans. The writers conveniently added:
“My daughter doesn’t know you.”
So, now we know why Lydia never noticed that particular Whisperer walking among them. It still comes off as very poor writing. How would Lydia not know Dante? This seems like a very important job for a Whisperer, and someone Alpha would have to trust implicitly, but he’s gone unnoticed? Sure, Jan.
After Dante kills Saddiq, Rosita comes knocking, looking to see if Saddiq’s awake, but she’s met with Dante. Immediately, she knows something isn’t right, but as she tries to leave, Dante moves out of the doorway with a knife. She’s able to sit Coco down before Dante comes after her.
Dante isn’t killed by Rosita, but she beats the hell out of him pretty good. Only after she hears a walker coming toward Coco. She doesn’t have time to fully register that it’s Saddiq before she stabs him through the skull. She gathers Coco up and begins to cry.
Later, Dante is in the infirmary with Daryl, Gabriel, and Rosita. Daryl punches him, but it’s too little, too late. Before they take him to the cell, he tells them that they’ll let him say his piece because it’s the right thing to do. He spews bullshit every other villain on The Walking Dead has before:
You’re community won’t survive.
No one is really kind.
You will fail.
Despite everyone who’s come before the Whisperers they’ve managed, and I’m sure they’ll manage here. What they’ve done is provide a catalyst for character change in Gabriel and Rosita.
First, Dante’s managed to take away Coco’s father and pushed Rosita to kill a person she loves. She struggles with what will happen to Coco if she dies, and what the future holds for her family. After Saddiq’s funeral, she pulls a Rick Grimes and goes outside the walls to kill walkers.
She almost gets bit and experiences some flashbacks to the night before. Luckily, Eugene is there and helps her. Their relationship is still rocky, but he expresses his condolences before he leaves. Rosita goes to Gabriel and expresses her concerns, but he’s too caught up in what he has to do with Dante, the council, the community.
He tells her that she’ll come back to herself. It’ll just take time.
Meanwhile, Gabriel’s making up his mind about Dante.
He goes to his cell alone, and Dante asks him if he truly thinks humans deserve a second chance after what all they’ve done. Gabriels says they might not deserve it, but they got one.
Gabriel takes out a knife and stabs Dante, repeatedly, killing him.
I truly feel that Gabriel looks at Dante and how he’s in this cell as his second chance to take care of someone who hurt their community. Like how they should have killed Negan. He’s not willing to risk that again. I’m all here for this choice by Gabriel, but I know that he’ll struggle with it.
Rosita sees him leave the cell, and she has to have seen the blood on his hands. “The World Before” ends with Rosita joining Gabriel as they burn Dante’s body.
That’s all the time I’ve giving Dante which is convenient because it turns out, he’s a knife that makes a nick, and that’s about it. He’s a plot device.
Honestly, I’m not sure how to address Carol anymore. She has brief run-in with Ezekiel that ends with him telling her good luck when she asks if everything is okay. She can see that it’s not, but she doesn’t press it. She’s so single-minded in her search of Alpha that she’s pushing Ezekiel aside, lying to her best friend, and doesn’t care about leading a group of people into a life-or-death situation.
“The World Before” sees Gamma provide Aaron with some information about Alpha’s horde in hopes that she’ll be able to see her nephew. Carol has made a nick in Alpha’s armor, but it’s not that big yet, and she’s about to pay for it. So are all her friends.
Joining Aaron on this expedition to find the horde are Carol, Daryl, Connie, Kelly, Magna, and Jerry.
As they set out, Daryl and Carol have a conversation, but Carol lies directly to Daryl’s face about not seeking revenge. In fact, she kills a walker right after she walks away, and she knows that a dead walker in Alpha’s territory is a giveaway that they were there. She’s going to end up getting these people killed.
When they arrive at the field where the walkers are supposed to be, nothing is there. Aaron tells them he believes Gamma was telling the truth, but Daryl doesn’t believe it. He starts to turn back, and everyone follows him.
They don’t make it far before Carol spots Alpha and takes off after her. She ignores the fact that Alpha starts and stops, making sure to let Carol keep her in her sight. It’s so obviously a trap, but Carol falls for it hook, line, and sinker. The rest of the group follows her into a cave with Daryl making it in last. He walks forward carefully, but falls through some loose ground. He rolls down to a rock platform where all the others are.
Surrounding them are Alpha’s horde of walkers, and they have no way out.
Sidenote: there was a super cute Daryl/Connie moment before it all went to hell, so here’s hoping they make it out alive.
“The World Before” has Michonne, Judith, Luke, and others make it to Oceanside. Before they got there, they made a quick pit stop at a library for the sole purpose of random guy (Virgil) saving Luke’s life, so that when Virgil turns up at Oceanside later, Luke can vouch for him.
In the library, Michonne also gets the message that Saddiq has been killed and that there are Whisperer spies in camp. Once they arrive in Oceanside, Michonne tells Cyndie that she needs to reevaluate how they bring in newcomers, and this needs to apply to people who came in before the fire since Dante came in way before the fire.
During all this, a commotion happens and Virgil is brought forward by guards. He was trying to steal a boat and caused some damage. Along with his presence comes walkers, and naturally we assume that these are events are coordinated, and he’s a Whisperer. Luke does vouch for him and explains he saved his life in the library.
Michonne helps kill some of the walkers, but loses Judith in the process. Once she finds Judith, we see that Judith’s cornered Virgil and is waiting for others to get there. To be honest, it’s pretty badass.
That night, Virgil compliments Michonne on Judith’s ability to protect herself. He also tells Michonne that mercy is in short supply nowadays. This triggers a memory of Rick, and Michonne tears up, and tells Virgil what she was thinking of:
“My mercy prevails over my wrath.”
Honestly, we don’t need to be leaning on nuggets of Rick Grimes wisdom right now. That line was a precursor for him saving the life of Negan which, I’ll be honest, I’m not a fan of him doing.
Upon hearing this, Virgil comes clean about where his home is, and how he just wants to get back to his family. Michonne tells him they can make a deal, but it will involve him handing over some of the weapons at the naval base he lives on.
Once that is settled, Michonne goes and talk to Judith about what she’s going to do. This is especially hard for the audience since we know that this is Danai’s last season the show. Is this her goodbye? Will she make it back from Virgil’s home?
“The World Before” ends with Michonne and Virgil sailing away on a boat toward the island he calls home while Judith and company go back to Alexandria.
Now that we enter The Walking Dead hiatus, I put forward some questions we need answered in 10B:
Will Negan kill Alpha?
Will Lydia reunite with her mother and cause the Whisperers to revolt?
How will Saddiq’s death affect Gabriel and Rosita moving forward?
Will Daryl finally realize he has no way of reaching Carol now that they’re in the pit of despair?
Let us know your thoughts on “The World Before”, and we’ll see in you February for more The Walking Dead!