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SPOILERS below for The Walking Dead's Season 10 premiere.
At last, the long wait between seasons is over, and The Walking Dead is back on AMC for Season 10. The snow is long gone, and viewers caught up with the survivors after a short time jump that gave everyone some distance from Season 9's deadly final stretch. The tone is as stress-inducing as it always is, though in a slightly different context than before, and the premiere brought in a visitor from above, so to speak, to shake things up.
After the group found a walker skin on the beach, suspicions grew rampant that the villains were back in the area. Below, we're going over all of the major and otherwise noteworthy beats of The Walking Dead's Season 10 premiere, which looks to be bleeding into an installment embracing Alpha and Beta.
While the protagonists were enjoying their time free from Alpha's threats, Aaron and all the rest got whipped into choreographed mode as an army, complete with spiked shields, strategized approaches and just a generally smooth approach to wiping out icky-sounding water-logged walkers. Of course, now that the Whisperers are back around, remembering those procedures is going to be difficult.
Interestingly enough, if this army situation remains legitimate enough, it would likely mean that showrunner Angela Kang and the Walking Dead creative team are porting some of Dwight's comic book story over to Ross Marquand's Aaron. At least in the sense of a character leading a militarized effort against the Whisperers. Aaron seems a little too emotionally fragile to pull it off, though, since he's more eager to stoke panic than keep a calm front.
Judith Spread The Legend Of Rick Grimes
Given the dearth of physical media in the post-apocalypse – big ups to Georgie for keeping the vinyl revolution alive – storytelling has likely reverted back to word-of-mouth sharing in many instances. It's impossible to know when a new history book might get written in this world, but when it does, it's likely that Rick Grimes will get a chapter in there somewhere.
The Rick-lore already started up in "Lines We Cross" when Judith was seen telling R.J. the story about Rick's sacrifice on the bridge, which R.J. has some precocious questions about. This would be a cuter moment if Rick's fate weren't left in a precarious spot back in Season 9, and if we knew what was happening to Judith when Michonne heads out.
Carol And Daryl's Friendship Got Rekindled
In the months it took everyone to move past the big fair-related murders, Carol decided to once again get out of Dodge, this time heading out to work on the water (which was a Michonne storyline element in the comics). Her return to the communities was met with open arms, even Ezekiel's, but she reconnected hardest with Daryl, and now has the friendship bracelet to prove it.
Daryl basically told Carol he would destroy any boat she tried to leave on again, so fans shouldn't worry about her making any exits soon. That said, she was trying pretty hard to convince Daryl to get on his motorcycle and hit the road. Possibly to New Mexico, or possibly somewhere closer to Fear the Walking Dead characters. The point is, Carol might not have a lot of patience left for this kind of life.
Siddiq Is Generally Losing It
Of all the Walking Dead characters who might have seemed like they wouldn't be destined for hallucination-filled waking nightmares, Siddiq stood out pretty strongly. Yet, there he was in the Season 10 premiere, suffering from severe PTSD over the group's troubles with the Whisperers.
Being so closely tethered to Carl Grimes' death can't be the happiest memory either, but Siddiq is clearly going through some things that will likely have an adverse effect on how he practices medicine in the coming days. Maybe he just needs a nap or twelve.
Rosita And Eugene Are Interesting Parents
To deal with her own stress and postpartum issues, Rosita was sharpening her boxing skills and trying to keep a clear head. Eugene, meanwhile, was somewhat overstepping in his role as third-wheel father by trying to game-plan every element of young Coco's existence through charts and data.
Here, that might be a cuter element if Eugene wasn't also trying to sneak some side glances at Rosita breastfeeding Coco. He's nothing if not consistent, I guess.
Negan And Lydia Bonded A Little
Even though Negan is currently allowed to pitch in and help outside of his jail cell, that doesn't mean everyone is hunky dory with his presence. In a similar vein, Lydia remained a target for others' scorn, given her relationship with Alpha.
As such, it shouldn't be much of a surprise that Negan had some prudent wisdom for Lydia. Negan knows better than anyone what it's like to be viewed as a monster by literally every other person. Though to be fair, Negan is like a thousand times more deserving of other's hatred than Lydia is, so she shouldn't take his words to heart too much.
A Satellite Exploded
The biggest wildcard running throughout "Lines We Cross" was the satellite explosion that lit up the sky above the characters heads before the wreckage lit up the woods on the Whisperers' side of the border. It was initially unclear just how that satellite would factor into the story, but the blazing trees in forbidden land made it more clear.
Even though the tireless efforts of Michonne, Carol, Daryl and everyone else were seemingly successful in halting the spread of the fires, they broke the only rule that had been laid before them by their skin-wearing nemesis. I cannot imagine that Alpha will be sympathetic to any of their overarching goals.
Even though Alpha appeared during the Season 10 premiere via characters' memories about the past, she remained absent in the flesh until the final moments of the episode. Which arguably helped to make viewers' skin crawl all the more when she popped out.
Daryl and Carol were having their late-episode conversation about leaving, at which point Carol continued proving her lack of worry about Alpha retaliating. So it was a mighty duel between karma and coincidence when Alpha stepped out from the trees and caught Carol red-handed.
How Everyone Else Fared
Dan Fogler's Luke was seen hitting it off with Alex Sgambati's Jules, so that's probably our earliest hint that one of them is going to get murdered violently soon.
Kelly is seemingly worried about losing her hearing, as she told Connie that it's getting harder for her to pick out specific voices whenever there's a lot of other noise happening. That doesn't bode well for her. Both Connie and Kelly's male comic book counterpart were still alive by the end of the comic's run, but that'll likely change for the TV show.
Maggie got name-checked during Daryl and Carol's conversation, with Daryl asking Carol if she was out looking for her. We now know she's coming back for reals in Season 11, so nobody needs to go looking.
Considering Danai Gurira is gearing up to exit The Walking Dead as Michonne, it was surprising that the character didn't have any major standout moments in the Season 10 premiere. She was solid throughout, naturally, but here's hoping she's got some bigger moments coming soon.
I was impressed enough with the TV iteration of The Walking Dead comic book's Dante, who is likely in line for a relationship with Maggie, and I'm looking forward to seeing what else actor Juan Javier Cardenas will bring to the role in Season 10.
The Walking Dead airs on Sunday nights on AMC at 9:00 p.m. ET.