Spoiler warning! The Walking Dead's latest episode is up for discussion below, and we're not holding back on any details.
Though The Walking Dead's body-dropping All Out War only concluded as Season 8 drew to a close, the show's protagonists are one again staring a deadly situation squarely in the face, with the AMC series now set to tackle the comic book's Whisperers War. The animosity has been rising, due in part to Carol's ill-fated brazenness and Daryl's attack on Alpha. The villains took some serious initiative in "Morning Star" by bringing the fight directly to the Hilltop, which may be going up in flames very soon.
The surprisingly emotional episode gave Walking Dead viewers a troubling look at how the War kicked off for all involved, but ended just as the situation appeared to be completely hopeless for everyone not wearing walker masks. To be expected, we've got lots of questions about how the Whisperers War will play out, so let's dive right in.
Is Negan Truly Siding With Alpha And The Whisperers?
Considering the rather dramatic way things played out in the comics for Negan and Alpha, The Walking Dead TV show is in somewhat uncharted waters at this point. While Comic Negan's loyalty was directed at Rick, Jeffrey Dean Morgan's Negan is clearly taken by Samantha Morton's Alpha, but to what end? He spent most of the latest episode believing he'd convinced Alpha to non-lethally indoctrinate the protagonists into the Whisperers way of life, but realized in the end that she aimed to kill everyone. Instead of fighting her on it, though, the seemingly reformed Negan called her a badass and joined the others in shooting flaming arrows. Does that mean he's 100% with the Whisperers now, or is this all part of a long con?
How Will Michonne's Return Affect The Whisperer War?
Beyond her brief appearances in trailers for the back half of Season 10, The Walking Dead fans last saw Michonne in the midseason finale "The World Before," in which she set off to accompany Kevin Carroll's Virgil back to a Naval base in order to acquire weapons to aid in defeating the Whisperers. It looks like Michonne might be too late to thwart the villains' earliest War efforts, but for all we know, she may very well on the Whisperer horde's periphery, approaching quietly and awaiting the perfect moment to take Alpha and Beta out. Okay, so it almost definitely won't be that easy, but I do hope Michonne returns soon, and with enough ammo to turn the Whisperers into Swiss cheese.
Will Alpha Kill Lydia, Or Vice Versa?
After Lydia basically shit all over Alpha's plans to have her daughter assume leadership within the nomadic group, the Whisperers' head honcho has renewed her bloodlust in a significant way. Knowing this show, Lydia and Alpha will no doubt have at least one more confrontation before all is said and done, and I am pretty confident that meet-up will end in a brutal death. Lydia has already refused to kill Alpha, being the non-evil person she is, so it's a bit more likely that Alpha will be the deadly aggressor in that situation. Ten cool points to both women if they nip their family tree in the bud by killing each other.
Should We Be Worried About Father Gabriel Now?
The Walking Dead's Whisperers War arc did not end well for Father Gabriel in Robert Kirkman's comic book, with the God-fearing priest being killed after clumsily falling off a ladder. I can't imagine the TV show will give Seth Gilliam's Father Gabriel the same fate, but that doesn't mean I'm confident that Gabe will make it out alive. The character has certainly embraced more of an Old Testament approach to justice where the Whisperers are concerned, and he's arguably never had this much self-confidence before. So he's either going to die soon, or he's going to have that confidence stripped from him in some other painful way.
Will Eugene Survive Long Enough To Meet Stephanie?
"Morning Star" progressed Eugene's relationship with his radio friend Stephanie, as he broke protocol and told her he was in Virginia. Though Rosita presented a small hiccup by unwittingly responding to Stephanie, all was well in the end, and a plan was set for Eugene to meet up with Stephanie at some rail yards in Charleston, West Virginia. That meeting will almost definitely set up one of the comic's most engaging arcs, with the survivors discovering the Commonwealth community, but it's possible none of it will happen if Eugene gets killed during the Whisperers War.
Will Magna And Connie Return?
As much as it probably sucks for Magna and Connie to be stuck in that cave system with all those walkers, they're actually pretty lucky to be missing out on the Whisperers' attack on Hilltop. Not that they would see it that way, of course, since they're no doubt desperate to get back to Yumiko, Kelly and everyone else. With Alpha and the Whisperers now fully engaged in battle, though, will that present the ideal opportunity for Magna and Connie to discover a way out of the caves? Hopefully so, and while we're hoping, maybe they'll stumble across a bunch of water-filled canteens and protein bars as soon as they get out.
Is Ezekiel Going To Sacrifice Himself?
Since splitting with Carol in the aftermath of Henry's death, Khary Peyton's Ezekiel lost his narrative footing in The Walking Dead, with his (presumably legit) thyroid cancer making the character's endgame all the more imminent. "Morning Star" featured him having one last bedroom hurrah with Carol, as well as the biggest heart-to-heart conversation he could have possibly experienced with Daryl (complete with a cancer reference), so it definitely appears as if the show is setting him up to die soon. Considering that Daryl convo was about the community's children, I wouldn't be too surprised if Ezekiel ends up sacrificing himself in order to save the kids...or Carol, since it will probably be for Carol.
Will Any Former Walking Dead Characters Return For Flashbacks?
That shot of those colorful portraits (seen above) may not have been anything more than a momentary pre-battle reminder of the beloved characters who lost their lives in years past, in the same vein as Ezekiel name-checking Henry when he gave Lydia the boy's old armor. But as Walking Dead fans are well aware, this show's creative team likes to bring familiar faces back into the fold in the midst of major moments, and if the Whisperers War ends up being as deadly and destructive as it looks, survivors like Carol and Daryl may very well be visited by visions of deceased characters such as Glenn, Beth, Jesus or the aforementioned Henry. (OR RICK GRIMES!)
How Is Daryl Even Physically Able To Fight?
After his fight with Alpha, Daryl seemed like he wouldn't have been able to read a book without collapsing due to pain, much less walking around for hours on end and then engaging in a large-scale physical battle. Such is life when one recently had a knife plunged into their thigh. And yet there Daryl was on every frontline imaginable, and I'm pretty sure even Kelly's limp was more prominent than his was. That's an amazing recovery rate for someone floating between communities that have the WORST track record for keeping doctors alive.
BONUS QUESTION: Can Negan Get A Mask With Better Hair?
Not a lot of commentary on this one. I just think Negan's Whisperer mask is grosser than most others, largely because of the gunky hair strands.