It’s hard to believe that “The Walking Dead” still has four more episodes left in Season 10. Because Episode 12, “Walk With Us” was jam packed with epic moments that it felt like a season finale. Homes burn, battles rage, and main characters meet their maker. These are the seven most epic moments from “Walk With Us.”
The Battle of Hilltop
The fighters on the frontline of the battle have managed to retreat inside Hilltop’s walls, but flames engulf the entire town. Carol (Melissa McBride) picks off walkers from her archer tower, but the horde is overwhelming. Zombies pour through a massive hole burned through the central gate and shielded warriors do their best to contain the breach. Ezekiel (Khary Payton) gathers the children and ushers them to an exit, but Judith (Cailey Fleming) has gone missing. The “little ass kicker” is taking out a group of the undead with her sword, but is taken aback when she realizes that one of her victims is a Whisperer. Her first human kill. The walkers eventually overtake the fighters and swarm the town, as a horrified Yumiko (Eleanor Matsuura) spies her missing girlfriend Magna (Nadia Hilker) hiding out among the dead. Carol surveys the helpless scene as explosions and flames ripple through the community. The fight is lost.
Smoke clears and the sun rises as the Alpha (Samantha Morton) and her Whisperers pick through the dead on the battlefield to add “guardians” to their ranks. The crazed leader is unsatisfied however. She tells Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) that she cannot declare victory until she has everything she wants. Namely, her daughter. Negan goes on a search and stumbles across Aaron (Ross Marquand) dragging an injured Luke (Dan Fogler) behind him. Aaron is enraged to see his former foe in a skin mask and moves in for a kill, despite Negan’s protests that it “isn’t what it looks like.” A pack of walkers halts their duel and allows Negan to escape. As Negan flees, he spies Lydia (Cassady McClincy) limping through the forest and easily captures her. “That thing you’ve been looking for?” he later tells Alpha, “I found it.”
The main heroes have all managed to flee the battle and are scattered on their way to designated rendezvous points. Kelly (Angel Theory), Alden (Callan McAuliffe), and Mary (Thora Birch) flee with baby Adam. When Alden is unable to calm the child, he finally lets Mary hold her nephew and the cries instantly stop. Mary’s happiness is short lived as the trio is quickly beset by walkers. Mary makes the quick decision to shut Alden and Kelly into a nearby van with Adam while she diverts the zombies’ attention. Just as she manages to slay the last of these walkers, a knife is plunged into her gut. Beta (Ryan Hurst) has found her and declares “you will walk with us.” She struggles against him and rips off half of his mask but is ultimately killed. Though she reanimates, Alden puts her down with an arrow before she can become a member of The Whisperer horde. A fellow Whisperer sees Beta’s face for the first time, and declares “it’s you! Your voice sounded familiar but…” Beta slashes the man’s throat before he can finish. Was Beta someone famous before the outbreak?
Magna tells Carol and Yumiko how she and Connie made their way out of the caves. They took one wrong turn and found themselves among the horde and became separated. During her story, Carol is anxious to go searching. Yumiko flies into a rage and accuses Carol of not taking responsibility for her reckless behavior before punching her in the mouth. “I didn’t ask you to do that” Magna says in response. Observing the heightened state that Yumiko has entered, she admits “I can’t do this anymore. You were right to kick me out.” It’s a bit of a let down to see this relationship dissolve so quickly after their reunion. The pair at least end things amicably, joking that nights will be more peaceful now without each other’s snoring and pillow stealing.
Judith Grows Up
In the chaos of the battle Ezekiel (Khary Payton) was separated from the children and trapped under some debris. Earl (John Finn) grabbed the kids and hid them away in a small cabin. Unfortunately, Earl doesn’t look so hot. He moves to a separate room and hammers a spike through a wooden table, and the camera reveals a bite mark on his arm. Judith discovers him making his makeshift suicide device and he implores her to “keep those kids safe” before ushering her out of the room. He thrusts his head down on the spike, leaving a bloody mess for Judith to discover. But apparently Earl didn’t use enough force to reach his brain as he reanimates and lunges for Judith. The young Ms. Grimes makes quick work of him with her sword and Daryl (Norman Reedus) soon discovers her sulking next to Earl’s body. It’s the first time the girl has ever had to kill someone she knew.
As Negan leads Alpha to a shack where Lydia is kept prisoner, Alpha reveals that she believes it is her destiny to kill her daughter. Once the gruesome deed is done, Alpha can die and pass on her leadership to Negan. “I want you to become a lion” she tells him. Negan actively tries to dissuade Alpha from her plan by detailing his wife’s losing battle with cancer. “When she was gone, I didn’t feel much anymore…that was my strength,” he admits. But he accuses Alpha of being a pretender, that it is impossible for humans to act like animals with no emotions. “You still love her” he begs. But Alpha is sticking to her “destiny” schtick, even implying that it was Lucille’s destiny to die from cancer and be “set free.” They reach the shack and Alpha opens the door, ready to make Lydia a permanent member of the undead. But Lydia is not kept there. A confused Alpha turns around as Negan quickly slashes her throat. He gently kisses her goodbye as Alpha chokes and gasps her last breath.
The Puppet Master
Later on, Negan walks through the forest and produces Alpha’s severed head from a burlap sack. He tosses it in front of someone’s feet and the camera pans up to reveal that the mystery figure is Carol! She grins at Alpha’s zombified skull and responds with a dry “took you long enough” as the end credits roll. This marks the first time Carol and Negan have shared a scene together, but clearly they’ve had a secret plan all season long, with Carol pulling the strings. I guess we know who let Negan out of his jail cell.