The Walking Dead‘s season ten premiere catches up with the group a few months after last season’s snowy finale. The cold opening is a bit strange, but things quickly settle back into the show’s normal tone. It’s been several years since the outbreak began, but many questions remain the same—Are we the “good guys”? What is our purpose now? How do we continue to survive? Will life ever go back to “normal”? It’s those questions and their precarious situation with those Whisperer borders that takes several of The Walking Dead‘s main characters down different paths.
For some, it means distancing themselves from this reformed circle of communities. Others are adjusting to significant changes that will shift their self-perception and how they interact with the world. Plus, there’s a lot of residual anger after losing so many beloved people in Alpha’s pike massacre. Differences aside, everyone is coming together to prepare for the inevitable fight against the Whisperers.
Thankfully, the long-term characters are all in this episode. There are some great beats involving Daryl, the always amazing Connie, and Dog. You love to see it. In fact, Connie is delightful every time she is on-screen and interacting with her fellow survivors.
Daryl also spends time with Carol and their relationship will certainly give fans mixed emotions. Carol is being Carol in a not-so-great way and it’s going to have a ripple effect this season. Rosita and her adoring band of gentlemen are still there, too. Sigh. Rosita deserves more. Negan is still around and, well, his ability to get into people’s heads remains undefeated.
Michonne is still the badass big boss over other mini bosses and these people are clearly getting on her last nerves. How will they survive when her time is up? And it’s always a delight to see the Grimes kids along with their generation of survivors. If The Walking Dead can keep chugging forward, these characters will be the leaders after Michonne, Daryl, Carol, and the crew are long gone.
The series is still clearly paying homage to characters past—like Rick, Tara, Jesus, and even Carl—by keeping their ideals alive. However, darkness and pain are brewing in the hearts of the formerly jolly people, which usually leads to dumb decisions and death. You hate to see it. It’s also worth noting that one surviving community isn’t seen during the premiere and there doesn’t seem to be a real reason to not give a glimpse of its current state.
This episode doesn’t move the story too far forward outside of a few small updates and interesting comic arc inserts that make sense. Everyone makes an appearance, including characters who haven’t been seen in a while, as well as a few new residents—including one guy who really rings true to his comic counterpart in terms of personality. He might stick around for a while but nothing is certain on the TV series.
It’s not surprising to see new faces, especially since death keeps a rotating cycle moving forward. As expected, there are a few breadcrumbs that will tie into the season arc and keep fans guessing about their meaning. The final moments of the episode are the most interesting, with a new discovery and life-threatening obstacle that puts the group on the wrong side of the border. It could potentially be a setup to further advance the communities’ technological capabilities and/or possibly lead to discovering more about Rick’s current whereabouts.
Overall, this season opener set a new foundation for the communities and primed the stage for the upcoming Whisperer war. Was it an action-packed and profound episode of The Walking Dead? Not really. But, to be fair, every moment of life isn’t expected to be filled with intensity, even when walkers still roam the Earth. Is there enough there to pique your curiosity about what will happen next? Absolutely.
Image Credit: AMC