UK TV review: The Walking Dead: Season 10, Episode 6 (Bonds)
Written by Isaac
Butterflies In The Stomach
8/10 Total Rating 6/10
This is a spoiler-free review of Episode 6 of Season 10. Already seen the episode? Read on for full spoilers after its UK broadcast
The Walking Dead takes an opportunity to breathe in a relatively sedate episode, but something doesn’t feel right about it. Bonds is The Walking Dead, but what happens seems out of character.
Perhaps the Whisperers succeeded in wearing their opponents out to the point of exhaustion, rendering all their decisions questionable. Building pressure at the infirmary causes Siddiq’s (Avi Nash) PTSD to flare up again. Carol (Melissa McBride) and Daryl (Norman Reedus) go on a mission that is more self-centred than considered. The Whisperers openly accept a visiting Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) with nary a question to his motives. The only one who seems to be their normal self is Eugene (Josh McDermitt), who is finding life without Rosita (Christian Serratos) difficult, so sets out to find anyone else who wants to be part of his AV club.
Carol has, in the past, been a one-woman wrecking crew, capable of sadistic acts that serve the greater good (and make great television), but her plan to gather intel on the horde Alpha (Samatha Morton) is hiding is ill-conceived. She risks putting all the survivors in danger, which is unlike her. Before her recent addiction to the pills, the safety of her family had always been paramount. Her blood is still boiling over the loss of Henry, which may have clouded her judgement, but she is out with Daryl, who should know better. We are used to cheering the actions of Carol, but this episode will have you pulling your hair out in frustration.
After Beta found Negan in the woods at the end of last episode, rather than killing him on sight, Negan is taken to Alpha, who wants to test his worthiness. Beta (Ryan Hurst) sees sense and doesn’t understand why Alpha is letting a complete stranger to them not only live, but learn their ways. This might be what Alpha was talking about last episode, when she said the survivors will either die fighting them or see the light and join them. For a group being painted as villainous, this attitude is really rather humanitarian.
In following Alpha’s wishes, a montage of almost comedic proportions ensues. While it’s important to have fun moments in a horror show – Negan can deliver those well – for a group like the Whisperers, which is so serious and deadly, it doesn’t quite fit. Negan’s entire attitude and tolerance towards Beta is unusual, too, unlike either side of Negan we have come to know. This may be his own mask he has chosen to wear, but we don’t see for whose benefit.
There is a virus spreading at Alexandria and not just the one that turns you into a zombie. This is likely related to the Whisperers poisoning the water supply, taking the opportunity to weaken their opponents. The medical staff are under a lot of pressure and still feeling that pressure is Siddiq, snapping at Dante (Juan Javier Cardenas) and struggling with the whispers in his head that could end up putting those he loves in greater danger. If the Siddiq romantic bonds weren’t curious enough, his relationship with Dante is equally confusing. They share a connection that almost paints them as lovers, yet Dante speaks of wooing Rosita. No wonder Siddiq feels the pressure; just listening to Dante’s cringe-worthy bedside manner would send anyone crazy.
In every TV show, not just The Walking Dead, there are episodes that slow things down to set the scene for things to come. There are only two episodes left of this half of The Walking Dead’s 10th season and if history has taught us anything, it’s that it will leave us with something that won’t leave things as clouded as this episode.