While the cast and crew of AMC's The Walking Dead roll along with the tenth season, life in the franchise's universe has become a lot like the NFL: neither have off-seasons anymore. With a strong ensemble cast (and a "Big Bad" fronted by Samantha Morton in an award-earning turn as Whisperers leader Alpha) and richly layered writing, showrunner/executive producer Angela Kang did the near-impossible: made the show feel fresh and dangerous again.
We didn't mince words over how impressed we were with season opener "Lines We Crossed" (check out our review here). Then we had Morton, Ryan Hurst, and Thora Birch raising the bar even higher with "We Are the End of the World" (check out our review here), – offering up some Whisperers backstory.
"Ghosts" elevated the paranoia as Melissa McBride continues delivering an award-winning performance (that review's here) – while "Silence the Whisperers" proved once again why it's "In Michael Cudlitz, We Trust" (review here).
Which brought us to last week's "What It Always Is", where a now-free Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) began his redemption journey into his own "heart of darkness" while Alpha raised the stakes against our survivors – which we shared our thoughts on in our review (here).
But since there's no rest for the wicked, we're already looking ahead to "Bonds" – which finds Negan facing a test, Carol (McBride) and Daryl (Norman Reedus) possibly making matters worse, and Eugene (Josh McDermitt) going Rage Against the Machine… and getting a response.
Which leads us to the following preview – and we have to be honest. If this is the opening round of his test, Negan is failing miserably
Here's a look at the opening to this week's episode – which finds Carol up early for what she tells Daryl is another search for Negan. Offering to tag along, he soons realizes that there's a little bit more going on than Carol's letting on…
"The Walking Dead" season 10, episode 6 "Bonds": Carol and Daryl go on a mission together while Siddiq struggles to solve a mystery. Directed by Dan Liu and written by Kevin Deiboldt.
The Walking Dead is a story that started 10 years ago with one man trying to find his family. That family grew and gradually communities took shape. They fought and survived, thrived and gave birth to a new generation. It is a tale of humankind and there are more stories to tell.
It is now Spring, a few months after the end of Season 9, when our group of survivors dared to cross into Whisperer territory during the harsh winter. The collected communities are still dealing with the after effects of Alpha's horrific display of power, reluctantly respecting the new borderlines being imposed on them, all while organizing themselves into a militia-style fighting force, preparing for a battle that may be unavoidable.
But the Whisperers are a threat unlike any they have ever faced. Backed by a massive horde of the dead it is seemingly a fight they cannot win. The question of what to do and the fear it breeds will infect the communities and give rise to paranoia, propaganda, secret agendas, and infighting that will test them as individuals and as a society. The very idea of whether civilization can survive in a world filled with the dead hangs in the balance.