While the cast and crew of AMC's The Walking Dead roll along with their deep-dive production-wise on 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. Last Sunday, "Ghosts" elevated the paranoia as Melissa McBride continues delivering an award-winning performance (and that review's here).
Which brings us to next episode "Silence the Whisperers," and an Alexandria's that's getting a little fed up living by the Whisperers' rules. As anger and frustration levels rise, it looks like Lydia (Cassady McClincy) and Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) might end up on the receiving end of a little post-apocalyptic "purging."
But the opening minutes to this week's chapter might rank as some of the most beautiful and heartbreaking in the show's ten seasons – and proves once again and TWD alum/episode director Michael Cudlitz knows this series:
In this previously-released preview, it's Michonne teaching Judith (Cailey Fleming) the best ways to handle bullies and bad people – with Judith making a wise observation about Alpha all her own:
"The Walking Dead" season 10, episode 4 "Silence the Whisperers": Still-paranoid Alexandrians get riled up over the Whisperers and take their fear out on Negan. Directed by Michael Cudlitz and written by Geraldine Inoa.
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.