'The Walking Dead' season premiere recap: A fiery new beginning (2023)


'The Walking Dead' season premiere recap: A fiery new beginning (1)

Credit: Jackson Lee Davis/AMC


'The Walking Dead' season premiere recap: A fiery new beginning (2)

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The Walking Dead‘s ninth season ended with ice. Season 10 begins with fire.

Well, actually, it really begins with water. Months after Alpha staked out her territory, leaving many casualties in her wake, we finally return to Oceanside where everyone is now changed from that jarring moment.

It’s “Training Day,” as the first chapter title card reads, and Aaron leads a squadron of armed forces on the beach to eradicate walkers they’ve trapped in a rusted, washed-up boat. Their moves are coordinated and precise. When Aaron yells to stop and drop, the front line, all carrying spiked metal shields, ducks down so the archers in the back can fire an assault. When Aaron signals spears, the men and women bearing those weapons move forth. When they split off to attack in smaller groups, each one protected by a pair of shields, they only break apart to allow projectiles to fire through. It’s an exciting display with a drumming soundtrack, full of Roman-style military techniques that sets the tone for the new season.

There’s new attention to the actual production quality of the series. The spindling hands of the walkers crawling through the open holes in the boat echo the spider Siddiq finds in his home (the one that triggers memories of the moment Alpha killed his friends in that shed). The opening sequence also goes to show that these aren’t the same people anymore.

Aaron isn’t playing Mr. Nice Guy, Carol is living on a boat with the Oceanside “sea dog” fishermen, Rosita is back boxing after having her baby, Eugene is busy crafting charts and graphs to track the infant’s behavior, Negan is allowed outdoor community service for good behavior, Luke is crushing on an Oceansider named Jules, Kell is slowly losing her hearing (Connie says being deaf isn’t a disability, it’s a “damn superpower,” perhaps a nod to the fact that actress Lauren Ridloff will play a deaf superhero in Marvel’s The Eternals), and there might be something going on between Daryl and Connie.

They are a little colder, a little harder, but still smart. They’re also still fearful.

Michonne and Aaron, walking through the grounds of Oceanside, wonder what this fear could do to them, to their group, if left unchecked. And something has arrived to spark new fear. Judith, AJ, and Jerry’s kids were playing in the sand, collecting seashells, when AJ found something alarming: a skin mask from a Whisperer. Radioing to Alexandria to speak with Gabriel, the group reasons it could’ve simply washed up from downriver, but they can’t be sure. So Michonne advises they remain on alert while they break off to scout for more signs.

Along the way, Aaron sees walkers coming up along a bridge and breaks from Michonne to deal with them. He’s easily overwhelmed and Michonne is forced to intervene, but she’s more critical of his actions since he nearly crossed the bridge into Whisperer territory. The group hasn’t seen signs of Alpha for quite some time, but they’re still mindful not to cross the border and risk war without a good reason.

Magna and Yumiko soon call the scouts to regroup on the scene of an old campfire. Bodies of walkers and, presumably, the campers litter the ground and nearby is a piece of human flesh, skinned and draped over a log. It’s the second sign of Whisperer activity.

At Alexandria, Gabriel takes Michonne’s advice and ups the security. Rumors of Whisperers cause more eyes to be on Lydia, who now seems to be forming a kinship with Negan. Both have done things that make the communities wary around them, but, as Negan advises Gabriel later in his cell, it also threatens to form an “us” versus “them” environment — something that will no doubt take root and grow in the days ahead. Negan even suggests Gabriel lie a little bit to the Alexandrians if only to keep them feeling secure.

At Oceanside, Carol has returned from her latest boat trip. She traveled to the spot where the community has been fielding messages from Maggie. They haven’t received any yet, but that will definitely change come season 11. Carol, still avoiding Ezekiel, joins back up with Daryl for a ride in the woods. She wants them both to go away together, away from everything. She, too, nearly crosses over to Whisperer domain when they hunt a deer and her rage from what happened with Alpha bubbles back up to the surface. Daryl, however, wants her to think about staying.

All these side arcs converge when a USSR satellite falls from space into Whisperer territory. Now the group is forced to cross lines because the ensuing forest fire threatens to spread and take out Oceanside with it. They race to dig trenches and smother the flames with salt and water, but the attention attracts an entire herd of walkers. The fear of whether they are dead or Whisperers returns, as they fight both threats.

The flames are snuffed out by morning, but Michonne is still on alert. She wants them to return back over the borderline as fast as possible, but Eugene is hurrying to extract whatever parts and tech he can from the satellite. Carol and Daryl, meanwhile, have wandered off to look out over a cliff ledge. It’s hard to say whether this is the same clearing where Alpha once threatened the group with her “nuclear weapon” — i.e. the massive herd of walkers she can direct wherever and at whatever she wants. It’s here Carol says they should leave together the next day, but Daryl implores her to stay.

As he walks off, something catches Carol’s eye at the forest’s edge on the ground below. She’s been fighting to put the recent tragedy and the thought of those “skin freaks” behind her, but now she stares into the eyes of the woman who caused all her pain and Alpha, having walked out from the trees, out of hibernation, stares right back at her. She now knows her enemies have crossed over into her territory, which, as we know, is an act of war.

And so it begins. It’s an exciting start to what will be star Dania Gurira’s last season on The Walking Dead, and by the time her mapped-out exit comes to fruition, lots more blood will undoubtedly be spilled.

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Episode Recaps


'The Walking Dead' season premiere recap: A fiery new beginning (26)

(Video) The Walking Dead: The Real-Life Partners Revealed | ⭐OSSA

The Walking Dead

AMC's zombie thriller, based on the classic comic book serial created by Robert Kirkman.

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How did the fire start in The Walking Dead? ›

As the group starts to dispatch walkers, Rick and Carl are able to lure a number into the barn, and set it ablaze. Jimmy drives the RV near the barn and allows Rick and Carl to safely escape, but he is killed when the walkers overrun the RV.

What was burning in season 7 episode 4 Walking Dead? ›

TWD S7E4 “Service”: Michonne follows a trail of smoke at the end of the 4th episode to only find out that the mattresses that the Saviors took from ASZ were only later thrown to the side of the road and burnt. This angers Michonne as we can see that the Saviors never really needed the mattresses after all.

What does A and B mean in The Walking Dead season 9? ›

Some viewers speculated that Rick's near-death state was to blame, but Jadis now confirms he was always an A, and referring to Rick as a B was merely a ploy to spare him certain death. Rick Grimes treated Jadis with respect and accepted her into Alexandria.

Will Rick return in season 11? ›

Rick Grimes does indeed resurface in The Walking Dead season 11, as he appears in the closing moments of the show's final episode. A closing montage in the series finale brings Rick back to the forefront as he has seemingly escaped from the Civic Republic Military.

Who was the first infected in the walking dead? ›

Gloria The first confirmed infected seen in the Walking Dead universe, and Nick's girlfriend.

Why do they burn the bodies in TWD? ›

Let's be clear: burning the corpses of zombies might be seen as a means of fighting secondary diseases (or indeed the spread of the zombie virus itself, about which even the screenwriters don't seem to know the cause!).

What did Michonne find burning? ›

The following day, while outside Alexandria in the same field, Michonne finds all the mattresses that the Saviors took burned in a pile by the road. At night, Rosita finds and picks up an empty shell casing. She visits Eugene and requests he make her a bullet for the gun she still has.

Why did Daryl burn the body? ›

Instead of simply leaving the bodies to rot as they ordinarily would, Daryl even wrapped the abused mother and child in sheets and burned them, a sign of respect for Carol's past and for what those nameless victims had endured before the virus took hold.

Who set the people on fire in TWD? ›

But in the cases of Karen and David, Carol was a much more dangerous presence than any sickness. In a scene that went unseen on the show, Carol took it upon herself to play the quarantine area's judge, jury and executioner, and she dragged Karen and David's infected bodies out into the courtyard and burned them.

Is Rick A or B? ›

The Walking Dead's ongoing A and B mystery has been half-solved, as World Beyond's series finale reveals what made Rick an A and why Jadis' Walking Dead lie to the Crm labeled him as a B.

Is Negan an A or B? ›

In all three instances of someone being branded an 'A' (Rick, Negan, Gabriel), Anne came close to having a zombie bite her prisoner.

What does Jadis mean by an A and AB? ›

What does Anne mean by A and B? Gabriel Stokes. While Anne/Jadis changed her mind about Rick – from an 'A' to a 'B' – her perception of Gabriel moved in the opposite direction.

Does Carol rejoin Rick? ›

During the supply run, Rick sees how different Carol has become and ultimately decides that she cannot return to the prison.

Are Michonne and Rick coming back to The Walking Dead? ›

The series finale took a dramatic turn in its final few minutes, looking both ahead and back as viewers saw the return of Andrew Lincoln's Rick Grimes and Danai Gurira's Michonne — who will be returning for a 2023 spin-off series on AMC.

Is Rick supposed to come back to The Walking Dead? ›

Rick Grimes makes his return to The Walking Dead in the series finale (season 11 episode 24) “Rest In Peace”. If you would like to know what happens in that return, read on. The veteran character appears at the very end of the episode in a tag scene designed to set up the upcoming Rick and Michonne spinoff.

Who is immune to The Walking Dead? ›

Are there any immune people in the Walking Dead? Lydia is the very first character in the series' universe shown to be totally immune to the zombie plague; based on experimental observations by the Darkwater Militia, she is not infected by bites and, if she were to die, she would not reanimate.

Where did the virus come from walking dead? ›

How did the zombie apocalypse start in The Walking Dead? The Walking Dead: World Beyond's post-credits scene takes place at a biomedical facility in France, which seems to be where the Walking Dead zombie virus originated.

Who was Patient 0 in The Walking Dead? ›

Gloria is the first character to die in Season 1. On Talking Dead, showrunner Dave Erickson confirmed that Gloria is "Patient Zero" of the zombie apocalypse in the entire TV universe.

Why does Daryl have cuts on his back? ›

While roaming through the forest, an argument between the two reveals that they were planning to rob the Atlanta survivors back in Season 1. In anger, Merle rips Daryl's shirt and reveals scars on his back.

Why is the barn full of walkers? ›

Hershel's barn is full of walkers because he chooses to catch them and place them there- rather than kill him. Hershel, in reality, is a very religious and sensitive man and could not bear the thought of killing things that had once been human- many of those whom he had known when they were alive and not dead.

Who was feeding Walkers rats? ›

During Sunday's episode, Lizzie (Brighton Sharbino) turned out to be a bigger threat than anyone realized and was revealed to have been the one feeding mice to the walkers at the prison.

Why do Michonne and Daryl have the same scar? ›

Scars. Daryl and Michonne search for Jocelyn and the kids and find them in an abandoned school. They're both knocked out and tied up. When they awaken, the children (minus Judith and the Alexandrian kids, who are nowhere to be seen) use a hot iron to brand them both with the “X” that would one day become a scar.

What was Michonne's job before the Apocalypse? ›

Michonne reveals some details of her life before the apocalypse. She was a lawyer who had recently ended her marriage and lost custody of her children.

Who were Michonne's zombie slaves? ›

Michonne's past is covered in a vivid and fascinating fashion as viewers are privy to a dream sequence that reveals the identity of her original two chained up pets. Turns out, the two armless, jawless zombies were her husband and brother.

Does Daryl have a mental illness? ›

Daryl Dixon goes through a quick but severe state of depression after finding his brother Merle as a walker and having to put him out of his misery.

Does Daryl ever get a girl? ›

Does Daryl get a girlfriend in walking dead? Showrunner Angela Kang and the rest of the AMC drama's creative team at last delivered an episode giving Norman Reedus' perma-loner Daryl Dixon a 100% official love interest, Leah, as portrayed by True Blood and Bosch vet Lynn Collins.

Why does Daryl have wings on his jacket? ›

The wings are a simple nod to bikers, nothing more.

The Hells Angels Motorcycle Club are famous for its emblem of a skull with wings.

What was the fire that Carol and Tyreese saw? ›

Mika taught Carol that black smoke means the fire is still burning and white smoke means the fire is out. Tyreese learns that Carol was the one who killed and burned Karen and David. They had a beautiful fire in the fireplace and a hurricane lamp on the table, boiling water in copper kettles, roasting pecans.

Is Rick Grimes the sheriff? ›

Rick is a small town sheriff's deputy and is married to Lori. They have a son, Carl and a daughter Judith. He awakens from a coma after a life-threatening gunshot wound to find the world overrun by reanimated humans dubbed "walkers".

Who burned the Woodbury walkers? ›

After Andrea says that he "can't look the other way", Milton decides to burn the walkers in the pit that the Governor was planning to use on Rick's group at the meeting.

How did the McBride fire start? ›

The fire was named after McBride Road, near where it ignited on April 12, 2022. The McBride Fire burned 6,159 acres (2,492 ha), and was fully contained on May 7, 2022. The exact cause of the fire is unknown.

Who set the walkers on fire? ›

After Andrea says that he "can't look the other way", Milton decides to burn the walkers in the pit that the Governor was planning to use on Rick's group at the meeting.

Who started the Woodbury fire? ›

Origin. The fire erupted five miles in the Superstition Mountains east of Mesa, near the Woodbury Trailhead, north of Superior, Arizona, in the Tonto National Forest. The origin of the fire was human-based.

Is the McBride Fire still burning? ›

On April 12, 2022, the McBride Fire started at around 2:30 pm on Warrior Drive in Ruidoso, NM. The fire quickly spread into neighboring residential areas and continued to move northeast. There were two confirmed fatalities and over 200 homes lost. The fire is now 100% contained.

What caused the first fire? ›

The main sources of ignition before humans appeared were lightning strikes. Our evidence of fire in the fossil record (in deep time, as we often refer to the long geological stretch of time before humans) is based mainly on the occurrence of charcoal.

Who was feeding the walkers rats? ›

Lizzie's psychotic behavior and Mika's innocence are addressed in the second half of the season, with the revelation that Lizzie was feeding rats to the walkers at the prison. During "The Grove" episode, Lizzie murders Mika, and intends to allow her to reanimate.

Why did Milton burn the Walkers? ›

In the episode "Prey", Milton commands Andrea to escape to the Prison to warn her old team about the Governor's plans and for the first time, takes a direct stand against the Governor by burning the captured walkers the Governor planned to use against the Prison group.

Why did all the walkers go to the farm? ›

How did the zombies get to Hershel's farm? In the beginning of this episode, a number of walkers were happily enjoying a flesh feast in Atlanta when a helicopter showed up, prompting all of them to start heading in the direction of that chopper. The migration eventually took the walkers to Hershel's farm.

What does Glenn call walkers? ›

In the TV Series, Daryl Dixon, Theodore "T-Dog" Douglas, Shane Walsh, and Glenn Rhee have been known to call zombies "geeks." This name is also used by Molly from the Telltale Series.

What did Daryl do before the virus? ›

Before the outbreak, Daryl didn't have a job. He was a drifter. Finding Rick and allowing himself to be part of an extended family after being on his own for so long helped Daryl become less guarded and become a better person.

Did they ever find a cure in The Walking Dead? ›

'The Walking Dead' creator explains why there'll never be a cure for the zombie apocalypse in the show. The co-creator of The Walking Dead has clarified why a cure for the zombie apocalypse will never be introduced into the show's plot.

Who is immune to The Walking Dead virus? ›

So far, no one is immune. Dr. Jenner said every one was infected. And they have never mentioned or had anyone that was immune on the Walking Dead.


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