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S09.E15: The Calm Before

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Airdate 2019.03.24

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A celebration at the Kingdom brings all the communities together for the first time in years, but danger lurks close by.

MOD REMINDER:

This thread is for discussion of the episode.  Not spoilers from elsewhere, what happened in the comics, or news of cast comings and goings that HAVEN'T HAPPENED YET.  If you didn't see it happen in the episode onscreen, it doesn't belong here and will be removed.

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Another good episode. They have been on a roll of late. Of course, all that happiness couldn't last, but it was wonderful seeing them putting their differences aside.

Poor Tara, Enid, and Henry. I grew to like Tammy and liked the highwayman. What a way to go! Fuck you, Alpha. I can't wait for Carol to give you what you have coming to you.

I don't understand how all of these people got lured away and captured from the fair. Tara, especially, would be more cautious. I hate to say it, but there is probably more to the story than Siddiq told everyone.

Connie has a tragic backstory. She might have lost a child also. Something to share with Daryl one day. Daryl asking her to feed Dog and waving goodbye is a declaration of love. So I will end on a happy note: Daryl and Connie sitting in a tree k-i-s-s-i-n-g. 

Edited by SimoneS
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I fucking laughed when I saw Brett Butlers head.  Bad fx on that one.  

Even Herschel’s head, senior that he was , had more animation that these lackluster ass heads.

so they kill off all the old characters, and use this episode to develop characters.  Too little, too late.

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Okay, can someone explain to me like I'm five years old how Elpha & co. rounded up all these people and killed them so easily?

I don't know who most of the Heads on Sticks were, but recognized Tara and Prince Henry. Good riddance to that LITTLE SHIT. His head was still pouting!

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Minus the two million commercials this was a good episode. And heartbreaking ending. Poor Tara, I feel the worst about her because she had been on the show for a long time.

I hope they show the backstory about how those people were taken from the fair. 

I hope Carol gets revenge on Alpha and the Whisperers. 

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Why didn’t that girl from Oceanside show up and flip Tara’s head off?  That would have saved this lame ass episode.  Cowboys died?  Who the hell were they?  

The only thing that will save this mess is the Return of CMurda. Oh, the foreshadowing.  Elpha your dumpy ass will meet the queen. 

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1 minute ago, Straycat80 said:

Poor Tara, I feel the worst about her because she had been on the show for a long time.

I always liked Tara. I have never forgotten how she refused to fight Rick and his people and helped Glenn reunite with Maggie. She was very loyal and became a good fighter. She didn't deserve that death. 

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This one hurt. Yeah, some randos I hadn't really gotten to know yet died but also characters who've been around a while and that hurt. Plus just the display of it...Alpha really needs a whole bunch of comeuppance. I think the pacing this season has been much improved from last season (plus, they seem to have finally learned less-is-SO-MUCH-MORE with Negan.)

Until we saw the King actually at the movie late in the pike reveal, I was SURE he was the last one we were going to see on a pike. He went off with Alpha and then wasn't at the movie start. I was SURE they were going to go there and I was dreading it.

Edited by MichaelaRae
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Oh and Maggie and Rick should have been the ones who signed that declaration thingy. Not Tara and Father Pee Pants. Effin show.

I bet Carol makes a visit to Negan soon to recruit him for a job.

Edited by Lamima
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Who really deserves their death?  Poor Noah, eaten alive in a turnstile.  And Laurie.  That shit was horrifying.   Sorry, too many randos to care.

alpha is actually pretty fair.  She could have killed carol and the rest, but let them go.  Unfortunately, she fucked with the wrong people.  Shit will burn.  Daryl will manipulate the herd.  

Edited by Mu Shu
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I have no reason not to trust Siddiq but that speech at the end was fishy? It was like Shane’s speech about Otis. I really hope I am wrong. 

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3 minutes ago, Kanner said:

I have no reason not to trust Siddiq but that speech at the end was fishy? It was like Shane’s speech about Otis. I really hope I am wrong. 

Yeah, I don't think it's like that. I think it was Alpha. It was odd but I don't think Sadiq pulled a Shane.

Edited by Lamima
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Kang played it safe.

I liked Enid and DJ, the latter was nice to look at 

Glad Tara and Henry are gone,  but hated seeing Carol  go thru Sophia 2.0.

Most of the episode was filler to get to the Pike line up reveal.

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I couldn’t recognize Tara. I thought it was the grown up Rachel (now that’s a kid I hated).   I liked the episode but some of the dialog was just phoned in.  (Still looking at you Rachel). “Oceanside’s down for that...”. “Oceanside’s in”.  Exactly how many people had to die in the last 6 years to leave Rachel the Supreme spokesman with all authority for Oceanside?

So who is left to rule the kingdom?  Basically any side character that  had a line tonight got their head chopped off. 

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Henry and Enid on a pike...bad.  Tara on a pike....good.   Sorry but don't like the actress & won't miss her.  Also nice fake out with Ezekial not becoming a pike head after going off with Alpha.  Looking forward to seeing this bring out pissed off mama bear bad ass Carol though.

Assuming Daryl didn't push Alpha off that cliff because she said "her" people were down there too and he knew if he killed her those people would lead the herd to Kingdom, Hilltop and the rest of the communities?  Only thing I could think of that made sense.

Nice effect with the heads still alive and moving their mouths but.....How did the get those heads up there without destroying the brain I wonder?

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I didn't recognize Tara! I didn't hear who they were looking for so I didn't connect. For some reason I thought they were looking for Rosita and it didn't look like Rosita. I was confused.

Damn, that was sad. I am really sad about Enid. Enid! Who would have thought. And Tara. She drove me nuts sometimes, but not Tara. And yes, even Henry. The lady with the baby too. Ugh. This was so sad. 

I cannot wait until Alpha gets hers for this... and she will. 

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I thought they did a good job with this episode. I was spoiled for it, but even so I felt a lot of tension going into the last half hour or so. I agree that I don't know how they lured away the people that they did, but Saddiq must have told the rest of them how it went down. I'd like to know how they were chosen, just out of curiosity. Henry was a given, and Tara and Enid from being seen at Hilltop. Tammy because she was cooing at the baby, but the others I don't know.

I'm happy with the new Daryl, too. I had my doubts about both the character and NR's portrayal being up to the job of the new leader, but hell yeah. I buy it. And I am fully on board the Daryl/Connie ship.

Carol seemed to have some sort of premonition that something terrible was coming. I caught it a couple times during the fair; when they were surrounded by the skins, she was actually off balance and more fearful than I can remember seeing her since before the prison.

Good-bye, Tara. At least I got one last round of fist bumps before you left.

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2 minutes ago, MrsRafaelBarba said:

Most of the episode was filler to get to the Pike line up reveal.

True, but I enjoyed it anyway. It was nice to see civilization being reestablished and the regulars in one place again. I hate that they are in different locations.

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2 minutes ago, MrsRafaelBarba said:

Kang played it safe.

I liked Enid and DJ, the latter was nice to look at 

Glad Tara and Henry are gone,  but hated seeing Carol  go thru Sophia 2.0.

Most of the episode was filler to get to the Pike line up reveal.

My little heart was gleeful that Henry's head was on a stick, but I bawled to see Carole's pain. 

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2 minutes ago, Pixiebomb said:

I couldn’t recognize Tara. I thought it was the grown up Rachel (now that’s a kid I hated).   I liked the episode but some of the dialog was just phoned in.  (Still looking at you Rachel). “Oceanside’s down for that...”. “Oceanside’s in”.  Exactly how many people had to die in the last 6 years to leave Rachel the Supreme spokesman with all authority for Oceanside?

So who is left to rule the kingdom?  Basically any side character that  had a line tonight got their head chopped off. 

I expected to see Cyndie there representing Oceanside.

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My DVR only recorded an hour and ended with Alpha sitting down next to Lydia so I had no idea why Dalton Ross from EW was hyping this episode so much on Twitter. Fortunately, I thought to look at the beginning of Into the Badlands and saw TWD had carried over. NOW I see what he was saying. Yikes. 

I’ve given Tara (and the actress) a lot of hell over the years but man, I didn’t want her to go out like that. I also liked Enid (and might have been a party of one in that opinion) so that sucked. Henry...ehhhh. And then a bunch of randoms. I did laugh at Addy still having her glasses on. Probably not the show’s intention but I was grateful for the chuckle.

I did think Siddiq was one of the better actors in his speech. I hope his story was true and he wasn’t turned or something. 

Oh and Daryl, when you have the bad guy with her back to a cliff dropoff and you are standing in front of her on solid ground and have leverage, just give her a little nudge next time. If the fall doesn’t kill her, the hoarde of zombies will. 

Edited by UGAmp · Reason: Grammar :/
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It seems like Hilltop has faced a disproportionate amount of the killing ... Enid, Tara, Jesus, Grace under Fire, a couple of the kids, possibly more (am I wrong?).  Plus, Maggie is gone.  I don't think they have any major actors to act as leaders unless Daryl decides to stay there.

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10 minutes ago, Lamima said:

Yeah, I don't think it's like that. I think it was Alpha. It was odd but I don't think Sadiq pulled a Shane.

Oh, I agree it was Alpha. I meant was that really why Siddiq is alive. Or did he have some other part in it? Maybe to save himself. 

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Is it wrong that I cheered to see Henry’s head?  Stupid kid.    I really thought it would be Zeke.  That’s how we’d know shit just got real.

Otherwise decent.  But I’m so very tired of speechifying villains.  I would have loved to see Daryl just throw the bitch in the canyon.  Also I need some hard core rage.  If that happened to me I burn down every tree in the tri state area.  My mission would be to kill every last one of the Whisperers.  i’d start with Lydia.

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20 minutes ago, Mu Shu said:

Why didn’t that girl from Oceanside show up and flip Tara’s head off?  That would have saved this lame ass episode.  Cowboys died?  Who the hell were they?  

The only thing that will save this mess is the Return of CMurda. Oh, the foreshadowing.  Elpha your dumpy ass will meet the queen. 

Carol was dressing up as a zombie before it was fashionable.

And we saw at Terminus how she deals with hipsters.

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Carol burned people alive for what she called ‘hurting the boy.’ Penalty for killing the boy should be epic.

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I hope Carol has a walker eat Alpha alive. She has done that before and it is a fittingly painful death for that crazy woman.

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I liked the story at the end. I have no doubt Tara and Enid would not have gone down without a fight. 

This season is going on my list of continuous watch with 3 and 5. I may have to put this particular episode in the rotation with season 2 finale and seasons 3 and 5 premiere. Never get tired of those.

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9 minutes ago, Pixiebomb said:

I did like the Highwaymen  and they never got their movie  😞.  But when they first came on scene I wondered why every group had to have a gimmick and a name.  

Now that the Highwaymen are gone I expect to see these guys show up 

DF915512-3569-458A-ADD2-792DE84332CE.gif.ccd6d8e43a83894dc2833adedf54f2b5.gif

Warriors, come out and plaaaaay!

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I am sad about Tara and Enid, but delighted about Henry.

Most of the line-up is either "Who?" or "Wait, you're still on the show?"

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7 minutes ago, Timetoread said:

But I’m so very tired of speechifying villains.

TPTB just CANNOT learn that the more a villain babbles on, the less scary they become. FFS! Murderers and other baddies don't stand around speechifying. They murder!

25 minutes ago, Kanner said:

I have no reason not to trust Siddiq but that speech at the end was fishy?

I don't know. I tend to tune out speeches now, but it seemed a little like Rick's speech after he nicked Negan's throat. He was saying one thing, but the undertone said quite another.

So, did Elpha and the crew cut all those pikes beforehand? They must have. No lack of confidence there. But they must have made extras, just so they wouldn't run out of they got a bigger than expected haul.  They must have also discussed it too. I'd like to have heard that convo. 

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Henry DID NOT deserve to be the slow dramatic pause finale head. I haven't been this thrilled since The Governor died.

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So, how come Alphas's fake accent is noticeably better than her "normal" accent? Is her character actually trying to do that "Scarlett O'Hara explaining communication difficulties to Cool Hand Luke" thing deliberately? And if so, why?

Even though I saw it coming as soon as she started skinning the red shirts, I loved every moment of her infiltrating The Faire and trolling Zeke. it wasn't quite as over-the-top as, like, when Catwoman or Penguin would put on paper-thin disguises and fool Adam West, but it was reminiscent of it.

And I mean that as a good thing.

Edited by CletusMusashi
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4 minutes ago, Boofish said:

Henry DID NOT deserve to be the slow dramatic pause finale head.

That's for sure. I wish I hadn't been spoiled about his demise, then I could have felt happiness and surprise instead of just happiness. 

I didn't like that Enid was up there. She was okay, just a happy girl and I never really found her annoying, as I did Tara.

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38 minutes ago, Kanner said:

I have no reason not to trust Siddiq but that speech at the end was fishy? It was like Shane’s speech about Otis. I really hope I am wrong. 

I thought so too. Whenever something important happens off screen and then we get some fast recap like this I expect some reveal later, but maybe we're wrong.

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I didn't even recognize Tara and Enid's heads.  Figured it out when I saw them missing at the end.  Never cared for Tara and couldn't stand Henry.  Enid I'll miss.  I figured they'd be cleaning house after bringing in the Whisperers.  Plus Father PP said on TD there'd be some shocking deaths.  I almost felt a little spoiled by that.

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I'm looking at Siddiq with my good eye from this point forward. He always living to tell of someone else's heroics. Strike 2 Dr He Can Get It🤨

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1 hour ago, Mu Shu said:

I fucking laughed when I saw Brett Butlers head.  Bad fx on that one.  

Even Herschel’s head, senior that he was , had more animation that these lackluster ass heads.

so they kill off all the old characters, and use this episode to develop characters.  Too little, too late.

'But she went down fighting!  And that's how I want you all to remember her! She really knew how to tie a kerchief, that old broad. Didn't come off in the fight, nor when she was beheaded and kebabbed.'

I laughed at her, too. And at Hipster Glasses Girl (who looked just as blank and lifeless as she was when she was alive). 

Things are really bad when you elicit a laugh in a scene of beheaded characters.

All the heads. It was a great way for their ageist asses to get rid of the olds. Everyone knows this is a story for tweens, now.  

There was no way that Connie or Kelly was going down that fast. They have some hefty plot armor; for a while, at least.  It's a common criticism now that POC, LGBT and physically challenged characters get killed off pretty quickly.

I'm glad about that, if they can deliver more scenes like the one between them.

It was well-acted, if not well-written.  So Connie also has a dead child in her past.  This is getting to be pretty cheap development for the women characters. Give me a break. Not every fucking woman has a kid in their past. They're using this crutch cheaply, and it's gross.

It's also, again, too close to Michonne's character. They really think that they're going to toss the old characters and set up the new ones in the same mold. These writers need to be publicly ridiculed for being greedy hacks.

Edited by Butless
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I thought it was weak.  And the money shot wasn't that big of a payoff because it was hard to figure out who was who.  I had been spoiled so I knew that Tara was going to die but I wouldn't have known it otherwise since I couldn't tell most of the female heads apart.

Never liked Tara but felt the character deserved something more than being part of a crowd that died for that piece of shit, Henry.  There aren't many long-time characters left, they should treat them with a little more respect.

Why go to all the trouble of introducing Black Bart and starting to establish him as an interesting character if tptb are just going to kill him off?  He wasn't on long enough for viewers to establish a relationship but the actor and the character were interesting enough that I think we would have if we'd been given time.

It's always sad when a nice looking man gets killed.  I'd nursed some hopes for DJ and Michonne but Sonnequa's husband is still around so all hope is not lost.

Poor Enid.  She seemed so happy.

Asking Connie to look after Dog was the Daryl Dixon equivalent of giving her his class ring.  As a VERY early shipper of those two, I'm very happy. 

How can anything be wrong when Henry is dead?  I hope Carol stays away from children from now on because it ain't her thing.  She and Zeke created a over-entitled worthless little monster who got a lot of people killed for nothing.

I find it hard to believe that the people of the communities are going to want Lydia to hang around, especially if they find out that her mother was at The Kingdom AND SHE DIDN'T SAY A WORD.  She's an accessory to murder.

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4 minutes ago, natyxg said:

I thought so too. Whenever something important happens off screen and then we get some fast recap like this I expect some reveal later, but maybe we're wrong.

Like maybe Alpha forced him to behead the others in exchange for him living or something. Now that I think about it, did we even see anyone actually die? I think we just saw them fight back.

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My DVR stopped after the girl recognized the lady at the movie and I missed the ending (best part?).

Edited by mxc90

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6 minutes ago, Butless said:

'But she went down fighting!  And that's how I want you all to remember her! She really knew how to tie a kerchief, that old broad. Didn't come off in the fight, nor when she was beheaded and kebabbed.'

I laughed at her, too. And at Hipster Glasses Girl (who looked just as blank and lifeless as she was when she was alive). 

Things are really bad when you elicit a laugh in a scene of beheaded characters.

All the heads. It was a great way for their ageist asses to get rid of the olds.  There was no way that Connie or Kelly was going down that fast. They have some hefty plot armor; for a while, at least.  It's a common criticism now that POC, LGBT and physically challenged characters get killed off pretty quickly. I'm glad about that, if they can deliver more scenes like the one between them. It was well-acted, if not well-written.  So Connie also has a dead child in her past.  This is getting to be pretty cheap development for the women characters. Give me a break. Not ever fucking woman has a kid in their past. They're using this crutch cheaply, and it's gross. It's also, again, to close to Michonne's character. They really think that they're going to toss the old characters and set up the new ones in the same mold. These writers need to be publicly ridiculed. come on.

Tara was a lesbian, too. I guess her plot armor expired when new lesbians arrived.

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My dvr cut off early! The spike scene was at the end of tonight’s episode?!? I saw that clip on Reddit and thought it was for next week!

Edited by Lady Iris

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3 minutes ago, mightysparrow said:

Never liked Tara but felt the character deserved something more than being part of a crowd that died for that piece of shit, Henry.

Very true, but still better than Coral's send-off, dying for someone he didn't even know - no, wait, dying for some nebulous ideas about the dead mother of someone he didn't even know. Not much can top that.

6 minutes ago, mightysparrow said:

It's always sad when a nice looking man gets killed.

Yes, and scarce as hen's teeth, they are, on this show.🙄

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I didn't find Tara as annoying as many. In fact, I originally liked her, and my opinion of her only dropped a bit after Glenn's death. Her biggest weakness was a tendency to follow the leader. She made that mistake with Brillip, and self-corrected. Then she followed Glenn, which was fine. Then she followed Rick, and actively enabled him in the sacking of Oceanside. But her default personality was that of a pretty good person, and with Rick out of the picture, that was even more true.

I also, for the most part, always liked Enid. And I say that as the owner of a pet turtle, so you know I liked her. The roller skating thing was inexcusable, and I also did not like Enid opening discourse with Oceanside by shooting Grandma. But whoever thought "Yeah, let's take some random kid who's not even used to guns, give her one, and send her as an ambassador to people who have already been raided by us," gets a lot of that blame. Just as Rick himself gets a lot of the blame for things went down there the first time.

I hope both actresses go on to bigger an better things. Meanwhile, truth is, I'll miss their characters a bit.

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Just now, Lady Iris said:

The spike scene was at the end of tonight’s episode?!?

Yes, but don't worry. I'm sure it's up on YouTube already.

1 minute ago, CletusMusashi said:

The roller skating thing was inexcusable,

Funny, that was one thing I liked. They were kids, getting a few minutes out of the horrific grimness of their lives to BE kids. I thought it was cute.

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Will there be a Henry statue next to the Tiger?

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