What I Watched Today
(rambling, random thoughts & annoyingly detailed recaps from real time TV watching)
The Walking Dead
An announcement over a loudspeaker says, remain calm follow and instructions. A lot of people run around, getting ready for something. 23 DAYS is written on a wall. A couple with a little girl is in a back room. The woman calls the man Frank, and says they have to wait it out. He says, the world is going to hell, and they’re pretending it’s not. The girl says they can’t go out; they’ll get sick. They have to wait for the doctor to come, and make it better. Frank says, nobody’s coming, and we find out the little girl is Lydia. Her mother says, daddy is just kidding, and sings Lydia, the Tattooed Lady to her. (See below for another version.) Lydia looks at her father.
Lydia tells Henry that she remembers the look in his eyes. She can still see it; how cold it is… was. She wonders why she’s telling Henry. He says, it beats the quiet and being alone. Outside, Daryl listens. Henry says, walking around in dead people’s skins is pretty messed up. Lydia says, thinking Hilltop isn’t going to fall like every other place is messed up. She tells Henry that his dad’s an a-hole, like hers. He says Daryl isn’t his dad. He doesn’t even want to be there. Daryl is only there to do a favor for his mom. She thought his mom died, and Henry says she’s his second mom. She’s tough. Not somebody you want to mess with. He asks what happened to Lydia’s dad.
We see Frank with blood pouring out of his neck. Lydia says. he didn’t survive. Her mom kept her alive and safe. She’s a lot like his mom. You don’t want to mess with her either.
Magna’s group goes through the woods with Tara. They see a cluster of what look like zombies feeding, and Yumiko says maybe dead; maybe not. She tells them to keep their distance. Watch their hands; they could have knives. They’re noticed, and kill the zombies (or not) one by one, using arrows, a pokey stick, and Kelly’s slingshot. When all of the zombies are dead, Magna tells them, find the masked ones. They discover the dinner is Luke and Alden’s horses. Kelly says, maybe they tried to bail? and Tara says, check for tracks. Kelly tells them, Connie says the horses were cut open and skinned with knives; these aren’t just the dead. Magna thinks they should go in different directions, but Tara says, it’s not safe. The walkers aren’t walkers. The girl is a liar. There could be three or three hundred of them. She tells them that they need to stay behind the walls until they make a plan, and they find out what this is. Kelly says, what if they don’t? but Tara says they will. Let’s go.
Henry asks if Lydia wants an egg. He can roll it to her. She says he doesn’t have to take care of her, but he says he’s just being nice. She asks why, and he says when he, his brother, and dad were found, they were pretty messed up too. It took a lot of someone being nice to make okay again. She says, hunger is a gift, and asks if he thinks she’s messed up. He asks how hunger is a gift, but she says if she has to explain, he wouldn’t understand. It will never be okay again. Henry says, says who? and she says, her dad.
Lydia flashes back again. We hear, please stand by, on the loudspeaker. A guy says, it’s been the same message for a day. Are they doing this or what? Frank tells Lydia’s mom (whose real name is unknown as far as I can find) to get their stuff. They’re moving out. She asks what he’s doing, and Frank says, getting the hell out. She tells him, it’s too dangerous. Let them go; they’ll play it safe. He says Lydia is coming, but she says she doesn’t want her child harmed. He tells her to never suggest he doesn’t care about his kid. She says they’re not going, and he calls her a bitch. Lydia asks if Halloween is coming up. She found a costume. She holds up a sheet, saying she can be a ghost. Frank says, every day is Halloween. How can he see all these freaks, and still be hopeful? He starts to shave off his beard, telling Lydia’s mother that she’s the one who liked it; he can’t stand it, and he’s doing what he wants now. Lydia and her mom play checkers. Her mother says, checkmate, and Lydia says, that’s chess. She tells Henry, He… she always said that. He says her mom sounds nice. Lydia says, yeah, but it’s not real convincing. Henry says his second mom found him. Ezekiel is his second dad; they’re leaders from another community. That’s where he’s from. She asks if it’s far, and what it’s called. He says it’s called The Kingdom. It’s about a day’s ride. Daryl busts in.
Daryl tells Henry that he’s getting out, and unlocks the door. Outside, he asks Henry what the hell is wrong with him, telling her about The Kingdom? It’s where Henry is from, and he has family there. Henry says, he was listening? Daryl says they’ve been switching off, and Henry says they were using him. Daryl says, it was working too. Henry says Lydia is a good person, but got messed up out there. She’s right about Daryl; he’s an a-hole. If he wants answers, he can get them himself. The cheese Lydia sits alone.
Lydia hears Daryl come in, and sits up. He sits outside her cell. She thought he came to kill her. He says he brought her something for her ear. She keeps pulling on it like it hurts. She says, no, and he says he doesn’t give a sh*t. Two of their people went missing. Their horses were half-skinned and half-eaten. Does she know anything about that? She says, how could she? She’s been there. He asks if her mom kills the people she crosses, and Lydia says she does what she has to do.
In Lydia’s flashback, a man says they’re running out of food, and haven’t seen daylight in weeks. Her mom tells him, shut up. The guy starts going stir crazy, banging on the boarded up window, calling for help, and Lydia’s mom knocks him down. She gets in his face, leaning on his throat, and tells him, shut up. He’s pathetic, and there’s no room for him there. Shut his mouth. Does he hear her? Not anymore. He’s dead. Beardless Frank holds Lydia, and sings to her softly
Lydia tells Daryl that he used to sing that to her when she was scared. She was scared a lot back then. Daryl asks how old was she? and she says, five, six st most; who knows? Daryl says her mom did what she had to. Lydia looks troubled. He throws the pill bottle into the cell. He says, it doesn’t have to be like that. There are a lot of good people there. They’ll help her if she helps them. She asks for some water. He scoops some up with a ladle, and holds the bottom of it through the bars. She asks if he thinks she’ll hit him with it. She tries attacking him, but he grabs her arm. He sees bruises all over it. She spits at him.
Back at Hilltop, Yumiko tells Magna, they should go back out. They’ve been gone too long. They could be hurt. Magna says she almost screwed up for them in Alexandria. They got a second chance. If they go against Tara, they could lose everything. Kelly says Luke would want them to be together. There’s a way they can sneak out; she saw the kids do it. Yumiko says, it’s Luke. Minute by minute, day by day; they’re ride or die. They have to do it, even if costs all this. She asks who’s in, and everyone raises their hands. Yumiko says they meet tonight..
Daryl messes with a branch, telling Lydia that some dads beat the sh*t out of their kids with a stick or a belt, but these a-holes ain’t picky. They use what’s laying around. A good switch from a birch tree ought to work. Her dad sounds like one of those dads, except the part when he sang to her when she was scared. Those dads like it when you’re scared. The thing is, it was the only part of her story that didn’t sound like bullsh*t. He saw the bruises on her arm; they’re from a beating. If her dad is dead, who gave them to her? She says, her mom. Daryl asks where she is, and Lydia says he should be glad he doesn’t know. He asks, where’s her camp? Why is Lydia protecting her? She’s safer there. She says, this place isn’t real. Things won’t change, and they’re all acing like it will. Her mom walks because that’s what the dead do. It’s their world, and we have to live in it. What her mom does, she does for a reason. She beats Lydia because she loves her. Daryl says, bullsh*t, and Lydia says, when you stay soft, people die.
This time, in Lydia’s flashback, her mom sits in a chair, her head shaved. Someone in the background says they should wait until morning; it will be safer. Everyone agrees. Frank – again with a beard – tells Lydia, it’s okay. Her mom and dad are there. She doesn’t have to worry. Everything will be all right in the morning. When everyone is sleeping, Lydia gets out of bed, and sneaks over to the corpse of the guy her mother killed. His body is under a blanket. She uncovers his face, then covers it again. She starts to leave, and his hand moves. He sits up. She turns around, sees him, and screams. Frank grabs her, and the zombie bites Frank’s throat out. Her mother picks her up.
Daryl says it wasn’t her fault. Lydia says she was stupid. She deserved to die. Her dad was soft, now he’s dead. Daryl asks what he was supposed to do? Watch his little girl get bit? She says, if you can’t bend, you break. He broke. Daryl says they’re making it better. They’re building it back up. Changing it back. She says he doesn’t belong with these people. Maybe used to, but not anymore. He’s hard; they’re soft. He says she doesn’t know sh*t about him. He starts to leave, and she says she told him about what happened to her, tell her what happened to him, but he walks out.
Magna’s group sneaks out. At the fence, Yumiko watches for the guard. They hide inside a cart with wood piled on it.
Henry says Daryl could have asked him to help. Daryl keeps walking, and Henry asks where he’s going. Daryl says, this is a waste of time. She’s Tara’s problem. Henry asks, what’s going to happen to her? Did someone beat Daryl too? He once heard his dad ask his mom why her hair was so short. She said her first husband grabbed it when she tried to get away from him, and slammed her against the wall. One day, she cut it off, so he couldn’t. He guesses it took this long for her to feel safe again. Sometimes Daryl acts like the type of guy who slams people against walls, but Henry doesn’t think that’s it. Daryl says Henry shouldn’t listen to people talk. Henry says, just because her people bad, doesn’t mean she is. She’s just scared. Daryl can show her there’s nothing to be afraid of. Daryl says, no, not just him. Henry can do that.
In the woods, Yumiko doesn’t think the tracks they’re seeing are the same, but Kelly disagrees. She says the dead don’t do that. Yumiko says Kelly is thinking about Coalport, but if they hadn’t left, they’d be dead like the others. Kelly says they didn’t have a choice. Yumiko says, they did. Their choice was not to die. A zombie pops out of the trees behind Kelly, who stabs it in the head. They see more coming, and Yuniko says, it’s too dark and dangerous to be looking for Luke. Kelly says they can’t give up. They love Luke. Yumiko says they need to go back, and Magna says, she’s right. Connie says they’ll come back when they have a plan – all of them. Kelly says when they got separated Luke is the one who found her. She starts to cry, and Connie hugs her. She tells the others to go back. She’ll stay with her sister. They reluctantly leave. Something tells me this is a bad, bad idea.
Henry visits Lydia. He tells her it’s just him. She asks if Daryl sent him, but he says Daryl doesn’t know he’s there. He couldn’t wait until tomorrow to talk to her. He likes her, and thinks she’s a good person. He wants to show her a good place with good people. He unlocks the door, and she asks if he’s letting her out. He says, for a bit. Be quiet, and stay out of sight. Cool? She says, cool.
He helps her out of the root cellar. They duck back when someone comes by, but trip and fall. Lydia digs in the dirt, and eats something. She digs again, and shows Henry a worm. She holds one out to Henry. At first, it’s a no, but then he takes it and swallows it. He says he just ate a worm. She smiles, and says he did. He helps her up, and they walk around. He shows her the doctor’s office, saying, Enid is a good doctor. She’s surprised they have a doctor, and he says, you name it, they’ve got it. She feels around on a carpentry table behind her and fingers a hammer. She asks how long they’ve been there, and he says six years, but it’s only going to keep growing. She says places like this aren’t supposed to exist. Her mom told her they couldn’t. That’s why… A baby starts to cry. She puts the hammer down, and grips her head. She flashes back to being with her parents, but this time, the narrative is different. Her mother kills the guy, and shaves her head, saying, they’re going to do what she wants now. She holds a knife to Lydia’s throat, says, this is how they live now, and puts a skin on Lydia’s head. Lydia tells Henry to put her back in her cell. He’s puzzled, but says, okay.
As Henry locks her in, he says he’s sorry, and starts to leave. She asks him to wait. She asks if he could stay with her tonight. Please. He lies down in front of her cell, and they hold hands through the bars.
Daryl comes down in the morning. Henry says, she didn’t want to be alone. He asks if her ear still hurts, and Lydia says, everything hurts. She still has the pills, and he gets water for her, putting the ladle in between the bars. This time, she drinks. She says her mom isn’t coming for her; none of them are. When someone dies, or gets taken, they move on, like they never existed. That’s how it’s always been. Unless they have no choice, they don’t come into contact with big groups. That’s why she asked about the communities. So she’d have something to give them. Otherwise, they have no reason to take her back. Henry says, Lydia is her daughter. Doesn’t it matter? Daryl says they’re missing people. Lydia says if her mother came across them, she can’t think of a reason she’d keep them alive. She’s sorry. He asks if they have a camp somewhere, and she says under a bridge, maybe a mile east, but they don’t stay in one place long. Henry asks if any of her story is true. She says she thought all of it was. She needed it to be, but had it mixed up. It was a lie, but she wasn’t lying. Her mom told her over and over for years. Deep down, she knew what her mother was, and knew what she did.
Back in Lydia’s past the dead guy has become a zombie, and tears a different guy’s throat out. It’s pandemonium with everyone running around. Her mother starts prying off window boards, and says they’ve got to get out. Frank says, those are our friends. She says, they’re panicking. The three of them are getting out of there. He says she can do what she wants, but Lydia stays with him. Lydia’s mom says, the hell she does. He tells Lydia, it’s okay, and to wait there. They’ll come back. Lydia says, don’t go, but he jumps into the fray. Her mother follows, but slams Frank up against a wall. Lydia tells Daryl and Henry that she was scared. Her mom was there with that cold look in her eye. Then she got her knife. Lydia starts to cry, and Daryl says, it’s okay. They’ve heard enough. She’s sorry she can’t help them. She’s sorry she wasted his time. He says she didn’t.
Magna and Yumiko go back to Hilltop. They see Tara up on the fence, and Yumiko says she’ll talk to her.
Henry asks Daryl why would Lydia’s mom do that to her kid? Lydia thinks it’s her fault her dad died. Daryl says, some people are not meant be parents. Henry asks, what happens now? Can she stay with them? Daryl says, we’ll see. He’s going to get her fresh clothes, and talk to Tara and see about that camp. Henry says he’s glad Daryl and his mom are friends.
Yumiko joins Tara, who asks what they found. Yumiko says, nothing. It was wrong of them to leave. She wishes they’d realized it sooner. She should have. She sees two guards bringing Kelly back, along with Connie walking parallel on another path. Tara says the guards saw them sneak out, and they weren’t taking any chances. She gets why they did it, but next time they want to challenge one of her decisions, talk to her. She doesn’t know if she’s doing the right thing there, but she doesn’t want any more people to die, including them.
Yumiko looks through the binoculars, and sees a group of Whisperers coming toward Hilltop. They’re perilously close to Connie. Kelly sees, and tries to run to her, but the guards hold her back. Connie signals for her to stay, and runs into a cornfield, which is probably another bad, bad idea. Tara looks out, and freaks. She yells for Daryl.
Here they come. Lydia’s mom pushes her way to the front. Daryl watches, along with Tara, Yumiko, and Magna. The Whisperers stand at the gate. Lydia’s mom says, she’s Alpha. She only wants one thing from them. Her daughter.
Next time, the Whisperers have captured Luje and Aldon. Daryl tells Alpha that she can’t have her daughter, and Alpha says, wrong answer.
ℹ Some useless trivia I got from Talking Dead. Yip Harburg who wrote Lydia, the Tattooed Lady, also wrote all the songs for The Wizard of Oz. And to turn that into six degrees of Walking Dead, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was being read to Judith in an earlier episode. Another tidbit was that the set for Lydia’s past memories was also The Sanctuary set, since it wasn’t in use at the time.
🐥 Say the Magic Word & the Duck Comes Down…
And how an elephant got in my pajamas, I’ll never know.