Season 10 of AMC’s horror drama The Walking Dead came to a close on October 4th with “A Certain Doom,” directed by special effects master Greg Nicotero (Army of Darkness, From Dusk Till Dawn). Real-time reactions to the episode were shared on the official TWDUniverse Twitch channel, in a broadcast viewed over 140,000 times over the course of its five-hour runtime. Here’s a rundown of the meatiest moments in this epochal episode.
A horde of zombies led by Beta (Ryan Hurst, Outsiders) crowds around the survivors’ hideout. Characters have splintered off into sub-groups, although Daryl (Norman Reedus, Death Stranding), Carol (Melissa McBride, The Happys), Judith (Cailey Fleming, Star Wars: The Force Awakens) and Kelly (Angel Theory) are headed back towards the hideout. Maggie (Lauren Cohan, Whiskey Cavalier), far off in some yet-unknown locale, reads a note left by Carol regarding the impending Whisperer attack. As Aaron (Ross Marquand, A Lonely Place for Dying) and Alden (Callan McAuliffe, Flipped) fend off Whisperers in the forest, they bump into a mysterious masked figure wielding a pair of handheld scythes.
Father Gabriel Stokes (Seth Gilliam, The Wire) devises a plan to rid the area of the zombies surrounding the building complex in which the survivors have taken shelter. He wants to rig a wagon with a stereophonic sound system to lure the horde over a cliff and send them to their watery graves. The biggest obstacle is that between the hideout and the wagon stands the largest amount of zombies the survivors have faced to date. Daryl and Carol join the group designated to shepherd Luke (Dan Fogler, Balls of Fury) in the direction of the wagon. However, things get complicated when an archer’s arrow pierces a Whisperer, leading Beta to spot the humans amongst the crowd. The group effortfully finds their way to the forest, but Carol and Beatrice the Oceansider (Briana Venskus, Supergirl) are attacked by a Whisperer en route to the wagon. Carol does her best to fend off the Whisperer, but it isn’t long until it takes out Beatrice, leaving Alpha’s daughter Lydia (Cassady McClincy, Castle Rock) to don her mother’s old mask and retrieve the backpack containing the audio equipment. Luke gets the roving sound system up and running, and the horde accordingly changes course, to the tune of the 1983 Talking Heads single “Burning Down the House.”
Meanwhile, a second group of Whisperers infiltrates the hideout. Father Gabriel defends it with all his might, but soon becomes overwhelmed by Whisperers. Just as he is about to meet his demise, the masked dual-wielding figure first seen in the woods re-appears to deliver a death blow to the Whisperer assailants. Behind the figure stands Maggie, who has returned at last to aid her friends with the assistance of her bizarre new bodyguard.
Back outside, Beta struggles to process the death of his zombie army. As he prepares to attack Lydia and avenge Alpha, he comes face to face with Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Magic City), who’d previously refused the duty of making the journey to the wagon. Negan engages in combat with Beta, but it is Daryl who deals the final death blow to the Whisperer leader by impaling him through the eyes.
Lydia polishes off the rest of the walkers and stops Carol from flinging herself off the cliff to atone for her wrongdoings. The two women embrace and Lydia disposes of her mother’s mask. Maggie reunites with Judith.
In a shocking reveal, the bloody, mud-caked figure of Kelly’s sister Connie (Lauren Ridloff, Sound of Metal), who’d been thought dead by the end of the ninth episode of Season 10, stumbles through the woods and collapses. Her body gets spotted by a lone equestrian, Virgil from Bloodsworth Island (Kevin Carroll, The Leftovers).
Finally, the sub-group led by Dr. Eugene Porter (Josh McDermitt, Life in Color) reaches its destination– an abandoned train yard. They have an appointment with a woman named Stephanie with whom Dr. Porter has been maintaining radio contact. With no prior warning, the group is surrounded by military personnel clad in white armor. Readers of Robert Kirkman’s original TWD comic book series will recognize this armored corps as the guards of The Commonwealth, a massive and highly advanced survivor’s community introduced in Issue #175.
While the identity of Maggie’s masked bodyguard remains a mystery, Insider reports that showrunner Angela Kang (Terriers) has assured the show’s fans that all will be revealed in due time: “We will learn more about this character and… who they are and what Maggie has been through more recently. That’s going to be a big part of the story in the six episodes to come, but also in the season to come.”
“A Certain Doom” is currently available to watch on the AMC official website via select television providers.