Movies & TV

The Walking Dead 10.07 Review – ‘Open Your Eyes’

November 17, 2019 | Posted by Katie Hallahan
The Walking Dead - Open Your Eyes
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The Walking Dead 10.07 Review – ‘Open Your Eyes’  

Tonight on The Walking Dead, the source of the sickness in Alexandria is discovered as Siddiq grapples with his PTSD, among other revelations, and other harsh truth are thrown at Gamma, Lydia, and Carol.

The plot! Siddiq continues to struggle with his guilt and his flashbacks throughout the episode, while also struggling with treating the ill and injured in Alexandria. Sadly, two of his patients don’t do so well: first, the captured Whisperer dies of a seemingly unintentional poisoning with hemlock due to a mix-up seemingly of Siddiq’s doing, and then his patient from last week, Cheryl, dies from her illness. He even leaps into the river to clear his head or maybe drown himself in his desperate state, but is saved by Rosita. He realizes that a mix-up with the water tap has left him delivering nondrinkable water to people and thus the illnesses, but when Dante comes to comfort him, he realizes that Dante is a Whisperer, and the one who forced him to watch his friends deaths at that. Sadly, Dante comes out on top when they struggle and chokes Siddiq to death in his home. Meanwhile, Carol tries kindness and then some torture on the prisoner, who lives long enough to reveal that they all think Alpha killed Lydia herself. Carol then tricks Lydia into heading towards Whisperer territory with her, but on the way they come across Gamma threatening Aaron at the border on the bridge. Aaron has been trying to tell her what life is like, using a soft approach. Gamma’s resolve wavered, Alpha gave her an abusive pep talk, and she went back determined to get answers…but when she sees that Lydia is alive, she bolts, and sobs in the forest on her own. Lydia, realizing that Carol was manipulating and lying to her as well, is pissed and storms off into Whisperer territory as well, declaring she’s on her own side now.

I was right about Dante! Dammit, sometimes I really hate being right! Poor Siddiq. I will miss him. He was a good person, Carl died saving him, he no doubt saved many people over the years, and was an important and respected part of Alexandria and the other communities. And especially to see him die like this! Spending his last months tortured, lead on by someone he trusted, and then being killed by Dante to boot. Here’s hoping that Dante doesn’t get away with this and there is justice for Siddiq soon to come.

But let’s talk about what this all means. For one thing, it shows how deep Alpha’s planning runs. I don’t know if Dante is able to get much information out to her–I suspect that his job has primarily been to cripple the communities, rather than report back. After all, Alpha still had Gamma trying to learn information from Aaron about their numbers and so forth. Also, it means Alpha trusted at least one person with the information that her daughter was alive, because clearly Dante knows that but it hasn’t shaken his conviction in Alpha. But so much of it throws into question what his morality and convictions are–he says he had hoped to not have to kill Siddiq, much less like this, and he’s so damn sincere-sounding when he talks about Alexandria and why it works, how everyone pitches in and shares the load. Everything is true, yet he’s clearly still on board with the Whisperer way of life. Basically, Dante is a seriously hardcore believer to take this job, know what he knows, convincingly pull off living in this place and helping its people enough to be trusted, yet still be a true believer in the kind of life that Alpha preaches. That’s just…that’s a lot of things to compartmentalize, you know? Seriously, this guy is as twisted as Alpha herself to pull this off.

And what does it mean for Alexandria and the other communities now that this guy is their only doctor? I’m sure he’s going to cover up the death to look like a suicide. As Rosita is the only other person whom Siddiq told about his PTSD, she may believe that and back it up as being plausible, but maybe she’ll also not think he would’ve given up and done that? Not to mention that others have seen some of the suspicious things that clued Siddiq in–the herb mix-up that killed the prisoner (though I looked it up, and yarrow and hemlock actually are visually very similar and easy to confuse for one another), the illness not being handled that well, and now Siddiq’s death. To borrow the episode’s title, will anyone else open their eyes and see the truth about Dante?

Siddiq wasn’t the only one having his eyes opened tonight, though. When Carol learned that the Whisperers believed Lydia to be dead, hers were opened to a key opportunity to upset Alpha’s hold on them, especially after Lydia talked about how her mother controls her followers. But wow, does she go about it in the wrong way. You know, it wasn’t until Lydia said outright that Carol was using and manipulating just like Alpha that I realized how true that is. Much like how Negan was the other side of the coin from Rick, someone he could’ve been had circumstances been different, Alpha and Carol are two sides of a coin. I want to say I don’t think Carol would have ever gone quite that far, but…we’ve seen Carol go down some very dark paths before. We know she can be ruthless, even with her allies–remember how she killed two people in the prison and burned their bodies because they were sick and she felt it was needed to prevent the illness from spreading? We also know how manipulative she can be, how she can slip on the mask of civility or pretend to be someone she’s not to escape notice entirely and get away with things.

And now, Carol’s lying to people who trust her without much cause. She’s been lying to Daryl lately, more than is justified by him not being sure of what she really saw several episodes ago, and she’s been taking risks that jeopardize everyone. Now, given that she didn’t tell Lydia the truth until after they ran into Gamma, it’s clear that she had no intent of telling her until she got her across the border and showed her to however many Whisperers they could find. Lydia isn’t wrong here–Carol is acting just like Alpha right now. And I hope that this is a wake up call to Carol.

And finally there’s Gamma, whom we only see a little of, whose eyes are opened by seeing Lydia is alive, but also by Aaron telling her about the communities, his daughter, and his now-dead younger brother. He can sense that there’s some interest from her about their way of life, and susses out what he can about hers. Obviously her sister’s lost child is spurring her curiosity about them having children in the communities, and losing her sister so recently is still a fresh wound. Him talking about his brother and offering to her talk about her sister, or really to hear her out about anything at all, is enough to unsettle her and cause her to leave reciting the Whisperer’s code.

After all, not only is Aaron approaching her without expectation or guile–he’s even open about knowing she’s digging for information–but what he says also opens up questions about her way of life. Their goal is survival, but without children, what kind of extended survival can there really be? Even the reaction of the prisoner to the food offered to him is telling, though he doesn’t live long enough for them to break him down really. But it’s no shock that seeing Lydia alive is so devastating for Gamma, having been lead to believe that these people are liars who want to kill them, having let her own sister die, having seen her sister give up her child, all for a woman who claims to know these pains and to be protecting them…but it turns out she’s the liar and all this sacrifice has been for nothing. But what’s Gamma going to do with that information? I’m hoping maybe she’ll break from the Whisperers, but really, I’m not sure what shape her reaction will take. Maybe she’ll just try to kill Alpha on her own rather than start a revolution. And with Lydia in the woods now, she may well run into more of her mother’s followers and the rumors will spread anyways!

I think it’s clear now that the dangerous idea of the life that can be had in the communities is going to be Alpha’s undoing. It’s just a question of how that idea ends up spreading and taking hold at this point, and what that will mean for this nascent war between the two groups. I’m curious if this might end up being similar to how the Governor lost Woodbury but he wasn’t killed right off, and came back again as an antagonist in the following season.

What do you think? Did you see Dante’s betrayal coming? Is Carol going too far? Will Gamma betray Alpha? And, perhaps the most burning question of all, who the hell has been watching Aaron’s daughter, because that guy is never at home anymore?!

The final score: review Very Good
The 411
I really enjoyed this episode. The hard truths dropping, the strong reactions and results all around. I'm glad someone finally knows about Alpha's big lie, I'm glad Lydia called Carol out on acting just like her mother, and I'm glad we finally know for sure that Dante is a traitor! I'm also very sad that Siddiq is dead, but they turned the screws of that particular tragedy very well. I often hate a death that plays out like this, but this time I had to admire how they pulled it off.