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'The Walking Dead' Returns for Season 10
October 6, 2019  | By David Hinckley

Now we know why Fear the Walking Dead often had so little action this past season.

All the battle choreographers and special effects producers had been sent over to the set of The Walking Dead, whose tenth season kicks off at 9 p.m. ET Sunday on AMC.

Lest anyone forget The Walking Dead’s origin as a graphic novel, the season’s first episode makes it very clear the producers have not.

With enough blood spatter that viewers may want to mop their floors when it’s over, this episode has every comic trope except words like “SPLAT!” flashed in the corner of the screen.

As this would suggest, considerable adrenalin is pumping through our group as the new season begins, a condition intensified by the fact they have had to suppress it.

Last season’s encounters with The Whisperers, a nasty bunch that includes the latest Big Bad, Alpha (Samantha Morton), led to an uneasy truce in which our gang and the Whisperers laid out physical boundaries and agreed not to encroach on each other’s turf.

But Alpha’s daughter Lydia (Cassady McClincy) remains with the good guys, which underscores the fact that the mercurial Alpha could show up and start killing people for almost any reason at almost any time.

With that possibility in mind, the Oceanside group has taken up military drills, an absurdly preposterous example of which we see early in the first episode.

In a happier development, Oceanside seems to have more communication with its sister surviving communities, The Kingdom and Alexandria. This becomes especially good news for fans when Carol (Melissa McBride) drops in and runs into Darryl (Norman Reedus). Those were the days, eh?

Carol plays a less social role, however, with a different encounter later in the episode.

While the reemergence of a common enemy has provided a bit more unity for our team, Oceanside won’t be confused with Sesame Street just yet.

Lydia, for instance, remains a wild card. Her loyalties seem fluid, and she holds a conversation here that almost certainly foreshadows bubble, bubble, toil, and trouble.

In contrast to multiple episodes in recent years that focused on just a handful of characters, almost everyone gets some screen time and a story angle in the new season opener.

That includes Eugene (Josh McDermitt) and Judith (Cailey Fleming), a cool kid in a cast that’s got a lot of relatively bland kids. Judith even gets to kick off the action, kind of like getting to throw out the first pitch at the season opener of a ballgame.

And yes, Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) is still around, as smug as ever and looking like a man who is just biding his time waiting for the pendulum to swing back his way.

The Walking Dead has lost some of its buzz over the last couple of seasons, as fans have complained that its focus has drifted and its storylines – including two seasons of Negan – have flattened out. Someone seems to be hoping that more, faster action and more homage to its graphic novel roots could help snap things back.  


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