The Walking Dead – Chokepoint (Season 9/ Episode 13 Review)

The war between the communities on AMC’s The Walking Dead and The Whispers is in full swing after a series of events that transpired over the last two episodes. A conflict that was brewing for some time, hitting hard with the murder of Jesus in the Season 9 mid-season finale episode, Evolution, once again, it appears a bloody battle with many causalities is imminent. 

As everyone is aware, Henry set out to rescue Lydia back from the ruthless reign of her mother, Alpha, and The Whispers in the episode Guardians. Noble, and with good intentions, he tracked her down, but only to find himself caught and held prisoner. Fortunately for Henry, Daryl and Connie (Lauren Ridloff: If You Could Hear My Own Tune 2011, Wonderstruck 2017) were hot on his trail as well. Sabotaging The Whispers’ camp, they rescue Henry and Lydia, but now find themselves in an extremely dangerous situation, trying to find a way back to safety. This led to the events of Chokepoint, the most recent episode of the series which aired on Sunday, March 10th.

Khary Payton as Ezekiel, Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier, Alanna Masterson as Tara Chambler – The Walking Dead Season 9, Episode 13 – Photo Credit: Jace Downs/AMC

Directed by up-and-coming female Filmmaker Liesl Tommy, in Chokepoint, we see some of the most action-packed tension on The Walking Dead in quite a few episodes. First we find Daryl and Connie bonding further, putting their intelligence together to find a way to get home safely. Then we find Henry and Lydia take their liking for one another a step further in midst of the danger. Meanwhile, the trade fair is set to launch, but Ezekiel’s plans of unity are almost derailed due to another mystery group of bandits call The Highwaymen patrolling the roads surrounding The Kingdom. 

As for the most tension-filled portion of the episode, Daryl and Connie decide to take temporary refuge in a deteriorating, mid-construction office building. Here, they can easily distinguish the dead from The Whispers, due to the stairwells of the building, offering limited entrance and exit points. When the moment of truth finally arrives, Daryl, Connie, and Henry team together to knock out any Whispers who enter the space. However, there is one Whisper who breaks through, the opposing figure Beta – a bearded GWAR-looking character who seems to be Alpha’s second in command. 

Portrayed by the ever-distinctive Ryan Hurst (Sons of Anarchy series, Bates Motel series), Beta is a massive figure who Daryl needs to take on in a one-on-one brawl. With Beta clearly having an advantage over Daryl, size and strength-wise, thankfully Daryl’s toughness finds him the winner of the fight, sending Beta ungracefully down an elevator shaft. A fall that would kill anyone, or least break their back, Beta somehow survives, making it clear The Walking Dead creators have something bigger in store for him in the coming future. 

Angus Sampson as Ozzy – The Walking Dead Season 9, Episode 13 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Overall, Chokepoint was one of the most entertaining episodes of The Walking Dead in awhile. With a good pace, further character development, and a sense of fear in the air, it helped excite fans everywhere. Now, the question is, what are The Whispers’ next move? Also, will Lydia switch sides because of her affection for Henry? Additionally, what do The Highwaymen mean to everything else?

There is a lot that can still unfold in the final three episodes of The Walking Dead’s 9th season. With key characters still missing, most boldly Rick Grimes, is it too soon to expect him or any other characters to return? Interestingly, in Hurst’s appearance on The Talking Dead couch, he spoke of Andrew Lincoln as if he was still a part of the show.

Innocent enough, it seemed as if Hurst perhaps was given too much information, and was trying to cover his tracks after the comment, going to make it clear that Lincoln is ‘off the show,’ saying he is ‘done.’ Something tells us that Lincoln is far from done with The Walking Dead. Instead, it is not far-fetched to think he is going to make a massive return dare we say sooner than later. Eager to see what the St. Patrick’s Day episode Scars brings, Cryptic Rock gives Chokepoint 4 out of 5 stars. 

Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon, Ryan Hurst as Beta – The Walking Dead Season 9, Episode 13 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

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