The Walking Dead preview: Survival instinct


This week’s episode of The Walking Dead, “Guardians,” will showcase biological and found guardians, which won’t ease any tension between the Whisperers and Hilltop.

Using a gradual build to the second half of this season’s most climactic event, last week’s episode of The Walking Dead illustrated the span of the Whisperers’ territory, as well as some of their more apathetic survival skills. After Daryl’s regrettable decision to return Lydia to Alpha, this week’s episode will feature a dangerous rescue mission.

As Daryl, Connie, and Henry recon to save Lydia from the Whisperers and her abusive mom, we’ll likely start to see a swell of risks, especially since Henry is going stag on his own rescue mission.

Survival instincts take on many forms in the teaser for “Guardians.” Beyond reasserting how critical found families are in a world teeming with walkers, this Sunday’s episode will give us insight into Lydia’s survival skills and her unrecognized strength.

After all, Alpha isn’t the one protecting Lydia (despite the leader’s perceived, but wrong, intentions).

Though Lydia reassures Alpha that she only tricked Hilltop into trusting her, we can assume she’s double-crossing Alpha. After all, Lydia’s dealt with nearly an entire lifetime of abuse under Alpha’s reign of the Whisperers. She’s become a cunning survivalist because it’s a necessary skill to survive in the horde of pseudo-zombies. Considering Alpha’s multi-faceted villainy, we kind of miss the Governor. Oh, how we wish we could go back to simpler villainous times.

Lydia’s double agent facade will push her to either betray the Whisperers and put herself in direct danger, or kill Henry and ensure herself a few more safe moments in the group at the cost of her security within Hilltop. Though the trailer focuses on the Whisperers’ base and Lydia’s internal dilemma as the primary conflict, we have a feeling Daryl and Connie’s impromptu rescue efforts might be more useful elsewhere.

After the Kingdom likely tampered with the Whisperers’ territory in last week’s episode, The Walking Dead could infuse a concurrent threat at the Kingdom. Given the Whisperers are a common theme this season, we can guess the Kingdom might have to fight off a troop of mask-wearers in “Guardians.”

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We still might not see any new tallies to the running death toll in the upcoming episode of The Walking Dead, but the tensions are rising for potential casualties at Hilltop, the Kingdom, and Alexandria later this season.