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"Bonds" is the sixth episode of the tenth season of AMC's The Walking Dead. It is the one-hundred and thirty-seventh episode of the series overall. It premiered on November 10, 2019. It was written by Kevin Deiboldt and directed by Dan Liu.
Carol wakes up in her room. She rinses her face, gets dressed, makes some tea, packs a bag, and heads out. Before leaving, she ponders her gun in a drawer. Daryl sees Carol leaving and catches up, inquiring where she is going. Carol claims she wants to do another sweep looking for Negan, and Daryl offers to tag along. She reluctantly accepts. While traveling, the two discuss the possibility of Negan crossing the border and joining the Whisperers. Carol stops short of a clearing near the Whisperer border and pulls out a pair of binoculars. When Daryl presses her for the real reason they came there, Carol reveals that she wants to find Alpha's horde and destroy it.
In Alexandria, Dante does a check-up on Cheryl in the infirmary and jokes with her about acting sick so that she can spend more time with him. Siddiq arrives and Dante informs him that more residents have come down with the sickness but he believes it to be nothing serious. He then tells Siddiq to take the day off with and spend it with Coco, after which he makes an inappropriate joke about checking in on Rosita. Siddiq then reminds him about boundaries.
Back in the woods, Carol tells Daryl that she's been tracking walker movements along the border, and that they all arrive at the area where they're currently at. She wants to observe the clearing for Whisperer activity, and see where they're taking the walkers. Daryl cautions that they won't be able to follow them without starting a war, but Carol claims they will only watch them and report to the Alexandria council before doing anything. Daryl then asks why she lied to him about their mission earlier; Carol tells him she didn't want him to worry about her after she pulled a gun on Alpha, and apologizes. She asks Daryl if he will stick around, and he confirms, claiming that she will need him to track.
Elsewhere, Beta and the Whisperers escort a blindfolded Negan through the woods. He jokes about their lifestyle and says he wants to join them. Beta puts his knives to Negan's throat and says that he is too loud. Negan apologizes and introduces himself, before explaining he has been a prisoner of Alexandria for eight years and is willing to reveal their secrets. Beta relents and gags Negan as they continue their walk. At Hilltop, Eugene finishes improving the radio set up with parts of the fallen satellite while Nabila brings him supplies. He then tests it and is contacted by Rosita from Alexandria. They catch up and she admits to missing talking to him. Suddenly, a part of the radio malfunctions and they agree to talk later.
In the woods, Daryl and Carol pass the time by throwing acorns at a can. Daryl hits it, but Carol says he has to knock it over. Carol finds a double-capped acorn and gives it to Daryl, telling him it's good luck and might improve his aim. He puts in his vest pocket. Carol then asks how things were at Hilltop. Daryl says Ezekiel sends his best. When Carol asks him how Connie is, Daryl tells her that there is nothing at all going on between them. Carol asks him why not and tells him he can't hide out with his dog forever, but he doesn't answer. The two share a meal before spotting a group of walkers roaming around in circles, quickly concluding there is a Whisperer among them.
At the Whisperer camp, Alpha and Beta argue over what to do with Negan. Alpha wants to test him, while Beta wants to kill him. Alpha notes that Beta has been questioning her rather often lately and asks if he is finally challenging her. Beta kneels in submission and vows that he will never challenge her. Alpha forgives him as Negan smiles nearby. Later, Negan mocks Beta's relationship with Alpha and jokes that he is attracted to her baldness. Back in Alexandria, Siddiq arrives at Rosita's house and finds her sick lying on the couch. He decides to take her to the infirmary despite her objections. In Hilltop, Eugene decides to radio open channels to find somebody.
Later that day, Daryl and Carol debate how they're going to handle Alpha's horde. She walks off to use the bathroom and Daryl looks through her bag. She returns and asks if he found what he was looking for. He questions her about her gun but she insists that she didn't bring it. In the woods, Beta forces Negan to do a series of tasks, like digging graves, skinning walkers, and help hunt a boar to prove his worth. Back in Alexandria, Siddiq arrives at the infirmary to find it full of sick people and berates Dante for letting things get out of hand. He is calmed down by Rosita and rushes to prepare more herbal medication.
That night, Carol and Daryl approach the border to observe the herd. Back in their camp, Beta tells Negan that he has not earned the right to eat with them and throws him to the ground. Negan collects himself and sits with another Whisperer who shares some food with him. At Hilltop, Eugene keeps calling out over the radio and after a while, a woman responds. He is left speechless. In the woods, Daryl and Carol observe the herd from some shrubbery. When Daryl signals Carol to retreat, she accidentally steps on a twig and attracts the walkers to their location.
Meanwhile, Eugene asks the woman about her community, but she says she's not comfortable sharing that information yet; instead, they agree on talking about their pasts. Eugene says he grew up in Dallas, Texas while she grew up in Strasburg, Pennsylvania. He admits to having visited the town for a train fair and to have gone to an ice cream shop. She joyfully reveals to be a big fan of the shop, too. Back in the woods, Daryl holds a walker, slices its guts open, and rubs its blood on his face to blend in and avoid being detected.
Back at the infirmary, Siddiq comforts a bedridden Cheryl and apologizes to Dante for his outburst earlier. He says he understands his concerns and they laugh off the incident. A while later, Siddiq holds Coco and falls asleep. He starts to dream of the harrowing night at the barn and wakes up to find himself holding Coco on the windmill, much to his confusion. Elsewhere, Beta and Negan walk among one of their herds in the woods as his final task. When Negan starts making jokes again, Beta tells him he'll never be one of them because he's too loud and egotistical. "I'm not here for you, I'm here for Alpha," Negan says. Beta kills a Whisperer in response and walks away, leaving Negan to fend for himself with a pocket knife.
In the woods, Daryl finds Carol holding a Whisperer hostage. Carol claims that she didn't have a choice as the Whisperer spotted her, and suggests interrogating him. Daryl becomes skeptical of Carol's intentions and asks if she planned this, but Carol denies the accusation. When she pulls the Whisperer up, Daryl notices that his hands are zip-tied together and wonders where Carol got the zip-ties since they weren't in her bag. Carol claims that Daryl must have missed them. They then leave towards Alexandria.
Back at Hilltop, the woman admits to Eugene that she doesn't know if they should keep talking because they could be a threat to each other. Eugene says he trusts her enough to share his full name and suggests they continue their conversations. She agrees but wants to keep them a secret between them and if she hears anyone else she will stop answering. Eugene accepts her conditions and they sign off.
The next morning, Beta returns to the camp and tells Alpha that Negan died because he was weak. Suddenly, a blood-covered Negan arrives demanding a skinsuit for himself with an extra measure because of his humongous balls. He kneels and introduces himself to Alpha. "I'm all in, whatever you want, whatever I got, it's yours", Negan tells her. Alpha leans down to sniff him and shushes him to signal she approves.
- Seven as Dog
- Marvin Lee as Kyle
- Unknown as Socorro Espinosa
- Patrick Croce as Whisperer Hunter
- Shellane Demarest as Coalition Soldier
- Gia as Coalition Soldier
- Laura L. Anderson Weber as Alexandria Baker
- Mario Williams as Alexandria Resident
- Jon Arthur as Alexandria Resident
- Chris Hodge as Alexandria Resident
- Tonya Lee as Alexandria Resident
- Chuck Hollywood as Alexandria Resident
- Jack Orrell as Alexandria Resident
- Kristen DeSantis as Alexandria Resident
- Anthony Porrey as Alexandria Resident
- Bruce Greene as Highwayman
- W.F. Bell as Hilltop Millwright
- 1 unnamed Whisperer
- 1 boar
- First appearance of Cheryl.
- This episode was made available for streaming to subscribers of AMC Premiere on November 8, 2019.
- The title of the episode, "Bonds", refers to the interactions between different characters throughout the episode.
- Eugene reveals his middle name to be "Hermann" to the radio woman.
- Daryl uses the walker guts trick to avoid detection when surrounded by a herd.
- The bug that Rosita caught is revealed to be spreading, as there are more than a dozen sick Alexandrians now, lending further credence to the theory that the infection is a result of the Whisperers contaminating Alexandria's water supply.
- Siddiq's PTSD appears to be getting worse, as he is shown to blacking out during his episodes and waking up in completely different locations.
- Negan attempts to prove himself to the Whisperers in order to join them. While Beta does his best to hinder him, even attempting to get him killed, Negan survives and seemingly impresses Alpha.
- This episode marks the first time in The Walking Dead that two characters classified as major recurring primary antagonists have interacted with each other; Negan and Alpha.
- The method that the Whisperers and Negan used to cook the boar is called "pachamanca", a method used in Peru that dates back to the Inca Empire. "Pacha" means "Earth" and "manca" means "pot".
- Daryl and Carol going on a mission to track Alpha's horde is adapted from a similar scene in Issue 154, where Michonne and Aaron go searching for Negan instead.
- Negan wanting to join the Whisperers and being taken to their camp is adapted from Issue 154.
- Negan giving Beta different nicknames is adapted from Issue 154 and Issue 156.
- Beta telling Negan he is too loud is adapted from Issue 154.
- Alpha questioning Beta if he is challenging her is adapted from Issue 156.
- Beta kneeling to Alpha in submission is adapted from Issue 156.
- Negan joking to Beta that he finds Alpha attractive is a reference to Negan flirting with her in Issue 155.
- Negan doing various tasks around the Whisperer camp to prove himself is adapted from Issue 156.
- Eugene making contact with a woman over the radio is adapted from Issue 151.
- Eugene and the woman talking with each other and forming a bond is adapted from Issue 152.
- Cheryl saying that to die in a bed is a luxury nowadays is a reference to Andrea saying this in Issue 167.
- Negan being attacked by walkers in the woods to prove himself is adapted from a similar scene in Issue 156, where he kills them in the camp instead.
- Eugene and the radio woman agreeing to keep their conversations a secret is adapted from Issue 152.
- Negan joking he wants a special skinsuit for himself is adapted from Issue 156.
- Negan kneeling to Alpha and offering his services is adapted from Issue 156.