"Chokepoint" is the thirteenth episode of the ninth season of AMC's The Walking Dead. It is the one-hundred and twenty-eighth episode of the series overall. It premiered on March 10, 2019. It was written by David Leslie Johnson & Eddie Guzelian and directed by Liesl Tommy.
Daryl's daring rescue mission forces Alpha to unleash a group of her own to retrieve what belongs to her, even if the price is paid in blood; the Kingdom's plans to reunite the communities are put in jeopardy.
In the woods, following their daring escape from the Whisperers, Daryl blames Lydia for getting them into this mess and says she can’t go with them back to Hilltop. Connie and Henry refuse to leave her behind and run off with her in another direction. Daryl reluctantly follows them.
In the Kingdom, everything is nearly finished for the fair. Nabila tells Carol this is everything they’ve fought for. She then notices Jerry bruised and without armor after returning from a supply mission.
Inside the theater, Jerry tells Ezekiel that his patrol got jumped and robbed on the road by a group called “The Highwaymen,” who gave them a note warning anyone traveling to the fair will be turned back unless they pay their toll. Dianne guesses it could be Jed’s group of Saviors, but Carol politely rules that out, knowing that she killed Jed. Ezekiel decides they should battle these marauders and instructs Jerry to gather all their fighters.
On the road, Tara and Magna’s group clears a tree from their path as Tammy tells Earl how happy she is to have the baby. Kelly lets Tara know she’s worried about Connie, but she and Magna assure her she’s fine with Daryl.
In the woods, Daryl and Connie devise a plan to use an office building as a means of separating the Whisperers from the undead. Lydia warns Daryl that Alpha is going to send Beta, their best fighter. “We’ll kill him first,” Daryl promises.
Elsewhere, Jerry and Carol scope out the Highwaymen community while Ezekiel laments the violence they have to resort to. Carol suggests they try talking to them first, and if that doesn’t work, then they’ll kill them.
Back in the office building, Connie reveals to Daryl that her group used the building to hide supplies below a removable floor panel. They argue about how they should proceed with Connie saying Lydia should come back with them because she has no friends to protect her.
Meanwhile, Ezekiel, Carol and Jerry infiltrate the Highwaymen base, where the leader Ozzy informs them that the meeting is for the King alone. They disagree, sticking by Ezekiel's side. Ozzy asks if they have his toll, while his people approach with their guns and melee weapons drawn. He suggests they use Ezekiel as ransom, when suddenly the Kingdom fighters grab Ozzy’s people from behind. Ezekiel draws his sword and says he’s prepared to fight for what they’ve created. He then offers the man a job to clear the roads for him in exchange to access for the Kingdom and the fair. Ozzy laughs in his face and draws Jerry’s sword, telling them they’ll have to do better than that. Carol then asks when the last time they’ve seen a movie and a shocked Ozzy responds, “Seriously?”
In the building, Henry gifts Lydia a spear he made and she reminds him she’s not willing to kill her own people. He takes it back and tells her he’ll try not to either. Lydia then scolds him for risking his life for her, claiming that what he did made Alpha look weak. He reminds her he cares about her and they kiss. Daryl interrupts and tells them to keep watch.
On the road, a small herd of walkers approaches Tara and Magna's group. They get in position and remind themselves to watch for the Whisperers. Tammy puts the baby in a box with air holes and then kills some walkers to save Earl. Suddenly, the Highwaymen ride up on horses and introduce themselves to Tara after helping to take down the herd, having accepted Carol and Ezekiel's deal. They then escort them to the Kingdom.
Out on a balcony of the highrise building, Lydia spots a group of walkers and Whisperers walking down the road into the area of the building. In the middle of the group is Beta, who quietly instructs his people to spread out as Daryl shoots one of the Whisperers. Beta and his people break in and quickly discover a trap meant to separate them from the dead. Meanwhile, Daryl makes Lydia hide in a closet with Dog as the Whisperers creep upstairs.
Henry knocks one of them out as Connie slingshots another. Daryl aims his crossbow at the main door, which gets busted down by Beta, who’s using another door as a shield. Daryl regroups and strikes a Whisperer through a tarp with a fire axe while Connie and Henry hunt down the others. A Whisperer stabs Henry in the leg but is then tackled by Dog, let out by a desperate Lydia when she hears Henry in danger. Henry finishes the Whisperer off as Lydia goes to help Henry, and Connie takes out another Whisperer who attacked her.
Daryl slits Zion's throat and is then bull-rushed by Beta, whose size startles him. The two size each other up and Beta forces Daryl’s neck towards a blade on a table saw, but he manages to punch him and break free. Beta returns with a punch of his own and Daryl stabs him in the chest before escaping into the trap door. Beta grabs the knife out of his chest and announces all he wants is Lydia. Daryl sneaks up behind him from the hidden floor compartment and pushes him down the elevator shaft. He spits down and grabs his knife.
In the Kingdom, the Highwaymen return with Tara and the others, who assure Ezekiel and Carol they can be trusted. They greet Tara and ask where Henry and Daryl are, but Tara admits she thought they’d be there by now.
Back in the building, Connie draws the herd away with her slingshot, while Daryl tells the others they’re headed to Alexandria to get Henry help because it’s closer. However, he doesn't intend to stay and they will instead keep moving on. As they leave, at the bottom of the elevator shaft, Beta rises in pain and peers up, enraged, and covered in blood, with his bottom front teeth having been knocked out from the fall.
- Angel Theory as Kelly
- James Chen as Kal
- Anthony Lopez as Oscar
- Jackson Pace as Gage
- Kelley Mack as Adeline
- Joe Ando Hirsh as Rodney
- Ben VanderMey as Bitten Whisperer
- Terri James as Whisperer Tracker
- Victor Cordova as Whisperer Warrior
- Bitten Whisperer (Alive and Zombified)
- Whisperer Warrior
- Whisperer Tracker
- 2 unnamed Whisperers
- First appearance of the Highwaymen.
- First appearance of Ozzy.
- Last appearance of Zion.
- The title of the episode, "Chokepoint", comes from Connie's note about her plan to avoid the Whisperers, using a office building as a trap.
- As of this episode, Daryl Dixon has officially surpassed Rick Grimes in number of appearances, making him the character with the highest number of appearances in the show.
- The Kingdom is shown to have a banner and stuffed tiger on display in memorial to Shiva.
- It is suggested that Carol killing Jed's group of rogue Saviors enabled the Highwaymen to take up residence in the area around the Kingdom.
- When Carol asks Dianne if she could kill two Highwaymen guards, Dianne says that she can, just like old times. This is a callback to the episode "The Damned" when Dianne kills two Savior guards at the Satellite Outpost.
- It is confirmed by Lydia that there are only ever five or six Whisperers in a herd.
- One of the Whisperers in Beta's group is Natasha Reeves, who primarily portrays a Hilltop resident. Her Whisperer character was killed by Henry.
- It can be assumed Dante joined the Whisperers during the events of this episode, due to the fact he joined after Lydia's departure in "Guardians", but was present in the barn in "The Calm Before", with all three episodes taking place over the span of three consecutive days.