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"Lines We Cross" is the first episode of the tenth season of AMC's The Walking Dead. It is the one-hundred and thirty-second episode of the series overall. It premiered on October 6, 2019. It was written by Angela Kang and directed by Greg Nicotero.
In outer space, a Soviet satellite careens out of orbit towards the Earth.
A walker washes up on shore and Judith cuts it down before re-joining Michonne, Daryl, and the others in a combat training exercise on the Oceanside beach. Aaron leads a shield-wielding front line to a washed-up boat where Jerry and Ezekiel repeatedly open the hatch to let walkers out in waves. In an organized effort, the archers take out the first wave, the spear-wielders the second, and the melee weapons third. The walkers quickly break down the door and the army finishes them off.
Later on, the group prepares some materials at the Oceanside settlement. Luke and Jules flirt while moving some ropes. Meanwhile, Michonne and Daryl laud the results of their training sessions. "Tara would have been proud," Daryl says. Nearby, Judith and R.J. play with some shells that R.J. found. As they dump out their seashells in the sand, a Whisperer mask falls out.
Aaron radios Gabriel at Alexandria to warn him about the mask, suggesting they go on lockdown. Michonne instead advises they stay vigilant while they split up and look for more signs of the Whisperers.
On the hunt, Aaron asks Michonne if they're the good guys, reminding her they're the villains in other people's stories. Suddenly, he spots walkers on a bridge and rushes in to kill them. Michonne saves him and angrily reminds him not to cross into Alpha's border. However, Aaron reminds her about the people they've lost and claims he is tired of being nice. Michonne reiterates he still needs to be careful.
Michonne then radios everyone to circle back but Yumiko tells her they have found something. In the woods, they catch up with her and find an abandoned campsite full of corpses and a walker skin. Aaron declares one of the Whisperers has been here. At Oceanside, Michonne explains to Aaron that people can't be afraid because of how fear will impact the community. She also tells him they have to choose to be the good guys, even when it's hard.
Michonne then overhears Judith telling R.J. the story about Rick blowing the bridge to save his friends. "He died and went to heaven," Judith tells R.J. about "the brave man" in her story. Michonne tears up and walks up to hug them, telling them she'd do anything to protect them. Suddenly, an explosion rings out and everyone looks up to witness streaks of fire cascading from the sky.
In Alexandria, Rosita is boxing while Eugene takes care of her baby, Coco. He also has been keeping charts of the baby's growth for at least three months and reveals his findings to Siddiq. Gabriel enters the room with a worried look.
Meanwhile, Lydia is in school trying to learn to read with the other children. The council enters the class to discuss the finding of the Whisperer mask and ask Lydia to leave. Outside, Lydia trains with Henry's staff. Negan is nearby picking tomatoes while being watched by Brandon. He asks her what's wrong and Lydia tells Negan everyone's on alert because they found a skin. Negan playfully warns her to watch her back.
Later, Siddiq puts Coco to bed and starts having flashbacks of his encounter with Alpha. Dante, another doctor, checks up on him and Siddiq assures him he's fine. "We're like gods in the apocalypse," Dante says of the two of them being doctors and jokes about how Siddiq is looking at him.
Back in his cell, Negan advises Gabriel to temper the coming dangers to his people as to not cause a panic. Gabriel asks if he should lie. "No, not lie," Negan tells him. "At most, I'm talking about a little strategic omission." Outside, Gabriel instructs his people to lock up the walls and double security. Suddenly, the same explosion rings out and Eugene sprints to the radio to contact Oceanside, demanding to speak with Michonne.
Back on the beach, Kelly and Connie are helping Rachel and some other Oceanside residents with dragging a net, when Kelly nearly trips over a pile of nets, despite being warned repeatedly about it. Kelly tells Connie she's worried her gradual hearing loss will prevent her from translating for her. Connie assures her that she'll be okay and they should see their deafness as a superpower. Suddenly, Dog runs over with Daryl following behind. Kelly gives Connie a look suggesting she and Daryl are into each other, but Connie just rolls her eyes.
On a dock, Ezekiel and Daryl look out at the ocean. They have a conversation about Ezekiel's time in a zoo. He was only scared of birds back then. Connie comes up and delivers Dog to Daryl with a note saying, "Think you lost something." He communicates with her in ASL and she tells him that he signs with a southern accent. Suddenly, Carol arrives on a boat. She awkwardly greets Ezekiel and quickly moves on to talk to Daryl, who lifts her up in a hug.
As they walk around the camp, Carol tells Daryl about her travels. He thinks she is looking for Alpha, but Carol claims to be happy that the past is behind them. Daryl then informs her of the mask they found and asks if she wants to help them look but she declines, telling him she's only here temporarily. Daryl then drives the two of them off on his motorcycle.
Daryl and Carol try to hunt a deer in the woods. They follow it as it stumbles into one of the borders. Daryl stops Carol from shooting the injured deer as walkers devour it. Daryl rules that it is across a border and they shouldn't pursue it. Carol angrily reminds him they never agreed to the border.
Afterward, Daryl apologizes and the two make up. He admits he doesn't want her to leave again on a boat, calling her his best friend. "Best friend, what are you, 10?," Carol jokes and suggests they make friendship bracelets. She then proposes they run away together. Suddenly, the same explosion rings out in the sky.
LINES WE CROSS
That night, everyone convenes and agrees to cross Alpha's border to put out the fire and avoid it burning down Oceanside. They discover the remains of the satellite and start combating the fire. Some use water while others dig a means to prevent the fire from spreading until the morning arrives. The group runs out of water as a herd of walkers approaches the group. With their backs to the fire, the group prepares for a fight.
The group takes their formations and start fighting off the herd. Several residents of Alexandria arrive to help. Carol uses the spilling blood of a walker to put out a fire. Daryl tosses an axe to cut a tree down and have it fall onto some walkers. Later, the fire has been put out and everyone recovers. Eugene asks Michonne if he can scrap the satellite for valuable parts and she grudgingly agrees, making everyone help out. Luke discourages him because of radiation but Eugene insists they are already surrounded by radiation and are infected with something that turns them into walkers when they die anyway.
Meanwhile, Daryl and Carol walk to the cliff where Alpha showed him the Whisperers' herd. Carol still wants to run away tomorrow, but Daryl wants her to stay. As he leaves, Carol sees Alpha emerge from the woods. She looks up and they stare at each other with anger.
- Anthony Lopez as Oscar
- Gustavo Gomez as Marco
- Jackson Pace as Gage
- Antony Azor as R.J. Grimes
- Tamara Austin as Nora
- Anabelle Holloway as Gracie
- Jerri Tubbs as Margo
- David Shae as Alfred
- Alex Sgambati as Jules
- Heather Gilliland as Teacher
- 4 unnamed campers (Confirmed Fate)
- 1 deer
- First appearance of Dante.
- First appearance of Brandon.
- First appearance of Jules.
- First appearance of Alfred.
- First appearance of Margo.
- First appearance of Socorro Espinosa.
- The title of the episode, "Lines We Cross", is a reference to the survivors crossing the border into the Whisperers' territory to put out the fire from the crashed satellite.
- This is the ninth episode to share the same title of a Comic Series volume, after "Days Gone Bye", "Made to Suffer", "This Sorrowful Life", "Too Far Gone", "No Way Out", "A New Beginning", "What Comes After" and "The Calm Before".
- This episode was made available for streaming to subscribers of AMC Premiere on September 29, 2019.
- As of this episode, Ryan Hurst (Beta) has been added to the opening credits.
- Also, as of this episode, Alanna Masterson (Tara Chambler) and Katelyn Nacon (Enid) have been removed from the opening credits.
- Christian Serratos (Rosita Espinosa) is now billed before Josh McDermitt (Eugene Porter).
- Callan McAuliffe (Alden) and Avi Nash (Siddiq) are still listed under "Also Starring" despite being regulars in previous seasons.
- This is the first episode featuring Eleanor Matsuura (Yumiko), Cooper Andrews (Jerry), Nadia Hilker (Magna), Cailey Fleming (Judith Grimes), Cassady McClincy (Lydia), and Lauren Ridloff (Connie) as series regulars. They are listed under "Also Starring".
- Angel Theory (Kelly) and Avianna Mynhier (Rachel Ward) are upgraded from "Co-Stars" to "Also Starring" in this episode.
- Part of the credits now includes Rick Grimes facing off against the herd on the bridge in "What Comes After" changing to the bridge on fire with the ending featuring a herd moving towards the pikes marking the Whisperers' territory with the heads of their victims still upon the pikes.
- This episode marks the return of Cyndie, who had been absent since "What Comes After".
- Rick Grimes' sacrifice is mentioned by multiple characters. In particular, Judith is shown telling the story to her brother R.J., though she doesn't tell him it's about his father and instead refers to him as "the brave man".
- Lydia is revealed to be illiterate due to the lack of formal education among the Whisperers, and is shown learning how to read with Gracie and the other younger children. She is also shown wielding Henry's old staff which she has added a nunchuck to one end, something that neither Henry nor Morgan Jones ever did.
- Negan's prison sentence has been relaxed and he is now allowed out to work under supervision.
- Siddiq is revealed to be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result of witnessing the events of "The Calm Before".
- Kelly appears to be losing her hearing. It may be the same condition Connie has as neither are surprised by the development.
- It is revealed that there haven't been any letters from Maggie for a while and Carol has been spending a great deal of time at sea.
- Daryl is shown to be learning sign language in order to better communicate with Connie. She comments that he's not bad at it, and jokes that he signs with a Southern accent.
- The Whisperers and their herd have left the area at some point between "The Storm" and this episode.
- The communities find signs that the Whisperers have returned. In the end, Alpha at least is shown to be back.
- The Whisperers are shown to have more borders than just the pikes, though its unclear how the communities know the other boundary lines as Alpha had only told Daryl about the pikes.
- This is the first season premiere where Rick Grimes does not appear.
- Interestingly enough, the satellite that crashed is shown to be from the USSR.
- This episode confirms what happened to The Highwaymen after the events of "The Calm Before" which is that they merged with The Coalition. This can be proven with the fact that several Highwaymen members, including Margo, are seen in and around Oceanside doing several tasks such as training and putting out the forest fire.
- A number of Oceanside extras for this episode are real-life firefighters who were hired specifically for this episode to help with the forest fire scene.
- It is revealed in "The World Before" that the skin that the group finds near the four dead campers is the same skin that Dante wore before he met up with Jen, Wayne, and the rest of their group.
- Furthermore, the mask that was found at the beach also belonged to Dante.
- The communities forming a militia and training on the beach is adapted from a similar scene in Issue 151, where the militia trains on the woods instead.
- Aaron talking with Michonne about losing Eric is adapted from Issue 154.
- Negan talking with Gabriel and advising him on the Whisperers' situation is adapted from a similar scene in Issue 149, where Negan advises Rick instead.
- Negan telling Gabriel he should manipulate the community with fear to keep them alive is adapted from a similar scene in Issue 149, where Negan tells this to Rick instead.
- Carol becoming a fisherwoman and returning after months on a boat is adapted from a similar scene in Issue 139, where Michonne becomes a fisherwoman instead.
- Carol awkwardly being received by Ezekiel is adapted from a similar scene in Issue 139, where Michonne ignores Ezekiel instead.
- Daryl calling Carol his best friend and her response is adapted from a similar scene in Issue 140, where Rick calls Michonne his best friend instead.
- When Carol cuts a walker's throat to put out a fire with his blood, the walker falls over dead, despite its brain not being destroyed.