"Squeeze" is the ninth episode and mid-season premiere of the tenth season of AMC's The Walking Dead. It is the one-hundred and fortieth episode of the series overall. It premiered on February 23, 2020. It was written by David Leslie Johnson and directed by Michael Satrazemis.
Our group must figure out how to get out of a precarious situation.
Daryl, Carol, Aaron, Jerry, Connie, Kelly, and Magna recover from the fall in the cave where they are trapped by an enormous horde. Alpha, with a torch in her hand, looks at them from the top and Carol shouts at her in anger. Alpha leaves the cave, ordering the Whisperers to not let them escape. She drops the torch and walks away, putting her mask on.
In an effort to escape, Magna attempts to climb a wall, but fails. Daryl tells her it's too high to reach, so the group starts seeking other avenues of escape. Daryl points his flashlight on a boulder and Aaron suggests they move forward by jumping on the rocks. They make it to the other side. A walker grabs Kelly's foot and Jerry cuts its arm off, giving it to Daryl.
As the group moves through the cave, Kelly points out that they don't have enough food to stay there forever. Jerry assures her there has to be an exit since walkers managed to get inside. Connie asks Carol if she's fine, to which she agrees. Daryl notices that she has claustrophobia, and Magna confronts Carol about her pursuing Alpha and getting all of them trapped. Daryl responds that they don't have time for quarrels.
Back in the Whisperers' camp, Alpha informs Beta and Gamma that their enemy has crossed the border and they were heading to the National Park where the horde was located. Beta says they've underestimated them so Alpha assumes that they've sent spies beyond the border and assigns more guards, before sending Gamma to carry a message to their spy in Alexandria. Negan watches the exchange silently.
In the cave, the survivors rest and try to get together. Daryl tells Carol he's tired of her reckless actions and wants her to stop seeking revenge. She answers that she wants Alpha to suffer for all she's done, but Daryl reminds her that they're not fighting for vengeance, but for their future. Carol promises she won't fool him anymore. Meanwhile, Magna investigates the stone maze with a lit match and is ambushed by a Whisperer. The group engages in a fight and kills several Whisperers, before deciding to follow the ones who escaped to find the exit.
Elsewhere the next day, Negan encounters Alpha at the camp's latrine where he tells her about a possible traitor among them, and suggests that it may be Gamma. Alpha holds a knife to his crotch and tells him not to sow paranoia in the camp, warning if he’s wrong she’ll cut his balls off. She then tosses him into her bathroom ditch and leaves.
Back in the cave, Connie consoles Carol and the group starts to squeeze through narrow tunnels. Carol suffers from claustrophobic attacks, but overcomes them. Some walkers appear from the holes, forcing survivors to speed up. Jerry gets stuck in a hole and two walkers try to chew on his feet. Daryl tells him to remove his armor, and he successfully squeezes through. Kelly checks on his shoes and assures him he wasn't bitten. Magna spots sunlight and nearly falls into a massive hole. Daryl lights the walker's arm and drops it on the bed of the cave, displaying part of the horde.
At Whisperers' camp, Alpha asks Beta about Gamma's whereabouts. He notices she didn't make it to the border, so he's sent four scouts to help her in case she gets caught by the traitor. Alpha implies that Gamma is the traitor and wants Beta to track her down and bring her to the camp alive so she can kill her in front of the whole pack. In the cave, the group enters into an old mine station where they find a blockade and possible exit. Kelly finds a box of dynamite and Jerry asks her to lay it down carefully. Magna shares with Aaron her feelings about fighting with Yumiko.
Back in the Whisperers' camp, Alpha takes Negan deep in the forest. When they stop, she orders him to undress. Negan, thinking Alpha's about to kill him, admits the power he had over the Saviors turned him into a monster. Surprisingly, he turns around to find Alpha fully naked. She says he deserves a crass reward for detecting the spy. Negan's amused because she will keep her mask on and wonders if she'll decapitate him like a female praying mantis afterwards, but doesn't receive any answers. He says he'll take his chances and the two kiss.
In the cave, the group keeps digging for a way out through the mine celling when Daryl notices that both Carol and one dynamite stick are gone. He finds her all the way back, trying to climb a wall and find a good place for the stick to explode and destroy the horde. Daryl says she'll kill herself in the process and eventually convinces her to stop. He then tries to pull her up but the dynamite falls and explodes underneath them.
The cave begins collapsing while Jerry holds a beam to allow the others to escape. Kelly and Aaron make it to the surface and kill some Whisperers. Connie runs back to find Daryl and Carol, forcing Magna to follow her. They find them and help them escape but encounter more Whisperers coming from behind. Magna and Connie stay back and kill several Whisperers to protect Jerry, but he cannot hold the log anymore and leaves through the hole. The rest of the dynamite immediately explodes and the cave implodes, trapping Magna and Connie inside.
Daryl tries to excavate through the debris as Kelly falls to the ground in agony. Aaron tells Daryl it could take weeks to reach them as he starts to sob. Kelly states that the explosion will attract walkers and Whisperers in the vicinity and they should leave because they won't be able to help Connie and Magna if they die. Carol rants to Daryl, blaming herself for all their troubles and pleads him to admit that it's all her fault. He ignores her request and tells the group to head home and inform everyone they found the horde, while he'll find the other entrance to the cave.
- 11 unnamed Whisperers
- The title of the episode, "Squeeze", refers to the tight spaces which the group has to squeeze through in order to find an exit and escape from the cave.
- As of this episode, Avi Nash (Siddiq) is no longer listed under "Also Starring".
- This episode was made available for streaming to subscribers of AMC Premiere on February 21, 2020.
- This is the first episode to air in the 2020s decade.
- The plot of this episode is inspired and based on the horror film The Descent.
- It is revealed that Jerry is 6'2".
- He also stated that he had been on a plane at least once in his life and that he has trouble fitting into their bathrooms.
- Carol being claustrophobic is a callback to "TS-19".
- This episode marks the first time that Aaron is seen killing a living person with his mace arm.
- Carol is the only member of the group who's trapped in the cave to not have killed a Whisperer.
- Negan wondering if Alpha will decapitate him after they have sex like the female praying mantis do to the male mantis foreshadows him decapitating her in "Walk With Us".
- Negan wondering if Alpha will decapitate him after they have sex like the female praying mantis do to the male mantis is a nod to him decapitating her in Issue 156.
- Negan and Alpha kissing while she has her mask on is a homage to the cover of Issue 156.
- Negan also refers Alpha and to himself as "Queen and King", which is the title of the same Issue.