The Walking Dead Season 9 Episode 12 Review: Guardians

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Do you want to keep your head? Never question Alpha's leadership.

On The Walking Dead Season 9 Episode 12, Henry tracked down Lydia and the Whisperers but bit off more than he could chew, and Negan offered to prove his worth in Alexandria.

"Guardians" provided an interesting -- and horrific -- glimpse into the Whisperers' way of life. If you thought the standoff at Hilltop was disturbing, seeing how this particular group of walker skin-wearing savages live was equally unsettling.

Beta Safe Than Sorry

Was anyone else surprised by the sheer amount of Whisperers at their camp? We knew that the group was fairly established and had numbers, but I was blown away by how large their group actually is.

However, aside from the infant Whisperer from The Walking Dead Season 9 Episode 11, I didn't notice any other children living among them, which is both interesting and concerning.

Wouldn't it be something if some of the Saviors ended up joining the Whisperers after the Sanctuary fell? Given the group's numbers, I wouldn't be surprised, and we never actually got a definitive answer to what happened to Negan's former group.

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It was obvious that Lydia was extremely uncomfortable being back with her former group, and after what we witnessed during our time in the Whisperers' camp, I can't say I blame her.

After seeing how well-off Hilltop is, who would want to go back to a life of living like animals?

The Return - The Walking Dead Season 9 Episode 12

Lydia was quick to call out her mother by questioning whether she came for her because Alpha cares for her daughter or if she merely wanted inside info about the Hilltop. And while Lydia was honest with her mother that she didn't learn much aside from how well off the group is, Alpha still thought she was holding out.

After seeing unmasked Alpha and getting a glimpse of her Whisperer garb and raspy voice, I'm not quite sure which version is more terrifying. Regardless, every moment with Alpha on screen has been incredibly creepy thus far.

Henry To The Rescue - The Walking Dead Season 9 Episode 12

It didn't take long before Henry was discovered and captured after tracking down Lydia. Henry has been the worst at a lot of things lately, and now he can add being inconspicuous to that ongoing list. He may as well have had a sign above his head with an arrow pointing down saying: "Here I am!"

At least his tracking skills are on point.

Henry is not one who has ever been mindful of his surroundings, and considering that he was in the Whisperer's camp, he was way out of his depth.

Don't Lose Your Head - The Walking Dead Season 9 Episode 12

We finally got introduced to Ryan Hurst's Beta, and the guy is absolutely terrifying!

He's a welcome addition to the series as I've always been a fan of Hurst's work. But I've never seen a single episode of Sons of Anarchy (I know, shame on me, right?).

Eyes open. Where there's one, there's more.


Beta is a hulking behemoth who is very protective over Alpha. He's someone that you'd want watching your back.

It's only a matter of time until Daryl crosses paths with Beta, and I cannot wait for that showdown. Better yet, could you image Negan and Beta trading blows with each other?

What A Drag - The Walking Dead Season 9 Episode 12

Henry realized he effed up when Alpha gave Lydia an ultimatum: Kill Henry, or they both die.

Had Daryl not followed Henry's trail his head would have surely been on one of those pikes. Which I have no shame in saying that I wish Daryl hadn't interfered.

At least Lydia punched Henry in the face for his idiocy, which is something every viewer has wanted to do for the last several episodes.

Siddiq: I know that you just want what's best for us. But what does it mean for Alexandria to survive if means that the Kingdom falls?
Michonne: It means Alexandria Survives.

It was pretty cool how Daryl led the herd into the Whisperer camp and realizing that Daryl and Connie snuck into camp wearing the Whisperer masks to rescue Henry was all sorts of awesome.

It was a fun classic trope of the good guys masquerading in the bad guy's uniform to infiltrate their lair.

My only issue with it was that not a single Whisperer noticed the herd getting led into their camp. Regardless, it was still a thrilling moment.

By the way, how freaking cute is it that Daryl's dog retrieves his arrows? Adorable.

Walking Among The Dead - The Walking Dead Season 9 Episode 12

Not only did Henry piss off Alpha by wandering into their territory after her initial warning to Hilltop, but Daryl caused even more of a ruckus by stirring the pot and rescuing Henry. To make matters worse, Lydia has left her group again, this time of her own free will.

Odds are Alpha is going to be out for blood, and it does not bode well for Hilltop, the Kingdom, or Alexandria.

We finally checked in with Negan following his return to Alexandria, and Michonne was quick to call him out on his real reason for returning.

There's no doubt that Negan was honest that he wants to be more to Alexandria than just a symbol of Rick's legacy. And he made some valid points about possessing special skills that could prove valuable.

Happy Camper - The Walking Dead Season 9 Episode 12

Say what you want about Negan, but he knows how to keep people in line, even if his methods were questionable during his run with the Saviors. Everything Alexandria built is slowly beginning to crumble, and ironically, Negan might be the only person to keep them all afloat.

You're keeping me in here to remind everybody how merciful "the great Rick Grimes" was, but I am tell you I can be so much more than that. I can help you.


Of course, Michonne scoffed and shot him down real quick, but considering that Judith made her come around on not assisting the Kingdom with the fair, it might not be long before Michonne re-considers Negan's proposal.

Especially when Alpha and the Whisperers inevitably retaliate.

What's In The Bag? - The Walking Dead Season 9 Episode 12

Was anyone else surprised to learn that Gabriel knew that Rosita's baby is, in fact, Siddiq's? I'm glad that wasn't dragged out with Rosita keeping it a secret.

Everything going on between Gabriel, Rosita, Eugene, and Siddiq was already getting a bit soap opera-ish, so thank goodness the baby drama was seemingly wrapped up and wasn't drawn out for episodes on end.

Awkward Moment - The Walking Dead Season 9 Episode 12

This was an enthralling episode that provided an in-depth look at Alpha and her merry band of skin-wearing misfits' way of life. And with only four episodes remaining, I'm looking forward to seeing where the remainder of the season takes us and what horrors await our survivors as Alpha will surely be out for blood.

Now it's your turn, TV Fanatics!

What did you think of "Guardians"? What will Alpha do once she realizes that Lydia has gotten taken again? Will Judith convince Michonne to trust Negan? Do you think Negan's skills be an asset to the communities?

Hit the comments below and let me know.

You always watch The Walking Dead online right here at TV Fanatic.

Guardians Review

Editor Rating: 4.8 / 5.0
  • 4.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.9 / 5.0 (17 Votes)

Steven Ford is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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The Walking Dead Season 9 Episode 12 Quotes

Siddiq: I know that you just want what's best for us. But what does it mean for Alexandria to survive if means that the Kingdom falls?
Michonne: It means Alexandria Survives.

Eyes open. Where there's one, there's more.