One of the vital entertaining components of The Walking Dead has all the time been its dangerous guys. As soon as the preliminary thrills of zombies had been gone, the present has pitted its heroes towards jerks, thugs, the Governor, the cannibals of Terminus, the Wolves, Negan and the Saviors, and the Whisperers. Though Negan’s group was an anomaly, the villains have gotten steadily extra unstable over time, and I’m delighted to say the Reapers have adopted in that proud(?) custom.
Actually, I’m delighted! Whereas it first appeared that the Reapers had been nothing greater than alpha male killers pretending they’re in their very own real-life Call of Duty sport, they’ve received much more happening. Episode 4 of season 11, titled “Rendition,” additionally works properly as a result of it’s a Daryl (Norman Reedus) solo episode, which implies the story is extra centered than regular and stars a personality we unequivocally look after. It begins with the Reaper assault we noticed on the finish of the season’s second episode. Daryl scatters like Maggie, Negan, and the others, and will get chased by a lone Reaper. Finally the 2 struggle, Canine will get injured, and Daryl will get separated from him. The subsequent day, he tracks them each down, and is shocked to see Canine sitting subsequent to the Reaper and not using a care on the earth—and he received’t come, even when Daryl calls him. Then the Reaper takes off their masks and we notice why: It’s Leah (Lynn Collins), the particular person he lived with for almost a yr, the girl he almost gave up Alexandria for, and Canine’s first proprietor, as seen within the season 10 Daryl and Carol flashback episode, “Find Me.”
Yep, Leah’s a Reaper, and she or he’s not alone. They seize Daryl, and it seems Leah’s miffed sufficient at him—who initially selected Alexandria over Leah regardless of their relationship, solely to rapidly change his thoughts, return to their cabin, and discover her gone—to permit him to be repeatedly waterboarded for details about the folks he had been seen with. He sticks to his story that he had solely been with the group per week, and he didn’t know or care something about them. Leah nonetheless has sufficient affection for him to purchase it, ultimately.
Sadly, one of many Reapers who was wounded of their assault on Maggie’s group dies and the villains are genuinely upset that one in all their comrade-in-arms has been killed. That’s our first new clue that they’ve a number of screws unfastened as a result of in the event that they don’t need their folks killed perhaps they shouldn’t hunt down folks and begin taking pictures weapons at them unprovoked. The second clue is the Reapers have a priest who’s talking in tongues over the corpse. The third is Pope (Ritchie Coster), the mustachioed commander of the group, who reacts to the demise by saying this: “God is right here. He’s indignant. I’m indignant. Go make them really feel our wrath.” Yep, the Reapers are an elite navy unit-cum-religious cult (though it stays to be seen how most of the squad are true believers), however we’ll get to that in a second.
Leah tries to persuade Pope that Daryl is an ideal match to affix the Reapers (so far as she is aware of) however he responds that Daryl is merely “making an attempt to get in her pants” which is hilarious if 1) you already know Daryl and a couple of) do not forget that romantic reunion started with torture. Finally, Leah convinces Pope to let him be part of, which is after all why the Reapers lock each Daryl and Leah in a shed and set it on fireplace. When Daryl saves them from a very blazing inferno by prying the slats off a window, Pope welcomes him with open arms—not solely has Daryl confirmed he received’t go away a sister-in-arms behind, now he’s been “baptized by fireplace.” And that’s once we be taught the savage, dopey origin of the Reapers.
Due to “Discover Me,” we knew Leah had served within the navy, and met up along with her squad after the useless rose. They ultimately received separated, throughout which era Leah and Daryl spent their yr collectively. However after he left, she was capable of reunite along with her comrades and get again to carrying cranium masks and killing folks. Submit-fire baptism, the commander shares a drink with the latest member of the Reapers and explains their historical past in additional element, and the quotes right here come straight from Pope:
- Previous to the apocalypse, they served as troopers in Afghanistan the place they did horrible issues. “We noticed God in every single place. He was within the blood, and the horror, and demise.”
- Then they fashioned a mercenary firm and did extra horrible issues in Afghanistan, however had been paid higher for it. “We did all of the ugly, soiled work nobody else needed to do.”
- When the zombie apocalypse began, they had been employed to struggle again within the States—presumably towards zombies and the numerous dwelling individuals who had been shedding their shit over it. “The actual soiled work began after the Fall.”
- At some point, “God got here.” Apparently, the more and more panicked authorities simply began dropping a ton of bombs on locations, and Pope implies that at one level they had been deliberately dropped on the squad.
- That included someplace the mercs had been. They holed up in a church, and regardless of all of the destruction raging throughout them, all of them emerged and not using a scratch. “And that’s after I knew we had been the Chosen Ones.”
Each group of nogoodniks the collection’ protagonists have confronted has been a cult of 1 type or one other, as a result of they’ve all drawn folks into believing their absurd practices (or made them too scared to disobey), whether or not it’s cannibalism or carrying masks product of rotting human flesh and strolling round with zombies. Negan and Alpha actually led cults of persona. However Pope and the Reapers are the primary non secular cult we’ve seen in The Strolling Useless, which is type of stunning given the… apocalyptic-ness of the zombie apocalypse.
After all, what makes the Reapers so Strolling Useless-appropriate is that their chief appears to consider they’re on a divine mission from God to put on douchy Halloween-bro masks and homicide everybody they see—due to course they do. What makes them even extra Strolling Useless is that the Reapers care a lot about their comrades that their before everything tenet is to all the time have one another’s backs, and by no means abandon one another. That is why on the finish of the episode, Pope celebrates one of many Reapers for carrying his fallen compatriot 10 miles again to their encampment. Then he throws that very same Reaper right into a blazing bonfire as a result of all of his battle wounds are on his again, which Pope decides means he deserted his fellow squadmate first and lugged his corpse round later.
That’s a wild leap, particularly provided that the Reapers attacked Maggie’s group from all instructions and all of them had their backs uncovered to 1 enemy or one other, and it’s even wilder as a result of, once more, the Reapers went out of their option to begin the struggle within the first place. However I suppose folks don’t get to guide holy crusades of homicide by having an overabundance of widespread sense—which is why it’s so humorous that these purportedly sane folks have chosen to comply with somebody who would possibly set them on fireplace for God’s glory or some such nonsense at any given second.
I doubt The Strolling Useless will outline the Reapers’ non secular affiliations past them being on a mission from “God.” I’m far more frightened about how dangerous the idea of the Reapers may break if the present isn’t cautious with it, as a result of harmful non secular zealots are a really actual factor in our world, and the present completely doesn’t have the capability to deal with any of that with any quantity of tact, grace, or subtlety. However for now, they’re merely The Strolling Useless’s latest group of murderous idiots, and I’m going to attempt to take pleasure in them so long as I can… Amen.
- One other member of Maggie’s group will get captured by the Reapers and put in a cell subsequent to Daryl’s. Daryl has to inform the man to close up, then outlines the complete story he’s instructed the Reapers so this dude doesn’t contradict it. It’s hilariously heavy-handed.
- When Daryl lastly has to fess one thing concerning the group he was with to assist Leah persuade Pope of his worthiness, he says their chief was a lady and a “tall, skinny man who by no means shuts up.” I believed Jeffrey Dean Morgan had been wanting extra-thin this season. He’s no much less good-looking, after all.
- I remorse that Pope and Samantha Morton’s Alpha received’t be capable of share a display collectively, simply to listen to their extremely nation drawls battle to the demise.
- Daryl’s flat stare at Leah on the episode’s finish completely sums all of it up. The corpse is within the fireplace, Pope’s yelling about God, and Daryl’s expression to her is, “Actually? This is the dipshit you’ve determined to comply with?”
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