Carol (Melissa McBride) and Daryl (Norman Reedus) set out on a dangerous mission in The Walking Dead 10x06, “Bonds.” In the opening minutes of the episode, Carol claims to head out and perform another search for the fugitive Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), freshly escaped from jail with the help of a currently unknown accomplice. When Daryl asks if Carol suspects Negan crossed into the border marking Whisperer territory claimed by Alpha (Samantha Morton), she says Negan knows the Alexandrians couldn’t trespass to retrieve him. Carol picks a stakeout spot, pushing Daryl to ask what they’re really doing out in the woods.
“Alpha’s horde,” Carol admits, referencing the thousands of walkers shepherded by Alpha and the Whisperers that were once corralled in a canyon. “We’re gonna find it, and we’re gonna destroy it.” Daryl will admit later their mission is a risky one: if they mess this up, everyone is paying for it.
Daryl and Alexandria leader Michonne (Danai Gurira) are begrudgingly abiding by the laws Alpha has imposed on the community. It’s a delicate tightrope act for Daryl and Michonne, both wanting to keep the peace in the name of keeping their people safe, but Carol is hellbent on winning her revenge against Alpha for the murder of son Henry (Matt Lintz).
“It’s funny because everybody always talks about Carol as a badass. But I never really see Carol that way,” TWD director and producer Greg Nicotero previously told EW. “I always see Carol as a woman who is relentless, and resourceful, and she does what she needs to do. But she’s filled with emotion and she’s a woman who doesn’t know how to deal with her emotion.”
The Season 10 opener revealed Carol spent months away on the ocean as a sea dog, where she “really wasn’t out for vengeance,” Nicotero noted, saying instead Carol was “just dealing with her grief” and doing it in “a very constructive way.”
But when Carol and Alpha set eyes upon each other again for the first time since Henry’s death, it reignited Carol’s lust for vengeance and pushed her towards risky and self-destructive behaviors.
“I love that scene between the two of them because it’s the calm before the storm. As soon as she lays eyes on Alpha at the end, you know all of that is gone … She doesn’t want to go there,” Nicotero said. “And she was completely fine not going there until she lays eyes on Alpha. And then it’s like, ‘Well, now I got to go there.’”