Walking Dead S10E20 ‘Splinter’ Breakdown!

Princess is officially certifiable, and I am here for it. I have read a lot about people thinking this episode was boring, but honestly, I loved it. I thought it was good character development for Princess. I am fairly sure this was going to be one of the episodes that was bumped up from next season while last week’s episode was newly written episode just for this extension.

Surrounded and Separated

In episode 16 which would have been the season finale, Eugene along with Yumiko and Ezekiel headed out to meet with Stephanie. Stephanie is a woman from an unknown community that Eugene thinks could help them with their Whisperer war and rebuilding. They do not know at this point that the war is over, but the communities do desperately need help rebuilding.

Along the way they encountered Princess who was at best eccentric. After an episode of her giving them the run around because she didn’t want to be a lone again, they invited her along for the ride. When they finally made it to the meet up late, they thought all hope was lost. However, that was just the beginning. Stephanie’s community was still there and surrounded out group. If you are a comic reader than you know that this community is commonwealth and a major part of what is to come for the show.

In the opening scene of this episode the four are quickly bound and separated into train cars with the primary focus of this episode on Princess and developing her character. While this episode may have been planned for season 11, I do think it was altered to include less people because of Covid, but I am not complaining. Like I mentioned, I think this was fantastic development for Princess.

Splinter

Right away it becomes apparent that Princess does not handle small and dark places well with her counting steps and reciting the state capitals. She is concerned for Yumiko who was hit over the head during the encounter and seems to be in the car next to her. Princess using her fingers pries away some wood to talk with Yumiko giving her that splinter. This prompts a story about a time she got a splinter. In this story from Princess, we learn more about her past. To sum it up her dad left, her mom remarried, her stepdad was abusive, and her mom allowed it. After some time, some guards come in and take Yumiko leaving Princess completely alone.

The next morning Princess finds a way to escape and finds Eugene who tells her to go back in her car that she is going to mess this up for them. This is probably just a routine way to bring in new people and they need to play the game. After getting back in the car the guards come for her. They give her a shower, check her for bites (still creepy), and interview here. Princess is worried that she is going to say something that prevents the others from getting help or would leave them vulnerable to these people, so she opts to not say anything. This lands her a pretty hard hit across the face and back in the car.

Escape Plan

Back in the car before too long she gets a visit from Ezekiel who is attempting to escape himself but cannot find the others. She repeats the conversation she had with Eugene to Ezekiel, but Ezekiel thinks that these people are unknown and therefore should not be trusted.

When a guard brings in her food this becomes an opportunity with Ezekiel knocking the guard down and cuffing him. He tells them that the community he is from is a good community and that these are all just protocols in order to make sure their people are safe. He confirms that Yumiko is with the medic but can’t really give more than that because he is just a grunt and doesn’t know anything.

However, when this guard attempts to escape by hitting Princess Ezekiel goes crazy on him…. Well… except Ezekiel was never there. This was ALL made up in Princess’s mind with the exception of the shower scene and the guard coming in with the food. Her interaction with Yumiko, Eugene, and Ezekiel was all her way of coping with this situation. Panicked she decides that she is going to leave, but as she goes to escape, she once again sees Ezekiel. This too is part of her imagination with him attempting to convince her to go while she decides that she should stay. That these people can be her friends. When she walks away and back to the train car, we see that the walkers were real and chained together, likely to keep prisoners in.

Once back in the train car she talks with the guard. She admits that she has ADHD, anxiety, depression, PTSD which may cause her to be difficult sometimes. She uncuffs the guard and wants to work out a way to fix things for her new friends but this guard isn’t sure that is possible. So, in a sign of good faith she answers the questions she was asked earlier. She doesn’t know where Yumiko, Eugene, and Ezekiel are from and she only found them in Pittsburg. They got here by bikes and then walking. This information isn’t much but as soon as she spills the guard knocks on the wall and confirms that he ‘Got her’. The train car opens where Ezekiel, Yumiko, and Eugene are all bagged and waiting as she is then bagged as well.

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