It is becoming a cliche for The Walking Dead to overuse the “hallucination” trope. But tonight, it was slightly different. More on the way of the classic Tyrese death episode on The Walking Dead.
“Splinter” is centered on The Princess’ mental state during her captivity inside of the train cart by The Commonwealth soldiers. She was separated from Eugene, Yumiko, and Ezekiel in different carts and she recounts her dark past while telling her story to Yumiko.
This episode has strong performances by Paola Lazaro and Khary Payton. Especially when they had the scene of Ezekiel beating down the soldier. But to find out it was actually Princess doing that is an interesting plot twist. When that happened, I had to rewatch the entire episode to pick out what was real, and what was not real and there are a few episodes of The Walking Dead that does that the way it is presented here.
The reason I said this, is because there were no signs of Princess’ hallucinations being present during the episode until the twist happened. The Princess barricaded her sadness since she meet the three and it came out while she was alone. That happens in real life and I give the writers of the episode credit for exploring this while also expanding on her comic book backstory.
There are some little details that I also liked too. From Ezekiel being with the two walkers that Princess designed before they first meet, to one of the soldiers name dropping mercer, and to the one walker saying “wait, come back to me” to Princess when she was leaving the gate area.
Whether if most of what Princess experienced really happened or not, it shows how PTSD can affect you during your lowest point of your life. Also, those Commonwealth soldiers are shown to be ruthless. But they are doing what the protocol is. I also felt that this episode had the most advancement of the plot over all of the other 10C episodes even though the ending was abrupt. Putting that ending on the past trailers was a bad decision. But I am looking forward to more of The Commonwealth in the next season.