In ‘The Walking Dead’ recap, as Hilltop burns to the ground, the survivors flee to try and find safety and Alpha seeks out her greatest prize of all…
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
The build-up to the Whisperer War has been coming for sometime now but “The Walking Dead” has been moving at breakneck speed these past two episodes.
In fact it could be easily argued that the series has hit an all-time high the last two weeks with the focus set on the Whisperers finally launching an attack on Hilltop and the survivors literally fighting for their lives.
Alpha finally launched her ultimate weapon at Hilltop with a horde of zombies storming through the gates and the numbers were so great that no defensive force could dare stop them. The situation was made even more dire after vats of pine tree sap were launched at the community and set on fire.
As the flames grew higher and higher, Daryl and the rest of the members of the Hilltop community soon realized that this was not a fight they could win — they could only hope to survive.
The latest episode continued that battle with an even bigger body count as several key characters didn’t make it to the final credits. There was even a long teased twist that finally unraveled and while many comic book readers probably saw this coming, it was still a stunning moment to witness as we draw nearer to the final episodes of season 10.
With that said, let’s get to our recap of the latest episode of “The Walking Dead” titled “Walk With Us”…
The fire all around, Daryl, Carol and the rest of the survivors try to fight back the horde of zombies coming after them but this is one battle they cannot win. Even as Lydia tries her best to stop her mother’s plans from coming to fruition, she is warned to escape while she still can because finding her is all Alpha really wants.
The only shining light amidst the chaos is when Yumiko spots Magda covered in blood, walking towards the fences. It seems she was able to survive the cave in and Magda has managed to make her way home, hidden in the middle of Alpha’s horde.
The survivors know the battle is lost as desperation begins washing over them. Eugene is tormented by the fact that his radio tower will soon be ash and Carol can’t help but be horrified as she cuts down a few walkers with her arrows only to see hundreds more coming straight at them.
Finally when it’s clear that there will be no saving Hilltop, the survivors begin to scatter out into every direction with plans to meet at a rendezvous point away from Alpha’s horde.
The next morning once the fires are out, Alpha begins surveying the damage and Beta reports back that Lydia is still alive rather than walking among the dead. He promises to bring her daughter back while Negan is still at her side as he brandishes his beloved Lucille again to kill whatever isn’t already dead.
Beta is territorial around Alpha, which is why he sends Negan packing to gather more of their “guardians” while he begins to search for Lydia.
As Negan wanders through the woods killing more walkers than he spares, he spots Lydia rushing through the woods in the aftermath of Hilltop falling. He gives chase but instead of finding Lydia, Negan runs across Aaron, who is dragging Luke to safety after he was knocked out during the fight.
Negan tries to explain himself but Aaron wants to hear none of it.
Just as Aaron is about to exact revenge on Negan for his betrayal, a group of zombies begin drawing near and he has no choice but to abandon his personal grudge and save Luke’s life. Negan scampers away and that’s when he finally encounters Lydia, who is happy to see him at first until she spots the skin mask in his hand.
She tries to run but Negan captures her as he prepares to deliver on the promises that he’s made.
As the survivors scatter in every direction, all headed for a rendezvous point, each group encounters different obstacles.
Carol, Eugene, Yumiko and Magda escaped together as they begin the long walk to the meeting point with the rest of the groups. Magda explains to Yumiko how she and Connie made their way down into Alpha’s horde, covered in zombie blood and guts, as they sought to escape the caves in the middle of all the zombies.
Sadly in the midst of all those hundreds of thousands of zombies, Magda lost touch with Connie’s hand and they never found each other again. In her rage after finding out that it was Carol who set off the dynamite that ultimately caused the cave in, Yumiko is angered beyond words.
Yumiko ends up punching Carol for her decision to sacrifice two people as she sought to extinguish Alpha’s greatest weapon.
As for Eugene, he’s sputtering words trying to form sentences after realizing that the radio he used to contact Stephanie has been burned to the ground. Carol offers him some friendly advice that if this meeting is so important, he should probably leave right away to get there on time.
Eugene realizes how much Stephanie means to him and this may be his only chance to connect with her now that the radio is toast. So Eugene prepares to set out for West Virginia in hopes that Stephanie will still be there to meet him in less than one week’s time.
Elsewhere, Daryl, Jerry, Rosita and a bigger group of the survivors rush to the rendezvous point, which is where Ezekiel was supposed to be waiting for them with all of the children from Hilltop. When they arrive, Daryl is stunned to see only a zombie roaming around outside and the children are nowhere to be found.
Daryl and Jerry form a search party to begin looking for the children and then end up back at the ruins of what was once the Hilltop community. There they find Ezekiel buried under a pile of rubble — beaten up but still very much alive. Once he regains his consciousness, Ezekiel tells them that Earl escaped with the children.
It seems in the wake of the fire and the ongoing battle with the horde, Earl was tasked with getting all the kids to safety and he took them to a nearby cabin. The children are all OK but Earl himself is not doing very well.
During the melee, Earl was bitten and he’s counting down the minutes until he expires and turns into one of the walking dead. To prevent this from happening, Earl drives a metal spike into a table where he plans to drive his own head to prevent the transformation. When Judith finds him, she knows that he’s been bitten and so she offers to stay with him until it’s done so he’s not alone.
Finally when the time comes, Earl slams his head into the spike but his aim isn’t true because he reanimates a few moments later. Thankfully Judith is there to put him down with one last stab of her sword.
When Daryl, Jerry and Ezekiel finally arrive, they find the children safe and sound but Judith is sat in a corner still trying to reconcile with killing Earl. Daryl sits down with the little ass kicker to console her as she faces the mortality that comes along with this brutal war.
And finally the last group making their way out of Hilltop are Alden, Kelly and Mary (Gamma) along with baby Adam. Along the way, Mary is finally able to hold her nephew again after the baby starts crying and she offers Alden a way to comfort him. The family reunion is cut short when Mary realizes that the Whisperers are drawing near and they all need to escape in great haste.
The group makes it to an abandoned van and after putting Alden, Kelly and the baby inside, Mary shuts the door and runs screaming in the other direction to get the attention of the zombies. She eventually brings the zombies to a clearing where Mary is able to put each and every one of of them down.
Just when Mary breathes a sigh of relief, she turns and a knife is shoved into her belly as she stares up at the cold, almost dead eyes of Beta looking down at her. She struggles for a moment as Beta tells her how she will finally walk amongst the dead and then he puts his blade deep into her abdomen as Mary begins to bleed out.
As she falls to the ground, Mary pulls a piece of Beta’s skin mask with her as part of his face is revealed for the first time. When another member of the Whisperers comes along, he recognizes Beta from his former life before the zombie apocalypse broke out.
“It’s you. Your voice sounded familiar but…”
Before the man can finish speaking, Beta cuts him down.
In the comics, Beta’s true identity was never fully revealed but it was later discovered that he was a famous basketball player, who transformed into this human killing machine after the walkers began roaming the Earth. It’s not clear if that same origin story will be attached to this version of Beta but obviously it sounds like the man underneath that mask is somebody recognizable to more than just the Whisperers.
As for Mary, she finally begins to re-animate with Beta standing nearby just waiting to bring her back to Alpha as a trophy for her betrayal. Just as she starts to rise, an arrow goes through her head and Beta is forced to flee into the woods.
The person holding the bow is Alden, who mercifully put Mary down before she was forced to walk amongst Alpha’s horde.
The Alpha and the Omega
When Negan returns to the Whisperer camp, he tells Alpha that he finally has what she’s been searching for this entire time.
He brings into the woods as they walk towards a cabin where she believes Lydia will be there waiting for her. Alpha intends on killing her daughter and adding Lydia to the horde so she can walk with the dead.
Along the way, Negan tells Alpha the story about his wife passing away from pancreatic cancer and the horror that came along with watching someone he loved fade away. Following her death, Negan was numb to the world and it made him the perfect weapon during an apocalypse where he was constantly surrounded by death and decay. He became the thing that killed someone he loved.
“Me, I am dead to this world but you, see you are pretending. You think that it makes you strong to say that emotions aren’t real. That we are animals. That is bullshit and you know it and know you claim you have to kill your own daughter, your own flesh and blood.”
Alpha disagrees and she tells him that his wife died because that was the natural order of things. And now she plans on helping Lydia meet her own destiny in death.
When they finally reach the cabin, Alpha is prepared to put her daughter down but when she opens the door, she finds nothing inside. Lydia was stashed in a different cabin and when she finally breaks loose of the binds holding her to a chair, she opens a door and finds nothing but a field awaiting her outside.
As soon as Alpha realizes that Lydia was not in the cabin, she turns to face Negan, who draws his knife and slits her throat wide open. He quietly lays her down as Alpha bleeds out and the matriarch of the Whisperers is no more.
A few moments later, a bloody bag delivers Alpha’s severed head right to Carol’s feet as the mouth is still moving. Carol stares down in satisfaction as Alpha has suffered the same fate as her son Henry.
Carol then looks up at Negan, who has a smirk on his face and that’s when she says …
“Took you long enough”
It seems Negan leaving Alexandria and then joining the Whisperers was all part of an elaborate plan hatched by Carol to finally avenge Henry’s death. Obviously there’s a lot more that needs to be explained about how this all came together but Carol has always been a master strategist and it appears she kept everybody in the dark when it came time to orchestrate Alpha’s assassination.
Now the leader of the Whisperers has been killed and that leaves only Beta to lead the group but as Negan noted earlier in the episode — he’s no Alpha.
The Whisperer War will continue in the final few episodes of “The Walking Dead” season 10 but next week will feature Michonne’s return as we discover what happened to her after she left on a boat in hopes of finding supplies that will help the survivors silence the Whisperers for good.
“The Walking Dead” returns with a brand new episode next Sunday night at 9p.m. ET on AMC.