In ‘The Walking Dead’ recap, Alpha and Beta’s origin story is revealed as the Whisperers welcome a new member of the hierarchy…
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
If there’s one thing that ‘The Walking Dead’ loves, it’s a good origin story.
The latest episode in season 10 titled ‘We Are the End of the World’ explores the backstory on how Alpha met Beta for the first time before recruiting him for the faction she would eventually create called The Whisperers.
The television version of The Whisperers is digging much deeper into the group than the version found in the comic books, which is giving the showrunner and writers a chance to add a little more depth to the characters versus making them seem like mindless killers.
Truth be told, the Whisperers were largely a mystery throughout their run on the comics and Alpha’s own story was never told beyond the relationship she shared with her daughter Lydia, who eventually left her in a similar way as the television series (the biggest difference in the comic was Carl helped to save Lydia versus Henry in the TV show version).
‘The Walking Dead’ TV series obviously wanted to give a bit more background to these characters, especially when it came to the twisted relationship between Alpha and Beta.
This episode also introduced the new character named Gamma (played by ‘American Beauty’ star Thora Birch) as she draws near to Alpha, which does not sit well with Beta whatsoever. In the comics there is no Gamma so this is completely new character created for the TV series and it seems somewhat possible that she’s standing in for Negan, who played a major part in the initial story with the Whisperers when they were first discovered.
As referenced a season ago, Negan’s redemption took quite some time in the comics because he was largely still the same brash, loudmouth braggart even after he was captured by Rick and the Survivors. He eventually breaks down at a much later time but Negan has already undergone that transformation (at least on the surface) on the TV series so it’s possible he’ll never get in deep with the Whisperers.
Maybe that is where Gamma comes in but only time will tell — and no further details from the comics out of fear that some of those stories may end up on ‘The Walking Dead’.
With that said, let’s get to our recap of the latest episode of ‘The Walking Dead’ titled ‘We Are the End of the World’…
We Are All Monsters
For the sake of clarity, the recap will follow chronological order, which starts with the origin of Alpha and Beta’s first meeting.
Seven years ago, Alpha and her daughter Lydia were surviving amongst the dead by covering themselves in blood and walker guts much like Rick did during the first season of ‘The Walking Dead’. Unfortunately, Lydia is still a kid so when she sees a person being torn apart and eaten by a group of walkers, she lets out a pained shriek, which alerts the zombies that there’s another dinner standing nearby.
Alpha is forced to kill several walkers in order to save her daughter as they both run away trying to avoid the group of zombies descending up on them. They finally reach a door to an unmarked building and find their way inside, leaving the dead behind them.
Inside, Alpha and Lydia are confronted by a giant man wearing a ski mask, who is carrying a machete. Alpha tells the mystery man that they are just seeking shelter away from the dead chasing them and the masked person answers back by telling them they have one night before he will force them to go.
Beta tells them not to venture past this hallway and he barks at Alpha when he hears her humming later that night because the only song he enjoys listening to are the sounds of the dead scratching and clawing away on the outside.
Alpha eventually gives her daughter a bath so she can wash the smell of the dead off her and that’s when they realized that they are standing in the middle of some kind of psychiatric facility because the room where Lydia is washing up has padded walls.
Later, Alpha hears some walkers roaming the halls and she goes out to clear them but she quickly gets overwhelmed, which brings Beta out of hiding as he arrives to help her kill the rest before she’s bitten. After killing the walkers, Alpha puts them to good use by cutting open their stomach, removing their entrails and putting piles upon piles of zombie guts into buckets that she will eventually use to cover herself and her daughter so they can walk with the dead.
Beta seems impressed by Alpha’s ingenuity and he even offers to help as he splits open a rib cage with his bare hands.
During the conversation as they cut up the dead, Alpha refers to him as ‘big man’ and then ‘Mr. B’ before finally settling on ‘B’ and she calls herself ‘A.’ The way Alpha sees it, the dead don’t have names and neither should they, which is why she never refers to herself by her given name and she never bothers to ask ‘B’ for his real name either.
She does attempt to get a peak beneath his ski mask, which forces B to lash out and tell her she has that night to sleep and then she must gather her daughter and leave this place.
Later that night while Alpha is sleeping, Lydia wakes up and decides she wants to emulate her mother after showing fear earlier that day. While Alpha had evolved to show no emotion towards the living or the dead, her daughter was still very much a child who even slept with a stuffed bunny at night.
This latest encounter where Lydia nearly got them killed by reacting to a person being eaten alive by walkers convinced her she needed to be more like her mother. So Lydia covers herself in walker guts and goes deeper into the facility where they are staying for the night. She wants to seek out the walkers so she can walk amongst them by herself, showing no fear of the dead.
When Alpha wakes up to find her daughter gone, she’s forced to go into Beta’s part of the building to look for her. As she searches, Alpha finds a bulletin board filled with photos including one that shows a man wearing a ‘Have a Happy Day’ shirt and a tall friend standing next to him with both of their faces scratched out. It appears this was a mental health facility that also worked with recovery — and it’s evident that the tall person in the photo is Beta and the person standing next to him was perhaps a doctor or sponsor or friend that he made while he was at the facility.
Either way, Alpha is surprised by a walker coming towards her and she kills it — at the same time Beta enters in horror to realize that she just killed his friend from the photo. Much like the Governor did with his dead daughter several seasons ago, Beta held onto his friend even after he had turned into a zombie and he was horrified to see Alpha kill him.
Just when it looks like Beta is going to striker her down, Lydia finds them both and tells the man that her mother was just trying to save him.
Alpha has a better way of life for all of them to walk amongst the dead, unattached to any emotion that will prevent them from surviving in this cold and dark new world. She then invites him to join her walking in the darkness but Beta can’t just leave his friend behind. Alpha tells him that he doesn’t need to leave him behind but rather he can carry his friend with him every, single day.
That’s when Beta carves off his friend’s face, which will eventually become the skin he wears over his own.
Alpha gets a look at Beta’s real face before covering him up again as he prepares to “honor” his friend by wearing his skin from now until forever. By cutting off his face, Beta has also severed ties to the last thing he cared about in this world because from that day forward he followed Alpha and her new world order.
The Alpha and Omega
Back in the present day, Beta is questioning Alpha’s plans for the Whisperers after they created the borders with the various communities in the area and the group has stayed far away from the survivors ever since. Many of the Whisperers who got a glimpse at the life that was built at the Hilltop and other communities has them starting to wonder if perhaps this isn’t a better way of living versus the pack mentality that drivers them.
Beta believes a show of force is the best way to stamp down any potential revolt but Alpha says now is not the time. Alpha tells him that she has already hurt them plenty by killing several members of the communities and then putting their heads on spikes and she was forced to carry out her own act of contrition by killing her daughter Lydia.
Now obviously, Alpha didn’t actually kill Lydia but rather she allowed her daughter to live but she’s been lying to Beta this entire time, which is why she doesn’t want to encounter the survivors again because it would reveal to the Whisperers that she allowed emotion to affect her decision making.
Rather than allowing him to plot an attack, Alpha orders Beta to gather more ‘guardians’ for the herd as they continue to build their army of the dead.
The sisters — one of them is the girl who left her baby behind at the Hilltop a season ago — leave with Beta to begin gathering new “guardians” to join the herd. Along the way, one of the sisters breaks down crying as she mourns for the loss of her baby, which forces Beta to strike down several walkers who are meant to protect them.
After returning to the camp, Beta prepares to punish the sister by killing her in front of the group but instead Alpha spares her and tells her No. 2 to bring the girl to the ‘deeper place’.
It appears the ‘deeper place’ is a nearby cave where Alpha meets with the girl as she weeps over the loss of her child. Alpha decides to spare her — perhaps out of some sense of emotion because she gave up Lydia just the same — and when they return to the rest of the Whisperers, the girl promises that she has given up all feelings about her child and she is recommitted to the group.
The next day as Alpha roams amongst the walkers along with Beta and the sisters, the girl once again breaks down after spotting a zombie with a baby carrier strapped to its chest. The girl is immediately grief striken as she’s reminded how Alpha essentially handed over her baby to a group of strangers.
The girl runs and attacks Alpha, which alerts all of the nearby zombies that there are living people to eat. As the zombies begin approaching them, Beta is too far away to get to Alpha but thankfully the grieving girl’s sister intervenes by grabbing her sibling off Alpha’s back and tossing her to the ground, which allows the zombies to descend on her, tearing flesh from bone as she’s slaughtered in matter of seconds.
Back at camp, Alpha rewards the sister who survived because she showed her true commitment to the Whisperers by killing her own sibling for the betterment of the group. She showed no emotion, just as she’s been instructed, and she was willing to sacrifice her sister because that’s what needed to be done.
Alpha then anoints her as ‘Gamma’ — the latest member of the Whisperer hierarchy.
None of this sits well with Beta, who has been Alpha’s No. 2 ever since they first met seven years ago and it’s largely been just the two of them leading this group ever since. Now Beta is battling for attention because Alpha has chosen Gamma as another of her favorites.
Later, Beta goes looking for Alpha but she’s nowhere to be found at camp but one of the members tells him the direction she was heading when she left. When Beta finally catches up to Alpha, he finds that she has built some kind of shrine to her daughter Lydia — complete with that stuffed bunny that used to comfort her as a child.
Alpha finally confesses that she didn’t kill Lydia and that’s why she won’t allow the group to move back towards a fight with the communities because there’s a chance the Whisperers will find out about her deception. Alpha has been struggling alone with her own emotions as she mourns the loss of her daughter, who no longer wanted to be part of the group.
Alpha then lashes out by destroying the entire shrine she built to her daughter in a moment of weakness and Beta decides to keep this secret from the rest of the group. Alpha may have shown emotion because her daughter was gone but Beta refuses to punish her for it.
Instead, they recommit to each other and the larger cause of the Whisperers.
Earlier that day, the Whisperers saw the satellite that fell from the sky and Beta mentions to Alpha that there is smoke coming from the forest now. He believes the survivors have crossed over the boundaries set forth by the Whisperers when they called a truce in a potential war and Alpha decides it’s time to punish them for their misdeeds.
She then travels through the woods towards the smoke and when she emerges from the forest, Alpha locks eyes with Carol, who is standing on the ravine above her. That was the scene we saw at the close of ‘The Walking Dead’ debut episode last week as Carol was far beyond the borders, which meant she was standing in Whisperer territory.
Now Alpha has all the ammunition she needs to exact revenge by sending her horde towards the communities with plans to punish them for breaking the rules of their cease fire. Alpha is putting the loss of her daughter behind her — and she plans on making the survivors pay for it.
‘The Walking Dead’ returns next Sunday night at 10 p.m. ET on AMC but you can check out a pair of preview videos below: