AMC’s The Walking Dead
Season 10, Episode 2: “We Are the End of the World”
Directed by Greg Nicotero
Written by Nicole Mirante-Matthews
* For a recap & review of the Season 10 premiere, “Lines We Cross” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Ghosts” – click here
7 years ago a woman woke up after being knocked out when her vehicle crashed. She found zombies lurching towards her. She wound up eaten. Amongst the crowd of undead were Alpha and her daughter, pretending to be walkers themselves. Until young Lydia made noise, drawing attention. This sent Alpha rushing to find a way off the streets. She got them inside, then chastised her daughter for nearly getting them “killed again.” That’s when they ran into a man wearing a mask.
Was that man the same who’d become Beta? Sounds like it.
The man allowed Alpha “one night” to stay in the building, in that corridor. Lydia wondered if he was a monster. Perfectly cut to the present, as those creepy death masks the group wear are decidedly monstrous. Beta leads a group of Whisperers, including a pair of sisters whom Alpha believes are good resources. One of the girls is acting beyond strange, and the other worries. They’ve got a troubled relationship obviously.
“We‘re all monsters now“
Years ago, Alpha and Beta got to talking about names. She preferred not to go by names anymore, to know people on a “primal level.” He told her he liked “the sound of the dead.” Creepy dude. No wonder he fits right in with the post-zombie apocalypse. Terrifying to see him in current day making zombie calls. The scariest part is he’s totally unafraid to be in the middle of a horde. The Whisperers all move around this way, but he’s so perfectly at peace as one of the dead.
The one sister starts to weep, causing zombies to nearly chomp her. Beta stops them. He wants to have her killed as punishment. He’s stopped by Alpha, whose feelings for Lydia put the two at odds. Their connection is a deep one since they first met in that hallway. Back then, little Lydia expressed the desire to be like her mother, making Alpha happy— yet mom was always threatening to leave her behind, going so far as to shun the title of mother early on.
Now, the sister is called to “the Deeper Place.” There she has to kneel in front of Alpha with her mask off, revealing her face. The leader almost seems ready to kill the girl, which is what everyone else expects, too. So when she comes back out with her mask on everyone’s surprised. She tells her sister she’ll “never stray again.” Alpha and Beta remain at each other’s throats. The pack are already talking about “the life” they witnessed back at the survivors’ camp. Beta doesn’t want anyone to stray.
In that building years ago, Alpha and Beta did some zombie killing together clearing out a hallway of walkers. “I like killing with you,” she told him. She started gutting a walker to help “become them,” and he showed off his strength by opening the rib cage with his bare hands. She gave them simple names: A and B. Went well with her simple worldview. Back then, he did not want to be around anybody living. That didn’t stop her.
We’re seeing the current day moments right before what happens in the latter part of the Season 10 premiere. The satellite explodes in the sky above everyone and the walker hordes being led across the field become confused. This gives the one sister enough time to go absolutely wild, thinking only of the baby given up to the zombies a while ago. She attacks Alpha, jumping on her back screaming. The other sister helps save Alpha, hauling her out of swarming zombies to let her own sister be eaten. This earns her trust and recognition. Beta’s pissed about the mayhem, whereas Alpha sees “clarity among the chaos.” She likes the young woman who saved her, and she names her Gamma.
Looks like big Beta might just be getting jealous.
Years ago in that building, Lydia went off on her own. This had Alpha worried. She wound up getting a glimpse of Beta’s inner life— such as a bunch of pictures with their faces scratched out, like a serial killer might keep. He found her there and got angry. This is paralleled with him finding her at a place where she’s essentially built a wooded shrine for her daughter. Because, unlike him, she can’t actually totally sever herself from the world of the living, not when it comes to Lydia. She doesn’t want the pack to find out Lydia’s still alive. Beta agrees to keep her secret. Then Alpha goes nuts, destroying the place similar to the way Beta nearly tore the place apart all those years ago after his brother(?)— a zombie— got put down by her. Ironically, compared to the way he feels now, it was Lydia who stopped the madness then. “She‘s trying to save you,” the girl told him. And we see Beta wears the face of his brother(?), too.
“Walk with me in the darkness”
A dark episode. Perfect story for The Walking Dead to tell right now at this juncture. We had to start seeing the origins of the Whisperers. Perfectly ends at the moment from the first episode, where Alpha looks up to see Carol across the divide.
“Ghosts” is next time.