(Major spoilers ahead for the November 17 episode of “The Walking Dead” on AMC)
The mid-season finale of “The Walking Dead” is just a few days away now, and things are starting to get very serious as the truce between the communities and the Whisperers has become increasingly strained. War is coming. We just don’t know when. But with the way the situation continues to escalate, it’s hard to imagine the truce holding up much longer.
In the comic book version of “The Walking Dead,” the transition from peace with the Whisperers to all-out war was a simple one, but the dynamic is much more complicated on the show. In the books, as I wrote about last week’s episode, the communities were basically ignored by the Whisperers during the peacetime. The peace was only broken when the escaped Negan wandered into the Whisperers camp, joined up, and eventually murdered Alpha (Samantha Morton).
On the show, Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) has joined up with the Whisperers and might pull the same move that his character did in the comics, but there are far more variables at play in this version of the story. Gamma (Thora Birch) is a big one, certainly, as the Whisperer third-in-command was having a bit of a crisis of conscience in general that was extremely exacerbated when she found out that Lydia is still alive. Who knows what she’s going to do next?
But an even bigger variable right this minute is Dante (Juan Javier Cardenas). At the end of this week’s episode, a generally traumatized and physically ill Siddiq (Avi Nash) started to put the pieces together about why so many residents of Alexandria were getting sick. He realized that really the only thing all the sick folks have in common, aside from all living in the same town, is that they all drink from the same water supply. And thanks to a water purification system that sure seems easy to accidentally screw up without anyone noticing, it appears the problem is just that everybody is drinking bad water.
But Siddiq didn’t know why or how that happened. Until the very end of the episode, when one of his PTSD flashbacks to Alpha’s brutal massacre from last season popped up again and he realized that Dante had been there too — as the Whisperer who had held his eyes open to force him to witness the carnage and tell the others what he had seen.
So, yeah, Dante is a Whisperer spy, and the episode ends with him apparently killing Siddiq. Though to be clear, while Dante certainly choked him out we don’t know if Siddiq is actually dead or if he’s just unconscious.
Either way, Dante is a pretty major wild card right now. He’s a character with no comic book equivalent, just like Gamma, and in the books the Whisperers did not have a spy in Alexandria sneakily sabotaging them from the inside like this. So we can’t look to the comics to figure out what this development means or what’s going to happen with Dante next.
But I maintain what I wrote last week — I think that the peace between Alexandria and the Whisperers will finally break down in the mid-season finale. That’s next week! I don’t know if the breaking point will be Negan murdering Alpha or whatever Gamma and/or Lydia after they each run off into the darkness, or if Carol and Daryl and the others will find out Dante’s identity and initiate war themselves.
Whatever it is, we’ll probably find out in a week.