(Spoilers ahead for “The Walking Dead” on AMC through the episode that aired Feb. 23)
It’s taken a while, but it looks like our heroes on “The Walking Dead” are about to go to war again. With the location of the Whisperer horde revealed and active fighting going on, it’s only a matter of time until a big battle goes down.
And with Negan ending this week’s episode as, unless Alpha (Samantha Morton) is pulling some kind of trick, a full-on trusted member of the Whisperers, things are about to get crazy in a hurry. If the show does with Negan what the comics did at this point in the Whisperers storyline, that is, which is not guaranteed. We’ve already got a major wild card this season in the form of Gamma (Thora Birch), who is a major Whisperers character who has no comics equivalent — so we have no idea what part she’ll play in all this.
The mid-season premiere episode this week certainly gave us a deviation from how Negan and Alpha’s relationship went in the comics. In this episode, Negan continued to work to ingratiate himself with the Whisperers, point out to Alpha that Gamma seems like she might be trouble. Alpha isn’t buying it then, but she changes her tune when Beta (Ryan Hurst) reports that Gamma has gone missing.
So in their final scene of the episode, Beta takes Negan out in the woods and makes him get naked. Negan thinks she’s about to kill him, but instead she thanks him for his insight about Gamma and wants to show her appreciation for having the balls to speak up. By having sex with him in the middle of the woods. While wearing her zombie mask.
This scene is not from the comics, but the sentiment Alpha expresses is.
So here’s the part where I talk about the potential spoilers. If you have somehow read this far even though you don’t wanna know how this situation plays out in the comics, you should bail right now.
And as those who read the comics will know, Alpha was not long for the world after she tells Negan that he has earned her trust. In the books, it’s not long after this that Negan cuts off her head.
So in the comics, Negan starts having chats with Alpha, and they have some philosophical discussions about life and their respective approaches to leadership and whatnot — “discussions” is probably not the right word, given how condescending both Alpha and Negan are. But you get what I mean.
During one of these intense philosophical discussions, Negan abruptly cuts Alpha’s throat and tells her corpse that he never actually wanted to be a Whisperer anyway. And then sneaks out of the camp with her head.
Beta finds the corpse later, and her death means he’s in charge of the horde now. And in a fit of rage, he sends it at the communities, and the war begins for real. And this war is the final act for the story of the Whisperers.
But like I said before, it’s entirely possible that things won’t play out this way. After all, Beta wouldn’t need Alpha’s death to rationalize the rush to war — they’re already heading to war right now. And, honestly, Samantha Morton is the best actor this show has ever had, and it would feel like kind of a shame for her to go out like a chump like that.
And really “The Walking Dead” has been so far off book the last couple seasons that it would almost be surprising if they did follow the comics in this. Hardly anybody dies when they’re supposed to anymore. So we’ll see.