For those who thought their mom was hard to live with – you haven’t seen anything yet.
Though she may be relatively unknown to non-comic fans, The Walking Dead’s new antagonist got a lot more characterization in episode #11 of season 9. Warning – spoilers ahead.
At the conclusion of the previous episode, Alpha and the Whisperers came to the gate of Hilltop to demand Alpha’s daughter, Lydia, be returned to them. The ante was upped when Daryl found out she had taken Alden and Luke hostage. Trading two for one seemed like a good deal, but after Daryl saw the bruises on Lydia from her mother, he was understandably skeptical.
After threatening to put down the Whisperers by force if necessary, Daryl was surprised to find they had a baby with them. Alpha simply dismissed it as they were animals, animals have babies, and so they had babies out there. Seems to make sense – even coming from a crowd of people wearing dead peoples’ skin.
This episode delivered real fear, the kind like the show hasn’t seen in a while. Because when the crying baby alerted the walkers (the real ones) who were approaching, Alpha and her group calmly laid it down, content to let the dead quiet it. Alpha shrugged off the ghastly decision, simply saying that to walk with the dead meant to live in silence.
The character’s animalistic and cold demeanor is carrying over perfectly from the comics, and for a second it seemed as if we’d see our most gruesome death yet. But Luke managed to spot Connie hiding in the cornfield and signed to her that the walkers were being drawn to a crying baby.
She leaped into action to rescue it, and then we got a nice, tense sequence of her sprinting through the field – complete with no sound, to emulate the fear of being a deaf person trying to avoid the dead while rescuing a baby.
Back at Hilltop, Lydia had escaped with Henry, but it was Enid who managed to track them down. Lydia, who was readjusting to civilization, decided to go back with her mother, though she did thank Henry for his hospitality with a kiss.
Meanwhile, Ezekiel, Carol, Jerry, and numerous others from the Kingdom embarked on a mission to retrieve a projector bulb from a movie theater to show movies at the upcoming fair. After a nice walker-killing sequence and a close call where the bulb was nearly lost, they escaped with their bounty in hand.
The show also teased the charter once again, as an effort to reunite the communities after they apparently decided to decentralize their union following the war. Fans are hoping they’ll find out what exactly happened that led to this.
As the episode closed, Daryl and Connie decided to go out in search of Lydia, who was slapped by her mother and told to call her Alpha, not mom. Deciding they couldn’t live knowing they sent her back to those people, the two embarked on a rescue mission. Will they succeed?