Warning – this article contains spoilers for The Walking Dead season 9 episode 10.
To be fair, The Walking Dead’s new chief antagonist made her triumphant debut on the TV screen at the end of the mid-season premiere. But we didn’t have her name, her backstory, or really anything to know who she was.
Outside of those who read the comics and have an idea of what’s coming, the skin-wearing creep may have just seemed like another crazy. After all, this world has no shortage of them. And while fans have already been briefed that the whispering variety of wannabe-walkers will be the next big group on the show, it wasn’t until Omega that fans got to see the woman who was the centerpiece.
The episode centered largely on Lydia, the daughter, who had been taken prisoner and was being held at Hilltop. Daryl and Henry both tried their own interrogation techniques to find out more about her, with the former being upset about the latter giving up information about other communities.
The differences they had in their questioning approach drove a bit of a wedge between the two characters, with Henry criticizing Daryl. The episode also showed a few flashbacks, noting that Lydia was at a shelter with her mother and father when the apocalypse was in its early stages.
At first, it seemed as if the girl had lost her father when he attempted to save her from a walker only to end up getting bit himself. But she later revealed that was just a story her mom had told her. She remembered that it was her mom who took her dad’s life because he wouldn’t agree to leave the shelter which, the mother believed was becoming too dangerous.
This was after the mother was revealed to have smothered a man whose screams were attracting walkers to their location. She cut off all her hair and sunk deep into a near-catatonic state. There was also a nice explanation of why Carol kept her hair so short – maybe the showrunners are setting up for these two to face off?
Daryl discovered Lydia had marks on her, indicating she’d been beaten. She confirmed her mother did it but was insistent the beatings were out of love. She was also adamant that civilization was done – that the world had changed, and the act of walking with the dead was the new way to live.
She even appeared to consider attacking Hilltop with a hammer, and maybe Henry too, before a crying baby set her off and she asked to be returned to her cell. Henry later made peace with Daryl, saying he was glad Daryl was friends with his mom.
Meanwhile, Magna, Yumiko, Connie, and Kelly set out to look for Luke and Alden. But they had company follow them back – company in the form of the whisperers, led by none other than mom, AKA Alpha.
And in the preview for next week, we find Daryl denies her the request to get her daughter back, guaranteeing conflict between the two sides.