'The Walking Dead': Beta Is Alexandria's Worst Nightmare (RECAP)
[WARNING: The following contains MAJOR spoilers for The Walking Dead Season 10 Episode 10, "Stalker."]
Remember that creepy shot of a disembodied hand jutting up from a grave in Alexandria in the Season 10 midseason trailer? Yeah, this is the episode it came from… and that moment is every bit as creepy as the preview made it seem.
In "Stalker,"Gamma/Mary (Thora Birch) arrives in Alexandria to warn them about what happened with the cave, but as one might imagine, Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) and friends aren’t too keen on trusting her. Back at the cave, Daryl (Norman Reedus) tries to find his friends — and instead, he finds Alpha (Samantha Morton). To say this doesn’t go well for either of them would be a vast understatement.
As the episode opens, Beta pays a visit to a few fellow Whisperers stationed in an RV. He goes down into a tunnel, and if that sounds important, it is.
Meanwhile, Gamma/Mary shows up in Alexandria to warn everyone that there’s a big, big problem — their friends are trapped in a cave. When they ask why she’s helping them, she reveals her connection to their communities: the baby at Hilltop was her sister’s child. When Gabriel asks her to show them where the cave is on a map, she says she can, and as such, she’s let into Alexandria.
Breaking the Act
Just because she’s allowed inside doesn’t mean she’s welcome. Rosita (Christian Serratos) and Gabe interrogate her in the prison cell, and Gabe tells it like it is. “You’re going to have to convince us you’re different than the ones who lie, and walk with the dead, and eat worms,” he says. If she can’t do that, she’ll be killed.
Later, Mary points them to the cave on a map, and they begin to make plans to find their friends. Rosita points out that they don’t know if any of this is real, and Gabe retorts that they’re all just scared of the Whisperers when they shouldn’t be. “They’re cowards,” he says. “We broke her completely, and if we can break her, we can break others… the more pain and fear you pour over them, the sooner they drop the act.”
His outburst causes an even bigger rift between him and Rosita, who calls him erratic and says he’s itching for a fight. They manage to patch things up before he heads out — Rosita stays behind because they both think it’ll be safer.
As it turns out, it’s not safer. Beta gets into Alexandria through a passage in the graveyard (thanks, Dante), and he immediately kills a few Alexandrians and lets them turn. This causes enough chaos for him to sneak into the jail, and he finds Gamma. She tries to reason with him and says Alpha lied about what Alexandria was, but he’ll only hear that she is, well, her Alpha. “She said your death would be painless,” Beta says. “If you fight, it will not be.”
Mary starts to go with Beta, but Laura (Lindsley Register) shows up in the nick of time and sends her to get help. She runs out onto the street, and Judith gives her a new place to hide. Beta, meanwhile, kills Laura and enters the Grimes house, and Judith shoots him in the chest (he’s wearing a bulletproof vest).
Then Rosita steps in, allowing Team Judith to escape. She fights Beta and is nearly killed, but Mary steps in before he can deal a fatal blow. Beta takes her back out to the woods, where they cross paths with Gabe and his team. He takes off into the woods, and Mary swears she didn’t betray them. A conflicted Gabe nearly pulls the trigger, but he allows Mary to leave.
Daryl vs. Alpha
While Alexandria struggles, Daryl’s making good on his word to find another entrance to the cave. This puts him on a collision course with Alpha, and they beat each other up quite badly; she deals him a cut above his eye that makes it hard for him to see and a knife in his leg, and he stabs her shoulder with a tree branch.
They both end up at the same dilapidated gas station, where Alpha starts making noise to draw walkers. Because of her mask they ignore her and go straight for Daryl, and he’s nearly killed — he pulls the knife out of his knee to get a walker and save himself, then immediately begins to bleed out.
Your Way is Not the Only Way
As such, Alpha and Daryl both sit in the gas station, dying. She rambles on and on, eventually arriving on the subject of Lydia (Cassady McClincy). “You drove her away,” Daryl says, “because you didn’t love her.” This angers Alpha, and she starts to move toward him, but she collapses. There, she stares up at the ceiling and sees Lydia — at first she thinks she’s hallucinating, but her daughter is there.
Alpha puts a knife in Lydia’s hands and tells her to kill her. “They’re waiting for you to lead,” Alpha says, but Lydia tells her she’s not here for them, or for her. “They’re human, not perfect,” she says, talking about Daryl and his friends. “That’s all I ever wanted. That’s what you never gave me.” The walker-wearing leader then blacks out, and when she awakens, Lydia is gone. She left her mom a message, though, carved into a wood table: “Your way is not the only way.”
The End of the World
Team Gabe makes it back to Alexandria, and in the morning, so does Aaron (Ross Marquand). He says “most of them” got out, so now the Alexandrians know there are still friends trapped in the cave. Rosita, Mary, Judith, Aaron and a few others head to Hilltop, while Lydia helps an injured Daryl in the woods.
Meanwhile, Alpha lies on a rock, surrounded by her followers. “I am no longer weak,” she says. “I am stronger than ever. Our horde will butcher, consume them. Their screams will be song to me… we are the end of the world.”
The Walking Dead, Sundays, 9/8c, AMC