Shhh…the Whisperers are back on The Walking Dead. In “We Are the End of the World,” we get to see a little more of Alpha’s (Samantha Morton) backstory as it relates to her present. Last week Team Family saw the first signs of the Whisperers since before winter. They are on high alert and not looking to start a war. Alpha may see things differently.
7 YEARS AGO
Before Alpha was known as Alpha, she and a younger Lydia (Havana Blum) were already walking among the dead. They are covered in blood and guts to mask themselves. Lydia wears headphones so she doesn’t have to hear the walkers growl. They come across a woman being eaten and Lydia loses it. Alpha is forced to find shelter in an abandoned mental institution. Alpha almost loses Lydia at the door when a walker grabs her. When they get inside, Lydia apologizes for screaming. Alpha is upset with her for almost getting them killed. Lydia sees a man standing in the hallway and Alpha turns to face him.
The Whisperers have been hunting in preparation for their move back to Virginia. Beta (Ryan Hurst) shaves Alpha’s head and says it’s time to return. Alpha thinks they need to gather more supplies and find more guardians (the dead) first. Beta is concerned that their powerful hold over the enemy, Team Family will subside. Alpha is confident the enemy is afraid no matter what. The enemy fears them because of what they did. Does Beta doubt her leadership and their mission. Never. Alpha tells him to take the Sisters with him. They have a knack for hearing the dead.
This is the day that Alpha met the man who would later be known as Beta. At first Alpha is scared of him. He wears a mask and carries a machete. She says she won’t go anywhere without her daughter, so he will have to kill them both if that’s what he’s planning on. He says they can stay in the hospital for one night and they have to stay in the hall. Lydia asks if he’s a monster. Alpha replies that they are all monsters now.
Alpha helps Lydia clean up a little. She searches for a towel and hears Beta humming. She starts humming too and he tells her to stop. He asks for her name, but at the time she believes names don’t matter anymore. The dead don’t have names. They fear nothing and only want to feed. They are free. Anyone who is still alive should know each other on a primal level. She asks how he ended up in that building and why he wears a mask. Beta says he got into a tussle with the dead, but never answers about the mask. Lydia interrupts, calling for her momma to come back to her. Beta leaves, but says he likes the sound of the dead. It’s the only song he never wants to end.
Alpha finds a padded room for Lydia to sleep in and Lydia has a lot of questions about Beta. Alpha hands her a stuffed bunny, but Lydia doesn’t want it. She says she doesn’t want to be scared anymore, she wants to be more like her momma. Alpha is happy to hear that and hopes Lydia can be. Because if she can’t, Alpha has to leave her behind. Lydia begs her momma not to leave her. Alpha says to stop calling her momma.
A and B
Alpha wonders through the hospital and a small group of walkers approach her. At first she handles herself pretty well, but then more walkers show up. Beta arrives just in time to help her out. She turns to look at him and they turn to kill the rest of the walkers in the hall. Afterward, Alpha cuts up the walkers for their blood. Beta is intrigued by her. She has a hard time opening the chest cavity and he pushes her aside and does it for her. She decides to call him ‘B’ instead. It’s not a name, it’s a letter. She will be ‘A.’
B asks about walking with the dead and A says it more than just moving with them. She has to become them and feel nothing like they do. She says there are two kinds of people in this world, those brave enough to walk with the dead and everybody else. A attempts to remove B’s mask but he stops her. He tells her to leave at sunrise and don’t come back.
Beta leads his group to a building to collect guardians. The Sisters are with him and makes them split up so they don’t attract attention. One of the sisters, Frances (Juliet Brett) starts to space out on the sun, so her sister has to pull her back to Earth. Sister (Thora Birch) says Beta is watching Frances. She needs to snap out of it or they will think she’s not committed to the cause. She says she should have left Frances behind when she had the chance. Frances hears guardians and leads the group to them.
They find the guardians in the parking garage of the building. Beta makes enough noise to make them follow him. He leads them to a field so help guard the pack. Frances starts spacing out again and hears a baby crying. She is the mother of the baby left at the Hilltop. Frances starts crying, causing a distraction. Beta is forced to kill a couple of guardians to protect her. Sister grabs her and tells her to calm down. Beta catches up and says Frances will pay.
When they get back to camp, Frances lays on the ground, crying for her baby. She screams that she loves her son, but now he’s gone. He’s with them in a better place. A follower steps forward with a knife in his hand to silence her. Alpha stops him and walks away. Beta follows her.
Beta says Frances is a liability and abandoning her child broke her. Alpha doesn’t expect him to understand what it’s like to leave a child behind. He knows she is talking about Lydia. Alpha assures him that Lydia is dead to her. She tells Beta to take Frances to the Deeper place where she will be waiting.
Frances meets Alpha in a hollow tree. She apologizes for messing up and begs Alpha not to kill her. Alpha removes Frances’ mask and tells her to kneel. Frances is really young and very scared. She starts crying as Alpha takes her head in her hands. Outside of the tree, Frances’ sister jumps when she hears her scream. Inside the tree, Alpha shushes Frances and lets her cry in her arms.
Beta and Sister are shocked to see Frances emerge from the tree alive. Frances says she will never stray again. Another woman approaches Frances and says she thinks about ‘that place’ (Hilltop) all the time. She says it looked safe and they had livestock there. She thinks they can all go back. Sister grabs Frances and pulls her away from the woman.
Beta asks why Alpha didn’t kill Frances, but Alpha doesn’t like it when Beta questions her. She says to keep an eye on the girl. If she strays again, Alpha will skin her alive in front of the others.
Beta informs her about the others talking about life at the enemy’s place. Alpha says that’s not a life, it’s a fantasy. The pack will need to re-learn that, but Beta says they need to see it up close. Alpha promises that they will. He mentions that he has seen her wander away from the camp. Alpha assures him that she is with them and always has been.
The sisters lie awake late at night talking about Frances’ encounter with Alpha. Sister admires Alpha. She says she is strong and mentions how she sacrificed her own daughter. Frances thinks she sacrificed her son the same way and she’s glad she did. She apologizes again for messing up and ask Sister to never leave her. Sister tells her to go to sleep.
LIKE A LION
The pack travels to their home when the Russian satellite enters the atmosphere. Frances sees a guardian with a baby carrier on it’s chest. She loses it and starts remembering that Alpha told her to bring her baby to Hilltop. Almost as if she was trying to get rid of him.
The guardians are all riled up, things are a little chaotic when Frances screams and attacks Alpha. That attracts the guardian to Alpha. Beta and Sister fight off their guardians to reach her. When they get there, Sister pulls Frances off of Alpha and throws her to the ground. The guardians descend on Frances and kill her. Sister pulls Alpha to to safety and they keep walking.
Alpha asks Sister if she regrets killing Frances. Sister says Frances was uncommitted and no longer belonged with them. She had to protect the Alpha. Alpha compares them to lions, saying they are stronger when they kill their own blood. It is the purest way to bring order to chaos. Alpha sees greatness in Sister. Beta interrupts telling Sister to leave them.
Alpha removes her mask. Beta asks if she hurt. She says she never felt more calm. Beta says they lost three of their own and many of the dead. He’s upset and Alpha is calm. She says there is clarity among the chaos because Sister fears nothing.
WE ARE ALL MONSTERS NOW
Lydia leaves her room and wanders around the hospital saying, ‘we are all monster now.’ Alpha is asleep outside of Lydia’s room and doesn’t hear her sneak by. By the time Alpha wakes up and sees that Lydia is gone, Lydia is climbing stairs in the hospital, still repeating ‘we are all monsters now.”
Lydia hears someone banging on the door and approaches it. Alpha finds Lydia’s bloody footsteps and follows them. Lydia hears the walker growl, but opens the door anyway. Alpha enters a room where it looks like someone has been staying. She quietly calls for Lydia. She sees a picture on the wall of two men. One in a cowboy hat and the other wearing a smiley face t-shirt that says Happy Day. She sees a shadow and turns to look at him.
B reminds Alpha that he told her never to come to his side. She says she needs to find her daughter. He doesn’t care. She sees a walker emerge from a dark room and kills it. B screams at her for killing it. The walker is wearing the happy face shirt.
B starts throwing things around the room, angry that she killed the walker. B picks up his machete and faces her. She says she knows him better than he knows himself. He has demons, just like her, but he’s not broken. He was made for this life.
Lydia enters the room and yells at B to stop. She says Alpha is trying to save him. He calms down and Lydia goes to Alpha. She says she was strong and Alpha agrees and she’s proud of Lydia. Then Alpha yells at her for disappearing.
Alpha holds a ceremony for Sister, giving her the name Gamma. The Whisperers look on and chant Gamma’s name. The next morning, Gamma sees Beta return to camp. She asks if he’s angry with her, but he says he feels nothing for her. He asks for Alpha. Gamma saw her walking toward the old camp. Beta walks quickly to find her.
Beta finds Alpha is sitting next to a shelter. She asks if he lost his way. He asks if she has too. He sees the bunny that Lydia used to carry. He’s upset that Alpha kept it. He looks around and determines that the shelter is a campsite for Lydia. She said she killed Lydia and now she wants her back.
Alpha gets upset saying he shouldn’t have come there. He asks why she lied to him. Lydia is never coming back no matter how much Alpha wishes for it or how hard she tries to replace Lydia. She’s gone.
Alpha is distraught and explains that Lydia is her baby. She couldn’t kill her. Beta reaches out to her. Alpha reluctantly gives him her hand and says no one can know. They cannot know that Lydia is alive. Lydia is dead to Alpha, she was dead the moment she was born. Lydia’s not like Alpha. Alpha destroys the shelter she built for Lydia, repeating that Lydia is not like her.
WE ARE THE END OF THE WORLD
FLASHBACK – B is hovering over his dead friend. A says the world went dark so they could see a new path. She asks him to walk with her in the darkness and he’ll never be alone again. She calls him her B. He says he’s the end of the world and repeats it as he turns to her. She says ‘We are the end of the World.” She lifts the mask off his face and looks at him. She smiles and puts the mask back on. A asks B to come with them. B says he can’t leave his friend. A says he doesn’t have too. She hands him a knife. He cries for his friend as he cuts his face off. It’s the same face that Beta wears today.
PRESENT – Beta tells Alpha that he saw smoke by the border. Alpha thinks the enemy crossed. They must teach them a lesson and the pack will watch. They’re going back. Beta hands Alpha her mask. She puts it on and faces him. They hold hands and say “we walk in darkness, we are free, we bathe in blood, we are free, we love nothing, we are free, we fear nothing, we are free, we need no words, we are free, we embrace all death, we are free. This is the end of the world. Now is the end of the world. We are the end of the world.”
As they speak, we see the Whisperer pack moving through the woods. Alpha sees an opening and moves toward it. She takes off her mask and walks out to a clearing over the quarry. She looks up and sees Carol staring back at her.
If you’re intrigued by the Whisperers, then I know you enjoyed this episode. I try not to get too attached to the big bad each season, especially this group. I was really hoping to get a little more about Beta, but I do like that we know why they dress like the dead. The weird fascination to be like the Dead is definitely something I can’t relate to.
The thing that stood out to me is that, and I think I mentioned this before…the Whisperers know that there is a better way to survive. They’ve trusted Alpha to keep them safe this entire time, only see the Hilltoppers doing it better. It’s only a matter of time before someone defects.
Samantha Morton gives a brilliant performance. She just gets better with every episode. No matter how far she’s pushed, she always comes back to her mission. I like that. And she’s creepy as hell!
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