The alpha may be gone on The Walking Dead, but the Beta (Ryan Hurst) is just getting started. In “The Tower,” Team Family prepares for the fallout of Alpha’s (Samantha Morton) death. Eugene’s (Josh McDermitt) mission takes a weird turn of events.
Juanita Sanchez prefers the name Princess (Paola Lazaro) because Queen makes her sound old and pretentious. Eugene’s group stumbled upon Princess in an alley. She’s been living alone for about a year and set up the ‘rotters’ in different scenes. When she first meets Eugene, Ezekiel (Khary Peyton), and Yumiko (Eleanor Matsuura), they are concerned because she’s carrying a machine gun. Princess is loud, rambles a bit, and maybe just a bit crazy. She’s not even sure they are real.
Princess invites them to chill with her, but Eugene mentions that they are on an important mission. She is so eager for human contact that she offers to help. And demonstrates how helpful she is by using the machine gun on approaching walkers and scaring off the horses. Strike 1.
Beta leads his Whisperers and their guardians to Alexandria. The gate is open so they walk right in and find the place deserted. Everyone in Alexandria and Oceanside moved to an abandoned hospital and are residing in a tower. Luke (Dan Fogler) is working on something for the group and he’s nervous about it. He also needs something so Carol (Melissa McBride) volunteers to get it for him. She and Kelly (Angel Theory) leave on horseback.
Meanwhile, Daryl (Norman Reedus) is patrolling the ground and calls Michonne (Danai Gurira) on the walkie. He tells her not to go home because they aren’t there. He says they had to move and have a plan to deal with the whisperers, that she would like. Daryl asks if Michonne can hear him, but there’s no answer on the walkie.
Yumiko is very angry and doesn’t trust Princess, but the girl might have resources. Eugene asks for “wheels” and Princess says she has a garage full of them. Ezekiel and Eugene agree they kinda need Princess’ help right now so Yumiko goes along with it. But first, Princess has to give up her gun.
Princess leads them to the garage through a yard full of mines. At first, she doesn’t tell them but admits they are in a minefield when they find one of their horses dead in the field. Then a few walkers show up and step on a mine, causing a second mine to explode. Princess gets them out of the mine safely but has lost all trust of the group.
Yumiko yells at Princess and Ezekiel is trying to calm her down. Eugene recognizes the street that they are on. He noticed it when they entered the city and it’s not very far from where they met Princess. She took them the long and dangerous way around. Yumiko pulls her bow on Princess and asks what she’s up to.
HARD TO LOVE
Princess says she was having too much fun and wanted to take the scenic route. She thought once they got to the garage, they’d praise her. She hoped they would want to stay and be friends, but she screwed it up. Princess is alone. For the past year, she hoped someone would show up. Days turned into months and she realized her life wasn’t much different from before.
Someone told her once that she was hard to love. And all day she heard a voice in her head saying she was messing up. She didn’t want the voice to be right. She apologizes again. Yumiko lowers her bow. Eugene says he understands how she feels. He made poor decisions and lied to folks. The alternative was being left alone and no one wants that. He asks if she has access to wheels.
Princess takes them to a garage full of bicycles. It’s not what they were expecting but it’s better than nothing. Yumiko approaches Princess, but the girl starts talking first. She apologizes for everything and says she’s not a bad person. They have every reason not to trust her. It’s hard taking chances on people these days, especially when they lie to you. Princess says her people skills are rusty. Yumiko offers to help her work on her people skills and invites her to tag along
Princess gets really excited and hugs Yumiko. She starts asking if she can get her things. She says she has food, clothing, a cool spear, and some candy. Candy gets Eugene’s attention. Princess keeps going, asking if she can have her gun back. Is there a map? Can she hold it?
Beta looks over the guardians filling into Alexandria. One of the Whisperers reports that the residents are all gone and left in a hurry. Beta hears a voice in his head telling him that they fled with nothing. He thinks they are hiding in Oceanside.
Meanwhile, Alden (Callan McAuliffe) and Aaron (Ross Marquand) are inside of the windmill watching Beta. Alden counts the guardians and Aaron asks if Beta is with them. He takes another look and Beta turns to look at him. Alden ducks back quickly, unsure if Beta saw him. He looks again and Beta is preparing to leave. Aaron and Alden move to another window to watch them leave.
Beta continues toward Oceanside but stops abruptly. He says it’s wrong. They aren’t fools and they will be expecting them. His companion, a female Whisperer says they believe in his wisdom and calls him Alpha. She quickly corrects herself, calling him Beta. The voice in Beta’s head stops him from killing her. The voice tells him to be patient and have faith in his strength. He tells the voice to show him the path. The voice says to watch and learn. So Beta keeps walking, but the Whisperer hesitates, looking at Beta with concern.
Aaron and Alden are following the herd. Aaron calls into the Tower and tells Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) that they are heading for Oceanside. They will continue to follow and if anything changes, he will radio them.
The tower used to be full of cats. Lydia (Cassady McClincy) is petting one that stayed behind when Judith (Cailey Fleming) approaches her. She gives her condolences to Lydia for her mom, but Lydia says it’s not necessary. She doesn’t miss her. Judith doesn’t quite understand so Lyda explains by saying not everyone gets to have a mom like Judith. That makes Judith sad and she walks away. Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) watches the whole exchange from another room.
Judith goes outside of the hospital and kills a walker. Daryl catches her and tries to take her back inside, but Judith won’t go. She says she wants to learn what Daryl does so she can keep people safe. Daryl is only patrolling the perimeter. He says if he sees something wrong, he goes someplace safe to radio it in. If Judith goes with him she has to do everything he says and stay close to him. Judith promises and they walk together.
Carol and Kelly find an abandoned car and pull out the wires. Carol thanks Kelly for coming along and starts apologizing for what happened to Connie (Lauren Ridloff). Kelly stops her and says everything is okay. Connie is alive because she can survive anything. There’s a part of Kelly that won’t believe otherwise. Kelly understands why Carol did what she did, but Carol doesn’t think she should have done it.
Kelly says Connie said losing her hearing was Kelly’s superpower. And now everyone is learning sign language for her. Being who she is isn’t a weakness. Kelly says she heard stories about Carol going off alone to do the thing that only Carol could do. That’s Carol’s superpower and she can’t give it up because bad things happened. Kelly has to believe it, making Carol feel better.
Negan tries to talk to Lydia since she is avoiding him. He really wanted to tell her that he actually liked her mother. And he wishes he didn’t have to kill Alpha. If there’s something Lydia needs to say to him, she should say it. Lydia says almost everyone wishes Alpha was dead and walks away.
Daryl continues his hunting lessons when he sees a mark in a tree. He tells Judith to identify it. She says it’s from a walker. Correct! Daryl thinks the Whisperers are rounding up more walkers. They see a Whisperer with a small group of walkers and Daryl shoots them. The Whisperer runs away. Judith jumps out and she kills the walkers with Daryl.
They find the Whisperer laying in a ditch in pain. She asks Daryl to remove the arrow because she doesn’t want to die an unnatural death. Daryl asks where the others are. The Whisperer says they are headed to the ocean. She was supposed to scout for them but decided to leave the group. She says she’s leaving because Beta has lost it. He asks if Beta knows where they are, but the Whisperer doesn’t know. He shoots her in the head and leaves.
Judith watched the whole thing. She gasped when Daryl killed the woman and says Daryl didn’t have to kill her. Daryl says she didn’t have a lot of information. She was going to die, he just made it quicker. Daryl starts to leave and Judith asks if they are really going to leave her there. What if she has a family. Daryl says they are only a few miles away and think they might be able to spot something from the tower.
FAITH AND STRENGTH
Beta continues to talk to himself about having faith and strength. The voice tells him to watch and have faith. Beta sees a cat cross his path. He turns to face one of the guardians who tells him that faith will be rewarded. Beta starts laughing.
Aaron and Alden continue to watch the herd. Alden realizes their plan could actually work. He always thought once Alpha was dead, it would be easier to see past what they lost. Aaron says he wants to make sure they don’t lose again for their kids. Maybe this loss will add up to something.
Alden sees that they are slowing down. They look ahead and see that the herd is changing directions towards the tower. Aaron tries the radio, but it’s dead. They turn to leave and run into a small group of Whisperers with guns.
Lydia approaches Negan angrily saying he doesn’t get to tell her what to do. Negan tells Lydia to hit him. It will make her feel better. He says she needs to mourn her mother or it will eat her up inside. That was Lydia’s mom and she only gets one. She needs to get out of her system and she can do that by hitting him. Or she will drift further from the people and she doesn’t want that.
Lydia calls him selfish saying he only killed Alpha so those people would think he’s a hero. But they never will because he only cares about himself. Lydia starts yelling at Negan saying she hated her mother or she wanted to hate her. He tries to tell her it’s okay and Lydia starts crying and hitting him saying it’s not okay. Negan takes Lydia into his arms and lets her cry.
Judith has an issue with leaving that woman behind in a ditch. She says what if it was him or RJ or her mom. Daryl asks where this is coming from. Judith just wants them all to be back together at home. Daryl says he radioed Michonne and told her not to come home, so she’s safe. Judith admits she talked to her mom after the fire. She’s worried that she won’t come home. She went to help some people who needed her. Judith didn’t want to tell Daryl because she was afraid he’d leave too. He says he won’t leave, but he can’t promise. He doesn’t want to lie to her.
Daryl says he doesn’t know what’s going to happen, but what he does know is there are a bunch of people who would do anything for Judith. And one day, when she’s older, they are going to need her to do anything for them. She has a lot of family. Daryl says nothing can take the place of someone you love. But that doesn’t mean that everything that follows is going to break your heart. Judith cries and Daryl hugs her. He says they have to go.
Daryl hears static on his radio and calls to Gabriel. Gabriel tells Daryl to come back, but he keeps cutting out. Gabriel says they’ve surrounded and he cuts out. Then he says they need a wagon and he cuts out again.
Beta leads the horde towards the tower. He says faith and the horde repeats. Then he says reward and they repeat the word too as they fill up the entrance to the tower.
This season of The Walking Dead has been so riveting. The writers did a great job of telling a full story and providing enough character development without straying too far from that story. There used to be a complaint that the audience was having a hard time caring about the B characters because they weren’t a part of the main story. Angela Kang has given all of the characters a purpose and put them in the mix of the action. It’s too bad that the best season in a long time is not complete.
AMC announced that the final episode of season ten is delayed due to the coronavirus. I’ve heard that the final episode only has a few VFX edits to make before the episode is ready. And after that ending to this episode, I’m very frustrated that I have to wait to see what happens. I know Team Family will prevail, but I want to know how! So I hope we don’t have to wait too long to find out 1) what the family’s plan is to defeat Beta and the Whisperers, and 2) where is Connie!!!???? I will definitely keep my eye on what AMC does next.
Until then, stay safe folx!!