Finally, the origin story of the Whispers with the first meeting of Alpha and Beta in past clips. These clips are intermingled with the present time story that coincides with the what happened in the last episode leading up to the satellite crash and that cliff side meeting of Alpha and Carol in Alpha territory.
Starting with all the past clips, we find Alpha and Lydia walking with the dead in the early parts of the apocalypse. Lydia is still very frightened of walkers while her mother is already a bad ass, we saw last season that at this point she has already killed her husband. In this scene when Lydia screams while watching a woman being eaten, she must quickly find a place to hide away from the dead. This puts her right in the same location as Beta, which also happens to be a mental health facility. Beta allows for her and Lydia to stay but only for the night and they are confined to the hallway. When Lydia asks her if he is a monster, Alpha tells her that they are all monsters now. This is something that resonates with Lydia later.
The conversation that Alpha and Beta have this episode really are the bases for the Whispers ideology, in that they walk with the dead because they become the dead, that they walk in the dark without fear, without love and without name. Alpha doesn’t give Beta her name but when they are cleaning a walker of its guts, she calls him Mr. B, which leads to the Alpha and Beta names. However, when she moves to remove his mask he gets upset and tells her that she must be gone in the morning.
This episode we also see a young girl grow out of her fear in inspiration of her mother. She goes from screaming at the sight of someone being eaten to then not wanting her bunny that she has carried with her through everything. By the end of the episode she sneaks past her mom, covers herself in walker guts and looks for the dead, set that she is a monster now too.
However, Lydia’s disappearance leads to Alpha becoming worried and searching for her making her cross into the area that Beta told her she couldn’t go. While there she finds a photo with scratched out faces which kind of counters his earlier story that he ended up here. I think he was most likely a patient here. When Beta finds her, he is furious but not as much as when she kills the walker that comes in the room with them. You may have notices that he is wearing the same shirt as the man in the photo and the shirt that Beta wears under his cloths in the present. We also learn that he wears this skin on his face now as well.
In the present, the Whispers have moves back into this area after a cold winter and are preparing to rebuild their herd to both protect themselves and attack the others. Beta takes the girls dubbed the “sisters” and one of them happens to be the mother of the baby that was taken in last season after the confrontation at the Hilltop where Alpha demanded Lydia. This sister is still grieving the loss of her daughter although these are feeling that she shouldn’t be having as a whisperer. When she begins to cry in the field Beta protects her from being bitten but promises her that she is going to pay for her actions.
Back at the Whisperer camp Alpha stops her from being killed. Instead she has Beta send her to her in the deeper place, which happened to be a cave. Shockingly instead of punishing the sister, Alpha comforts her over the loss of her daughter, much like the way that Alpha is feeling over Lydia but won’t admit. While some of the others tell her that they will go to the Hilltop with her for a life, the sister has recommitted to the cause. Meanwhile, Beta questions Alpha decision to keep her around, that she unsettles the pack. He also adds that he knows Alpha is sneaking off at night, but she stands firm that she is always here.
The next day in the fields the Whisperers are working on creating the herd when the satellite falls from the sky, but that turns out not to be their biggest concern although it does cause some chaos among the group. The real issue comes from the sister when she sees a walker with a baby carrier and she remembers that it was Alpha that made her take her baby to Hilltop and she made her leave her baby for dead in the field. She then attacks Alpha causing the herd to begin to attack them. The other sister though pulls Alpha out of the middle saving her which leads to her sister getting eaten by walkers. Back at camp, because this sister saved Alpha, she is promoted to Gamma which I guess is a rank in their leadership.
Beta though seems unimpressed by this moves and follows Alpha after learning that she is visiting their old camp. When he gets there, Alpha has built a place for Lydia and still has the bunny stuffed animal that we saw in past clips. For those that like to find Easter eggs, this is the same bunny type of bunny that Gracie had with her when Rick and Darryl saved her from the Saviors back in season 7. He then learns that Lydia isn’t really dead like Alpha made all the Whisperers believe. However, this doesn’t stop Alpha from grieving her all the same. He watches as she burst mush in the same way he did in the past when she killed his loved one. In the end though, she recommits to the cause and they head to check out the smoke in the woods from the satellite crash. This is where Alpha runs into Carol.
I loved seeing the origin of both Alpha and Beta and the bond that they have that has led to the building of the Whisperers. There are a lot of heavy themes of lost that space people here and most of it deals with the lost of a child. Both Alpha has experienced this when Lydia decided to leave her, but then because of her actions the sister lost her baby too. While Alpha grieves for Lydia there is one person on the show that many know more about the loss of a child than anyone else, Carol! And she is going to be coming after Alpha hard after this meeting on the cliff.