I think the theme of this season of The Walking Dead is friendship. Last week, we learned from Carol and Daryl that BFFs make friendship bracelets and talk about running away together. This week, the Alpha and Beta taught us that in Whisperers’ culture, er, new BFFs encourage each other to cut their old bestie’s face off and wear it. “We Are the End of the World” was all about what the Whisperers were doing in the days leading up to the satellite crash, and it gave us the backstory on how Alpha and Beta met and became besties.
This wasn’t my favorite episode because we didn’t get to see any of our faves because it focused only on the villains and was cringeworthy at times, but there were a few things that held my interest.
“There are two kinds of people left in this world, those brave enough to walk with the dead and everybody else,” Alpha said. So, let’s talk about those smelly Whisperers a bit.
The flashback scenes from the episode were set seven years ago. A much-younger Lydia and Alpha are on their own and they enter a psych hospital. Beta is there – and he’s wearing a mask. A normal one, not a skin one yet. He says the two ladies can stay the night, but they have to be gone by morning.
Throughout the night, she really works at manipulating him. Singing and chatting away. Beta confesses that he likes the sounds of the Walkers. Alpha says that they don’t have names, and they are all monsters now.
She immediately, however, calls him Mr. B, since he objects to the nickname “Big Man.” And of course, she puts herself in dominance by saying that makes her A. She talks about how the Walkers are free because they do not feel anything, and this lifestyle is #goals for her.
“They fear nothing, they live only to feed, they are free.” This turns into their mantra of sorts that they repeat together in the future, toward the end of the episode.
The acting in this whole episode by Samantha Morton and Ryan Hurst (yes, Opie from Sons of Anarchy) is phenomenal, but I still think the Whisperers are so evil and gross that they are hard to watch. Especially a whole episode of them.
“I like killing with you!” Yeah, we get it, you guys are both crazies.
In the end, they are attacked by a Walker with a smiley face shirt, and Alpha kills it. This makes Beta cry and we learn that it was his best buddy that he didn’t want to let go of. She hands him a knife and is like “you don’t have to; you can bring him with you!” And the face-wearing fashion trend among the whisperers is born.
Back in present day, Beta is showing off his bestie skills by shaving Alpha’s head. They are getting ready to head back to their home territory. Beta is going to go find a herd and she says to bring “the sisters” with him.
The minute you see these gals, you know there is going to be drama. Because sisters always have issues, even in the apocalypse. They are walking to town to get more Walkers and the girls are all like “oooh, do you think Beta noticed me,” all crushing on him. I mean, he is wearing a dead man’s face so it’s super unattractive, but also it is Ryan Hurst. And one of the sister’s keeps stopping and enjoying the sunshine, which I guess is totally uncool in Whisperers culture. We get a glimpse of how they herd the Walkers into walking in a certain direction.
On the way back, we find out that one of the sisters is the Whisperer who latered her baby last season because it was crying. She has a PTSD moment about it and starts crying – clueing the Walkers into the fact that they are human. Beta saves her by killing two walkers, but is hella mad about it.
Beta wants to kill her when they get back to camp, but Alpha gives her grace. Beta is a bit worried that she is acting less murderous lately.
The Big Lie
When the sister who received grace shares the story of her momentous one-on-one meeting with Alpha, she said it made her head finally feel right again after the loss of her baby.
Then we learn one big tidbit of information. She says that Alpha told her that she didn’t shed a tear when she watched Lydia die.
Except Lydia is not dead, and is hanging out and gardening with Negan in Alexandria. At the end of the episode, we see that she has been keeping up the Whisperers old camp in case Lydia comes back. Beta finds out and was all like “how dare you – besties don’t keep secrets!”
They cut back and forth here between Beta’s flashback of letting his zombie best friend go, and Alpha grieving about Lydia being gone. She seems back on mission by the end of this – and her daughter is apparently dead to her again. Alpha tells Beta that the rest of the pack can never know that Lydia is alive.
I’m sure that’s going to work out well.
Speaking of Lydia, I sure wish Alexandria had a therapist because that girl needs one. The scene of that little girl covering herself with zombie guts because she wanted to be cool and unfeeling like her mom was positively gutwrenching. Someone give her a hug.
Oh hey, Thora Birch
So the Whisperers are walking through a field with their favorite walker herd when we finally see the satellite fall. This causes chaos because the walkers are distracted by the fire and are no longer walking in the direction they are led. The Whisperers have a panic because they are trying to mimic them and not look human, which is harder when it’s uncontrolled mayhem.
Then crazy baby-less sister sees a walker with a baby carrier still strapped to her and she loses her ever-loving mind and attacks Alpha. Even more mayhem! I actually enjoyed this part quite a bit because it was interesting to see some of the Whisperers a little rattled for once. The other sister makes the difficult choice of pushing her crazy siblings into the walkers so they can have a distraction snack, which allows Alpha to be saved.
Alpha says that sacrificing your own blood is basically living your best life and makes her Gamma of the pack. Did I mention that the Whisperers were nasty and horrible? Because they are.
Anyway, Gamma is played by none other than former child actor, Thora Birch. You will probably see her on-screen this month when you do your annual screening of Hocus Pocus. That little precious child is now a Whisperer.
And she’s still crushing on Beta. The funniest moment of the episode is when she asks where he’s been and he basically blows off her affection by saying “I feel nothing.” And she’s like “oh yeah, cool, I feel nothing too, because that’s how us Whisperers roll.”
The episode ends at the same point last week’s did, with Alpha and Carol staring each other down (insert Kill Bill music here). We will start to see the groups go head to head in next week’s episode.
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9/8c on AMC.