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– by Anthony Esteves

After the buildup to a small forest fire, thanks to a crashing satellite and the border-crossing made by the Survivors, this season’s second episode provides a backstory to Alpha and Beta. The story of their meeting runs parallel to the satellite crash event from the Whisperer’s point of view.

Related – Review: The Walking Dead Season 10 Premiere – “Lines We Cross”

Seven years earlier, Alpha (Samantha Morton) and her daughter Lydia (Cassady McClincy) escape a walker attack by hiding out inside a building—only to discover that its current tenant is the massive man we will later know to be Beta (Ryan Hurst). Begrudgingly, Beta allows the two to stay n the building as long as they stay out of his belongings. The two, of course, do not follow those rules and eventually discover that Beta has been keeping what may be a longtime friend-turned-walker alive. Alpha makes a connection with him which results in Beta finally killing his friend and taking a piece of him as remembrance: his skinned face.

Fast forward to the events of season nine, after the Whisperers are unable to retrieve Lydia. Alpha has. A difficult time letting go of her and it is Beta who refocuses her attention on the tasks at hand. Meanwhile, a young member of the clan named Gamma (Thora Birch) gains their loyalty when she sacrifices her own sister—the woman who was forced to leave her baby behind—in order to rescue Alpha.

All this leads up to Alpha stepping out of the brush in the ravine, stands in the sunlight, looks up, and sees Carol looking down at her.

With the backstory of Alpha and Beta told and the growing conflict between the Survivors and the Whisperers, the tension and anxiety are bound to rise considerably in the next few episodes. But what this writer is more interested in discovering is if the Survivors will unleash Negan on the Whisperers—and if so, will he be wielding Lucile?

The Walking Dead airs Sunday evenings on AMC, and is available for streaming on the AMC app.

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