The Walking Dead again hinted at a coming confrontation between Carol (Melissa McBride) and Whisperer leader Alpha (Samantha Morton), who decapitated Henry (Matt Lintz), the adopted son Carol shares with husband Ezekiel (Khary Payton). When infiltrating the fair thrown at the Kingdom and hosted by Ezekiel, Alpha — posing as Deborah, or “Debbie” from Alexandria — tells the King, “I heard the queen was taking care of some official business. But I look forward to meeting her someday.”
Later, Carol, Daryl (Norman Reedus), Michonne (Danai Gurira), and Yumiko (Eleanor Matsuura) are confronted by Alpha, Beta (Ryan Hurst) and a gang of Whisperers while outside the Kingdom’s walls. There Alpha claims she’s done away with her “weak” and problematic daughter Lydia (Cassady McClincy), who has been granted asylum by the recently united communities. The battered girl was rescued by Henry and, in turn, Daryl and Connie (Lauren Ridloff) when they liberated her from the Whisperer camp in 912, “Guardians.”
Now that Carol has lost her son to Alpha, the women seem destined for a deadly confrontation.
On a February episode of Talking Dead, Walking Dead executive producer Gale Anne Hurd said she’d “certainly love to see” an Alpha-Carol clash.
“They are both incredibly resourceful and Carol will do anything for her group, as we’ve seen in the past,” Hurd said before referencing Carol’s battle with cannibal Mary (Denise Crosby) of Terminus. “Remember Mary from Terminus? I think this is a match up that would put that one to shame.”
Henry’s death is a major deviation from the comic books, where it’s a still-living Carl Grimes who engages in a romance with Lydia. This now poises Lydia for a different trajectory from her comic book counterpart, who never suffered the loss of her young boyfriend.
“There’s nobody that’s going to exactly replace Carl,” showrunner Angela Kang previously told EW.
“Carl is his own character, but there are definitely plotlines from the comic that we didn’t want to completely lose. Henry just organically would be with this time jump about the age of Carl in the comics. There were certain aspects that we felt play well with Henry, especially because Carol is now that parent.”
Though it’s Negan who ultimately wins a major victory over Alpha in the books, The Walking Dead appears to have teed up Alpha as Carol’s new nemesis.
The Walking Dead Season Nine finale, “The Storm,” premieres Sunday, March 31 at 9/8c on AMC.
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