Alpha (Samantha Morton) encounters the masked Beta (Ryan Hurst), her future Whisperer lieutenant, in the opening minutes from The Walking Dead 10x02, “We Are the End of the World.” Per its official synopsis:
A flashback reveals the origins of Alpha and Beta; Alpha attempts to toughen up Lydia as they prepare to walk with the dead; the Whisperers create their herds.
“Well, I’m a huge fan of episode 2. It’s the second episode of the season that I directed,” director-producer Greg Nicotero told EW. “It’s a very different episode than we’ve done and it definitely has sort of Season 1 vibes to it. So I’m really excited about it because it’s a very different kind of episode. And it gives us some backstory and insight as to who these people are, and the performances are magnificent. I just loved every second of it.”
The episode reveals what Alpha and her pack of Whisperers were up to during the events of the Season 10 premiere, which ended with Alpha staring down Carol (Melissa McBride), who crossed into Whisperer territory.
Audiences will also meet never-before-seen Whisperer Gamma (Thora Birch), a loyal follower used by showrunner Angela Kan to examine the inner workings of Alpha’s cult.
“[Birch] has such an interesting take on this character because when you have a group that’s wandering around wearing skin masks, you have to kind of be in a particular sort of space to kind of decide, ‘This is the only way that I can survive or this is the right way,’” Kang previously told EW. “And so, we’re going to explore a story of somebody who’s just part of that group who rises into leadership. It’s complex.”
Beyond the origin story for the strange but strong bond between Alpha and Beta, Season 10 will delve deeper into the Whisperers’ way of life amid their brewing conflict with the neighboring survivors now forced to abide by Alpha’s borders.
“I think the thing that we wanted to show with the Whisperers is that we know quite a bit about Alpha and Beta at this point. We’ll learn more as the season goes on. But who are these people that are just part of the followers and what are their stories?” Kang said. “I think that there’s a really powerful story to tell about the soldiers on the ground. And so that’s what the story of Gamma is, and I think Thora brings such humanity and also badassery to the role. I’m just enamored with her work and hopefully other people are too.”