Newest Whisperer Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) finally gets part of his "cool-ass" skin suit in a fresh look at the second half of The Walking Dead Season 10. After ending his eight-year prison stint with the help of an accomplice, the fugitive Negan fled behind enemy lines where he was quickly captured by Beta (Ryan Hurst), the protective number-two of Whisperer pack leader Alpha (Samantha Morton). After proving his worth to the suspicious Beta and seemingly swearing his undying loyalty to Alpha, Negan appears to undergo a Whisperer ritual before being able to don his own fleshy mask made from skin belonging to a "guardian" — the Whisperers' given name for the undead.
"This year has been a lot about playing off of paranoia and what side are people on, and I think Negan and Alpha together are a formidable twosome," Morgan said on a past episode of Talking Dead that followed TWD's midseason finale. "It’s bad news for our heroes. And what it means for the show is we’re gonna flip it on its ass."
In the latest trailer for the second half of the season, a quick flash reveals Negan wearing a Whisperer mask:
Negan never donned a mask or a "skin suit" in the comic books, where Alpha told him he would have to "earn it." Negan's time among the Whisperers ultimately ended prematurely in The Walking Dead #156.
A previously released trailer for the second half of Season 10 hinted Negan's infiltration of the Whisperers means the survivors have a spy in the Whisperer camp, playing into the season's theme of espionage and paranoia.
While Alpha attempts to sniff out a traitor — Gamma (Thora Birch) betrayed Alpha after learning she lied about the death of daughter Lydia (Cassady McClincy), who was last seen crossing into Whisperer territory following a betrayal committed by Carol (Melissa McBride) — the complex relationship between Alpha and Beta will enter rocky waters by way of Negan's presence among the Whisperers.
"That’s part of the story we’re trying to tell for the season, is those two have this very close and yet complex relationship, and the introduction of first Gamma into that trio, and then Negan, definitely shakes things up," showrunner Angela Kang previously told EW. "Part of the way that we’re tracking the story of the Whisperers is what is happening in that core relationship between Alpha and Beta, and certainly I think the fact that Alpha feels some doubt coming from Beta is also changing her tactics. That’s partly why she brings Gamma into her fold and why she’s interested in the presence of Negan, and all of that has a lot of implications for what happens with the Whisperers as the season goes on."
TWD Season 10 returns with new episodes Feb. 23 on AMC. For more TWD intel, follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter.