Whisperer leader Alpha (Samantha Morton) threatens to remove Negan's (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) second most prized possession in a new, ahem, snippet from The Walking Dead's coming midseason premiere, "Squeeze." While appearing to be a double entendre that could be referring to the knife pressed into Negan's loins, the episode is so named for the other perilous situation facing Negan's former captors — Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Aaron (Ross Marquand) among them — who have been trapped in a cave filled with Alpha's walker horde. While the Alexandrian and Hilltop heroes attempt to squeeze their way to freedom, Negan will find himself in his own tight spot when action returns to the Whisperer camp.
While cozying up with Alpha, Negan points out suspicious behavior exhibited by Gamma (Thora Birch), real name Mary, quickly identified by Negan as the traitor trading intelligence to Aaron of Alexandria. Alpha doesn't take lightly to the accusation her acolyte — only one of two Whisperer followers deemed worthy of a name, the other being Beta (Ryan Hurst) — has escaped her clutches, and it's then she presses her knife into Negan with a threat to "take these" as punishment for his big mouth.
The moment can be seen at the 1:16 mark in the video above.
"Negan is with them now," executive producer Denise Huth says of Negan's latest affiliation in a new look at Season 10B. "That could still go a lot of different ways." Adds Morgan, "You just don’t know where he sits with anything."
Beta doesn't trust Negan "at all," Hurst notes. "Beta has an innate sense of who he’s going to find allegiance with, and who he’s not." Despite Beta's misgivings, Negan proves Alpha's favorite — and he just might be rewarded with his own fleshy mask, completing his transformation into a full-fledged Whisperer.
Negan's presence and Gamma's betrayal come as Beta finds himself questioning decisions made by his pack alpha, who still fosters feelings for disowned daughter Lydia (Cassady McClincy).
"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 Sunday, Feb. 23 on AMC. For more TWD intel, follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter.