Is there dissension in the Whisperer ranks? A clip released ahead of Sunday’s The Walking Dead 10x07, “Open Your Eyes,” sees Whisperer leader Alpha (Samantha Morton) sniff out a growing disobedience in the recently anointed Gamma (Thora Birch) after two encounters with friendly Alexandrian Aaron (Ross Marquand). Both Gamma and Aaron are tasked with retrieving intel for their respective groups, but Gamma — who was entrusted with mucking up Alexandria’s water supply — is having second thoughts about her allegiance to pack leader Alpha. Gamma earlier earned her leader’s respect in 10x02, “We Are the End of the World,” when she saved Alpha from a pack of guardians, or walkers, at the cost of her sister’s life.
In this clip from “Open Your Eyes,” published by Decider, Alpha warns Gamma not to be deceived by the man with the metal arm. “He is one of them. He will slaughter our kind,” Alpha hisses. “He will search out your weaknesses. He will use your sister against you.”
After an order to remove her fleshy mask, Gamma steadies herself for a twig whipping from Alpha. As she punishes Gamma, Alpha reinforces her indoctrination: “We’re always being tested. We must remain strong,” she whispers. “I believe in you. Never doubt that. You are my Gamma.”
But Gamma is beginning to have her doubts.
Because Gamma does not exist in the comic book source material, the conflicted Whisperer operates as one of the biggest wild cards in Season 10. Showrunner Angela Kang previously hinted Gamma could grow at odds with Alpha and Beta (Ryan Hurst) when she said the season would examine the “complex” inner workings of the Whisperers.
“I think that there is a cult-like aspect to it. Alpha is such a charismatic leader and Beta is a true believer. So, I think that there is an element to it that I think will feel that way,” Kang previously told EW. “Certainly Samantha Morton has said that that’s an element that’s similar to what she’s channeling. Because these people have to be true believers in a philosophy that’s really pretty extreme in some ways.”
Alpha once forced Gamma’s sister, Frances (Juliet Brett), to abandon her baby outside Hilltop’s walls. Secretly, Alpha comprised her own displayed inhumanity when she allowed daughter Lydia (Cassady McClincy) to escape the Whisperers, telling her followers her “weak” daughter is dead — a lie so far known only to Beta.
“Just to say ‘It’s survival of the fittest. If you got to leave your baby behind, you got to leave your baby behind.’ We have to sort of forget human ties and human emotion as much as possible. It’s weak to cry. All these things that are so counter to the way that our heroes in the show have dealt with the struggles of survival,” Kang continued. “So yeah, it takes a particular mind-melding. But even within a cult, is everybody 100 percent with it? Or are there people that are just kind of drifting along, you know? So, I think those are some of the questions that we’re exploring.”
The Walking Dead 10x07, “Open Your Eyes,” premieres Sunday, Nov. 17 at 9/8c on AMC. For more TWD intel, follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter.