Sunday night's episode of The Walking Dead so good that some fans might have been willing to overlook the fact that Beta and the Whisperers had apparently dug a tunnel into Alexandria like some sort of mythical prison escape. Suddenly, the massive Whisperer brute was emerging from the graveyard in Alexandria and wreaking havoc within the community. As it turns out, there was a thoroughly laid out plan for this from the writers behind The Walking Dead, rather than viewers simply having to suspend their disbelief about the Whisperers spending months digging their tunnel. The Walking Dead showrunner Angela Kang takes it back to a subtle moment from the first half of the season to reveal what really happened.
As it turns out, the grave which Beta emerged from was Cheryl's. Casual viewers might not have noticed the detail or connected the dots but Cheryl was the older woman who Dante poisoned and ultimately dug the grave for. He insisted on digging that grave. While doing so, he helped connect the tunnel for the Whisperers.
"My writer Jim Barnes had this great idea of doing a classic horror movie in the walls of Alexandria, where Beta is stalking our people," Kang explained to EW. "I was like, 'I love this idea, but how does he get in?' So we threw out a lot of ideas. I actually think it might have been that I was like, 'You know what would be so great is I love the idea of him coming through a grave,' but Jim and the writers solved it and was like, 'Yeah, if Dante created this back door because he was screwing things up for them.' He killed this woman Cheryl and then he dug the grave‚ because who’s going to look in a grave? We also wanted to make sure our people didn’t look dumb either. Once they knew that Dante had been sabotaging things in Alexandria, they would have looked. But you’re not going to check in a grave necessarily."
"It just came about from a lot of the conversations of, 'How do we make sure that our people are protected and they just didn’t miss something obvious? And how do we also make the Whisperers clever, because they are really good bad villains?'" Kang said. "It’s in a fun way that all these things ever developed, amongst the writers in the room. It was all sort of a group project, to figure it out, and just a good image."
Beta's chaos claimed many in Alexandria, including one character fans have been surprised to learn was dead after not much focus on her demise after so many years on the series.
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9pm ET on AMC.