Dead Characters Make a Horrific Return in The Walking Dead Season 10 Episode 3: “Ghosts”

A grieving Carol (Melissa McBride) is haunted by her past in The Walking Dead 10x03, “Ghosts.” [...]

A grieving Carol (Melissa McBride) is haunted by her past in The Walking Dead 10x03, "Ghosts." Troubled by the return of Whisperer leader Alpha (Samantha Morton), who gruesomely murdered son Henry (Matt Lintz), and exhausted by a 49-hour walker onslaught, Carol has taken to popping pills she says keep her awake and alert — "like coffee." Carol's struggle is worsened by the growing level of fear and paranoia seeping into the allied communities now distressed by the threatening presence of the neighboring Whisperers, who issued a warning against crossing into their land using a border topped with the decapitated heads of Henry and nine other victims.

In "Ghosts," Alexandria leader Michonne (Danai Gurira) is ordered by high-ranking Whisperer Gamma (Thora Birch) to meet with Alpha at the border. Under instructions to show unarmed, Michonne brings Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Carol, who uses a concealed handgun to take a shot at a taunting Alpha — one that misses only through Michonne's intervention. This infraction is forgiven by Alpha, "Mother to mother."

Ordered to flee land newly claimed by Alpha, Carol spots a trio of straggling Whisperers and opens fire. Michonne suspects a strung out Carol is seeing things, but Daryl agrees to help in the hunt for the spying Whisperers. The search brings Daryl and Carol to a nearby academy, where Carol stumbles across a home economics textbook. On its cover, a homemaker and five happy children.

When Carol takes a closer look, she's disturbed to see its cover has shifted into a gruesome family portrait.

The Walking Dead Carol Ghosts
(Photo: AMC)

Staring back is a short-haired Carol, circa Seasons 1 and 2, who is surrounded by the corpses of the five children whose deaths have long haunted her:

Sophia (Madison Lintz): Carol's only biological child, Sophia went missing in the Season 2 opener, "What Lies Ahead." The group was later horrified to discover a zombified Sophia kept in a barn on the Greene farm, where she was put down by Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln).

Lizzie (Brighton Sharbino) and Mika (Kyla Kenedy): The Samuels sisters were cared for by Carol after the death of their father, who was put down by Carol after he suffered a walker bite back at the prison. When Carol and Tyrese (Chad Coleman) left the girls alone, Lizzie killed Mika, knowing her little sister would "come back" as a walker. Carol then instructed Lizzie to look at flowers before shooting her in the back of the head.

Henry: The adopted son Carol shared with now ex-husband King Ezekiel (Khary Payton), the Kingdom prince was murdered and decapitated by Alpha as revenge for a romance that caused daughter Lydia (Cassady McClincy) to reject the Whisperers.

Sam Anderson (Major Dodson): The timid younger son of Rick's short-lived romantic interest Jessie (Alexandra Breckenridge), Sam took to a distant Carol when the group first arrived at Alexandria. In 513, "Forget," Carol threatened Sam with death by walkers when he spotted her stealing from the Alexandria armory. This premonition would come true in 609, "No Way Out," when Alexandria's streets were flooded with the undead: during an escape attempt, a panicked Sam drew the attention of walkers, who then tore Sam and his mother to pieces.

Henry's "ghost" surfaces again later as part of a series of hallucinations suffered by the guilt-ridden Carol.

"If you look at all the things that have happened to Carol, she's lost so much, you know? And she's become very damaged because of it," Reedus said at ACE Comic Con Midwest when describing best friends Daryl and Carol's "complicated" relationship in Season 10. "So there's a lot of that kind of relationship this year."

Carol has now set her sights on getting her revenge against Alpha, no matter the consequences.

New episodes of The Walking Dead Season 10 premiere Sundays at 9/8c on AMC. For more TWD intel, follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter.