The Walking Dead Season 10 midseason finale, “The World Before,” left burning questions surrounding the true allegiance of Whisperer Gamma (Thora Birch). After Carol (Melissa McBride) used Lydia (Cassady McClincy) as proof cult leader Alpha (Samantha Morton) lied to her followers about her daughter’s death, a betrayed Gamma approached contact Aaron (Ross Marquand) offering key intel about Alpha’s walker horde capable of wiping out Alexandria. In exchange, Gamma — who reveals her given name to be Mary — only wants to arrange an opportunity to see nephew Adam, the child sister Frances (Juliet Brett) was forced by Alpha to abandon in 9x11, “Bounty.”
In 10x08, Aaron learns Alpha is keeping the herd just over the Whisperer border in a sunken field on the edge of the national forest. Daryl (Norman Reedus) is less trusting of the Whisperer saboteur and suspects an ambush, but Aaron believes Mary when she says she wants to reconnect with the only family she has left: as we saw in 10x02, “We Are the End of the World,” Mary was forced to kill her sister to protect Alpha.
Daryl instructs Aaron to put together a group from Hilltop to scout the location. When they’re done, they’ll search for the missing Lydia, who last crossed into Whisperer territory alone after Carol’s betrayal.
The Alexandrians set off into the woods with the Hilltop’s Connie (Lauren Ridloff), Kelly (Angel Theory), Jerry (Cooper Andrews) and Magna (Nadia Hilker), crossing the Whisperer border in the dead of night. Daryl prevents Carol from losing a leg in a trap before confronting Carol about her reckless behavior driven by an obsessive vendetta against Alpha, who murdered son Henry (Matt Lintz).
When the scout team reaches the field where the herd should be, they discover an empty field. Daryl is pissed.
“It doesn’t mean Mary lied to us. They were protecting this place,” Aaron says. “They put a trap in the road as a deterrent.” Daryl calls bullshit and argues the trap belonged to some hunter a decade ago, but Aaron fires back, “That thing was rigged more recently than that, and you know it.”
“Look, the herd could have been here,” Aaron reasons. “Last week, or yesterday, we had an obligation to come check this out.”
Daryl storms off to track Lydia, and Aaron tells Carol, “I wasn’t wrong about this.” Carol hangs back, and we switch to a point-of-view shot of someone watching from the bushes nearby.
The voyeur is later seemingly revealed to be Alpha when Carol spots her creeping from across a field. Carol gives chase, and the group falls into an underground trap when Carol follows Alpha into a mine shaft. There the survivors discover the walker herd, but they’re left surrounded with no apparent way out and the episode ends.
Showrunner Angela Kang previously said the Lydia reveal marked a turning point for the former true believer, who was left visibly distraught by the turn of events in 10x07, “Open Your Eyes.” Gamma’s reaction to Alpha’s betrayal, seen only by the audience, is a telling sign the information supplied to Aaron was true at one point.
Alpha relocating the herd means she’s now aware of a traitor, which could signal worse news for Gamma, who has already been punished for wavering from the Whisperer way of life.0comments
“We feel that, for Gamma, was the moment where she realized, ‘My leader who I thought was pure and that stood by her principles, and we have to stand by these principles, and that’s the only way to survive, is just a hypocrite and a liar, like every other person. And look at what I’ve lost and what I’ve done,’” Kang told EW. “That’s going to have a big impact going forward. I can’t get into specifics because it’s too spoiler-y, but I think Thora did an amazing job playing her heartbreak in the moment. It’s not just anger or shock, there’s real heartbreak there.”
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