The Walking Dead 10x02, “We Are the End of the World,” revealed the origin of the relationship between Whisperer leader Alpha (Samantha Morton) and lieutenant Beta (Ryan Hurst), whose true face is always hidden beneath the fleshy mask made from his dead best friend’s face. Ferociously protective of his identity even among his pack of Whisperers, only Alpha and her daughter have seen what Beta’s mask hides — and Hurst hints Beta’s face is an easily recognized celebrity. Beta’s face may have already been revealed on spinoff Fear the Walking Dead, where a pile of spilled country records showed a photo of a musician looking like the bearded Hurst.
“What do you know? I can’t say too much,” Hurst said on Talking Dead when asked to confirm the potential Easter egg. “All I can say at this point is maybe Beta was a large personality in the world before the apocalypse, and that sort of letting go of that might have been tragic to his psyche. I can’t say much more than that.”
In The Walking Dead comics — spoilers — readers never see Beta’s face until right before he dies from a shot fired by Aaron. Peeking under his mask, Aaron and Jesus are surprised to recognize Beta as a basketball player who headlined a series of car commercials.
Answers, and a potential reveal of Beta’s face, will arrive before the end of Season 10.
What’s under the mask? “A bleary resemblance to Whoopi Goldberg,” Hurst told EW with a laugh. “No, I can’t tell you too much about that. We’ve been dropping Easter eggs here and there, maybe on this show, maybe on another show that’s connected to it, but I’ll sort of keep dangling that carrot and let people wait for the end of this season to see what happens.”
As Season 10 reveals more Whisperer secrets, audiences might also see some disruption among Alpha’s camp, which has just introduced Gamma (Thora Birch), who is quickly rising in the ranks after sacrificing her sister to a pack of the undead when saving Alpha’s life.
“I can’t give away too much, but what I love about this show is it’s very slow to reveal any of its answers. Any time that you think you’re gonna be onto something, they’re gonna switch to another storyline and drag you into some more cliffhangers,” Hurst said at Walker Stalker Con London earlier this year. “In Season 10, Angela [Kang, showrunner] and I have been rapping about exploring more of their relationship and getting some answers. And also starting to see if and when there’s sort of going to be a divergence between the two. That’s about as much as I can tell you.”
“If I told you more,” Hurst added with a smile, “I’d have to peel your face off.”