A masked Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) walks with Alpha (Samantha Morton) and Beta (Ryan Hurst) of the skin-wearing Whisperers in a clip from The Walking Dead 1011, "Morning Star." The newest recruit of Alpha's pack previously made a pledge to Alpha, swearing to her, "I'm all in. Whatever you want, whatever I got, it's yours." He would later fully give himself over to Alpha in the midseason premiere, "Squeeze," when Negan became the first Whisperer to be intimate with Alpha. Whatever Negan's true motives for joining the Whisperers, he may soon be forced to show his hand: Alpha is marching the Whisperers to war with plans to unleash her walker horde upon the Hilltop colony.
"This year has been a lot about playing off of paranoia and what side are people on, and I think Negan and Alpha together are a formidable twosome," Morgan said on an episode of Talking Dead following the midseason 10 finale. "It's bad news for our heroes. And what it means for the show is we're gonna flip it on its ass."
Negan's mask, crafted by longtime Walking Dead special makeup effects guru and director Greg Nicotero, stands out among the Whisperers: Morgan requested a creepy smile be carved into Negan's mask.
"I went to Greg Nicotero when mask was being built... and had one ask. Was there a way to cut a smile into it? No other mask has one," Morgan previously revealed on Twitter. "Greg being Greg... thought it was a great idea, VERY Negan. And did it. HENCE it being the coolest."
Following a fight with Daryl (Norman Reedus) that nearly killed them both, and a final rejection from defector daughter Lydia (Cassady McClincy), who refused to kill her mother and take her place as leader of the Whisperers, Alpha is no longer tethered to whatever lingering humanity she had left: swearing she's "stronger than ever," Alpha told her followers their walker horde will butcher and consume the enemy survivors.
"Really just from here on, every episode is pretty relentless," executive producer Denise Huth said on Talking Dead following 1010, "Stalker." "The scene tonight with Lydia and Alpha is a game-changer. We've been in this sort of cold war vibe for most of the season, and this just lit a match. It's about to get very hot, and all bets are off. There's been sort of this cautious peace going on where they're not really happy with each other but they've sort of avoided the conflict, and I don't think Alpha wants to avoid it any longer."