The Walking Dead is out to silence the Whisperers. In Sunday’s 10x04, Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Lydia (Cassady McClincy) discover their home has been defaced by graffiti urging Alexandria to “silence the whispers.” Ex-Whisperer Lydia emancipated herself from abusive mother Alpha (Samantha Morton), but she’s struggling to fit in within Alexandria’s walls. Lydia is bullied by Alfred (David Shae), Margo (Jerri Tubbs) — who demands justice for slain Highwaymen Ozzy (Angus Sampson) and Alek (Jason Kirkpatrick) — and Gage (Jackson Pace), out for blood to avenge friends Rodney (Joe Ando Hirsh), Addy (Kelley Mack) and Henry (Matt Lintz).
In the commissary, Lydia intentionally unsettles the three bullies by cutting into a squirrel. “This is why Ozzy and Alek died? So she could make a fool out of us?” Alfred says. Margo tells him, “Not here.” Lydia taunts again, holding her bloodied finger to her lips: Shh.
Later, Daryl tells her she “can’t be doing sh-t like that” if she hopes to live in Alexandria. She fires back, “But they can just write whatever the hell they want on our door?”
“One of the great things from the comic book that we got really excited about, there’s this idea of propaganda and paranoia, and this idea of ‘silence the Whisperers,’ which Robert Kirkman played really well,” showrunner Angela Kang previously told EW. “So there’s definitely a feeling as our group gets into this conflict that keeps building between the Whisperers that’s very different from how the Saviors war played out, where there’s just elements of paranoia but kind of a Cold War feel.”
The bullies’ vandalism, and their violent attack on Lydia, come as the Whisperers further encroach on the communities: Alpha has claimed even more territory, and Michonne (Danai Gurira) suspects the Whisperers are behind coordinated attacks on Alexandria, Hilltop and Oceanside.
“We find that there’s people who are taking a more measured response. You see people who are much more hawkish, you see people who are just confused about what to do,” Kang said. “And I think that that’s part of the interesting human landscape that’s happening as everything starts to play out, and as just paranoia starts to grip these communities, and as there are war moves being made on both sides.”
In the comics, it was Alexandria leader Rick Grimes who rallied Alexandria by telling its survivors they needed to “silence the whispers.” In The Walking Dead #152, Rick launched a full-blown propaganda campaign, admitting to Michonne he needed to direct the Alexandrians’ anger away from himself and towards their enemy.