[Editor’s note: The following contains spoilers for “The Walking Dead” Season 9 Episode 10, “Omega.”]
This Week On “The Walking Dead”
The slow drip of information about the Whisperers continues in “Omega,” as Samantha Morton is rather convolutedly introduced as this season’s heavy, Alpha. It’s a solid episode, but the real question is which “Fantastic Beasts” cast member will join “The Walking Dead” next? Fingers crossed for Colin Farrell.
Man Is The True Monster
It was proposed in last week’s review that Lydia was putting on an act and she was much tougher than she let on. “Omega” wastes no time in revealing this to be true, as she gently presses Henry for information on the other settlements while filling him in on her tragic backstory. She and her parents were stuck in a group emergency shelter shortly after the zombie outbreak. Her father, Frank, was abusive and cynical, while her mother would go to any lengths to protect them, including killing one of their fellow survivors who became hysterical. Frank eventually died protecting Lydia after the murdered man turned.
Naturally Lydia’s lying about a lot of this, but the interesting wrinkle “Omega” presents is that Lydia’s lying to herself in addition to her captors. Once Daryl and Henry join forces to get through to Lydia, her resolve breaks and she realizes that her mother was the abusive one. What’s more, her mom killed Frank because he didn’t subscribe to her “every person for themselves” philosophy and tried to take Lydia away. Through years of gaslighting and abuse, Alpha made Lydia believe a different story. Daryl sums up this revelation with his typical brevity: “Some people ain’t meant to be parents.”
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While the turn is interesting, the actual execution is a little ham-fisted. There are visual holes in Lydia’s story from the get-go (note Frank’s disappearing and reappearing beard), leaving us to wonder when the real truth will out. And Lydia’s come-to-Jesus moment is pretty pat – she hears a baby crying and immediately has a breakthrough – but these are pretty minor quibbles about a story where empathy brings about character change. I’d rather have a “Walking Dead” where positive change is possible.
A Shred of Humanity
Despite a serious early error where he reveals the existence of the Kingdom to Lydia, Henry does pretty well for himself this episode. He’s understandably hurt when he finds out Daryl was using him to get information from Lydia, but he’s able to get it together and convince Daryl that he can still be useful even when he’s in on the plan. Henry can be irritating, but he still manages to get through to Lydia (even eating a worm for the team), so maybe there’s hope for him yet.
No, this episode’s Dumb Move Award has to go to the newbies (Yumiko, Magda, Connie, and Kelly), who decides to disobey Tara’s orders and go searching for Luke themselves. For once, the show actually acknowledges what a dumb move this is, since the team comes up completely empty. Fortunately, they’re scooped up by Tara, who noticed them sneaking out and had her men follow them to ensure their safety. It’s a good lesson for the newbies, who realize that they’re part of a larger community now and can’t just act like they did on the outside. It’s also a great moment for Tara, who’s really showing she has the leadership chops to run Hilltop. And not a moment too soon, because the cliffhanger is Alpha herself showing up with her troops, demanding the release of her daughter.
- Line of the episode has to go to Henry: “I just ate a worm!” You sure did, kid.
- Since the Whisperers showed up, the newbies have fallen a bit by the wayside, so it was good to check in with Connie and Kelly again.
- Lydia notes that she can’t see any reason why Alpha would keep Luke and Alden alive, but she also didn’t think Alpha would come for her, so there’s still hope there. Maybe she’ll use them as bargaining chips.
- Samantha Morton is a great outside-the-box pick for a big villain. Hopefully she’ll stick around for a bit.