REVIEW: The Walking Dead, S9 Ep10 – Omega

The Walking Dead, S9 Ep10 - Omega

The Walking Dead introduces its latest villain in an episode that also explores the trauma of abuse survivors.

While not an action-packed chapter, this episode does improve on the last by continuing the interrogation of the Whisperer girl, Lydia, and revealing that the latter is actually the daughter of the vicious leader, Alpha. This was also an opportunity for Daryl to shine and to do more than be his usual “reclusive badass” self by showing some sympathy for the suspicious captive and also unexpectedly sharing some things about his past.

The Walking Dead, S9 Ep10 - OmegaLydia recounts the story of her past in a series of flashbacks of the time before the world was overrun by The Walking Dead. She and her family were hidden away in a safe house while the world descended in chaos. Lydia describes her parents and the things they had to do to survive. But as the flashbacks progress, one senses certain inconsistencies in her stories (including her father’s facial hair, a tattoo of her name, and a song sung to comfort her), and so does Daryl. Where at first it seems like she is painting her father as the violent and abusive parent while her mother plays the traditional role of the gentle and nurturing one, it turns out that the truth is the other way around.

The way The Walking Dead handled this revelation and the creative use of unreliable narrator made the introduction of Alpha all the more powerful. As another reviewer notes, this origin story differs from the one of the Filthy Woman from Fear the Walking Dead because Alpha had always been vicious at her core, and her transformation into a Whisperer was not triggered by the events of the apocalypse.

The Walking Dead, S9 Ep10 - OmegaThere was a subplot of Magna’s group trying to launch a rescue mission for Luke but failing in their attempt. This causes some tension between them and Tara, who is struggling with her leadership role but who still values them as allies. In the face of the new and vicious threat, they will need all the help they can get. At the end of the episode, they stood strong together as they watched with trepidation as their enemies arrived at their doorstep.

Henry continued to show his characteristic naivete by trusting Lydia too much and even bringing her out of her cell and on a tour of the community. He did so knowing that Daryl had manipulated him into making friends with the girl. Lucky for him, Lydia’s conscience somehow materialized and she didn’t murder him with a hammer.

The Walking Dead, S9 Ep10 - OmegaIf she had, Daryl would have been around to stop her anyway. But the interactions with Lydia also led to some insights not just about Daryl but about Carol as well. Particularly interesting was when Henry talked about Carol’s refusal to grow her hair because of the traumatic experiences she had with her first husband contrasted against Alpha shaving her head as a gesture of liberation.

While she is clearly a victim of abuse, Lydia is still not someone to be trusted at the moment. After all, she was convinced that her mother would not come for her and yet the former arrives at the gates asking for her daughter. Alpha has made her terrifying entrance and she is out to wreak havoc.