The Walking Dead Awards: Alpha, Beta, Gamma

Season 10, Episode 2: B is for Backstory

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The Walking Dead Season 10 Episode 2
We didn’t really need another episode of Alpha backstory, but we got one.

Photograph by Jace Downs/AMC

(Spoilers ahead)

Each week, we comb through the guts of The Walking Dead, much like a horde of hungry walkers, to bring you the episode’s best moments, surprises, and other post-apocalyptic curiosities. This week: Alpha and Beta meet. Alpha and Beta cover songs. Alpha and Beta cover themselves with meat.

Season 10, Episode 2: “We are the End of the World”

Best new couple name: AlphaBet(a)

Most melodramatic: Alpha and Beta really are two of a kind, particularly in their affection for morbid idioms. We’re all monsters now. The song of the dead is the only song I never want to end. It’s like plucking dialogue out of the “I’m 14 and This is Deep” Reddit board.

Best teamwork: We’re honestly not sure how Alpha hasn’t been killed yet. Everyone in her “pack” has weapons, learns how to sneak around quietly, and stays in the same general location. She really must have a handle on the group (with a lot of help from Beta, most likely.)

Lack of advancement: Alpha anoints the surviving sister as Gamma, which is the third letter in the Greek alphabet. In seven years, nobody’s earned enough merit points to get a letter? What is this, the Whisperer equivalent to the Medal of Honor?

Loosest end: Leaving Lydia alive is going to be Alpha’s undoing. As she herself mentions, if her pack finds out, it’s game over. We’re not sure how they won’t discover this information in an all-out war with our heroes, however.

Worst cameo: Just when you thought you’d seen enough of the Soviet satellite, it returned in this episode to do . . . pretty much nothing. Yep, just reminding you where in the timeline this episode is. Moving along . . .

Most drawn-out: The majority of this episode. Learning Beta’s backstory—and the mysterious friend from whom he stole his mask and T-shirt—was pretty interesting, as was the bit about anointing Gamma, but all of that could have been the B-plot to an episode starring our heroes. We know plenty about Alpha and Lydia’s strained relationship already, and Alpha building and then subsequently destroying a space for Lydia was honestly just kind of confusing.

The Walking Dead Season 10 Episode 2
Clear-ish

Best callback: On the wall of facility, written in what is presumably blood, are endless repetitions of “I am the end of the world,” which just reminds us a ton of Morgan’s written ramblings in “Clear.”

Biggest question: Why does Beta always hide his face? Is he horribly disfigured? Or is he horribly recognizable? For what it’s worth, some fans of the TWD Universe seem to think that we’ve seen Beta’s face before, on an album cover in an episode of Fear the Walking Dead. (This would also mirror the comic’s story.)

Best news not related to this episode: Thankfully, in a decision that was probably not based on this episode, TWD has been renewed for an 11th season, and Lauren Cohen will be back later this season (and return as a full-fledged series regular in season 11). Hallelujah.

Best line: “Well, you’re different.” —Beta to Alpha after she starts cutting the innards out of a dead walker.

Most disturbing image: The walkers eating the woman in the episode’s opening scene. It’s been a hot minute since we’ve had a good, old fashioned Walker eat-em-up. This scene was especially gruesome. Lydia, we’re right there with you on the screaming.

Best kill: “I like killing with you,” Alpha swoons as she and Beta take down a hallway full of walkers in one of the flashback scenes. Say what you will about these two; they do make a good pair of walker killers.

Episode MVP: Frances, for realizing who’s made her life hell and attempting to do something about it. She may have failed in killing Alpha, but she tried, and damn it, that’s gotta count for something.

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