The Walking Dead Awards: Messed-up memories

Season 9, Episode 10: Tuesdays with Daryl

The Walking Dead 910
Lydia’s memories reveal a lot about new villain Alpha.

Photograph by Gene Page/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: Henry has a crush on the only girl his age, they go on a dinner date, and Daryl chaperones.

Season 9, Episode 10: “Omega”

Best police work: Some time before his air-evac away from the series, Rick must have sat down with Daryl and explained how to be a cop in great detail, because Daryl’s interrogation and sting-op games are superb.

Best (unreliable) narration: We really like how Lydia’s flashbacks were repeated, distorted, and changed to reflect her repressed memories.

Most epic showdown: “My mom’s a lot like your mom,” Henry notes when he’s talking to Lydia. If that isn’t foreshadowing for a future Carol vs. Alpha battle, we are going to be severely disappointed.

Worst parenting: Carol’s been Henry’s mom for six years, yet he’s not a stone-cold killer with enough street smarts to pave a highway. Too much of the king, not enough of the cookies.

Best new term for walkers: “sickos”

Most double-edged skill: Being deaf in the apocalypse certainly has its disadvantages since you can’t hear walkers coming. However, knowing sign language would be a huge boon in a world where staying quiet can mean life or death.

Nicest detail: It seems so obvious in hindsight, but Henry reveals in this episode that Carol’s long hair isn’t just a way to show viewers that six years have passed—it’s also a reflection of her trust in Ezekiel. She cut it short so her abusive ex-husband couldn’t yank it. Now, she feels safe again.

Worst background character: We understand that 43 days into the apocalypse might not bring out everyone’s A-game, but if you’re trying to stop a walker and you axe a living guy square in the back in the process, you probably weren’t going to make it very far anyway.

Most useless hunt: Magna, Yumiko, Kelly, and Connie weren’t too happy when Tara made them go home on the first hunt for Luke and Alden because they didn’t have a plan. So they sneak out after dark and go hunt for Luke, only to turn back after a walker attack reminds them that they still don’t have a plan. What was the point of going out the second time if they still didn’t have this necessary plan?

Most accurate observation: “Walking around in dead people’s skins is pretty messed up,” Henry says.

Best line: “Funky walk, check; no weapons, check; okay.” —Tara, making certain the walkers she was about to kill were, in fact, walkers

Most disturbing image: Alpha’s present-day reveal. The lack of hair, the skull-like face, the sheer chutzpah of marching right to The Hilltop’s gates to retrieve her “daughtah” (okay, maybe the Appalachian accent is a bit much) left her appearance burned into our brains. It will haunt us until next week.

Best kill: Alpha killing Lydia’s father. Not because we liked it, but because it set the stage for just how intense Alpha is going to be for the rest of her time on The Walking Dead.

Episode MVP: Daryl is now officially this show’s best interrogator. Yes, he admittedly used Henry as part of his plan, but he got the information that he needed from Lydia and (with Henry’s help) guided her to see that her mom might not be worth protecting. Lydia’s gonna need a lot more reassurance before she can trust anyone—and with mama Alpha at the gate to claim her, there’s no guarantee she’ll even want to stay in Hilltop—but at least now she’s had a glimpse at the other side of the world.