SEASON 10; EPISODE 10
There was always a very good chance that we would leave the whole 'people trapped in a cave' situation and focus on some of the other characters this week – and so it came to pass.
The episode opened with Rosita having a nightmare that a whisperer had broken into her house and was standing over her baby's cot with a knife. Of course, some viewers will have been pondering whether there we were being given some foreshadowing of events to come. Those people were bang on the money as it turns out...
After Negan ratted her out, we were left wondering what had happened to Gamma at the end of last week's episode. Alpha had been instructed to retrieve her. He was also instructed not to kill her, as Alpha clearly has plans to make an example of her in front of the group. Gamma had a headstart though and knowing she was on borrowed time, headed straight for Alexandria where she was greeted with a lot of suspicion and smack in the face. Welcoming outsiders into the fold has long been a bone of contention and reason for conflict on the show – and every time it happens it's a barometer of how our heroes view the outside world and what their underlying philosophy is. It's clear that Rosita is on edge and is reluctant to take any risks. Her kid's father was strangled to death by a whisperer infiltrator so you can't blame her really. Gabriel on the other hand is willing to interrogate her for information and this week we saw that the death of Siddiq (and Gabriel's subsequent murder of Dante) really has altered his personality. He may still claim to be a man of God but it seems as if he's backing the Old Testament version recently.
After Gamma confesses that she killed her own sister, Gabriel believes that she is telling the truth regarding the cave collapse and decides to lead a search and rescue party. Rosita is up for the fight too but at the last minute, Gabriel senses that she is not really up to the task and it's agreed that she should stay behind. Of course, this presents the perfect opportunity for her nightmare to become a reality. With most of the fighting contingent on their way to rescue their friends, Alexandria is vulnerable and after we see Beta enter a secret underground tunnel in the middle of a field (brilliantly hidden inside a camper van), we know that there is only one place he is headed. Sure enough, in a scene that feels like something out of a Romero flick, he emerges from Dante's grave like a corpse back from the dead. The next few minutes are pure horror as he goes house to house, offing people in scenes that would feel at home in a Halloween movie or something. Beta is a proper boogeyman and like Michael Myers, bullets are useless against him (well, sort of, he has a bullet proof vest on). His initial attempts to capture Gamma are thwarted but she soon relents and agrees to leave with him if he spares Rosita's life after the two of them have a scuffle. The two of them leave Alexandria together but are soon ambushed by Gabe and his crew. Beta somehow manages to escape (oh come on!) and Gamma tries to explain herself to Gabriel, which is easier said than done when he's pointing a big ass gun at your head. Gabriel believes her and they head back to survey the destruction that Beta has left in his wake. Although there are still question marks over her history and personality, it's clear that Gamma is now part of the Alexandria community and that's going to piss Alpha off no end. She's going to want her back.
In the other story thread, Daryl tried to remain incognito in his efforts to get back into the cave system. However, he's in whisperer territory and it was never going to be long before he ran into a spot of bother. If there is anyone that's good going it alone, then it's Daryl. However, Alpha is a formidable foe and after dispatching a couple of her goons, we saw some one on one combat and it's fair to say that Alpha knows how to handle herself. Her rise to cult leader status was not founded on nothing, you know. Although the communities don't have one overarching leader, Daryl feels like the de facto commander in chief – so what we saw here was the two bosses going at it. Neither of them was able to get the upper hand however and the fight ended in a near fatal stalemate, with both parties suffering some nasty injuries. Unable to finish the fight, the two of them ended up slipping in and out of consciousness, which is a dangerous thing to do when there are loads of walkers skulking around. It's Alpha's estranged daughter Lydia who discovers the scene before anyone else however and if there was ever a time when she had to choose a side it was this. Alpha pleaded with her to finish her off and to take her place as the new Alpha but Lydia (unsurprisingly) isn't interested in that. She also rejects the opportunity to kill her mother – a decision that will inevitably lead to a lot of bloodshed in later episodes. Instead of helping her mother, Lydia instead opts to help out Daryl – the closest thing she's had to a father figure since her mother killed her actual father. So, Lydia has chosen a side but this also marked the death of the relationship between Alpha and her daughter. Despite her uncompromising brutality, Alpha was still guilty of breaking her own rules when it came to her daughter. I think things have changed now though. 'We are the end of the world' Alpha claimed to her followers as they came to her rescue at the end of the episode. Yep, they're basically a full on doomsday cult now. The uneasy truce that has sort of held together over the last little while is about to be blown up.