The Walking Dead continued this week with a deliberately vague offering, leaving plenty up the the viewer's interpretation. The opening two episodes of The Walking Dead season 10 have admirably set the stage for the inevitable clash between the show's remaining band of protagonists and current villains, the Whisperers. While the season premiere caught up with Alexandria after a brief time skip, last week's episode delved deep into Alpha and Beta's backstory, allowing the audience to catch up on what the Whisperers have been doing, aside from trying out the latest in zombie skin fashion.
In season 10's third installment, appropriately titled "Ghosts," tensions between the two opposing communities continue to escalate, but the main focus this week is an in-depth exploration of certain characters' psychological states. After a period of peace, the emergence of a new enemy, a major tragedy within the community and lingering villains from previous wars all combine with an unhealthy dose of sleep deprivation and culminate in an episode the brings inter-personal issues to the foreground for characters such as Siddiq, Carol, Aaron and Michonne.
Although "Ghosts" is perhaps a more subtle offering within the canon of The Walking Dead, its ambiguous nature and twisting of reality raises plenty of questions as the Whisperer War edges ever closer. Here are the biggest unanswered questions from The Walking Dead season 10, episode 3.
Why Is Alexandria Swamped With Walkers?
As this week's The Walking Dead opens, it becomes clear that Alexandria is under attack from a pincer movement of zombies, as hordes converge on the settlement from both the north and the south. Naturally, many within the community suspect that Alpha is responsible for this assault. After all, the two camps despise each other, and retaliatory action has been anticipated ever since the border agreement was broken in The Walking Dead's season 10 premiere. Additionally, viewers have already seen the Whisperers amassing more zombie soldiers and the current onslaught of walkers are arriving in orchestrated waves, suggesting that a human brain is conducting their movements.
However, the Whisperers themselves deny any responsibility for the deluge and Lydia questions why her mother would send her zombies piecemeal, and not just obliterate Alexandria in one fell swoop. Certainly, it's unlike Alpha to deny responsibility for her actions and without a follow-up attack, sending manageable waves of walkers seems pointless.
It's never absolutely confirmed where the zombies are emanating from exactly, but perhaps the best guess comes in a passing line of dialogue from Eugene, who suggests that the fire and noise from the satellite is still attracting attention. Whether the crash site would cause two groups of walkers to descend upon Alexandria from separate directions is perhaps worth questioning, but it's best not to doubt Eugene.
What Does Negan Want?
Negan's good guy credentials were already proven back in The Walking Dead season 9, when he returned to his cell willingly, and then later saved Judith and Dog from a nasty blizzard. His stock rose even further in "Ghosts" when he helped out Aaron and kept guard overnight, despite having the perfect opportunity to break free. While it's clear that Negan has been assimilated into the Alexandrian way of life, his goals are still a little murky.
Given his community's predicament, Gabriel sends Negan out to do some fighting, but the prisoner protests, requesting to stay back home picking tomatoes. But is this really what Negan wants? He may not be a bad guy anymore, but the former Savior leader has already got wind of the Whisperers, thanks to Lydia, and might see an opportunity to get back out into the world and enjoy some combat. If so, he could be dropping a little reverse psychology on Gabriel and Aaron, pleading for a quiet life while secretly hoping to be called up for action when the Whisperer situation finally boils over. This would fit very neatly with Negan's comic arc, in which his expertise in war is directly sought out.
How Long Can Peace Last With The Whisperers?
Negan's time may come sooner rather than later, as the situation between the Whisperers and the alliance of Alexandria, Hilltop and the Kingdom worsens by the episode. Several steps are taken towards open conflict in this week's The Walking Dead. Firstly, Alpha alters her agreement and redraws the borders to expand her territory, then Carol makes an attempt on Alpha's life, and finally, the Whisperers try to sabotage Carol's group as they head home.
Last week, it transpired that certain Whisperers, Beta in particular, are keen to launch more assaults on their enemies to keep them living in fear. Now it becomes clear that there are similar sentiments brewing within Alexandria. The last remaining Highwaymen in particular are seeking revenge and Carol is quickly becoming a law unto herself. With Alexandria's territory now pared down, there's nothing to stop Alpha making further demands and Michonne will only attempt to keep the peace for so long before deciding enough is enough, despite the massive zombie horde that Alpha holds over them.
Can Carol Keep It Together?
Carol's transformation from a victim of domestic violence to one of The Walking Dead's most reliable and formidable survivors is perhaps the best arc in the series, but the character has regularly edged dangerous close to breaking point. At times a caring parental figure and a deadly warrior at others, Carol has struggled to marry together those two very different personas. After becoming a mother to Henry, and then brutally losing him at the hands of Alpha last season, Carol is once again experiencing one of those tricky transitions.
This has resulted in an apparent reliance on self-medication and a series of hallucinations that led Carol on a dazed trip home. Carol sees herself and her deceased children on the cover of a book, experiences several visions of Henry and dreams about domestic bliss with Daryl Dixon. It's not clear whether this is due to the pills, the lack of sleep or the grief from losing Henry but, whatever the cause, Carol is becoming more erratic and rapidly building towards a violent eruption.
Why Has Alpha Shifted The Border?
Alpha used her undead leverage against Alexandria in the latest installment of The Walking Dead season 10, demanding to close in the border between the two communities. With tens of thousands of zombies backing her up, the protagonists are forced to concede to these conditions, but it's not immediately clear why the demand is being made now. On the outside, it might appear that the measures are a punishment for breaching the agreement after the satellite crashed, but could there be a deeper motivation for Alpha's changing of the landscape?
Last week's episode revealed discontent among the Whisperers, with some members clearly seeing a brighter future at Alexandria or Hilltop compared to life among the walkers. Perhaps, in an attempt to ensure no further betrayals occur, Alpha has expanded the Whisperers' land to make her community a more attractive proposition and slowly starve the enemy of food and resources.
Is Alpha Trying To Have Carol Killed?
After Carol makes an aborted attempt at shooting her arch nemesis, Michonne apologizes for the attack and Alpha forgives her assailant, one mother to another. However, the exchange perhaps isn't as cordial as it seems. Throughout Carol's dream-like return journey, she claims to have spotted Whisperers in the vicinity but, thanks to her worsening mental state, the rest of the group doubt her accuracy. In the final scene of "Ghosts," The Walking Dead more or less confirms that, despite her delusions, Carol was telling the truth about being attacked by Whisperers.
Given Alpha's mostly reactionary approach, it's possible that she forgave Carol and let the others go back home, but wasn't willing to let the attempt on her life slide, and sent a number of her people after Carol specifically to get revenge. This would explain why only Carol spotted the stalkers and why a dead Whisperer staggered out of the gymnasium after Carol cleared it of undead. It remains to be seen whether Alpha's vendetta against Carol will continue throughout The Walking Dead season 10, especially since Carol's own desire for vengeance is unlikely to subside anytime soon.
Is Siddiq Cured Of His PTSD?
Since The Walking Dead season 10 began, Siddiq has been suffering the effects of watching the Whisperers capture and behead his fellow Alexandrians, and this has threatened to cause problems in his life at the settlement, with the character clearly suffering from PTSD. This particularly storyline was developed in season 10, episode 3 as the doctor struggled to perform a medical procedure on a wounded Carol. Dante noticed his friend was struggling and took over, covering for the ailing Siddiq.
While this appeared to be an escalation of Siddiq's condition, the episode's final scenes saw a heart-to-heart between the new father and Dante that resulted in laughter and a deepened understand between the duo. In TV terms, this usually means that Siddiq's trauma will no longer be a problem going forward, since he's found someone who can relate to his experiences. On the other hand, it feels unrealistic for such a serious illness to be wrapped up after a single 3-minute conversation, and it remains to be seen whether Siddiq's PTSD will continue, or whether confiding in Dante abruptly did the trick.
The Walking Dead season 10 continues with "Silence The Whisperers" October 27th on AMC.