Alpha and Daryl in The Walking Dead
The Walking Dead season 9 continued this week with an Alpha-centric offering; here are all the unanswered questions from "Omega." In The Walking Dead's midseason premiere, Hilltop was left to pick up the pieces after Jesus' shocking demise and the emergence of a horrifying new enemy. They did, however, gain a small advantage when Daryl and Michonne managed to capture Lydia, one of their skin-clad pursuers. Revealed to be the daughter of the Whisperers' leader, Lydia was taken back to Hilltop and interrogated by Daryl to no avail, but young Henry eventually managed to coax some information out of the prisoner with his One Direction-esque looks and boyish charm.
Elsewhere, Lydia's mother was already making her move and lured Alden and Luke into a trap after the two-man search party set out looking for Michonne's own search party, who had previously set out to find Eugene. This week, Magna led a search party of her own to rescue Alden and Luke but ultimately failed, before two of their number had to be rescued by yet another search party.
While the residents of Hilltop were busy coming and going, Daryl and Henry finally managed to find out more about Lydia's situation and background, but just as relations were beginning to thaw between the prisoner and her captors, Alpha came knocking. These are the most vital unresolved points from The Walking Dead's latest episode.
- This Page: Questions About Alpha & The Whisperers
- Page 2: Questions About Other Walking Dead Characters
How Will Alpha's Arrival At Hilltop Play Out?
"Omega" concluded with Alpha's dramatic arrival at Hilltop, covered in grimy black face paint and flanked by a team of silently ominous Whisperers. In a surprisingly thick Southern drawl, Alpha states to the onlooking Tara and Yumiko that she has come to retrieve her captured daughter and although she doesn't say as much, it's clear that Alpha won't be leaving until she gets what she came for.
When it comes to these tense standoff situations, The Walking Dead tradition dictates that a firefight between the two sides is inevitable, but will that really prove to be the case here? By the episode's conclusion, Lydia has opened up about her group and Daryl has likely extracted every detail he can from his prisoner. As such, it would make little sense for Hilltop to keep Lydia when returning her to Alpha could prevent a bloody and unneeded battle and, factoring in the possibility that Alpha may have taken Luke and Alden as bargaining chips, the decision to let Lydia go free seems like a win-win for everybody.
Everybody, that is, except Lydia herself. This week's episode touched upon the abuse the teenage girl suffers at the hands of her mother and after a brief exploration of Hilltop, Lydia seemed to be acknowledging that their way of living was better than that offered by the Whisperers. Just like Carl Grimes in the comic books, Henry is also unlikely to be happy about letting Lydia go back to people who routinely mistreat her, and his resistance will likely ensure that even if a conflict is avoided on this occasion, the fight with the Whisperers has merely been delayed, not canceled.
How Deep Does Alpha's Abuse Go?
When Lydia eventually breaks down and tells her story to Daryl and Henry, she reveals a pattern of abuse at the hands of her mother, with visible wounds running down the inside of her arm. This plot point is taken straight from the comic books, although the source material pushes Lydia's treatment by the Whisperers much further. With Carl acting as love interest instead of Henry, Lydia reveals that her mother allows other members of the group to rape her. It remains to be seen whether this revelation will come to light in a future episode of AMC's The Walking Dead or whether such territory would be too dark for television.
While the extent of the abuse Lydia has suffered is unclear, "Omega" demonstrates on several occasions that Alpha is motivated by a genuine desire to keep her daughter alive. This is seen both in the flashback scenes, where Alpha kills her own husband because she thinks he's a liability, and later when Alpha approaches Hilltop to directly request the return of her daughter. This second instance is particularly interesting, as Lydia seemed to believe that her group would abandon her, such is their policy in these situations. The fact that Alpha has sought Lydia out could mean that she's breaking her own rules to get her child back.
How Much Of Lydia's Backstory Was Accurate?
Through the use of several flashbacks, The Walking Dead revealed Lydia and Alpha's backstory. However, the entire sequence was told through the memories of Lydia as she recalls the early days of the zombie apocalypse to Daryl and Henry and, by the end of the episode, it becomes clear that Lydia was not a particularly reliable narrator and had intentionally misremembered some salient pieces of her family history.
Lydia had forced herself into believing that her father had died protecting her from a zombie bite, but eventually confessed that she had, in fact, watched on as her mother executed her other half for supposedly being "weak." It transpired that the alternate version of events was planted in Lydia's mind by Alpha herself.
There is also an implication that other areas of Lydia's flashback are just as inaccurate, although this is not explicitly confirmed. In one of Lydia's first memories, the audience sees Alpha singing her daughter to sleep, while allowing her to softly trace a finger along a tattoo that Alpha has on her arm. Later on, however, Lydia's father is seen doing the same thing, with exactly the same tattoo on his own arm. The suggestion is that Lydia has mentally rewritten her past experiences to make them tolerable, and that her father was always the caring parent, while her mother began morphing into Alpha far earlier - and far more easily - than Lydia allowed herself to believe.