Is Henry Right About Lydia... Or Just Lovestruck?
It's a classic case of "boy meets girl," except they meet in jail and the girl wears dried zombie skins. From the very beginning, one of The Walking Dead's central themes has been how far a person can change in the apocalypse before they are "too far gone." Many times in the show someone has become so heartless, brutal and intent on survival alone that they are no longer fit to live in a civilized community and characters often disagree as to where that point of no return lies.
In the case of Lydia, most characters, Daryl included, seem to think that the young girl is too damaged to ever take in as a permanent resident, with the Whisperers' violent and primitive lifestyle proving particularly concerning for the peaceful community. Henry, on the other hand, believes that Lydia is a fundamentally good person tainted by years of horror and abuse, and that she could be rehabilitated if offered the chance to live a relatively normal lifestyle.
Henry may just have a point. After all, Lydia passes up an opportunity to take a hammer to the boy's skull and instead begs to be put back into her cell, clearly showing some kind of affinity for either Henry, the Hilltop community, or both.
With that said, it could be argued that Henry isn't letting his brain do the thinking in this scenario. The youngster has struggled to mix with survivors his own age and has had no luck searching for a love interest. Soon after Lydia arrived, however, Henry found himself sleeping next to a girl (albeit on a cell floor) who seemed to take a genuine interest in him. There's certainly a blossoming relationship happening between the two teenagers, but Henry might want to consider the mother-in-law from hell looming in the background.
Are Alden And Luke Still Alive?
There's a strong possibility that Alpha has kept Alden and Luke alive to engineer the return of Lydia, especially since a preview for The Walking Dead's next episode sees the unmasked leader tell Magna that both men are still unharmed. Crucially however, viewers have had no definitive on-screen confirmation as to Alden and Luke's fate and there's a fair chance that at least one of them won't be making it back to Hilltop in one piece.
Alpha is demanding the return of a single prisoner, so there's no reason for her to offer both Alden and Luke in a trade, especially if she's the uncompromising savage that Lydia paints her to be. When it comes to the introduction of a big new villain, The Walking Dead often likes to make an impact and since neither Alden or Luke are essential to the story, one of them could easily be sacrificed to establish Alpha as a genuine, deadly new threat.
This is where Connie could prove to be a vital factor in the confrontation. Lingering outside Hilltop just as Alpha and her goons were rocking up, Connie - who is also deaf - was unable to make it to the safety of Hilltop's gates in time and decided to hide in a tall field of crops. Having Connie exposed and vulnerable to nearby enemies is a tragedy waiting to happen and her presence could present Alpha with another card to play. Alpha may decide that, with Connie as a hostage, she can use Alden and Luke to set a blood-soaked example. Or perhaps Connie will make that classic Walking Dead mistake of trying to be a hero when hopelessly outnumbered, and get herself killed in the process.
Is Daryl Really Better Suited To Being A Whisperer?
During Daryl's interrogation of Lydia, the youngster makes a very controversial point, claiming that Daryl's preference for living alone makes him more suited to being a Whisperer than a resident of Hilltop. This certainly isn't the first time The Walking Dead has flirted with the idea of Daryl becoming an antagonist but the fan favorite has so far resisted any urge to truly join the dark side.
Nevertheless, does Lydia perhaps have a point? As with many of The Walking Dead season 9's mysteries, Daryl's isolation is connected to the currently-unknown events that occurred during the recent time jump, a point driven home when Lydia bluntly asks Daryl "what happened to you?" Daryl is clearly affected by Lydia's line of questioning and is forced to step outside and brood for a while.
While Daryl may not have a permanent room at Hilltop, it's impossible to imagine him slipping into a zombie skin and walking among the dead, meaning the chances of him actually joining the Whisperers are slim to none. The purpose of Lydia's likening of Daryl to her own group was perhaps not so much intended to foreshadow a future betrayal but to highlight Daryl's self-imposed exile and keep up the audience's intrigue over the X-shaped scars and Maggie's departure.
Perhaps more than any other offering this season, "Omega" provided more answers than it did questions and revealed far more about Lydia and Alpha than even the comic book series. However, the episode's Hilltop-exclusive setting meant that viewers will have to wait to catch up with the consequences of last week's reveal regarding Rosita's pregnancy and Negan's brief escape from jail.
The Walking Dead's next episode looks set to adapt Alpha's arrival outside Hilltop, a moment taken directly from the comic books. Given everything that has transpired so far this season, however, it would be unwise to assume that this pivotal exchange won't have a few unexpected twists and turns in store.
The Walking Dead season 9 continues with "Bounty" February 24th on AMC.