THE WALKING DEAD Delivers A Comic Whisperer Battle

This post contains spoilers from The Walking Dead Season 10, Epsiode 11. 

The Walking Dead is finally giving its Whisperer arc some much-needed steam in the final episodes of this season. In the wake of Connie and Magna’s predicament, Alpha and Negan have concocted a plan to make the Hilltop and Alexandria bow to their command. The Hilltop is outnumbered by thousands of walkers and dealing with its own infighting over the arrival of Gamma/Mary “Morning Star” gave fans a classic battle from the Whisperer comic arc and new updates that deviate from the comics, too.

Here’s how it all went down on this week’s The Walking Dead and what this episode hints at for the remainder of Season 10.

The Hilltop Battle
Eugene Rosita and Aaron Fight At Hilltop Battle

Jace Downs/AMC

Alpha’s determination to make every Hilltop resident a member of her walker herd seems to be going well at this point. Her massive hoard has overwhelmed Hilltop’s electrical barrier and the walls are coming down too. The circle of people equipped to fight at Hilltop is painfully tiny, partially injured, and covered in flammable liquid while fires are burning most of the ground and buildings around them. There’s seemingly no where to run nor hide. Yikes. But, we all know that everyone cannot die here because the show must go on!

This battle borrows directly from a comic battle at Hilltop. The Militia fought against the Whisperers (and their herd) but things went downhill quickly when the latter shot flaming arrows into the community. Many of the buildings, including the historical Barrington house, were lost but the Hilltoppers still managed to win the battle under the leadership on none other than Maggie.

The Walking Dead showrunner Angela Kang recently said during an online Q&A with fans that Maggie will show up in the “nick-of-time” and this is a dire moment where she needs to run in with an army from whatever community she has been hiding at for years. The Hilltop is eventually rebuilt but, until then, the residents make their way to Alexandria.

This wouldn’t be a bad thing for the TV series. Alexandria will have to deal with Michonne’s exit and the likely deaths of leadership people like Father Gabriel among other residents. And, it’s likely that the Hilltop will lose people (Alden, maybe?) too. The aftermath is chance for the three communities – Hilltop, Alexandria, and the remaining Kingdommers to come together in one residential area, form new councils, and evaluate how they are going to rebuild for everyone.

Maggie and Yumiko would likely fill in leadership gaps while the story could expand towards the Commonwealth and New World Order arc with people like Eugene, Rosita (if she is still alive), and maybe Daryl at some point.

A Stephanie/Eugene Update
Eugene Fights At Hilltop Whisperer Battle On The Walking Dead

Jace Downs/AMC

Stephanie and Eugene’s radio romance is certainly ripped straight from the comics. They start communicating during the Whisperer arc and their communities meet around this time. Most comic fans have assumed that she’s with the Commonwealth in Ohio like her comic counterpart. The shows seems to have confirmed this after Stephanie set up a face to face meeting with Eugene at a rail yard in Charleston, West Virginia.

It makes sense to meet each other halfway (sort of) and she’s given him a week to get to that point. However, she has yet to confirm whether her community is in West Virginia or in Ohio. Both locations are possible because Stephanie and Eugene saw the same satellite crash from the season opener. Eugene tells Stephanie that the range for seeing that crash could only be a few hundred miles – a range that both West Virginia and Ohio fit into.

In the comics, a few Commonwealth soldiers met Eugene and others at an Ohio train yard. There’s a possibility that Stephanie is still a Commonwealth resident and the show simply moved the community from Ohio to West Virginia. It wouldn’t make a lot of sense to have her in some random community, especially when there’s still something to explore with Maggie and Georgie’s community.

West Virginia hasn’t been a state of interest in the TV show but it does make an appearance in the Telltale Walking Dead game when Clementine spends some time in the state. There’s probably not a significant connection here but it’s a nice Easter egg for those who engage in this universe outside of the TV series.

It’s been a while since The Walking Dead has expanded its scope outside of Virginia (outside of flashbacks) so it will be great to see other parts of the country.

Carol Makes Amends With Everyone
Carol and Daryl embrace in cave

Chuck Zlotnick/AMC

Carol and Daryl’s relationship is still pretty rocky at this point. Daryl says he could never hate her – and I believe it – but he definitely isn’t interested in being buddies right now. He’s ready to go out and look for Connie and Magna but has been derailed by Alpha once again. Both of them have the thickest plot armor in the apocalypse, so there will be time for them to repair the broken trust. Whatever happens, Connie needs to LIVE.

Of course, there’s no comic precedent for what Daryl nor Carol will do next. Comic Carol was a very different person who died way back in the prison arc. But, Carol has taken on some comic Michonne aspects so perhaps she will travel with Eugene to meet Stephanie. Daryl is the new lead so he might end up at the Commonwealth too at some point.

Carol also spent time with Ezekiel right before their big battle and found out about his cancer diagnosis. It’s nice to see the former romantic pair back on better terms but also a sign that Ezekiel is probably about to die.

Any time a person finds some resolution or peace on The Walking Dead, they should prepare for their impending murder. Ezekiel has mended fences with Carol, made his diagnosis known, and made a death pact with Daryl. It was nice to know you King.

The Negan/Alpha Weirdness
Negan looks at Alpha in woods

Jace Downs/AMC

The Negan and Alpha pairing continues to get increasingly weirder as they whip each other and he gets his skin mask. Gross. Their comic counterparts never had a sexual relationship but they were still an odd pairing for a while. Negan was weirdly attracted to her and respected her rule over the pack. However, Negan sees the inhumane (even for him) philosophies in her group and eventually decapitates her.

Right now, TV Negan seems genuinely enthralled with Alpha but her desire to make all of Hilltop walkers might be enough to make Negan decide to take action against Alpha. Or, perhaps something will happen within the camp to make Negan stop being uncomfortably weird.

Will Negan cut of Alpha’s head? The show may decide to follow that path because he has the space and opportunity to get it done. Or, perhaps Carol’s dream of torturing Alpha to death will come true. Either way, Alpha needs to die soon.

The Walking Dead‘s Hilltop battle and burning marks the beginning of the final fights between the communities and the Whisperer army. It’s no secret that our groups will come out victorious but there’s always a price to pay in the fight for survival.

Image Credit: Jace Downs/AMC

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