Carol is haunted by Alpha; Negan is vaunted by Whisperers; Eugene is daunted by Stephanie in The Walking Dead Season 10 Episode 14: "Look at the Flowers."
In This Episode …
We follow up with several different stories this week. With only two episodes left before the season finale, it feels like this episode resolved a lot of storylines, and sets us up for the finale (which won’t air until later this year, thanks to our own personal zombie apocalypse).
Let’s start with Negan. In the cold open, we see Carol come to him in his cell and ask him to kill Alpha. He is unsure if it will make his standing in Alexandria any better. “You bring me Alpha’s head, that’s what people will remember. I’ll make sure of it.” After Negan does the job, Carol is a little miffed that it took so long, and she tells him that she needs some alone time, so if Negan wants a parade through the streets of Alexandria, he will have to do it himself. Negan, realizing he can’t do that, goes back to collect Lydia. Instead, he finds Daryl waiting for him, crossbow drawn. He doesn’t believe that Negan killed Alpha, even after he presents her mask, so they head out on a death march to the borderland to find the pike on which Carol set Alpha’s head.
All they find is a bloody pike -- the Whisperers have already taken it down (more on that in a minute). Daryl is suspicious, but a couple Whisperers come out and say that Alpha is dead because of Negan. Rather than kill him, the kneel before him, calling him the new Alpha. Negan accepts this title readily, but uses this to gain control of their rifle, and makes quick work of killing the two Whisperers. Later, as the two share a canteen, Negan reflects on his brief time at the top of the Whisperers’ food chain. He liked being in power again, but he didn’t like Alpha’s policy of killing people who didn’t deserve it -- and you never kill kids. Daryl doesn’t really know how to react. Negan isn’t wholly evil anymore, but he also isn’t wholly reformed.
Carol has gone into the woods by herself, but she is haunted by a living vision of Alpha. It’s pretty typical stuff, Carol’s brain blaming her for the loss of Sophia, Mika, Lizzie, Henry, all in the worst way: the guise of Alpha. She seems to rid herself of Alpha -- at least for the time being -- when the roof of a shack collapses on her. After being stuck beneath the rubble for hours, a zombie barrels down on her. She dislocates her shoulder, frees herself, kills the zombie, and in doing so, appears to free herself from Alpha. She returns to Alexandria, where Daryl is waiting for her -- and he is disappointed when she blows past him without a word.
Beta and two cohorts found Alpha’s head on the spike. One of the cohorts says that this means Beta is now the alpha; this offends Beta. He forces his cohort’s head near Alpha’s growling head until she bites his ear off. The other cohort runs away. Beta takes Alpha’s head and cradles it like a baby. The two (well, two and a half – Alpha’s head is now in a bloody sack) of them walk through a small town. A zombie comes toward them, and the Whisperer moves to kill it, but Beta kills the Whisperer instead and lets the zombie feed. Beta continues into a saloon, where he finds a note that reads “These 2 eyes see 1 truth.” He tears down a poster for music legend Half Moon, and smashes a guitar. He puts a Half Moon record on, turns it up loud, and goes onto the balcony. As the zombies pool beneath him, Beta pulls off part of his mask and seems to bask in the perceived adulation. To Alpha’s head, he says, “Thank you. I see now. Thank you.” He silences her with a knife to the head, and leaves the building, walking amongst these zombies.
At Rosita’s urging, Eugene finally reveals his planned meet with Stephanie. Everyone is panicked to some degree, but Ezekiel is the sole voice of compassion. He understands the worry that everyone feels -- he feels it, too -- but he is willing to carefully explore a potential meetup with a new community. Ezekiel joins Eugene and Yumiko on the ride to meet Stephanie. As they approach, they discover a morbid tableau: zombies chained up, positioned, and dressed like townsfolk. A pair of dapperly dressed zombies play cards in a diner. Others are riding around on motorized wheelchairs or sitting in the driver’s seat of cars. Suddenly, a living, breathing girl with purple hair appears on the street before them. “Oh my God, HI!” she exclaims.
Negan is a shipper
Twice, Negan made reference to Carol being Daryl’s girlfriend. "Why else would your girlfriend let me out of my cell?" he asked first. Then later, he says that Daryl is pissed off that his "gal pal" didn’t share her plan with him.
Beta is … a rock star?
Well, not rock star. It appears to be more like a country-western star. But either way … this is what he was hiding from? Fame? I hope there is more to this than just a “Woe is me, I’m famous” story. Frankly, I was hoping he was going to turn out to be a notorious serial killer, like Ted Bundy or Jeffrey Dahmer or someone like that.
And on a completely different note … how the hell does the record player play? Unless it is one of those old hand-crank Victrolas, how does it get power?
"Look at the flowers."
This is a line taken from the Season 4 episode "The Grove," one of my favorite episodes of episodic television. This was the episode where Carol kills Lizzie after she reveals herself to have psychopathic tendencies. Hearing Alpha say, "Just look at the flowers" -- which is what Carol told Lizzie right before she shot her -- is what inspired Carol to dislocate her shoulder and escape. I really liked this throwback.