Spoiler warning for the most recent episode of The Walking Dead. Be sure to catch up before reading on.
Immediately after introducing the protagonists' current set-up in the Season 10 premiere, The Walking Dead pulled focus to the evolution of the Whisperers. Viewers watched Alpha and Beta meeting for the first time – with some Fear the Walking Dead-connecting results – and also witnessed Thora Birch's new villain Gamma gaining Alpha's respect. And the goosebumps were popping off whenever Episode 2's ending matched up with the Alpha and Carol stare-down that capped off the premiere.
CinemaBlend spoke with Walking Dead star Samantha Morton ahead of "We Are the End of the World," and obviously both Gamma and Carol's names came up during the interview. Understandably, Morton wasn't able to share spoiler-filled script pages about what's coming, but as it often goes with Walking Dead cast members, it was what she couldn't say that spoke the loudest. Let's tackle these one at a time.
Alpha + Gamma
Without a lot known about her character going into Season 10, Thora Birch made her grand (and mostly silent) introduction as Gamma. Interestingly, Gamma was revealed to be the sister of Frances, the woman who had to sacrifice her crying baby according to Alpha's demands in Season 9. (The infant was rescued by Connie, thankfully.) Unfortunately, Frances never got past that personal trauma. She quickly became a liability, despite Alpha initially granting her clemency, and Gamma sealed her own sister's fate after Frances moronically tried to attack Alpha.
It was quite the hectic scene for all the applicable reasons, and spoke to Gamma's loyalty and trustworthiness as a Whisperer. Considering Alpha was dealing with some emotional hurdles concerning her unwavering affection for her daughter Lydia (despite Beta's naysaying), it seems possible that Alpha will look to Gamma as a kind of surrogate daughter in future episodes. Indeed, when I mentioned this potential outcome to Samantha Morton, the actress had to sidestep the idea for secrecy reasons. In her words:
All of that is interesting. I don't want to say too much, because of where it goes to. But firstly, I would like to say that the introduction of Gamma was amazing to me. Obviously, it's been amazing working with Ryan, but I loved working with Thora. I'm a huge fan of hers, and she is extraordinary to say the least. So that was a real privilege to get to spend time with Thora and act with her and develop this relationship. It was amazing, and there's so much to come that is really, really wonderful. I don't want to say too much, because I don't want to give it away, but it was extraordinary.
Just in case any viewers out there were worried that Thora Birch's Gamma would only be around for a short and unimportant burst of episodes, Samantha Morton's veiled excitement about the future is seemingly proof enough that the newest Whisperer will be highly integral to the upcoming Whisperers War that will likely get heated up in the next episode.
As a character created fresh for the TV show, Gamma doesn't have any comic book history to turn to for ideas about what's coming next. In fact, the comic's Whisperers didn't really have any other important standout characters beyond Alpha and Beta, so it's probably smart that The Walking Dead is expanding that villain base, even if it's only one new character for now.
Samantha Morton doesn't necessarily think that Gamma is one of a kind for the way she stepped in and saved Alpha from being attacked, even though it was Gamma's own sister being sacrificed. However, Gamma obviously is the only one who did it, and Alpha completely understands the importance of that choice. Here's how Morton explained it:
I don't know if they wouldn't have stood up. It was more complex than that. That scene is more complex than just one Whisperer standing up for another Whisperer. The complexity for Gamma and her sister is really, really heavy. I'm not saying any of the other Whisperers wouldn't have sacrificed their sibling, but Gamma did, and I think that is extraordinary and huge, and Alpha cannot not see that for what it is. Also, you know, she's very, very aware that Lydia is no longer around, and she's, very, very aware that she needs to be training people. It's not just about initiating people to become Whisperers; she needs an army. She needs things to become different than they have been. Everything's changing now, you know? Things are moving and changing as they happen. They're not the same as they've been for years when the Whisperers have just wandered around with Lydia there.
Though Gamma may take Lydia's place in some ways in Alpha's mind, it won't be a full transfer, and Alpha is going to have to distract herself by putting her mind on other things. Will one of those other things be "sicking walkers onto Carol, Michonne & Co." in future episodes? Seems likely enough.
Alpha Vs. Carol
Speaking of Melissa McBride's take-no-shit survivor, Carol stepped up as the perfect foil for Alpha's vindictiveness, what with Andrew Lincoln's Rick and Lauren Cohan's Maggie not being around (at least until Season 11) to dilute any of that violent possessiveness. Both the premiere and the second episode ended with distant daggers being traded between Carol and the Whisperers leader, and fans are expecting fireworks to go off between the two females.
When I asked Samantha Morton about Alpha and Carol's future on The Walking Dead, the actress got as quiet as one of her Whisperer followers. And because her response is so minimal, perhaps we can assume that the character's feud will be anything but minimal. Here's what she said:
There's a lot I can't say. And it's not because I don't want to. Just, it's the nature of doing press for the show. We're still shooting it, and there's still a lot to come out. I think there really isn't much I can say on that at all. I'm sorry.
This is The Walking Dead, of course, so fans are quite used to having details hidden behind curtains (that may or may not be crafted from walker skins). But judging from the way Samantha Morton said there's "still a lot" on the way, I think everyone can expect to see some intense moments between Alpha and Carol, and that's probably putting it lightly.
Of course, I fully expect Alpha to have intense and chilling confrontations with more than just Carol. Michonne is going to want a piece of her before exiting the show, as will Daryl, even though Beta will be standing in the way. And then there's always Negan. (The PTSD-stricken Siddqiq, however, will likely avoid any kind of close contact.) The question now is, mainly, "When are those sparks gonna fly?"