The Walking Dead faced a six-month delay before airing Season 10's "A Certain Doom," originally set as the season finale, meaning star Ryan Hurst had to stay silent about Beta's fate for far longer than expected. Alas, the episode aired in early October and, beyond giving audiences a lot to think about, it brought an official end to the Whisperers War. Daryl plunged two knives deep into Beta's eye sockets, killing off the hulking antagonist in a delightfully brutal manner that called to mind the horrifying way Hurst's fan-favorite Opie Winston was killed off on Sons of Anarchy.
When I spoke with Ryan Hurst ahead of "A Certain Doom" finally debuting on AMC, he talked about how he felt about Beta's death in general, as well as how much of the villain's backstory was based on his own suggestions. That sequence marked what is arguably the second biggest character exit of Hurst's career, and since I'm a big Sons of Anarchy fan that still hasn't ever gotten over Opie's swan song, I asked the actor to compare the two TV deaths. In his words:
While the two characters aren't exactly twins, minus the amount of blood that got into their beards, Opie and Beta are on opposite sides of the same coin when it comes to how the characters' lives fell apart in fucked-up ways, and how they lost loved ones over time. As well, they both became quite unhinged and fell harder into the "brotherhoods" that surrounded them. Obviously, Sons of Anarchy's SAMCRO is on a wholly different wavelength than the Whisperers, but the central idea of "follow the leader" is inherent to both. And now I want to see Samantha Morton's Alpha and Ron Perlman's Clay Morrow in a cage match.
Honestly, I could have listened to Ryan Hurst talk about Sons of Anarchy all day long, and not only because my SoA fandom stretches back to my early days at CinemaBlend. As strange as it is to think about in any sort of an analytical sense, Opie's death is one of the only pop culture demises that I've never really gotten over. Which is definitely different compared to how I feel about Beta, whose death already felt imminent once his mental issues kicked up twelve notches, not to mention how it matched up with the comic book's storyline.
Ryan Hurst also talked about learning about Alpha's big death, and how it affected both the show and Beta. His thoughts:
While Alpha and Beta won't be back when The Walking Dead returns, fans can expect to see Lauren Cohan's Maggie returning in full to face some "old demons" alongside her mysterious masked ninja friend. As well, showrunner Angela Kang and her creative team will introduce more elements from the comic's Commonwealth community, now that viewers have seen that area's uniformed security team. Thankfully, we won't have to wait too long for to see what happens next. The Walking Dead is currently on hiatus during production on the next batch of Season 10 episodes that will set up the eleventh and final season when it debuts in October 2021.
While waiting, don't forget to watch Fear the Walking Dead and The Walking Dead: World Beyond every Sunday night on AMC at 9:00 p.m. ET and 10:00 p.m. ET respectively. Our Fall TV 2020 premiere schedule will keep you updated on everything that's still yet to premiere before the year is over.
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Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.