By now, we've already registered our thoughts on Sunday night's episode of AMC's The Walking Dead (so head over here for our review of "Walk With Us") – which means you know the major twist at the end of the episode that has us questioning a ton of what's gone on in the past but also what this means for the future.
So from this point forward? MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD! is in full effect…
So even though the circumstances leading up to Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) killing Alpha (Samantha Morton) were surprising and incredibly nerve-wracking, the end result wasn't a suprise if you knew the comics.
What we didn't see coming? Negan and Carol (Melissa McBride), apparently working together for quite some time to bring about the fall of Alpha. And while it looks like they executed their plan flawlessly, the revelation raises even more questions.
So how long has this plan been in action? Did anyone know beyond those two? Were some of Carol's questionable past actions part of this plan? How will Daryl and the other community members respond when they find out? Is Beta leading the Whisperers an even deadlier proposition?
Series executive producer/showrunner Angela Kang spoke with The Hollywood Reporter about the shocking team-up, beginning with how it represents the show's willingness to take storylines from the comics and offer a "remix" twist on them. So for Kang, Alpha's death was definitely going to happen – but it's the Carol aspect that complicates what we think we know:
"We often remix moments from the comics, but I came into the room to break the season feeling very steadfast that we needed to do the Negan [kills] Alpha storyline. It's such an iconic storyline. But we needed to have our own twist on it, which is why we have Carol. The emotional aspect of that story is so strong, the idea that they were in it together in this very particular way, but Negan takes his own path toward getting there. But yeah, we were always going to do Negan [killing] Alpha."
As for those question we were asking earlier about the nature of Negan and Carol's deal? Those will be explored in the episodes yet to come:
"Negan clearly has a deal with Carol, and we'll explore the nature of that deal and what happens after it. There are some very cool scenes coming up for Negan with our big characters, which I'm really excited for people to see. And now Carol has gotten her revenge — but revenge is complicated. It's obviously going to be something that plays out for her. Did it satisfy that itch, or is there something else at the end of this road?"
"The Walking Dead" Season 10 Reviews
We didn't mince words over how impressed we were with season opener "Lines We Crossed" (check out our review here). Then we had Morton, Hurst, and Birch raising the bar even higher with "We Are the End of the World" (check out our review here), – offering up some Whisperers backstory.
"Ghosts" elevated the paranoia as McBride continues delivering an award-winning performance (that review's here) – while "Silence the Whisperers" proved once again why it's "In Cudlitz, We Trust" (review here).
"What It Always Is" had a now-free Negan beginning his redemption arc (???) while Alpha raised the stakes against our survivors (review here).
"Bonds" had Negan being tested, Carol and Daryl possibly making matters worse for the community by "picking up" a Whisperer, and Eugene reaching out… and getting a response.
"Open Your Eyes" (review here) saw our theory about Siddiq (Avi Nash) completely, totally, and tragically put to rest. That brought us to midseason finale "The World Before" (reviewed here), as the drumbeats of war grew louder.
After a mideason break, we learned that those drumbeats had turned into thunder, as "Squeeze" (review here) and "Stalker" (review here) turned up the heat on what was once a stealth "cold war" back-n-forth between Alpha and our heroes. Then with "Morning Star" (review here), that heat caught fire… literally.