The Walking Dead returned for the second half of its ninth season this Sunday, bringing with it the beginning of the conflict between our heroic survivors and their latest foes, the Whisperers. In particular, we got our first glimpse of Samantha Morton’s Alpha, the creepy leader of the chilling community who have a thing for wearing walker face masks. Alpha remains a mysterious character, but these photos for the next episode promise that we’ll soon get to know her past.
Entertainment Weekly unveiled this batch of images from season 9’s tenth episode, titled “Omega.” As seen in the gallery below, the stills come from a flashback that’ll reveal Alpha’s appearance when she was an ordinary woman. By the looks of things, she was part of a community that seemed to be doing some good in the post-apocalyptic world. So, how did she go from helping people to becoming a murderous tyrant wearing rotting skin on her head? You’ll have to tune in to find out.
The photos also show a young Lydia, Alpha’s daughter, whom we also met for the first time in the midseason premiere, with Michonne, Daryl and co. taking her hostage – or you could say saving her from her crazy folks – after defeating a bunch of Whisperers. Lydia teased that her mother had once tried the Alexandrian approach to surviving a zombie-filled world before but it didn’t go too well. Apparently, it went so badly that she pretty much lost her mind, now preferring to hide amongst the dead than attempt to build a life again.
This is new territory for the character, as Robert Kirkman’s original comic books didn’t flesh out Alpha’s backstory very much. Presumably, this is one of those “surprises” that showrunner Angela Kang told us would be coming as the TV series adapts the Whisperers storyline to the screen. With any luck, it’ll make her an even more compelling villain for the rest of season 9 and the now confirmed season 10.
Be sure to catch The Walking Dead 9×10 “Omega” this Sunday, February 17th on AMC.