The show's new big bad takes center stage in an episode filled with flashbacks.
The newest threat to the survivors of "The Walking Dead" made herself known during "Omega," as Alpha -- the bald, no nonsense leader of the Whisperers -- emerged in all her glory.
While we were first introduced to Samantha Morton's character when she pulled a shotgun on Alden and Luke last week, tonight's new episode showed us what's hiding under her nasty mask and in her past for the first time. Viewers also learned the new Big Bad's connection to Lydia, mirroring the comics from which the show is adapted.
Most of the hour was devoted to Lydia, who filled Daryl in on her flesh-wearing group via flashbacks that only got more confusing for her as she told them. Though she at first painted her father as the bad guy, the teen eventually came to the realization that her mom -- who we finally learn is Alpha -- had only brainwashed her into believing that in the years since the outbreak first began.
Some of her memories were correct, while others had been twisted by her mom. Taking that into consideration, here's everything we learned about the Whisperer Queen's origins:
Lydia's father Frank was a calming presence when the dead first started walking, singing lullabies to her in their shelter as her mother freaked out about the world falling apart.
As she continued to unravel, Alpha pleaded with her husband to leave the shelter. When he wouldn't, she started to rebel, shaving off her hair and proclaiming, "World's over, I'm doing what I want now."
Lydia's father became more afraid of his wife, especially after she killed a man who couldn't keep quiet. "You're weak and pathetic and there's no room for you here," she said to another survivor, before killing him. This flashback seems to have happened as it appeared.
Eventually, Alpha made a plan to abandon the "idiots we got stuck with," but Frank wasn't on board. When he refused to let Lydia go with her, Alpha killed him. Though Lydia watched it all happen, her mother made her believe he died trying to protect her. "The lie wasn't mine, my mom, she told it to me over and over for years," she explained. "Deep down I knew. I knew what she was. I knew what she did."
Daryl, Lydia and Henry all kind of bonded over coming from homes plagued by physical abuse. For Daryl, it was his father, for Lydia, her mom and Henry, well, his mother's ex-husband was a real POS. But Henry doesn't think the cycle of violence has to continue, telling Daryl, "I know Lydia's people are bad, but that doesn't mean she's bad. She's just scared, you can show her there's nothing to be afraid of, you can do that, only you."
Though Lydia is clearly skeptical about Henry's community holding up, the sound of a baby crying really triggered something in her, making her believe she could maybe have a future there. She also explained that she didn't believe her mother would come looking for her, as the Whisperers tend to simply "move on" and avoid other big groups when possible.
After Tara, Marco, Yumiko, Magna, Kelly and Connie went out on patrol looking for Alden and Luke, they may have led the Whisperers right back to Hilltop. The episode ended with a horde of masked maniacs closing in on the community, as a freshly-shaven bald woman approached the gates.
Her demand: "I am Alpha and we only want one thing from you, my daughter!"
Knowing the Whisperers have already captured two of their own survivors, a trade does seem fair. But, now that they've all bonded, do you really think Daryl and Henry will turn Lydia over to a madwoman?
We'll see when "The Walking Dead" airs Sundays on AMC.