Why Alpha Is the Most Horrific Big Bad on 'The Walking Dead' Yet

Alpha is brutal, but if you’re not terrified of her after the first four episodes of The Walking Dead Season 9B, you probably never will be. The last few episodes have done an impressive job establishing the Whisperers’ leader as the biggest Big Bad yet The Walking Dead, and considering what she does to her own people and daughter, it’s horrifying to imagine what’s coming for our heroes.

Spoilers for The Walking Dead Season 9 Episode 12 below.

In just four episodes on-screen, fans already know Alpha’s backstory, how she treats the rest of the Whisperers, and why she should be feared. There wasn’t too much build-up to her introduction (unlike other villains like Negan). She’s only been around for a handful of episodes, yet she elicits more concern about what she’ll do next than previous Big Bads have.

Negan’s introduction included the gruesome murders of two of the group’s own, Abraham and Glenn. (If you still shudder remembering what happened to them, I understand.) Alpha’s only included the kidnapping of two characters, Luke and Alden. While Glenn and Abraham were beloved characters by the time they were killed, no one has really gotten a chance to know Luke and Alden in the same way, but that didn’t matter.

Instead, the stark difference in the introductions of these two characters makes Alpha the worst one. She has yet to kill anyone from any of the communities — one of her people killed Jesus — but instead, we’ve seen how she treats her own people. Negan, at least, offered a twisted form of protection for the Saviors. The Whisperers are probably more likely to be killed by Alpha (or put in a position to be killed) than a walker or anyone from another group.

And seeing what she does to them, people she should care for but clearly doesn’t, is, in a way, worse than seeing immediately how she treats her enemies. You expect to see brutality from a leader against those outside a group. You don’t expect to see it against her own people.

But that’s what we’ve seen thus far. We already know she killed Lydia’s father — in front of Lydia. Then she told her daughter lies about what happened until she believed them. It only took a gesture for a mother to know to set her crying baby down when walkers approached. (If not for Connie, that baby would be dead.)

Lydia didn’t even think her mother would come for her, as it’s against the Whisperers’ rules, and it’s unclear if Alpha cared more about getting her daughter back or the information she could provide about Hilltop.

In Episode 12, when two Whisperers challenge her, Alpha decapitates the woman, puts her head in her boyfriend’s arms, and then kills him.

the walking dead whisperers alpha
Alpha is the worst — even to her own people — on 'The Walking Dead.'

The way Alpha treats her own daughter is even worse. Lydia didn’t think her mother would come for her when she was Hilltop’s prisoner, which confirms Alpha is clearly abusive and the worst kind of mother. At the end of “Guardians,” she decides to test Lydia’s loyalty by ordering her to kill Henry, who is probably as close as the girl’s ever gotten to a friend. Alpha makes it clear that Lydia doesn’t have a choice, but Daryl leads walkers into the camp to stage a rescue before Lydia has to do anything.

Still, the damage is done. Children shouldn’t even see murder, let along commit it as easily as Alpha expects Lydia to. No matter how dark the world has gotten since the dead started to rise, that’s still taking things too far.

These are all awful acts Alpha has committed against her own people, and we know something worse is coming, especially as the communities gear up for the fair. If that event plays out at all like it did in the comics, there will be heads on pikes, likely the heads of characters you hold dear.

Though Michonne agrees to let those who want to from Alexandria attend, there are still obstacles in the way before the fair can even happen. Daryl’s going to battle Beta, in a fight seen in the midseason trailer and highlighted in the Episode 13 promo (above). There’s a threat to the Kingdom that may prevent anyone from even reaching their community, as seen in the sneak peek below.

And hanging over all of this, like a dark cloud, is Alpha, who is likely to make a move so brutal fans will be talking about it between seasons in the next few episodes.

The Walking Dead Season 9 airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on AMC.


Related video: A New Threat to the Kingdom and the Fair in The Walking Dead Season 9 Episode 13 Clip

Will the fair even happen on 'The Walking Dead'?
Media via AMC