The Walking Dead focused on Alpha and Beta’s origins in “We Are The End of The World”. Have they always been this extreme, and what brought them together? Here’s our recap!
“We Are The End of The World” is a bottle episode that focuses solely on Alpha, Beta, and Lydia. In the title, we see that there’s going to be a presence that’s there, but not truly there, and that’s Lydia. Her ghost lingers all over the present portions of the episode, and we see how she’s never truly been on board with her mother’s techniques.
“We Are The End of The World” opens with a car horn blaring, and we see a car has crashed into a building. A woman wakes up, and finally moves off the horn, but walkers are closing in on her. Alpha and Lydia are walking through the herd, but haven’t adopted walker faces yet. They’re only covered in walker blood.
Alpha’s making the noises and movements of a walker, but when Lydia opens her eyes and sees the woman being eaten, she screams and causes the herd to turn on them, too. They run, and Alpha bangs on different doors trying to get inside somewhere. One door finally opens, and Alpha moves inside first.
She turns and yanks Lydia through the door, almost like an afterthought.
Down the hallway, they see a man standing ominously. Alpha tells the man that they mean no harm. He won’t answer, so she walks forward. The man wings his machete into a door frame, seemingly warning them back. That’s when Alpha goes full Alpha:
“Go on and try to kill us, but know two things: 1. I do not die easily. 2. You must also kill my daughter because I will not leave this earth without her.”
“Do not leave this hallway.”
Lydia asks if she can wash up, and Alpha asks if there’s any water, and he points to a room. When he walks away, Lydia asks:
“Is he a monster?”
“We’re all monstrous now.”
Later, Alpha is washing the blood off Lydia in a stock tank. On the wall behind them, there are words and sentences scratched into the wall.
“I am ME.”
This place doesn’t seem like it’s got a good backstory, so it’s the perfect place for Whisperer history to start.
In the hallway, the man is pacing one end and humming, so Alpha starts to mirror him. This causes him to stalk down the hallway, and tell her to stop singing.
“Do you have name?”
“The dead don’t have names, and we shouldn’t either.”
She goes on to say that if they’ve survived this long, they know each other on a primal level, and all the civility is bullshit. Alpha asks how he ended up here, and he said that he got into a tussle with the dead.
Alpha asks about his ski mask, and if he’s wearing that because he got injured. Instead of answering he says:
“I like it. The sound of the dead. It’s the only song I never want to end.”
Oh hell no.
When it’s time for bed, Alpha puts Lydia in a room and tells her that she’ll sleep there tonight. Lydia asks why there are big pillows on the walls.
“So the people put in here wouldn’t hurt themselves.”
“People like that man out there?”
“These walls could never control someone like that.”
“You like him?”
Alpha tries to hand her a bunny, but Lydia refuses. She says she doesn’t want to be a baby anymore. She wants to be like her momma.
“I’ve waited so long to hear that, and I hope you that you will because if you can’t, I’ll have no choice but to leave you behind.”
Pleadingly, Lydia tells her mom she loves her, and Alpha tells her to stop calling her that. After she leaves the room, she begins humming again, and finds a large group of walkers. She kills a couple before the man shows up, and together they kill the rest.
Alpha tells him:
“I like killing with you.”
Then she sets to work carving into the walkers, gathering guts.
“Oh, you’re different.”
No shit, dude.
He helps her rip open a chest cavity, and she calls him Big Man, then shortens that to B.
“I thought we didn’t have names anymore.”
“It’s not a name. It’s a letter.”
“If I’m B, what does that make you?”
Well, origin story unlocked!
Beta goes on to say that when you’re covered in walker blood, you can walk with them. Alpha says it’s more than walking with them, you have to become them. Feel what they feel.
“What do they feel?”
“Nothing. There are two types of people left in this world, the ones brave enough to walk with the dead and everyone else. So tell me, B, which one are you?”
She reaches out to touch his face and remove the mask, but he grabs her hand and tells her to leave at sunrise and never come back. He walks away, and she begins humming again.
The next morning, Lydia finds the buckets of walker guts and blood. She covers herself in them and begins walking around.
She repeats over and over, “We’re all monsters now.” Eventually, she makes it upstairs.
There’s a door that’s shut with a walker behind it, and Lydia goes to open it, releasing a walker. Alpha is cornered by Beta who reminds her she wasn’t supposed to leave the hallway, and he doesn’t care who she’s looking for.
A walker moves into the room, and Alpha rushes around Beta and stabs it in the head. He yells as it hits the ground and goes crazy with anger and sadness. We find out that the walker that was killed was his friend.
He raises his machete at Alpha and Lydia screams:
“She’s trying to save you!”
Alpha yells at Lydia not to leave her again, and Alpha moves to Beta:
“The world went dark, so we could see a new path, so walk with me. Walk with me, and you’ll never be alone again. My B.”
“I am the end of the world. I am the end of the world. I am the end of the world.”
“We are the end of the world. We are the end of the world. Come with us.”
“I can’t leave him.”
Alpha says he won’t have to, so Beta cuts off his friends face, and he has a new mask.
In the present, Beta is carefully shaving Alpha’s head as he tells her it’s time for the pack to return. “Ghosts” for all its time in the past is about moving forward, and how they can do that without Lydia and in a new dynamic.
“We are far from the enemy. Their fear will subside.”
“They will fear us no matter where we are. They will fear us because of what we did. Do you doubt me? Our mission?”
Alpha tells him to take two sisters when he departs to gather walkers. She says they have a talent for finding the dead.
While they’re in a small herd, Beta tells the sisters that they need to gather as many walkers as they can. One sister seems particularly antsy throughout. As she walks, she starts to stare up to the sun. Beta looks back at the other sister, and she starts to move over to get her sister back in-line.
“Your head is in the clouds again. He’ll see that your not committed to the cause. To her!”
“Don’t say that.”
“I should have left you behind when I had the chance.”
Whew. These Whisperers aren’t just the worst kind of people. Sis ignores what her sister said, and tells her that she hears walkers in another direction, so they move that way. In a parking garage, they find a lot of walkers, and Alpha makes lots of grunts and bangs on a gate to get their attention, soon, they’re joined by dozens more walkers.
Outside the city, sis starts staring at the sky again, and in a flashback of her own, we see that she was the Whisperer who had to leave her baby behind.
She begins to cry, and walkers turn on her. Beta puts them down, and sister asks what’s wrong with her. Beta tells her:
“You will pay.”
When they arrive back at camp, the Whisperer who left her baby is still shaken and upset. She says that she left him and now he’s gone. Beta motions for another Whisperer to kill her.
“He’s with them! In a better place!”
Yeah, that’s probably not what you want to yell around Beta or Alpha who pops up from nowhere and tells them to stop. Beta follows her, leaving the sister still alive and crying.
In Alpha’s space, Beta tells her that this woman threatened the whole pack and losing her child broke her.
“You will never know what it’s like to abandon a child.”
Beta asks if she still thinks about Lydia, and she says:
“She was dead to me long before I ended her.”
Then she tells Beta to bring this woman deeper into the woods, and she’ll be waiting for her.
In the darkness of this deeper part of the woods, the Whisperer goes toward Alpha. This meeting spot is a tangle of tree limbs that move into a cave.
Alpha appears and the Whisperer says that she’s sorry.
“Remove your mask.”
The Whisperer does this, and then Alpha tells her to kneel. She begins to squeeze her head tightly, and the woman screams. Outside, the other Whisperer and Beta hear, but don’t do anything.
Back in the cave, Alpha loosens her grip and holds her. Later, she goes back into camp, and her sister is shocked.
“Alpha showed you her grace?”
“I’ll never stray again, sister.”
But before she can really talk, another Whisperer reaches out and agrees. It did look safe. They had livestock there. Before she can change her mind, her Whisperer sister pulls her away.
Beta follows Alpha into her den, and when he questions her for letting the woman live, she says that if she strays again, she’ll skin her alive in front of everyone. Beta tries to explain that she makes the pack unsettled, but Alpha’s says they’ll keep an eye on her.
Beta starts in on her, though:
“But the others have already spoken of the life they saw!”
“That’s not a life. It’s a fantasy.”
“And the pack must learn that again. They must see it. Up close.”
“Are you content? I have seen you wonder away from the camp alone at night.”
“I am right here. As I’ve always been.”
That night, the sisters are talking about it was like to be in the presence of Alpha all alone. The Whisperer who left her child says that she feels more at ease now, and she’s glad she made the sacrifice. They talk about how Alpha doesn’t cry, and that she sacrificed her own daughter. We know this is a damn lie. Hopefully it will come back to bite her in the ass with her own people.
The next day, the Whisperers converge with a large herd of walkers as a satellite pierces the sky.
Beta warns them not to break with the walkers who are now very scattered because of the loud noise of the crashing satellite. Everything seems to be going okay, but the Whisperer who lost her baby spots a walker wearing an empty baby carrier, and she breaks.
She runs at Alpha and jumps on her back, causing the walkers to rush them. Her sister pulls Alpha away, and the walkers fall on the other sister, killing her. Beta watches for a moment then slips back in the herd.
In camp, the remaining sister is confronted by Alpha. Her mask is removed, which is usually a precursor to death, and Alpha asks:
“Do you regret what you did?”
“She was an uncommitted. She no longer belonged with us. I had to protect the Alpha.”
“You did. It was your destiny. The lion who smothers her wailing cub. We’re strongest when we kill our own blood. It is the purest, most honest way to bring order to chaos. Your purity will never be forgotten.
“I see greatness in you.”
The Whisperer asks if she needs to repair a tear in something, but Beta interrupts and tells her to leave them.
“Are you hurt?”
“No, I’ve never been more calm.”
“Calm? We’ve lost three of our own and many more of the dead, and you are calm? It was mayhem.”
“There is clarity amid the chaos.”
That night, Alpha has a ceremony for the Whisperer who saved her, giving her a name.
The next morning, Beta comes back into camp and is stopped by Gamma.
“You’ve been gone for hours. Are you angry with me?”
“I feel nothing for you.”
Gamma tells him that Alpha was moving toward the old camp a while ago, and he takes off after her. He finds her in the old camp.
“You lost your way.”
Alpha stands up, and she’s holding the bunny that Lydia refused to carry long ago. He can’t believe she still has it.
“You kept that? This is for Lydia. You said she was dead, that you killed her. You want her back.”
“You shouldn’t have come here.”
“Why? Why did you lie to me? She’s never coming back. No matter how much you wish for it. Or how hard you try to replace her with someone else. She is gone, Alpha!”
“She’s my daughter. She’s my baby! I could not kill her.”
Beta holds out his hand for Alpha, and she takes it. She tells him repeatedly that no one can know that Lydia is alive. Alpha says that Lydia has always been dead to her because she wasn’t like her.
She then destroys the camp, as she repeats, “She was not like me!”
Beta tells her that he saw smoke at the border, and Alpha surmises that the border was crossed. She’s already planning the punishment she’ll dole out while her pack watches.
This unholy pairing hold hands and repeat their mantra:
“We walk in darkness. We are free. We bathe in blood. We are free. We love nothing. We are free. We fear nothing. We are free. We need no words. We are free. We embrace all death. We are free. This is the end of the world. Now is the end of the world. We are the end of the world.”
“We Are The End Of The World” ends with Alpha staring up at Carol.
The shot itself is insane and illustrates that for the time being, Carol may have the upper hand, but how long before Carol loses it and gets on Alpha’s level?