For our review of last episode of The Walking Dead, click here.
Synopsis: Another arrival at the Hilltop Colony reveals information about the leader of a hostile new group of savages. A party searches for Alden and Luke. (IMDB)
Writer: Channing Powell
Director: David Boyd
Running Time: 44mins
Airs: Sundays at 9pm on AMC (Canada/United States)
This episode started with a flashback of Lydia and her family were faced with an evacuation order. Her father was a little more skeptical about the situation but she and her mother (Samantha Morton) were more hopeful. She was recounting the story to Henry though now we know that her feelings had since changed. Henry opened up about his life. Lydia’s father had since died and it had been her mother who had kept her alive all this time.
A group lead by Tara had set out to find Luke and Alden though a group of walkers feasting on Luke and Alden’s cut-open horses led them to reconsider until they had a plan. Meanwhile, the flashbacks to Lydia’s past continued. Her mother still had hope as he father grew further restless. Henry mentioning the Kingdom was the last straw for Daryl who had been listening the whole time. He would take matters into his own hands. First, he gave her medicine for her ear. Another flashback continued the decline of their group as Lydia’s unhinged mother took charge as the chaos erupted outside. Meanwhile, Lydia tried to take advantage of Daryl while he tried to get her some water and failed, showing an arm full of scars.
Yumiko was growing restless about waiting so she convinced the rest of the new group to go around Tara’s back and head out at night to go after Luke and Alden. Daryl took another approach with Lydia and tried to relate to her after seeing her scars. It was her mom that gave her the scars so she wouldn’t become soft. He also wanted to know where her mom and her camp was but she was convinced that the Hilltop wasn’t safer. Another flashback saw Lydia being curious about a dead body who became a walker who killed her father because he was apparently soft. She felt like Daryl wasn’t soft so he didn’t belong at the Hilltop. The conversation the ended when he and his potential abuse as a child became the topic.
Daryl was done with Lydia. Henry pleaded him to give Lydia a second chance and shared a story about his mother’s (Carol) abuse at the hands of his father. Meanwhile, the new group reminisced about how much Luke meant to them but it was also too dark to look for him. Some whispers may have been watching them. As a potential ruse, Henry pretended to go behind Daryl’s back and briefly let Lydia out so he could show her around and prove to her that the Hilltop was safe. She was amazed as an onrush of conflicted feelings came flowing in.
Lydia came to terms with the fact that no one was probably coming for her. She told them where he people were, at least for the time being. She believed her story about her life was true but it may not all have been, having been mixed up after so many retellings over the years. Another flashback, showed Lydia’s panicking group being attacked by walkers. Her father was still alive but as he was going for help, her mother killed him. Instead of her father being an abuser, her mother was the abuser all along.
Yumiko confessed to Tara about what her group did and she let it slide. She admitted that she may not know what she’s doing but she at least wanted them to tell her first, at least the next time.
Finally, the Whispers would come right up to the Hilltop gate. Lydia’s mother, now named Alpha, was their leader and she wanted her daughter back.
Overall, Omega was a surprisingly compelling episode of The Walking Dead featuring a rare refined storyline that focused on abuse while giving a backstory to a new villain. If Daryl is going to be the true lead of the series, we need more episodes like this that help bring the character to the forefront by giving him some more depth thus giving Norman Reedus more to do as an actor. The Daryl, Henry, and Lydia, but especially Daryl and Lydia, dynamic was actually engaging and the twist with Alpha was surprising. It will be interesting to see where the season will go from here and hopefully it will not squander another promising villain. Now give us a Negan backstory!