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"A Certain Doom" is the sixteenth episode of the tenth season of AMC's The Walking Dead. It is the one-hundred and forty-seventh episode of the series overall. It premiered on October 4, 2020, the same night as "Brave", the season premiere of the first season of The Walking Dead: World Beyond. It was written by Corey Reed, Jim Barnes & Eli Jorne and directed by Greg Nicotero.
Beta engages the final battle of the Whisperer War.
The survivors at the Tower scramble to their posts as the Whisperer horde descends upon them. As Gabriel observes the enemy from a window, Gracie and R.J. admit that they're scared. Gabriel tries to reassure them by likening the communities (Alexandria, Oceanside, Hilltop, and the Kingdom) to fingers of a hand which, while weak on their own, together form a mighty fist. When asked about the fifth finger, Gabriel claims that it represents those that aren't here and might come to help, or otherwise find help. As Gabriel delivers his speech, Daryl, Judith, Carol, and Kelly just barely make it back to the Tower. Eugene, Yumiko, Ezekiel, and Princess continue their quest on bicycles. Virgil arrives to Oceanside, only to find it deserted. Aaron and Alden fight their way out of the Whisperer ambush and come face-to-face with a mysterious masked survivor. Finally, Maggie receives the distress letter sent by the survivors. Meanwhile Beta, still hallucinating, orders the walkers to begin their assault.
Back on the road, Eugene has crashed his bike. While the others wish to fix it, Eugene tells them not to bother, as he has calculated the time it would take them to repair the bike and travel the rest of the way and is certain they will not be able to make it on time. Yumiko tries to reassure him, but Eugene is adamant that the time of the meeting was set in stone, and that Stephanie won't be there if they're late. Devastated, he apologizes to everyone, but believes they should turn back home. Ezekiel steps in, and says that they're not going back after everything they've been through. He notes how Eugene reassured him in his own moment of doubt, and offers to do the same in return. Ezekiel insists that their journey must be completed, not just for him, but for everyone. Eugene says that he wants to finish the journey too, but adds that Stephanie will not stay past sundown the next day. Juanita points out that Stephanie never actually told him that, and Yumiko agrees, telling him that they will deal with tomorrow's problems tomorrow.
At the hospital stairway, Daryl and Carol are setting traps. Daryl tells Carol about Michonne leaving and how he keeps thinking he's never going to see her again, just like everyone else. Carol reassures him that she is still there. Upstairs, they join the others as Gabriel goes over the plan with the rest of the group. He tells them that the plan remains to lead the herd away. Luke explains that he needs to get the sound system he's been making to the wagon, which is on the other side of the herd. Gabriel divides them into four two-man groups, with one carrying the cargo and one protecting. Lydia offers to help lead them through, but Beatrice and Rachel decline, as they don't trust her. Gabriel agrees to keep Lydia in the hospital. Daryl acknowledges that they're not all going to make it, but claims that it's the only way. Kelly volunteers to go with Daryl.
Carol is about to grab a knife before, but runs into Dianne and Bertie. Bertie gives Carol a look while walking away. Dianne confronts Carol about the fact that Negan helped the Whisperers attack Hilltop and that they can't forgive him for that. Carol tells her she's sorry, but Dianne has to forget about it. Lydia comes into the room and asks if Carol needs her help. Carol says she doesn't need her help. Lydia tells that's she doesn't want Carol to avoid her, and reveals that she is kind of relieved Alpha is dead. She also tells her that's she doesn't see Carol as new mom, but more as a really good friend.
Later on, the group prepares for their mission by rubbing guts on themselves. Daryl notices Negan is clean and questions him about this. Negan says that, with him being Alpha's killer, he'd be a priority target for the Whisperers and especially Beta, so he'd rather stay behind in order to not draw any attention to the others. Daryl doesn't accept this explanation, and thinks Negan just isn't willing to risk his own skin. He then joins the others and prepares to head out. At the exit, Daryl says goodbye to Judith through the separating door. Jerry then opens the door to the outside, allowing the horde of walkers to spill past the survivors into the room. They then squeeze past the walkers outside. Among the ginormous herd, Magna almost has a panic attack, but Jerry snaps her out of it. The group soon catches the Whisperers' attention. One of them attacks the survivors, but is shot in the chest by one of the archers in the Tower, and devoured after he screams in pain. As the archers continue to pick the Whisperers off, Beta orders his group to tighten the herd, which makes it virtually impossible for the archers to identify their targets. The hospital soon comes under attack, with a Whisperer tripping one of the explosives in the stairwell.
The hospital survivors barricade the door, while Gabriel instructs Dianne on an evacuation plan. Negan approaches Lydia and tries to convince her to leave, reasoning that she won't be able to change the outcome of the battle and the survivors will never trust her, no more than they trust him. She could, however, navigate through the dead and escape. Lydia points out that Negan could do the same, but he says that "he ain't no hero". When Lydia says that he could be, he supposes that "that's what he's doing now", and hands Lydia her mother's mask. He then repels down the elevator shaft. Outside, the survivors find it increasingly difficult to move through the herd but, eventually, most reach the relative safety of the forest, leaving only Carol and Beatrice to find their way out of the herd. The pair slowly navigate through, but are spotted by a Whisperer. She attacks them, but is stabbed by Carol on the gut, and attacked by walkers as she screams. With her last breath, however, the Whisperer grabs Beatrice and stabs her in the leg, causing her to scream and be quickly swarmed by walkers. Beatrice tries to give Carol the backpack she was carrying, but is ignored and torn apart. Luckily, Lydia, wearing her mother's mask, is able to retrieve the bag and hands it to Carol. Back at the hospital, the Whisperers reach the barricade and begin to smash it down.
Outside, a walker "tells" Beta that the end is almost here. He then hears music, which distracts the herd away from the hospital. The same walker clarifies that the end that is coming is their end. Up the road, the survivors that made it through lead the herd away with their wagon loaded with loudspeakers. Meanwhile, Gabriel tells Rachel at the barricade that the evacuation has started. Just then, the Whisperers throw a makeshift explosive through the hole in the barricade, killing two of the defenders. As night falls, the survivors on the road come under attack from the Whisperers, who use the trailing walkers as meat shields from their arrows. The Whisperers also attack from the woods, killing Oscar and forcing the rest to abandon their wagon. The Whisperers promptly smash the speakers. Daryl radios Gabriel to notify them that the wagon is destroyed, and that the herd is coming back. Daryl then tells lays out his plan to the others: go back and hunt down the Whisperers in the herd one by one. He acknowledges that this isn't a very good plan, but stresses that if they don't do it, all of their people are going to die. When Magna asks how they will deal with the herd, Lydia volunteers to lead them away, since her mother taught her how. Daryl rebuffs her, and Luke points out that she'd have to lead the herd over a cliff, which would be suicide. Lydia, however, is adamant. Daryl decides they will deal with it later, and tells the others to move.
Back at the Tower, Gabriel tells the other to go, as the Whisperers are smashing down the final barricade. Judith realizes Gabriel isn't coming, but he explains that someone needs to stay behind to keep the Whisperers from cutting the rope. When Judith asks if Rosita knows about this, he instructs her to tell her "Eres mi media naranja", claiming that she will know the meaning behind the phrase. With that, Judith and the others descend down the elevator shaft, leaving Gabriel to face the attacking Whisperers. When they finally break through, he puts up a brave fight, but is ultimately overpowered. Just as he is about to be killed, the Whisperers are attacked from behind and killed by the same masked survivor that met Aaron and Alden earlier. The last Whisperer is downed by none other than Maggie Rhee, who reveals that the survivor is with her.
Outside, Beta notices the Whisperers around him are being killed by the survivors. He then spots Lydia and prepares to attack her, but is interrupted by Negan, who gets his attention by calling him a "shithead". Blind with rage, Beta charges at Negan and tosses a walker at him. Negan is able to kill the walker but is quickly pinned by Beta, who prepares to kill him in revenge for Alpha's death. Before he can do so, however, he is slashed across the back by Daryl, then stabbed in the eyes as he turns around. Screaming in pain, Beta hallucinates himself pulling the knives out of his eyes as walkers surround and embrace him. His life flashes before his eyes, particularly his time with Alpha. Back in reality, Daryl pulls the knives out of Beta's eyes, as walkers quickly swarm the Whisperer leader. As they rip the mask off his face, Beta dies with a smile. Negan is shocked as he recognizes Beta from before the apocalypse, and asks Daryl if he knows who he is. Daryl coldly says that it was nobody.
Come daytime, Lydia has successfully led the herd to the cliff. Before she can go over, she is stopped by Carol, who volunteers to go instead of her, dubbing it her choice. Carol reaches the edge, but before she can step off, Lydia pulls her back. The pair take cover behind a rock, as the walkers around them march off the cliff into the waters below. As Carol thanks Lydia, the latter rips off her mother's mask and tosses it over the cliff.
Back at the woods around the Tower, everyone is reunited with Maggie, including Judith. Lydia and Carol arrive and inform the group that the herd is finished. Lydia notes that Negan is still here, to which he replies that he is, for now. Daryl and Carol also talk, as Daryl asks if Carol got what she wanted. She replies that she didn't, but didn't really want it anyway. Daryl tells her that she still has him, and they hug. Daryl reminds her that New Mexico is still out there. She says that they might go there some day, but still have things to do here.
Elsewhere, a ragged and tired Connie stumbles through the woods, before collapsing on the road from exhaustion. Barely conscious, she is approached by Virgil on a horse.
Eugene's group, meanwhile, has finally reached the trainyard which was designated as the meeting spot between him and Stephanie. Eugene announces their presence, but gets no response. After a while, Ezekiel suggests they stay in one of the train cars until morning, but Eugene mournfully concludes that Stephanie isn't there anymore, if she ever was. Yumiko tries to cheer him up, but Eugene announces that they're not going back, since they know that there are people in the area, including Stephanie. He says that they will keep trekking until they find them, since they came there to assimilate with like-minded survivors, so that's what they will do. Princess jokes that Eugene is one very horny dude. Just then, lights flash all around them, and they are quickly surrounded by heavily armed and armored soldiers, who order them to drop their weapons and surrender.
Special Guest Star
- Alex Sgambati as Jules
- Briana Venskus as Beatrice
- Gustavo Gomez as Marco
- Anthony Lopez as Oscar
- Anabelle Holloway as Gracie
- Antony Azor as R.J. Grimes
- Grace Toso as Rotted Female Whisperer
- Rifle Whisperer
- Female Whisperer
- At least 32 unnamed Whisperers
- 2 unnamed Oceanside residents
- First appearance of Elijah.
- First appearance of the Commonwealth Army.
- Last appearance of Beatrice.
- With Beatrice's death, Cyndie, Rachel, and Jules are the only named Oceanside residents confirmed to be alive.
- Last appearance of Oscar.
- Last appearance of Beta.
- With Beta's death, Lydia and Adam are the only Whisperers confirmed to be alive.
- Last appearance of Alpha. (Flashback)
- Last appearance of Mary. (Flashback)
- Last appearance of the Whisperers.
- This episode was made available for streaming to subscribers of AMC Premiere on October 1, 2020.
- This is the eleventh episode to share the same title of a Comic Series volume, after "Days Gone Bye", "Made to Suffer", "This Sorrowful Life", "Too Far Gone", "No Way Out", "A New Beginning", "What Comes After", "The Calm Before", "Lines We Cross" and "What We Become".
- This episode, along with "Days Gone Bye", "No Way Out" and "A New Beginning" are the only episodes to be directly adapted from the respective comic volumes of the same name. The other seven used the titles for episodes that are not directly related to the source material from that volume.
- This episode was originally meant to air on April 12, 2020; however the release date was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic as it was still in post-production. Instead, it was later released as a special episode on October 4, 2020.
- This is the first time an episode of the Original TV Series has been postponed.
- This was originally going to be the season finale, before Season 11 got delayed due to COVID-19 pandemic, forcing the crew to extend Season 10 by six more episodes.
- This is the first time a season finale of the Original TV Series has been changed into an ordinary episode.
- This is the first time a new episode of The Walking Dead and The Walking Dead: World Beyond aired the same night.
- The season premiere of Season 1 of The Walking Dead: World Beyond is played directly after this episode.
- This episode marks the return of Maggie Rhee, who has been absent since "What Comes After".
- As of this episode, Maggie is the last character introduced in Season 2 confirmed to be alive.
- The survivors use the walker guts trick first discovered in "Guts" once again to walk amongst a herd unnoticed, though this time the plan is complicated by the presence of Whisperers amongst the herd. Unlike on many previous occasions, the walker guts trick works flawlessly and the walkers never detect the survivors.
- Many aspects of the plan used to draw the herd away are similar to Rick Grimes and Glenn Rhee's plan in "Guts": the survivors use walker guts to move through the herd unnoticed and then a vehicle broadcasting loud noise to draw away the herd.
- Connie is revealed to still be alive and is found close to Oceanside by Virgil.
- The song that the Coalition used to lure away the walkers is Burning Down The House by Talking Heads.
- Beatrice's death could possibly be adapted from Paula's death from Issue 163.
- The survivors camouflaging themselves inside the Whisperer herd and killing the Whisperers is adapted from Issue 159 and Issue 160.
- Beta's death is adapted from Issue 173.
- The survivors leading the Whisperer herd off a cliff is adapted from Issue 164 and Issue 165.
- The Commonwealth Army finding and holding Eugene and his group at gunpoint is adapted from Issue 173.