"Omega" is the tenth episode of the ninth season of AMC's The Walking Dead. It is the one-hundred and twenty-fifth episode of the series overall. It premiered on February 17, 2019. It was written by Channing Powell and directed by David Boyd.
In a flashback at the start of the apocalypse, a young Lydia and her parents are holed up in a shelter. Frank rants that no one's coming for them, but Alpha assures Lydia he’s kidding and sings to her to calm her down.
In the present, Lydia tells her story to Henry in her cell at the Hilltop. Henry tells Lydia about Carol, who would do anything to protect him. He asks more about her parents and Lydia remembers her father dying from a stab wound. She says her mother is also relentless and is not someone anyone would want to mess with. Outside, Daryl is sitting by the window and listening to their conversation.
In the woods, Tara leads Magna and her group in the search for Alden and Luke. They find a group of walkers feasting on their horses and kill them, while checking they aren't Whisperers. Connie notices that the horses were cut open and skinned with knives. Tara realizes that Lydia lied about it just being her mother out there and decides they should go back to Hilltop until they find out what this is.
Back in the cell at Hilltop, Henry offers Lydia an egg. She tells him to keep it and that hunger is a gift. She asks why he's being nice to her and he says that he, his brother, and his dad were messed up when they were first found out there and it took a lot of someone being nice to make things okay again. Lydia says her dad said that things will never be okay again.
In another flashback, Frank wants to leave the shelter with other people because supplies are running out, but Alpha decides they're staying to protect their daughter. He calls her delusional and starts trimming his beard, saying that with the apocalypse he does what he wants now. Alpha distracts Lydia with a game of checkers and says "Checkmate". Lydia smiles and says that's chess.
In the cell, Henry tells Lydia her mom seems nice and reveals he and his adoptive parents are from another community called The Kingdom, which is a day's ride from Hilltop. Suddenly, Daryl flies downstairs and takes Henry out. Outside, Daryl scolds Henry for endangering his family and reveals he has been using him to get information out of her. Henry lashes out, believing Lydia to be a good person who got messed up. He calls Daryl an asshole and tells him to get the information himself. Daryl goes back to Lydia's cell and offers her medicine to help with her ear, but she refuses. He tells her that Luke and Alden are missing, but she says she knows nothing about it. He then asks her if her mom would kill their people if she crossed them. Lydia says that she would if she had to.
In another flashback, some survivors are freaking out as gunshots are heard outside the shelter. Alpha jumps on a panicking Matias and accidentally suffocates him when Matias tries to leave. Frank comforts Lydia by singing to her as he watches Alpha.
In the present, Daryl says to Lydia that her mom did what she had to keep Lydia alive. Lydia again pulls at her ear and Daryl tosses her the medicine, reminding her the people at Hilltop will help her if she helps them. She asks him for water and when he gets close she tries grabbing him. He grabs her arm and pulls up her sleeve, revealing a series of cut marks, causing her to retreat in the corner. Daryl looks at her for a moment and then leaves.
In their trailer, Yumiko suggests they leave to search for Luke again but Magna warns they could lose everything if they disobey Tara's wishes. Kelly reveals that she saw some kids sneak out of Hilltop and agrees with Yumiko that they should search for Luke. They take a vote and decide to leave that night.
At night, Daryl visits Lydia again to find out more about her bruises. She says she got them from her mom. Daryl asks why she won't tell him where she is; he says she’s safer here than out there. She disagrees and says her mother’s abuse makes her hard. Daryl calls it bullshit, but Lydia says staying soft makes you die.
In another flashback, Alpha, now with her hair shorter, sits by herself as Frank, now with a full beard, checks on Lydia and comforts her. Later, as everyone sleeps, Lydia gets up and looks at Matias' body. As the survivors failed to stab Matias in the head, he turns and goes after Lydia. She screams and Frank rushes over to save her but gets bitten in the neck.
In the present, Lydia tells Daryl that her father was weak, but he is strong and doesn't belong with in Hilltop. Daryl says she doesn't know shit about him and leaves. Outside, Henry confronts Daryl but he claims Lydia is Tara's problem now. Henry realizes that Daryl was most likely abused himself, which Daryl doesn't confirm but doesn't deny it either. Henry tells him that he overheard Carol telling Ezekiel that she kept her hair short because Ed used to pull it and abuse her when it was long. He guesses that it took her this long to feel safe again. Daryl listens in thought as Henry tells him he knows Lydia's people are bad but he doesn't think Lydia's bad. He thinks she's just scared and Daryl can show her there's nothing to be afraid of. Daryl says, "Not just me."
Meanwhile, in the woods, Magna and the rest find a new set of tracks that could be from the Whisperers. As a herd approaches, Yumiko has second thoughts about leaving. Magna and Connie back her up, but Kelly breaks down, reminding them Luke saved her in Coalport. Connie comforts her and tells Magna and Yumiko to return without them and she'll stay and talk to Kelly. From the woods, a Whisperer secretly watches them.
Back in Hilltop, Henry frees Lydia from the cell so they can hang out outside. Lydia immediately grabs a worm from the ground and eats it. She gives one to Henry, who does the same. Henry shows her around as she sneaks a hammer behind her back. She almost bashes him with it until she hears a baby crying, which triggers more traumatic memories from the shelter. She then asks Henry to take her back to her cell. He agrees as Daryl watches them from nearby. In the cell, Lydia asks Henry to stay with her. They hold hands through the bars and fall asleep.
The next morning, Daryl finds them holding hands. Lydia asks for the pills, promising not to attack this time. She confesses she was trying to get intel from them and that if her mom did find Luke and Alden then they're probably dead. She then explains her people are always on the move and that her memories were mixed up because her mother lied to her. Lydia confesses her father was caring and her mother was the monster.
In another flashback, another man is actually bitten by Matias as chaos breaks in the shelter. In the middle of the chaos, Alpha starts prying boards off the windows and says they're leaving. Frank doesn't want to leave their friends but Alpha says they're idiots they got stuck with and they're putting them in danger. Frank refuses to leave and says Lydia is staying with him. He then tells Lydia to wait for him while he checks the stairs. Alpha follows and murders him.
Back in the present, Lydia cries and apologizes to Daryl for wasting his time, but he says she didn’t and goes outside. Henry follows and asks him why a mom would do that to her kid. Daryl tells him that "some people ain't meant to be parents". Henry asks if Lydia can stay. Daryl says they'll see and tells Henry to get Lydia fresh clothes, while he talks to Tara about their camp. Henry tells Daryl that he's glad he and his mom are friends.
Meanwhile, Magna and Yumiko return to Hilltop. On a guard post, Yumiko apologizes to Tara for leaving and Tara tells her to talk to her next time. Suddenly, Yumiko spots a small group of Whisperers approaching Hilltop as Quan and some other guards grab Kelly to get her inside, while Connie hides in the cornfield. Tara calls out to Daryl and Magna below to join them on the guard post.
In front of the gate, Alpha stops her group and introduces herself, telling them she just wants her daughter back.
- Angel Theory as Kelly
- James Chen as Kal
- Gustavo Gomez as Marco
- Scarlett Blum as Young Lydia
- Javier Carrasquillo as Matias
- Quinn Bozza as Cyrus
- Ashlyn Stallings as Amanda
- Caroline Arapoglou as Rose
- Jerry Mortel as Lamar
- Ethan Patterson as Rasmus
- Emily Lane as Female Whisperer
- Unknown as Adam Sutton
- Courtland Fuller as Shelter Refugee
- Jadyn Krouse as Shelter Refugee
- Duffy Hale as Hilltop Resident
- Warren Frank as Hilltop Resident
- Quandae Stewart as Quan
- Matias (Alive, Flashback)
- Rose (Flashback, Off-Screen)
- Frank (Flashback)
- Henry and Benjamin's Mother (Confirmed Fate)
- 2 horses
- Several unnamed shelter refugees (Flashback)
- First appearance of Rasmus.
- First appearance of Adam Sutton.
- First (and last) appearance of Frank. (Flashback)
- First (and last) appearance of Matias. (Flashback)
- First (and last) appearance of Lamar. (Flashback)
- First (and last) appearance of Rose. (Flashback)
- First (and last) appearance of Cyrus. (Flashback)
- First (and last) appearance of Amanda. (Flashback)
- The title of the episode, "Omega", is a reference to Alpha's backstory being told by Lydia.
- This episode hints that the apocalypse may have started somewhere around late August to mid September of 2010.
- It's already known that the apocalypse started in 2010 due to Fear The Walking Dead and the death of James McCallister as his gravesite reads that he died in 2010.
- It is hinted that the outbreak started some time in August as noted by the billboard seen in the second episode of the series.
- It's hinted that the apocalypse started late in August because Matias says it's been 23 days since they've been trapped in their hide out and the fact that Lydia asks if the Halloween season is nearby.
- The flashbacks take place over the course of at least twenty days as the sign on the wall states that its Day 23 near the beginning and Day 43 when Matias is killed.
- The Hilltop mother holding the baby was actually holding a prop and the sound of the baby crying was digitally added into the episode.
- Starting with this episode, Samantha Morton (Alpha) has been added to the opening credits.
- Daryl shows a knowledge of how abusive parents work, hinting at an abusive past of his own. Henry realizes that Daryl may have been abused as well.
- Henry reveals that his mother died during the onset of the apocalypse and that his father was still alive when Ezekiel found Henry and Benjamin.
- Daryl reveals that he, Enid and a few others took turns listening in to Henry's conversations with Lydia which was seen starting at the end of "Adaptation."
- Henry's jail sentence, imposed upon him in "Evolution," ends and he is released from jail by Daryl. His and the other teenagers' brief escape from the Hilltop in the same episode is also mentioned.
- Magna's group are revealed to have survived the destruction of Coalport because they left their posts before it was attacked.
- Lydia mentioning that the world belongs to the dead and they are just living in it is a callback to when Enid told Carl the same thing in "Try".
- When Henry asks Lydia why hunger is a gift, she says, "If I had to explain it, you wouldn't understand." Henry says the same thing to Gage in "Evolution".
- It seems that Lydia may suffer from some form of PTSD.
- The shelter survivors fail to put down Matias after he is accidentally killed by "Alpha" as they don't know any better. This is similar to how Rick's group was unaware that everyone reanimates no matter how they die until "Better Angels" when Randall Culver and Shane Walsh reanimated after suffering ordinary deaths.
- Enid is stated by Henry to now be the Hilltop doctor. He also references Earl Sutton when he tells Lydia that they have a blacksmith.
- Henry tells Daryl a story about overhearing his father asking his mother why she kept her hair so short. His mother told his father it was because of the abuse she suffered from her first husband and it took her a long time to feel safe enough to let it grow again. This is presumably a reference to Carol whose first husband Ed was known to be abusive before Ed's death in "Vatos." Before the six year time gap, Carol always kept her hair short, though she let it grow a bit following Ed's death.
- Henry bonding with Lydia is adapted from similar scenes in Issue 136 and Issue 137, where Carl bonds with Lydia instead.
- Henry releasing Lydia out of her cell and taking her to the garden is adapted from a similar scene in Issue 137, where Carl takes Lydia out instead.
- Lydia eating a worm and offering Henry one is adapted from a similar scene in Issue 137, where Lydia licks Carl's eye socket instead.
- Lydia and Henry holding hands as they sleep is a adapted from a similar scene in Issue 137, where Lydia holds Carl's hand as they have sex instead.
- Alpha arriving at Hilltop with a group of Whisperers, introducing herself and claiming she only wants Lydia back is adapted from Issue 138.