"Stalker" is the tenth episode of the tenth season of AMC's The Walking Dead. It is the one-hundred and forty-first episode of the series overall. It premiered on March 1, 2020. It was written by Jim Barnes and directed by Bronwen Hughes.

Plot

Our group must defend Alexandria from a threatening, outside force.

Synopsis

Beta walks through a field in the forest and enters a moldy RV where two other Whisperers open a latch, revealing a deep pathway entrance to a tunnel. He jumps down, lights a lantern and starts to move forward, deeper into the cave. Meanwhile in Alexandria, Rosita wakes up after having a nightmare where she freezes and is forced to watch as a Whisperer kills Coco. A moment later, she receives a call from the radio and leaves.

Over the gates, Gamma arrives and is immediately surrounded at spear-point by the guards. She removes her mask and explains that the Coalition group is trapped in a cave surrounded by Alpha's horde and that they may be still alive and needing help. Gabriel questions her intentions, pointing out the horde wasn't where she told Aaron it would be. Gamma argues that Alpha had moved it and insists that she wants to help, explaining that the baby left at Hilltop is her nephew and she is willing to show them the location of the cave to see him again. Gabriel seems to believe Gamma's story, but Rosita knocks her unconscious and orders for her to be put in a cell.

In the woods, Daryl secretly observes a Whisperer walking around another entrance to the cave. He prepares to attack, but retreats after Alpha walks out and starts to lead the horde. Back in Alexandria, Mary wakes up in the cell. Gabriel and Rosita confront her about Dante's actions, but Mary claims she wasn't involved in that. They say she has to prove she's different from the other Whisperers or be killed. When Gabriel insists she is hiding something and calls for a sincere confession, Mary tearfully reveals she killed her sister for Alpha, which makes Gabriel accept her help.

Meanwhile, Alpha and some Whisperers continue to lead walkers through a river. Suddenly, a Whisperer is hit in the leg by a knife and is devoured after he screams in pain. Alpha orders her group to spread out when Daryl appears from behind and kills the remaining Whisperers before facing Alpha. They engage in a brutal fight where Alpha slices his face under the eyes, worsening his vision. Daryl thrusts a tree branch in her shoulder and yells for Magna and Connie's whereabouts. The fight draws nearby walkers' attention and Daryl is forced to take them out while dealing with his clouded vision. Alpha grabs a knife on the floor and stabs him in the leg as they flee the scene.

In the meeting hall, Mary stands before the map and tells everything she knows about the cave and its entrances. She explains that most of Alpha's forces are situated around the cave, so the borders are defenseless. When Mary's once again taken away, Gabriel proposes to Laura and Scott to send two rescue teams just before Rosita again doubts the authenticity of her words. He insists Mary is telling the truth because they broke her and encourages them to capture any Whisperer and pull their teeth or take their fingers if necessary in order to get them to drop the act. 

Elsewhere, a weakened Alpha stumbles into an abandoned gas station where Daryl is hiding and is struggling to pull out the knife from his leg. She looks for him in the workshop inside the station for a short time, but after getting exhausted takes a seat and bangs her shotgun on the wall to attract walkers in the vicinity which will protect her and attack Daryl. Back in Alexandria, Rosita and Gabriel prepare for the outing. He suggests she'd better stay at home but she refuses, adding that he is acting erratic and is itching for a fight. Gabriel doesn't understand her point, and Rosita claims she can feel that Coco is wondering where Siddiq is and she doesn't want her daughter to be left an orphan.  

On the streets, Judith starts a conversation with Mary by asking her name and wondering about her life before meeting the Whisperers. Mary recalls that she was born in Santa Monica and that her parents' names were John and Alice, but fails to recover more memories, blaming Alpha for brainwashing her. Judith supposes that had Mary stumbled across Rick and Michonne first, she would have turned out better, further implying that she doesn't look like a monster. Back at the gas station, three walkers are lured inside so Daryl's forced to kick off a fire extinguisher and use it as a weapon. He kills two but has to rip the knife from his leg to kill the third, thus opening his wound and losing a lot of blood.

Sometime later that day, Laura is informed by echo-post about a hundred-walker herd incoming. She wants to double-check the message, but receives no response. Scott wonders why the Whisperers would send forces to the gates and Gabriel explains they try to not let them use the traitor's information. While people are being drafted for the scout team, Gabriel changes the plan last minute and orders for Rosita and Laura to stay back with a skeleton crew while he and others head out on the recon mission. Before leaving, Rosita tells him she has been having nightmares about the Whisperers killing her and worries about Coco's future if they both die. They kiss goodbye.

That night, Beta crawls out from Cheryl's grave and unsheathes his double blades before walking stealthily through the community. He slaughters several survivors in their homes and then sits down to meditate as he waits for his victims to reanimate. On the road, Gabriel and his scout team find the soldiers from Echo Post murdered and realize the Whisperers forced them to give false information about the herd so they would leave Alexandria and weaken the inner defense. Back in Alexandria, all the residents killed by Beta turn into walkers and roam the streets.

While Rosita and the other soldiers deal with the undead, Beta enters the basement and opens the cell as Mary claims that Alpha lied about Alexandria. He ignores her and tells her to go with him without hesitation, ensuring her death will be painless. She moves forward and states she's not afraid of him as Laura appears from behind and threatens Beta with an ax, telling Mary to get help. Outside, Judith tells Mary to come inside her house for safety. In the cell, Laura jumps on Beta to prevent him from leaving but he overpowers her and slams her back against the cell door twice, killing her.

Beta comes out on the street and enters the Grimes' residence to investigate. He tries to enter the children's room, only to get shot in the chest by Judith. Mary tells her and R.J. to run to another room as she checks on Beta. When she tries to follow them, Beta grabs her foot and knocks her down. He then checks his bulletproof vest before Rosita draws his attention. They battle with their weapons until Beta slashes both of her arms and gets her on the ground. Before he can kill her, Mary tells him to stop or she'll kill herself, saying she knows Alpha wants her alive. Shortly after, Beta escorts Mary back to the camp when they are ambushed by the Alexandrians, forcing him to flee into the woods. She falls to her knees and tries to convince Gabriel she hasn't betrayed them. He hesitates but ultimately believes her.

Back at the gas station, Alpha and Daryl lie injured and bleeding out. She takes off her mask and starts a speech about light and darkness, stating that she's grateful for everyone who's made her strong. Daryl tells her she drove Lydia away because she didn't love her. Alpha gets angry and tries to approach him, but faints due to the exhaustion. She briefly awakes and sees Lydia standing over her. Alpha wonders if she's real and starts to sing a lullaby while placing her daughter's hands on the knife above her heart, saying she's ready to lead the Whisperers after her death. Lydia tearfully declines to kill her mother and says she blames her for not letting her live a normal life like she always wanted.

The following morning, Alpha wakes up alone and sees the words "Your way is not the only way" carved into a workbench with her knife. She stares at the inscription in frustration, before starting to laugh evilly. In Alexandria, Scott reports to Gabriel that Beta infiltrated Alexandria through Cheryl's grave which connected to a tunnel system when Aaron arrives to tell them not everyone escaped from the cave. Shortly after, Rosita leaves Coco under Gabriel's care and kisses him goodbye as she prepares to leave towards Hilltop to be checked by the doctor alongside a group. Mary also hops in the wagon to see her nephew, and she and Rosita introduce themselves and shake hands.

Elsewhere in the forest, Lydia tends to Daryl's wounds when he wakes up. She says she stayed with him all day long while deciding what to do. When he asks about Alpha, Lydia responds she couldn't kill her mother. Back at the gas station, Alpha is surrounded and has her wounds tended to by some Whisperers. She stands up and promises to get revenge on the communities with their horde while pronouncing the Whisperers' anthem, officially declaring the war.

Other Cast

Co-Stars

Uncredited

  • Juliet Brett as Frances (Archive Footage)
  • Marvin Lee as Kyle
  • Unknown as Socorro Espinosa
  • Chris Fluharty as Coalition Soldier
  • Chuck Hollywood as Coalition Soldier
  • Gia as Coalition Soldier
  • Jimmy McAfee as Coalition Soldier
  • Mike Gamez as Coalition Soldier
  • Shellane Demarest as Coalition Soldier
  • Andrew S. McMillan as Alexandria Resident
  • Rebecca Hardy as Alexandria Resident
  • Anthony Porrey as Alexandria Resident
  • Calen Edwards as Alexandria Resident
  • Chris Hodge as Alexandria Resident
  • Jack Orrell as Alexandria Resident
  • Laura L. Anderson Weber as Alexandria Resident
  • Leslie Henry Fox as Alexandria Resident
  • Mario Williams as Alexandria Resident
  • Mason Beard as Alexandria Resident
  • Tia Davis as Alexandria Resident
  • Tonya Lee as Alexandria Resident
  • Daniele Lyman as Alexandria Resident
  • Teri Stewart as Alexandria Resident
  • Russ Milheim as Alexandria Resident
  • William Herlth as Alexandria Resident
  • Jason Philips as Alexandria Resident
  • Ron as Alexandria Resident
  • Karen Turvey as Alexandria Wrangler
  • Bruce Greene as Highwayman
  • John Flanagan as Whisperer


Deaths

Trivia

  • Last appearance of Laura. (Alive)
    • With Laura's death:
      • Negan is the only formerly antagonistic Savior confirmed to be alive.
      • There are no more former Savior lieutenants left alive (excluding Eugene).
  • Last appearance of Alfred.
    • With Alfred's death, there are no named members of the Highwaymen left alive.
  • Last appearance of Frances. (Flashback)
  • This episode marks Kenric Green's 25th appearance on the TV Series.
  • The title of the episode, "Stalker", refers to Beta infiltrating Alexandria and "stalking" through it while searching for Mary, and the "cat and mouse" game between Daryl and Alpha after their bloody fight.
  • This episode was made available for streaming to subscribers of AMC Premiere on February 28, 2020.
  • It is revealed that the Whisperers have dug a tunnel underneath Alexandria's walls that leads to Cheryl's grave. Since Dante was the one that buried Cheryl, it is unclear if Cheryl's body is really there, or if he buried her somewhere else and simply used the grave as a cover for the tunnel.
  • Rosita revealed that two days have passed since the events of "Open Your Eyes".
  • Mary is revealed to be from Santa Monica, California.
  • Beta is revealed to be wearing makeshift body armor underneath his clothes.
    • The bullet proof vest that Beta is seen wearing came from the guard he killed when he first started his ambush.
  • The walker whose arm was cut off by Jerry while trying to save Kelly during "Squeeze" is seen at the start of this episode as part of the horde.
  • Following the events of this episode, Mary fully defects to the Coalition.
  • One of the Alexandrians killed at Echo Post is recurring extra Rebecca Hardy, who has been working on the show as an Alexandrian since Season 7.
  • When Daryl asks Lydia if she killed Alpha, Lydia responds "If it was your father, could you have?". Daryl doesn't answer. This could be a nod to Survival Instinct, as it shows Daryl couldn't bring himself to kill his father when he got bit.

Comic Parallels

  • Beta fighting and slashing Rosita's arms before trying to kill her is adapted from a similar scene in Issue 154, where Beta fights and stabs Aaron instead.
  • Beta getting ambushed by the Coalition while escorting Gamma and escaping is adapted from a similar scene in Issue 155, where Beta is ambushed before he can kill Michonne instead.
  • Alpha trying to get her daughter to kill her to take leadership of the Whisperers and Lydia rejecting her for the communities is adapted from a similar scene in Issue 160, where a Whisperer makes a similar offer to Lydia during the Hilltop battle and she kills him instead.
Episodes of The Walking Dead
Season 1 "Days Gone Bye" • "Guts" • "Tell It to the Frogs" • "Vatos" • "Wildfire" • "TS-19"
Season 2 "What Lies Ahead" • "Bloodletting" • "Save the Last One" • "Cherokee Rose" • "Chupacabra" • "Secrets" • "Pretty Much Dead Already" • "Nebraska" • "Triggerfinger" • "18 Miles Out" • "Judge, Jury, Executioner" • "Better Angels" • "Beside the Dying Fire"
Season 3 "Seed" • "Sick" • "Walk With Me" • "Killer Within" • "Say the Word" • "Hounded" • "When the Dead Come Knocking" • "Made to Suffer" • "The Suicide King" • "Home" • "I Ain't a Judas" • "Clear" • "Arrow on the Doorpost" • "Prey" • "This Sorrowful Life" • "Welcome to the Tombs"
Season 4 "30 Days Without An Accident" • "Infected" • "Isolation" • "Indifference" • "Internment" • "Live Bait" • "Dead Weight" • "Too Far Gone" • "After" • "Inmates" • "Claimed" • "Still" • "Alone" • "The Grove" • "Us" • "A"
Season 5 "No Sanctuary" • "Strangers" • "Four Walls and a Roof" • "Slabtown" • "Self Help" • "Consumed" • "Crossed" • "Coda" • "What Happened and What's Going On" • "Them" • "The Distance" • "Remember" • "Forget" • "Spend" • "Try" • "Conquer"
Season 6 "First Time Again" • "JSS" • "Thank You" • "Here's Not Here" • "Now" • "Always Accountable" • "Heads Up" • "Start to Finish" • "No Way Out" • "The Next World" • "Knots Untie" • "Not Tomorrow Yet" • "The Same Boat" • "Twice as Far" • "East" • "Last Day on Earth"
Season 7 "The Day Will Come When You Won't Be" • "The Well" • "The Cell" • "Service" • "Go Getters" • "Swear" • "Sing Me a Song" • "Hearts Still Beating" • "Rock in the Road" • "New Best Friends" • "Hostiles and Calamities" • "Say Yes" • "Bury Me Here" • "The Other Side" • "Something They Need" • "The First Day of the Rest of Your Life"
Season 8 "Mercy" • "The Damned" • "Monsters" • "Some Guy" • "The Big Scary U" • "The King, the Widow, and Rick" • "Time for After" • "How It's Gotta Be" • "Honor" • "The Lost and the Plunderers" • "Dead or Alive Or" • "The Key" • "Do Not Send Us Astray" • "Still Gotta Mean Something" • "Worth" • "Wrath"
Season 9 "A New Beginning" • "The Bridge" • "Warning Signs" • "The Obliged" • "What Comes After" • "Who Are You Now?" • "Stradivarius" • "Evolution" • "Adaptation" • "Omega" • "Bounty" • "Guardians" • "Chokepoint" • "Scars" • "The Calm Before" • "The Storm"
Season 10 "Lines We Cross" • "We Are the End of the World" • "Ghosts" • "Silence the Whisperers" • "What It Always Is" • "Bonds" • "Open Your Eyes" • "The World Before" • "Squeeze" • "Stalker" • "Morning Star" • "Walk With Us" • "What We Become" • "Look at the Flowers" • "The Tower" • "A Certain Doom"
Season 11 TBA
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