WARNING: The following article includes spoilers for The Walking Dead Season 10, Episode 15 “The Tower,” which aired Sunday on AMC.
This week’s episode of The Walking Dead, “The Tower,” is the penultimate episode of the series’ tenth season. However, the season finale will not be broadcast next week due to the new realities of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, which have delayed post-production on the episode. So this episode serves as a season wrap up of sorts — at least for the time being. Unfortunately, because of its place in the story, it includes a lot of build-up and little resolution. In fact, it strongly resembles the episode from about a month ago in which Hilltop prepared for the beginning of the Whisperer War.
This time, however, Beta’s leading a new horde and, in the wake of Alpha’s murder, he’s even more bloodthirsty than usual. Fortunately, the joint communities anticipated this and have vacated their usual locations. They’ve holed up together in a nearby hospital.
Beta’s first stop is Alexandria, and he’s mystified when he discovers it’s deserted. He and two fellow Whisperers survey the horde on the balcony of the windmill. Beta’s attempting to decide where they should look next. But instead of asking his companions for their opinions, he’s listening to a voice whispering in his mind. As he turns his head, it also becomes clear he’s sporting a full skin mask again, but now half of it is made out of new skin — could this be made from Alpha?
As Beta makes the decision to go to Oceanside next, Alden pokes his head out from the window above them. Aaron waits nearby and Alden gestures to him. The pair are stealthily tracking the Whisperers and reporting back to the joint communities.
At the hospital, people are working on projects or trying to keep busy. Some are on lookout, Kelly is teaching Gabriel sign language, Jerry is attempting to keep the cats away. Meanwhile, Luke is working on a project that appears to be important to the upcoming battle, but he’s missing something. He needs someone to run an errand, and Carol volunteers.
Meanwhile, Daryl is patrolling in the woods nearby. He’s talking on the walkie to Michonne, warning her not to return to Alexandria — or at least he hopes he is as there doesn’t seem to be anyone on the other end.
Lydia is by herself at the hospital petting a cat. Judith approaches to offer her condolences for the death of Lydia’s mother. Lydia brushes it off and informs Judith that not everyone gets to have a mom like hers. Judith walks away, seemingly brooding over Michonne’s absence.
Judith leaves the safety of the hospital and is killing walkers alone in the woods when Daryl comes upon her. Daryl wants to escort her back, but Judith protests. She wants to learn what Daryl’s doing. Daryl finally agrees to let her stay as long as she sticks close to him and does what he says.
Beta and the horde are approaching Oceanside, but Beta senses something’s off. A fellow Whisperer tries to encourage him, but she accidentally refers to him as the Alpha. She tries to stammer a correction as he reaches for his knife. Before he can take action against the other Whisperer, however, the voice in his head interrupts. As Beta listens closely to the voice’s instructions, the other Whisperer looks on.
Meanwhile, Alden and Aaron watch from a safe distance. They radio the hospital, which is going by the code name “Tower,” to inform the others the horde is moving toward Oceanside as predicted.
Carol goes on the errand for Luke accompanied by Kelly. They work together to remove wires from a car. Once the task is done, Carol uses the opportunity to try to make amends, but Kelly reassures her they’re okay. Carol still feels terrible for what happened to Connie and wishes she could go back. Kelly still refuses to believe Connie’s gone, but missing her sister also helps her understand why Carol did what she did.
Kelly confesses that Carol’s exploits have become the stuff of legend in the community. She knows Carol would go off lone wolf-style and do what needed to be done. She sees this as a strength. Kelly believes Carol can’t give up that part of herself because bad things happen.
At the hospital, Negan — who is free and helping out — approaches Lydia, who is now petting a dog. He offers food. She refuses and confesses she’s been avoiding him. She tries to dismiss him, but Negan wants to restore their connection. He informs her that he liked her mother even though she did some terrible things, and he wishes he didn’t have to kill her. He then encourages her to say whatever she needs to say to him. Lydia simply reports that most everyone wishes he’d died too and walks away.
In the woods Judith and Daryl encounter a group of walkers led by a Whisperer. Daryl shoots the Whisperer with a crossbow bolt and, after she runs off, he and Judith take out the zombies. Then they run after the Whisperer, who they find dying in a ditch.
The Whisperer, who’s taken off her mask, pulls a knife on them but says she’ll drop it if Daryl pulls the arrow out of her chest. Daryl will only agree to think about. He then questions her, and she tells him everything he wants to know. The Whisperers and the horde are headed toward Oceanside, but the Whisperer decided to leave because Beta’s lost it. She doesn’t know if he knows where the joint communities are yet but she knows Beta will continue to come for them. She begs him not to shoot her in the head because she wants to become a zombie after she dies. To Judith’s surprise, Daryl does it anyway. He then retrieves both of his arrows from the body.
Judith points out he didn’t have to kill the Whisperer, but Daryl counters that she was going to die anyway, so it’s better it was quick. Judith is then surprised when Daryl walks away leaving the body behind. As she wonders if the woman had a family, Daryl grabs her hand to take her back to the hospital.
Beta is watching for signs of his prey, as the voice in his head instructed him to do. He notices a broken branch and then a cat crosses the path of the horde. Beta quietly chuckles.
Aaron and Alden are still tracking the horde but they seem awfully close to it now. As they move parallel to it, Alden comments that the plan’s going to work — the words of someone things are about to go very wrong for. As the duo discuss their losses at the hands of the Whisperers, they realize the horde is changing direction toward the hospital. Aaron tries to radio it in, but all he gets is static. The pair turn to run but don’t get more than a few steps before they’re surrounded by Whisperers.
At the hospital Lydia seeks out Negan. She angrily tells him he doesn’t get to tell her what to do. Negan agrees and then, even though it comes from a good place, he proceeds to do just that. He tells her she should hit him, it’ll make her feel better. When Lydia claims she feels fine, Negan tells her she has to mourn her mother. Lydia calls him out on only killing Alpha so the joint communities would think he’s a hero and for telling her he liked her mother when Lydia hated her — or at least wants to. As she berates Negan, Lydia breaks down, and when he tells her it’s okay, she starts to hit him. He wrestles her into a hug and she sobs.
Judith is still upset Daryl left the Whisperer’s body in a ditch. It makes her wonder what would happen if one of the people she loves was lost. Daryl realizes there’s something else going on. Judith eventually admits she talked to Michonne. She doesn’t tell Daryl about Rick. She only says Michonne went to help some people in need. She claims she didn’t want to tell Daryl because she was worried he’d leave too.
Daryl says he won’t but he can’t promise because he doesn’t know what’s going to happen. He does know that she has a huge family full of people who’d do anything for her. As they finish their heart-to-heart, Gabriel radios. He’s breaking up but there are two words that are discernible: come back.
Beta and the horde have reached the hospital. He and the other Whisperers are ready for war.
While under normal circumstances we would only have to wait a week to see how that war played out, now we have an indefinite wait ahead of us to wonder what happened to Alden and Aaron, whether Judith and Daryl make it back and who will ultimately survive the battle.
The Walking Dead stars Norman Reedus, Melissa McBride, Josh McDermitt, Christian Serratos, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Seth Gilliam, Ross Marquand, Khary Payton and Cooper Andrews. It airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on AMC.
Amends are made on the penultimate episode of The Walking Dead's tenth season, but nothing can stop Beta from coming for the joint communities.