Da 5 Bloods
On the Record
I May Destroy You
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"Omega" utilizes an unreliable narrator to flesh out the zombie skin-clad fanatic Alpha and succeeds at making her all the more unnerving, but some viewers may find the episode's flashback structure and side plots to be more laborious than revelatory.
While the turn is interesting, the actual execution is a little ham-fisted... But these are pretty minor quibbles about a story where empathy brings about character change.
As a means of establishing the character of Alpha, the harsh and violent new antagonist and leader of the Whisperers, "Omega" is bluntly effective. As an episode of The Walking Dead, it's pretty thin gruel.
Through Lydia, the writers of The Walking Dead explore what happens when the brain of a young girl rewrites memories to protect the body. It's not the most well-executed exploration ever put to television, but it's an admirable effort.
Thanks to a clever bit of storytelling, the backstory of Lydia and her momma, the leader of the Whisperers, is one of the most compelling tales we've heard on this show in a while.
In what could be an exposition-heavy episode, the backstory actually works, partly because McClincy sells it and because the material set in the past is a great chance for Morton to do what she does so well.
Samantha Morton is every bit as scary, powerful, and intimidating before her transformation into Alpha as she is afterward, and I look forward to seeing what happens next in this upcoming war.
Some episodes are about the build-up, and this is one of those. With the Whisperers descending upon Hilltop, this lays the groundwork needed to know what they are up against. At least Daryl's on top of things, watching everything closely.
It's clear that not having Negan (or lil' asskicker Judith Grimes) on screen hurts the engagement level of these episodes to a degree, to the point that half of what we're seeing immediately feels like filler.
"Omega" wasn't exactly an exciting episode of The Walking Dead, but it sure was interesting. We now have a really solid idea of what everyone else is up against. A villain and followers who don't think about life in the same ways the heroes do.
The Whisperer leader Alpha gets her own origin story in "Omega," and the drama doesn't shy away from using the increased real estate offered by television to explore the character beyond what we may have seen in the comic.
It's frustrating to see this kind of bad writing crop up in Season 9 which has largely avoided making its cast act like complete imbeciles... Overall, not a super eventful episode.
There's a certain amount of freedom given to make mistakes, that didn't seem to be as prevalent under Rick... Perhaps the creative team behind the show feel freed to learn from mistakes, too.