It has been over 180 days since the last episode of The Walking Dead, and typically, when there is a layover that long, it’s in between seasons. Here, because of the pandemic, it’s six months between the penultimate episode of the season and what used to be the season finale (an additional 6 episodes have since been added to the tenth season, set to air in the Spring). There are a number of things that viewers may have forgotten that will be important to remember ahead of the 16th episodes — in fact, I have seen it, and it’s very good. However, it’s also a little disorienting because most of it obviously builds on storylines that we haven’t seen in six months.
So, to help prepare you for the not-finale 16th episode of the 10th season, here’s what you need to remember:
1. Carol and Negan orchestrated the death of Alpha — It was a long con, obviously, but Carol released Negan from Alexandria’s jail cell so that he could work his way into the Whisperers, gain the confidence of Alpha, and then kill her. It did not gain him any new friends, exactly, but Carol and Daryl at least respect and tolerate him. Begrudgingly. However, he does remain close with Alpha’s daughter, Lydia, despite the murder of her mother. Carol and Lydia’s relationship, however, remains strained. Carol, after all, orchestrated the murder of Lydia’s mother, who also murdered Carol’s son, Henry, who was also Lydia’s boyfriend.
2. Beta has gone insane — After the death of Alpha, Beta completely loses his mind, starts hearing voices, and decides to attack the Alexandrians with The Whisperers’ full horde, which is thousands of zombies. He no longer has a connection to reality. It’s also worth noting that, in the universe of The Walking Dead, the character underneath the mask of Beta is a famous country musician. This will matter in the finale.
3. Maggie is … somewhere — Maggie’s return is no secret. It’s been talked about for well over a year now, and even promoted in the ads for the 16th episode. She does return, and I’ll just say this: It’s not just as a character in a distant land reading a letter. She will be an active participant in the the episode’s action. Maggie’s not just back, she’s really back.
4. Some of the episode is set at Grady Memorial — This is not actually that important, but I still think it’s funny that the series is reusing old sets.
5. Michonne is gone, but Virgil is not — Virgil came into Oceanside, and left with Michonne, who discovered that Rick is still alive, and set out to try and find him. Virgil — who has a little off his head, too, after the death of loved ones — decided to return to Oceanside, and that will be more important than you might think in the finale.
6. Eugene went out to meet Stephanie — Eugene has spent much of the season in radio contact with someone named Stephanie. He left with Ezekiel and Yumiko to meet Stephanie, and along the way they met a great new character, Princess. It’s also worth remembering that Ezekiel has cancer, and that the next storyline in Robert Kirkman’s source material is The Commonwealth. All of this will be important in the finale.
7. We met a bad-ass ninja dude — Aaron and Alden are rescued from a Whisperer horde by a masked person with some serious knife skills. The masked person will return in the finale.
8. Remember Connie? — It seems like eons ago now, but remember when Connie and Magna were trapped inside a Whisperer cave with a horde of zombies? Magna eventually made her way out and returned home, but we haven’t seen Connie since. We will find out what happened to her in the 16th episode, probably because Lauren Ridloff (who plays her) needed a break to film The Eternals.