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Tales of The Walking Dead - Dee - Review

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  Tales of The Walking Dead “Dee” was written by Channing Powell (Fear the Walking Dead, The Walking Dead, White Collar) and was directed by Michael E. Satrazemis. The episode sees Samantha Morton reprise her role as Alpha – sort of. I had a lot of issues with this episode, none of which have to do with Morton’s superb performance. I’m sure like a lot of viewers, I was excited about this episode to see more of Alpha and Lydia’s (Scarlett Blum) story. FYI, Blum played young Lydia in the "Omega" episode on The Walking Dead. However, neither of the characters here or the storyline fit well into the actual Walking Dead storyline/universe. Once again, the episode simply seems like an excuse to do something completely different.

Let’s start with the biggest elephant in the room – how would this fit into Alpha’s actual timeline? We’ve already seen her in two flashbacks. In one, she was living in a basement with a group of people, clearly for some time, with Lydia and her husband, Lydia’s father. We see in that flashback, Alpha assert her independence and turn away from society. Now, it’s possible that after this, she ended up on the riverboat, though I don’t find it plausible that she would become a doormat again or put up with Brooke (Lauren Glazier). But I’ll put that aside as they did at least reference Lydia’s father and the basement. But what about Beta??? It makes no sense for her to meet the Whisperers – and clearly get her mask from that leader (Hera? (Anne Beyer)) – before she met Beta. So when did that happen? Probably the most significant event in her past…

I get that this series is supposed to let the writers explore different ways that people might cope in the face of a zombie apocalypse, but a riverboat? Were they inspired by Ozark? Regardless, Brooke’s determination to keep her lifestyle going with her chosen few is pretty lame. Aerobics? Really? And fancy dinner parties? But the most ridiculous is her attempt to steal Lydia from Dee. And can we pause here to comment on “Dee”? As in she is only Delta in this episode? Does anyone believe for a second that Alpha would allow anyone to come between her and Lydia at this point? While a riverboat might be a good place to take refuge, it would only work if the leader was savvy about choosing members of the community, which Brooke definitely is not. 

The best part of the entire episode is when Alpha takes control, slicing the neck of one hostile and shooting another and then diving off the boat, taking Lydia hidden in the lifeboat with her. We finally get to see the Alpha we know from that point on in the episode. She gruesomely slices a walker to hide under and pulls Lydia under with her. She then tries to start teaching Lydia how to protect herself, resulting in Lydia pulling a total Carl moment and running off on her own into the walker-infested forest. I loved how she got the walkers stuck under an awning, risked getting bitten to get the knife she’d dropped, and then lured them to one side under the canvas, neatly stabbing each in the head.

After stumbling upon Brooke, now alone, Alpha finally emerges. Rather than kill her outright, Alpha decides to put her mark on Brooke, slicing a deep wound across her fact. If she shows up in a later episode – or on one of the other spinoffs – we should be able to recognize her. Honestly, that’s the only reason I can think of for leaving her alive. Always assuming, of course, that the fresh blood doesn’t attract walkers for dinner…

Lydia meanwhile seems to have a complete break with reality, hearing fairies in the forest – something she said she likes earlier in the episode. We know she was psychologically pretty fragile when we meet her in The Walking Dead, but this kind of complete divorce from reality seems a bit extreme at this point. I did think that Blum did a credible job. She didn’t remind me of Cassady McClincy, but then Morton didn’t really feel like any other version we’ve seen of Alpha until the very end of the episode either. It was fun getting to see the origin story of her mask though. 

What did you think of the episode? Am I being too hard on them? Does this feel like part of The Walking Dead storyline to you? It might seem more like the same ‘universe’ as it also involves zombies… I have to admit, given how hopeless I felt World Beyond was and how the last two episodes haven’t really come up to the mark for me here, I’m a bit worried about the new spinoffs. Actors can only save it so much if the tone and storylines are off. But let me know what you think in the comments below!

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