WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for The Walking Dead Season 10, Episode 6, "Open Your Eyes," which aired Sunday on AMC.
AMC's The Walking Dead has provided many despicable tyrants over the years, ranging from the Governor to Negan. They've been brutal dictators, sadists and torture-lovers, and just downright nasty people who believe freedom is a facade in the zombie apocalypse.
The newest is the leader of the Whisperers, Alpha. But as much as Alpha and her right-hand man, Beta, are cutting a bloody path and giving the impression they might be the deadliest of the bunch, Season 10 just introduced the newest villain and one who's shaping up to be the series' best ever: Dante (Juan Javier Cardenas).
In "Open Your Eyes," Siddiq has been plagued by visions due to his PTSD of that night where the Whisperers kidnapped him and his people for beheading. As the lone survivor, he's been wracked by guilt that he couldn't save his brethren, but as he pieces together exactly what happened that night in the closing moments of the episode, tragedy strikes in a very nefarious manner as Dante chokes him to death when Siddiq realizes the doctor is indeed a spy for Alpha.
Now, this changes the entire dynamic, not just of Alexandria, but of the alliance on the whole. Dante's been destabilizing the camp the entire time and this will lead to ripple effects within other communities, as showrunner Angela Kang hinted will be revealed in the next episode. She indicated they wanted a Cold War infiltration vibe to the narrative, and Dante, aloof and unassuming, was the perfect candidate for this, as no one would suspect him. And this is what makes him so dangerous -- he's invisible. He can medicate people in the community to kill them, mosey around without anyone batting an eye to poison the water supply and even contaminate food stocks with everyone none the wiser. In other words, hidden in plain sight, he's way more dangerous than any other villain the show has had.
He's undetected, hidden in the belly of the beast at a time where he's perched to fulfil Alpha's manifest by causing real havoc in a town already marred by strife and at times seems on the cusp of civil war. Conflict has been simmering between Carol and Gabriel (who doesn't approve of her methods against the Whisperers), while Michonne and Daryl have also locked horns over how Carol should be unleashed against the people who killed her son, Henry. The community is divided, as seen with how Lydia was scorned too, not to mention it's been polarized since Rick Grimes' days where he decided it was best for Negan to be kept alive.
So it stands to reason, Dante's been picking them apart bit by bit by playing on all this drama, learning their strengths, weakness and strategies to carry out his mission. Learning the enemy from the inside is a war tactic that's so valuable and Dante surpasses everyone else who lacked subtlety and decided to rule with bats, guns, swords, knives, tanks and even masks. With Michonne off to Oceanside too, this positions him in the perfect spot as the villain we didn't know the series needed. He's festering, gnawing at the internal wounds of Alexandria, whispering in people's ears, aiming to frame others and in so doing, as an enemy based more on brain than brawn, he's eating our heroes alive from within their own quarters. Ultimately, Dante's destroying the heartbeat of everything, aka unity, poking and prodding until they turn on each other.
Dante's cerebral, cunning and so clever, he doesn't need an army to do his damage. He's doing in so in front everyone's eyes, and slowly eroding, not just the physical fabric of the heroes, but their sanity as well. The mind games and eventual murder of Siddiq compounds him as a major threat, and from what we've seen thus far, Dante's only just beginning his crusade of chaos and it's one that is poised to leave a lasting impression unlike what anyone's ever laid down before.
The Walking Dead stars Norman Reedus, Danai Gurira, Melissa McBride, Josh McDermitt, Christian Serratos, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Seth Gilliam, Ross Marquand, Khary Payton, Cooper Andrews, Avi Nash, and Samantha Morton. It airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on AMC.