WARNING: The following article includes spoilers for The Walking Dead Season 10, Episode 4, "Silence the Whisperers," which aired Sunday on AMC.
Things haven’t been easy for Alpha’s daughter, Lydia, since she joined the Alexandrian community. Even though she lost her boyfriend Henry to her mother’s brutal tactics just like other members of the community lost their loved ones, the remaining Highwaymen still blame her for what happened. Meanwhile, she’s ostracized and ignored by many other community members. So it’s not altogether surprising that the one person she can bond with is Negan, the other person in the community whose presence is tolerated but still not welcome – even years after the dissolution of the Saviors.
In the tenth season episode “Silence the Whisperers,” Lydia's conflict with the Highwaymen finally comes to a head. Lydia’s sense of isolation comes from slights big and small. When she sees Siddiq in the distance coming home from a run, she offers a welcoming smile. Instead of returning the gesture, though, he stares at her briefly and then walks away in the opposite direction. Siddiq, of course, is still dealing with severe PTSD from what he saw when he was kidnapped by the Whisperers and is having trouble dealing with a lot of things at the moment. But for Lydia, his actions feel like a snub directed specifically at her.
The next day, Lydia watches a group of residents train with Aaron to take on the Whisperers. When one of the Highwaymen, Gage, notices her, he puts a burlap sack over his head and asks if she thinks the Whisperers might take him in. As his friends laugh, he calls Lydia a freak. Then another harshly instructs her to leave. Aaron calls them back to the session as Lydia walks away.
Later, Lydia hides out by the laundry where Negan’s working. She tells him she just needs to clear her head and he teases her for making her third visit in a week. Then she confesses that Gage and his friends were bullying her again. Clearly this has been an ongoing problem and Lydia’s been seeking out Negan for advice. Previously he’s instructed her to kill them with kindness but Lydia’s doesn’t think it’s helping. Negan’s sympathetic to Lydia, but he also tells her she shouldn’t let them get a reaction out of her since clearly it’s what they want.
Just then, Daryl rushes in and breaks up their conversation. He doesn’t want Lydia talking to Negan. After all, Daryl remembers who Negan used to be. Lydia stalks off. Daryl follows to inform her that Negan isn’t her friend. But Lydia counters that Negan understands her. As Daryl encourages her to stay away from him, they come to the door of the house they share. Painted on the door is the phrase “Silence the Whisperers.”
After that, Lydia’s no longer in the mood to sit back and take the abuse she’s been getting, so during mealtime, she stalks into the dining room with a dead squirrel. She sits down at the Highwaymen’s table and starts cutting it open, spattering blood on them as they’re eating. One of them comments that she’s making a fool of them and invokes the names of the friends Alpha murdered. In response, Lydia puts her bloody finger to her lips and shushes them. The trio get up and leave.
Afterwards, Daryl acknowledges the Highwaymen deserved what they got from Lydia, but also informs her that she can’t do stuff like that if she wants to continue to live in Alexandria. He says he’ll talk to the trio so they’ll stop giving her a hard time, but Lydia asks him not to. She needs to fight her own battles. Daryl asks if she can just avoid them but Lydia’s look makes it clear that’s not really an option.
That evening, Lydia is out by the laundry when the three Highwaymen attack her. They offer her the option to leave Alexandria but she refuses. They start to beat her as Lydia begs them to stop. Then, Negan appears. He tosses Margo aside and gets the other two to back off. That’s when they realize Margo’s dead.
Soon the whole town’s assembled. Some blame Lydia for the death, some blame Negan. Regardless, it’s no good for either of them. Lydia argues on behalf of Negan, but they still put him back in the jail cell.
Lydia goes to get patched up. She’s still broken up about what happened. Daryl comforts her and she once again tells him that Negan saved her life.
A bit later, Daryl speaks with Michonne over the radio. He explains what happened with Lydia. At the same time the Council is meeting to gather evidence to decide what to do with Negan. They speak to Margo’s friends, who claim that Lydia lured them out and Negan was with her. Their story has obvious holes, though.
At the same time, Daryl informs Michonne that Negan’s actually on the right side this time. As they talk, Michonne comes to a conclusion. She had been trying to determine why the Whisperers hadn’t released their horde on the joint communities after they breached their borders like Alpha originally threatened. Michonne realizes that it’s likely Lydia’s presence with them that’s changed Alpha’s calculations.
So she warns Daryl he has to protect Lydia for the sake of the communities. If Alpha thinks Lydia isn’t safe with them, the Whisperers might attack. Daryl agrees to do what he can, and Michonne appoints him her proxy when the Council votes on Negan’s fate.
Daryl goes to the Council meeting where they’re having a fierce debate over whether or not Negan should die for what happened to Margo. The vote is tied, but Gabriel still hasn’t cast his yet. He decides to take the night to weigh things and dismisses the meeting.
However, in the morning, Negan’s gone. No one knows who’s responsible for releasing him, but Lydia claims it was her doing. She locks herself in Negan’s cell. Daryl knows Lydia’s lying -- she was at home all night. But Lydia tells him to leave her in the cell. She tried fitting in, but she feels safer there. Besides that’s where the community wants her anyway.
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.