The Walking Dead sheds light on a crucial alliance while setting up another group for a distant rendezvous. "Look at the Flowers" reveals the pact between Carol (Melissa McBride) and Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan). Carol gets her revenge, but is haunted in the aftermath by Alpha (Samantha Morton). Eugene (Josh McDermitt) recruits allies for his trip to meet the mysterious Stephanie. Beta (Ryan Hurst) struggles with Alpha's loss as we finally learn his backstory.

"Look at the Flowers" starts with an important flashback scene. Negan sits in his cell the night of his escape. Carol comes in and asks, "Do you want forgiveness?" He knows Carol wants Alpha dead. She "missed her shot." But to Carol's surprise, Negan isn't cavalier about his chances. He realizes what will happen to Alexandria if he fails. Carol "needs this done." She tells Negan, "You bring me Alpha's head. That's what people will remember you for." She gives Negan her word, "If you do it fast."

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In the present, Carol jams Alpha's head on a pike. Negan is ready to go back to Alexandria, but Carol refuses. "What took you so damn long." A disappointed Negan wants Carol to hold up her end of the bargain. Carol tells him to "wait" or "don't wait". She needs to be alone. Negan is a free man. She walks away, "You can do whatever you want."

At the safe house, Jerry (Cooper Andrews) hugs Magna (Nadia Hilker). The kids are safe, but Ezekiel (Khary Payton) is disappointed by his performance at the Hilltop. Eugene tends to Rosita (Christian Serratos). She implores him to tell the others about meeting Stephanie. He stands up and nervously admits his radio communication. They question the security breach, but Ezekiel trusts Eugene's instincts. He believes in "future friends and alliances."

Outside, Yumiko (Eleanor Matsuura) tries to convince Magna to go with Eugene. But Magna wants to stay. Yumiko decides to accompany Eugene, along with Ezekiel. Jerry says a heartfelt farewell to his king. He hugs Ezekiel, and calls him by his name for the first time.

At the border, Beta stares in disbelief at Alpha's piked head. Two Whisperers are with him. "She was with Negan," the first one says. He then calls Beta the new Alpha. Alpha demands he remove his skin mask. He shoves the Whisperer into Alpha's growling head. She bites into his cheek as the other Whisperer flees in terror. Beta gingerly removes Alpha's head and cradles it.

Negan returns to the cabin where he left Lydia. Daryl (Norman Reedus) is waiting. He puts his crossbow to Negan's chest. Negan swears he killed Alpha for Daryl's "girlfriend." He shows Daryl his skin mask. In the woods, Carol walks alone. She hears a voice calling her through the trees. She turns around to see Alpha.

Beta leads the wounded Whisperer to a small town. The man panics and is about to kill a walker, but is stabbed in the back by Beta. Beta lifts up a sack holding Alpha's head to his ear. He walks into a hotel, then goes upstairs to a room. There's a guitar in the corner. He picks up a note. On the wall is a poster, "Live in Concert, Half Moon." Beta rips it off the wall. He smashes the guitar to pieces.

Carol continues to walk, but the ghost of Alpha taunts her. She knows Carol is "lost." Carol let Henry and Sophia die. People were hurt because of her "vengeance.' Alpha mocks her mercilessly. A walker snatches Carol from a tree, but she kills it. Carol desperately "wants to be alone."

Eugene, Yumiko, and Ezekiel are on horseback. They are riding on a road beside railroad tracks. Eugene hopes the new settlement has candy. They come upon two walkers locked in cages. They decide to investigate further. Ezekiel gets off his horse to clear walkers. He doubles over in pain as the cancer overtakes him. He barely escapes from a walker before killing it.

Daryl leads a tied up Negan through the forest. Negan knows Daryl is pissed. He claims it was because Carol didn't let Daryl in on the plan. Daryl corrects him. He's pissed because Negan's actions endangered the children at the Hilltop.

At the hotel that night, Beta looks through Half Moon's records. He plays a live album from his former life. The loud country music attracts walkers to the hotel. In the woods, Carol returns to the shed where Lydia had previously hid. She climbs into the rafters to retrieve a box, but the roof caves in on her.

Negan takes Daryl to the bloody pike. Alpha's head is gone. Daryl draws his crossbow on Negan. Suddenly they are held up by three Whisperers. The armed one speaks, "Alpha is dead because of you. We kneel to the new Alpha." They bow before him. Negan laughs before an exasperated Daryl.

A herd of walkers gathers at the hotel. A smiling Beta looks on them from the balcony. He rips his skin mask in half. Back at the pike, Negan is released and Daryl is tied up. Negan returns to his cocky self, "If I'm the Alpha, why is someone definitely not the Alpha holding the badass shotgun?" The Whisperer obediently hands it over. He shoots the Whisperer in the face. He and Daryl easily dispatch the other two.

Eugene's group camps under a bridge. Ezekiel runs to his horse when it falls over. The animal has been bitten. He sadly stabs the horse in the head. Yumiko comforts him. They need to find a better future. They need the man that "built a kingdom in the apocalypse."

The next morning, Carol is still pinned under the rubble. Walkers are closing in. Alpha continues her tirade. A walker tears his shoulder off coming through a crack. Alpha lists all the people, especially children, who have died around Carol. She tells her to, "Look at the flowers." The walker closes in, but Carol pulls her arm free to kill it. She collapses outside. Alpha's ghost has vanished.

Negan and Daryl share a water canteen. Negan doesn't think Carol is coming back. He admits that after seven years in prison, he liked when Alpha took him in. It was nice to "matter again, but she took it too far. You don't kill people who don't deserve it." Daryl gets up and walks away. The next scene has Carol returning to Alexandria. Daryl opens the gate. She passes him in silence.

Yumiko, Ezekiel, and Eugene reach a large city. The streets are deserted, but they see strange things. A walker is dressed up and chained to a rocking chair. Others are chained to a bar with cocktails tied to their hands. Ezekiel laughs hysterically at a walker tied to a car with another restrained meter maid walker writing a ticket. They walk past the bizarre set-ups. Then run into a delighted woman in a purple feather boa, holding a machine gun. "Oh my God! Hi," she enthusiastically greets them.

In his hotel room, Beta reads the note. It says, "Two eyes, one truth." He takes Alpha's head out of the sack. He tenderly pulls her head to his, before plunging a knife through it. Beta walks downstairs into his new horde. They turn to follow him. He has replaced the torn skin from his mask with Alpha's pale flesh.

"Look at the Flowers" refers to the moment when Carol killed Lizzie in season four. That was the heartbreaking climax to "The Grove," one of the show's best episodes. "Look at the Flowers" felt like mostly filler. We saw Carol and Negan's pact. Learned that Beta was a country music star. Watched him gather a horde and make a shiny new Alpha mask. But the scenes with Alpha and Carol were lame, along with Daryl and Negan's reckoning. They were hot air taking up time. The Walking Dead's season ten comes to a truncated conclusion. The finale could not be completed because of the coronavirus. Episode fifteen, "The Tower," will end the season early next week. "A Certain Doom" will air as a standalone special later this year on AMC.

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Julian Roman at TVweb
Julian Roman