Review, The Walking Dead

Tales of the Walking Dead Episode 3 Review: ‘Dee’ Gives us Alpha’s Backstory

Dee and Lydia

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How are you liking Tales of the Walking Dead so far? While the first two episodes of the anthology series seem to be an experiment in styles, Episode 3 is a return to the Walking Dead we know and love. Not coincidentally, this episode is also one of the only ones to feature a returning actor for the lead role.

Warning! This review contains major spoilers for Tales of the Walking Dead Episode 3: Dee.

Episode 3 follows the story of Dee, whom we all adore as Alpha in TWD Seasons 9 and 10, and her daughter Lydia.

The episode starts off as a bit of a murder mystery, showing Dee’s life on a riverboat while the zombie apocalypse is in full swing. We get to see how poorly Dee is treated by the other survivors on this ship and, most importantly, how she seems to be losing her influence on her own daughter.

When one of the boat’s patrons turns up missing, Dee is a lead suspect as she creepily describes being one of the last ones to see the man alive.

Dee eventually pins the man’s disappearance on another man, which causes a domino effect that leads to Dee’s escape from the boat with Lydia.

One of the lead antagonists in this episode is Brooke, played by Lauren Glazier. We get a sense that Brooke is (ironically) the true alpha of this survivor group, which may be the main reason that Dee took on the alpha role later on.

Brooke is grooming Lydia to be more like her and less like Dee, whom Brooke sees as plain and a little crazy. Of course, as any parent can attest to, the interference of another adult into your child’s life is a major red flag. Dee’s initial motivation for escaping with Lydia is to regain that control of her daughter, but she soon realizes that it goes deeper than that.

We get a confession from Dee about how she’s responsible for her own father’s death at age 9. We don’t get a lot of details here, but we can only imagine that she did it as the result of abuse. This might also explain why she tries to pin her own abuse of Lydia on Lydia’s father later on.

The very end of the episode shows a great dynamic between mother and child. Lydia is rightfully confused and scared of her mother after they escape (and maybe even before), and Dee finally realizes that her own unfortunate life can’t be passed down to this innocent child. “This ain’t no place for a child,” Dee says as she realizes what she must do.

Episode 3 Continues Lydia’s Origin Story As Well

A major part of Lydia’s storyline in the main TWD series revolves around Dee’s gaslighting of her daughter. Lydia believes that she’s responsible for her father’s death, and Dee plays into that because she’s a narcissist. Dee convinces Lydia that she’s responsible for her father’s death because he was a horrible man who beat the family, but in reality, it was Dee who carried out the abuse. She’s also the one who killed Lydia’s father for being “weak.”

This episode of TotWD gives us a bit of the story between that flashback and how we see Dee as Alpha later on. It also explains quite a bit how Lydia could so easily leave her mother to stay with Daryl and his group.

Dee Didn’t Create the Whisperers?!

At the end of this episode, we get to see something that came as a bit of a surprise to me. While Dee is holding a knife to her daughter’s throat, ready to end it all, she hears faint whispers in the woods. “We see you,” they whisper over and over again. “Spare her.”

Lydia thinks it’s the trees talking but a group of what appears to be undead approaches Dee and Lydia. It’s obvious that they’re not real walkers.

The group approaches Dee, and a woman wearing a dead skin mask reveals herself as Hera. We don’t see the woman’s face, but we get to see her platinum blonde hair from behind.

In the next scene, Dee describes that finding this woman is what changed her. “I was keeping myself from my nature,” she says. “But that — that was the end of Dee, and the beginning of me. And then I met you.” The camera pans down to show the woman’s hair on a skin mask of its own.

“And you showed me love.”

Ultimately, I felt like this episode was the truest to the TWD universe. Episode 1 was so-so and Episode 2 was wacky and seemed to really piss a lot of fans off, but Episode 3 brought it all back home. It was nice to see an origin story from a popular character that’s not one of the main survivors, and I think they did a fantastic job of telling that story. I just hope they can continue telling these origin stories for the lesser-known characters from the main series.

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    Shawn has been infatuated with the post-apocalyptic genre since he wore out his horribly American-dubbed VHS of the original Mad Max as a child. Shawn is the former Editor-in-Chief at, creator of the Aftermath post-apocalyptic immersion event, and author of "AI For All," a guide to navigating this strange new world of artificial intelligence.
    He currently resides on top of a mountain in the middle of nowhere with his wife and four children.

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