Spoiler warning for anyone who hasn't yet watched the latest episode of The Walking Dead.
When it comes to handing out gripping season-long narrative arcs, The Walking Dead has stepped a fairly wide berth around Avi Nash's Siddiq since his Season 8 introduction. Season 10 has attempted to change course by giving Siddiq a healthy dose of PTSD from his time as Alpha's captive for last season's deadly fair episode. Fans will remember that Siddiq was spared by the Whisperers so that he could share his horror story with everyone else, but what if that wasn't Alpha's only motivation for keeping Siddiq alive?
As strange as it may seem, The Walking Dead might be weighing Siddiq down with a huge secret: that he's now serving as Alpha's mole to alert her and the other Whisperers about the protagonist groups' movements. The episode "Ghosts" didn't outright confirm that Siddiq is (regretfully) assisting the show's big villains, but there were a few hints therein that inspired hypothetical conversations about Siddiq's nerve-wracked situation.
With much angst to spare, Michonne, Daryl, Carol and others went off to meet Alpha at the stake-marked border, where Carol almost took a shot at the skin-wearing villain after a brutal comment was made about Henry. Alpha lived through that situation, of course, but she dropped a very telling admission during the ordeal.
Alpha shared that she knew the Walking Dead's protagonists had crossed the makeshift borders on three different occasions since the territory boundaries were set up in the first place. But considering the core Whisperer group was presumably many, many miles away during the winter storm that closed out Season 10, how would the big bad have inside info about that trespassing, or the other one that went down when the lands were seemingly Whisperer-free?
If Alpha had a variety of noteworthy underlings to do her bidding, rather than just Beta and other randos, then it would make sense for a Whisperer or two to have stuck around to spy on their enemies' movements. But considering how many people are now part of the protagonist communities, keeping tabs on every single person is not an easy task for anyone. So I can see Alpha coming up with a more specific plan to gather insider info, especially one that involves murder and crippling guilt.
Given Siddiq's harried memories of the Whisperer fair massacre in Season 10, it was quickly assumed that he was just experiencing PTSD-laden flashbacks of watching his friends get slaughtered. That's not out of the question, of course, but the timing is curious. (More on that in a sec.)
Episode 3 featured a flashback moment that wasn't shown before, which seemingly makes Siddiq a guilty party during the beheadings. At one point, it appears as if we're getting Siddiq's point of view while he's looking at a bloodied blade, and it sounds like Alpha is telling him that he did a good job. She definitely wasn't saying he did a good job cleaning the sword, since it was still all mucky, so it's more likely that Siddiq had just cut the head off of one of his former co-residents.
Alpha is sadistic enough to put someone to the test by giving them the ultimatum of either murdering someone else or getting killed themselves, with Siddiq being the "lucky" one in this case. But was he the first or only survivor she gave that horrifying offer to, or did everyone have the offer, and Siddiq was the only one who accepted? Those kinds of details could make all the difference if Siddiq's potential secret comes out.
Imagine a scenario where The Walking Dead pits some of its characters in a desperate situation where they need help, and Siddiq is the only one that can do anything. But then Alpha shows up and starts threatening to reveal his past indiscretions if he doesn't keep setting protagonists up to die. This is not a character that anyone wants to be blackmailed by.
It's been months since the Hilltop fair and the succeeding snowstorms, so Siddiq has been dealing with his issues and memories for a while now. Yet, if those flashbacks had been happening with the same frequency and intensity as the ones that struck him in Episode 3, there's no way everyone would allow Siddiq to remain the local physician.
It appeared that Siddiq's most severe flashback happened when he was working on Carol's injuries, to the point where he couldn't even follow through with it. Why would he be suddenly be so staggeringly out of sorts just because of Carol? What if it was revealed that Siddiq was actually the person who cut off Henry's head? That would certainly make him a nervous wreck anytime she was around.
Plus, that might explain why Siddiq wasn't such a hopeless mess in the months just prior, since Carol had been away from the communities working on a fishing boat. Sure, his own memories would still plague him, but not having Carol around on a daily basis would have helped him to repress some of that darkness and maintain a positive front.
Having Alpha appear again in the near vicinity would also probably eat Siddiq alive on the inside, knowing that she'll be seeking information that he'd have to deliver in complete secrecy. His paranoia would be off the charts compared to everyone else, and that stress would likely get him killed in some way. Soooo...I guess, good luck, Siddiq. I hope I'm wrong about all this, for your sake and those of the people who will want to destroy you if you sold them out.
Considering none of this happened in the comics in the same way, it's hard to use the source material for information, so readers will have to wing it with everyone else. With more to come from Beta's backstory and Michonne's impending exit, The Walking Dead will keep heating up the Whisperer War as Season 10 drives forward. The show airs Sunday nights on AMC at 9:00 p.m. ET.
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Reviewed and Recommended by Erik Baquero