They say hindsight is 20-20 and that seems to be the case with Carol on The Walking Dead, who revealed her master plan in “Walk With Us”.
Carol has been struggling with Henry’s death in The Walking Dead season 10. Her quest for vengeance has been her entire focus, even when it put her friends in danger. However, in “Walk With Us” we learn that Carol had a plan to kill Alpha. She was acting on that plan the whole time and if she couldn’t do the deed then she would have Negan do it. And Negan did it.
The Walking Dead writers may have given viewers hints about Carol’s plan to recruit Negan as early as 1004’s “Silence the Whisperers” when Negan comes under fire for killing Margo while protecting Lydia from a gruesome attack. Daryl goes to Carol for advice and she calls the whole focus on Negan a distraction, noting that the real threat was Alpha and the Whisperers.
At that moment, it is very likely that Carol knew she had a window of opportunity: Free Negan and recruit him for her mission while everyone is distracted.
It was a brilliant plan that delivered the desired result: Alpha’s head.
The only downfall is that Negan didn’t manage to kill Alpha before the battle at Hilltop. There’s no mistaking the emotion in Carol’s eyes as she surveys the destruction in the opening minutes of “Walk With Us”. She knows that this could have been avoided because she very likely knows that Negan is embedded with the Whisperers already.
We know that Negan was testing Alpha. We know he was trying to gauge whether or not she would spare Lydia, and if she would resort to taking the Hilltoppers prisoner rather than killing them. She failed the test and so he had to kill her.
Carol’s plan allowed her to track the horde and give the survivors time to plan their battle knowing that Negan was working from the inside. It gave her the peace of mind that Alpha would die, either by her hand or by Negan’s, and that was enough to keep her moving forward.
Now that the deed is done, now comes the hard part: She will have to own up to this plan. Negan did his part, so we will learn the terms of their agreement. If he wants to return to Alexandria, then she will have to explain how she was behind his escape and she will have to convince people like Aaron that Negan was only acting on her behalf.
It’s a risk. The survivors have lost a lot. People have died. Will Alpha’s death be enough to look past her plan?
Truthfully, there are no clear answers.
If Negan’s inside information can help the survivors in some way, then it might be worth it. Carol will have to make a very strong case for him, but hopefully with the looming final battle with the Whisperers, all helpful information will be appreciated.
Carol has never been one to sit on the sidelines in times of crisis, and “Walk With Us” proved that she had a plan all along.
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9pm on AMC.