Carol Peletier is not giving up yet.
If you watch The Walking Dead online, you know Carol has battled mental health throughout much of the series, but there was something different about her actions during "Look at the Flowers."
The title of the episode alone was reminiscent of The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 14 -- aka, the installment in which Carol uttered the line to Lizzie, before shooting her in the back of the head.
Using it as the title of this episode was undoubtedly ominous because it could have paved the way for Carol's demise. The seeds were certainly planted for Carol to realize that avenging the death of Henry was her last hurrah.
Carol is a haunted woman who continues to struggle with the sins of the past. I was very critical of the way Negan got to kill Alpha, but witnessing Carol put the head on the pike made it all seem more worthwhile.
Carol won in this battle against the leader of the Whisperers, but she couldn't rid herself of the voice of Alpha. Samantha Morton was solid in her final outing as Alpha.
Alpha: My mom used to say everything works out the way it's supposed to.
Carol: Why don't you shut up already?
Alpha: It's finally time. This way, friend. We're ready for ya. I always knew how this would end. No one's coming to save you, not Ezekiel and certainly not Daryl, not after what you did to Connie. Stop fighting. No matter what you do, you lose people, Sophia, Lizzie, Mika, Henry, Ezekiel. And if you go back, Daryl could be next.
Carol: I could never let that happen.
Alpha: Your track record does not inspire confidence. You know what you gotta do? I could have been anyone, but you chose me. Because I get the job done.
Carol: I don't want this.
Alpha: Just look at the flowers, like you're supposed to. One, two, three.
Using Alpha as the voice in Carol's head was a stroke of genius because these two women have been at odds since the jump.
Carol realizing that she could continue her life and that it was worth living was a nice change of pace because it seemed like she was going to go off on her own for another lengthy stint.
You can only run from your feelings for so long before they explode, and have more far-reaching consequences. In essence, the visions of Alpha allowed Carol to confront her demons and realize that she had to get her skin back in the game.
The scenes in the cabin with Carol defenseless against a walker made me think Maggie would be the one to save her. We already know Lauren Cohan is on her way back to the series, so it would have been a perfect way to reintroduce her.
Now that Carol has returned to Alexandria, she can move on to the next stage in her life, and that involves one final fight against the Whisperers.
Speaking of the Whisperers, Beta got some much-needed depth. Up until now, he's been a hard as nails brute with a one-dimensional personality.
We finally got the confirmation we needed that he was a musician in the world before the apocalypse. The hints were there ever since an episode of Fear the Walking Dead Season 5 showed the record.
Beta was always going to sink or swim after losing Alpha. Even though they had differing views on several occasions, there was a part of him that would always have an allegiance to Alpha.
When he played his music and took off another part of his mask, I entertained the possibility that he would kill himself, but instead, he was creating another horde of walkers for the next phase of the battle.
Beta is worse than Alpha in terms of the lengths he will go. There were several moments in which he wanted to fight back harder, and Alpha brought him back down to earth. With Alpha out of the picture, everyone should be scared about what's to come.
Negan: Not to spin a broken record, but I don't think she's coming back. You know, I'm not bullshitting you.
Daryl: I know.
Negan: When I said that I liked it, I wasn't part of the act.
Daryl: Yeah, I know.
Negan: You know, when your people locked me up, I lost everything. Seven years spent staring out that little window. Man, it sucked. It got so bad that even my memories had bars painted on them. So, when Alpha took me in, I admit it, I liked it, it was, it was nice feeling like I mattered again, like I was respected, but she took it too far. You don't kill people that don't deserve it, and you never kill kids.
Daryl: Is that supposed to make me like you?
Negan: But what about my winning personality?
The visual of half of Alpha's face being on the mask was striking. Even though Alpha is gone, Beta will carry on the mantle to preach his cause and kill some humans. It's hard to imagine what's coming, but I can only assume it's nothing good.
Which brings me to Negan. He killed the Alpha but still struggled to curry favor with Daryl. In Daryl's defense, he knew Negan could have been playing him from the get-go.
It wouldn't have been all that surprising for Daryl to murder Negan and learn that he did carry out the deed.
There is a lack of trust between everyone and Negan, and even though killing Alpha is a big thing, people are going to struggle to distance him from the villain who killed several people years before.
Daryl understands Negan's progression after witnessing the way the Whisperers wanted Negan to serve as their leader. That could have been the moment Negan embraced the darkness fully, but he chose to stay on the path of light.
It's likely Negan will have Daryl and Carol in his corner going forward, and that's bound to cause issues when Maggie returns.
Maggie was last seen making a beeline for Alexandria to murder him, but she changed focus because she thought he would be rotting in a cell forever, beating himself up for his crimes.
How will Maggie react to the people she knows the most out of the survivors being in an alliance with the man who killed her baby's father?
It's not going to be fun for anyone involved.
With the Whisperers storyline slowly concluding, it was time to introduce some new storylines, and while I'm frustrated Eugene, we needed to see Ezekiel's struggle as his condition continued to worsen.
Ezekiel seems to defy the odds at every turn. Every single time he seems to be earmarked for death, he manages to survive, but he almost died during the fight with the walkers.
He was visibly struggling because his condition is worsening, and I can't shake the feeling that he will not make it home after this journey.
The arrival of Princess was fun, but I'll reserve further judgment until we find out more about her.
"Look at the Flowers" was mostly an episode to set up the coming events, and boy, we're in for a wild ride to the finish line.
What did you think of Carol confronting her demons? Did you expect Negan to save Daryl?
Hit the comments below.
The Walking Dead continues Sundays at 9/8c on AMC.
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.