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Things You Never Noticed On The Final Episode Of The Walking Dead Season 10

Contains spoilers for The Walking Dead season 10

Season 10 episode 15 of The Walking Dead, entitled "The Tower," was never meant to serve as the de facto season finale. Thanks to the ongoing pandemic of COVID-19, however, it will have to suffice — at least until the crew can get back to work, finishing production on the actual finale, entitled "A Certain Doom."

In many ways, "The Tower" was what you might expect from a penultimate episode. We saw quite a bit of tightening tension in the storylines that have been developing throughout the back half of season 10 — and a few from even earlier. With that in mind, however, episode 15 was a whole lot of build-up and not a lot of resolution. Enemy du jour the Whisperers, who have been dogging the Alexandrians since season 9, are still out there, under the vengeful leadership of Beta (Ryan Hurst). For his part, the current skinsuit-adorned big bad has sworn to avenge Alpha's (Samantha Morten) unceremonious decapitation at the hands of a repentant Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), so it seems unlikely that he will be able to come to peaceful terms with our merry band of survivors.

While the final clash between Alexandria and the Whisperers appears imminent, it didn't quite come to pass on episode 15. Instead, we were treated to a little extra time with the long-running zombie thriller's newest quirky character, and a few uncommon introspective scenes of Beta grappling with some obvious mental health issues. Just because the season's major plot threads weren't resolved, however, doesn't mean nothing happened. "The Tower" was actually strewn with subtle details that may come to have important ramifications once the pandemic embargo on episode 16 is finally lifted. Here are just a few of them.

We've seen that hospital before

Fearing an overwhelming assault from Beta, the Whisperers, and their healthy horde of undead pawns, the Alexandrians made like the Kingdom of Rohan and fled to a more fortified position. While Alden (Callan McAuliffe) and Aaron (Ross Marquand) remained behind to scout and report back on Beta's movements, Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) led the rest of the survivors to a local hospital.

If you're a long-time Walking Dead viewer, and you thought this location looked familiar, it probably should have. The real-world location that stood in for the Alexandrians' fortress of last resort has actually appeared on the show before — way back on season 5. Fans will likely remember that season 5 included a self-contained side story featuring the late Beth Greene (Emily Kinney) who was taken captive by a group of sadistic, renegade police in an abandoned hospital. That hospital is the very same structure offering the survivor's safe haven from Beta's horde on season 10.

If only the surviving Greene sister were around to see it, but more on that below.

Beta is really starting to lose it

Heavy is the head that wears the crown — or the skin-mask equivalent, rather. Beta was thrust into a leadership role he never wanted after Negan infiltrated the Whisperers' camp and relieved Alpha of her head. On episode 15, Beta starts to feel the weight of his newfound responsibilities. Without anyone hanging around to tell him what to do, he's started listening to the voices in his head. During "The Tower," we actually get to hear these voices, too.

Careful viewers will no doubt remember that Beta has been adamant about his lack of faith in his own leadership. Per the Whisperer's brutal rite of succession, he could have slaughtered Alpha at any time and taken over, but he didn't. Why? The answer is obvious: Beta doesn't think Beta is fit to lead. He's more of a "Best Supporting Actor" kind of guy. Now that he's forced to take the fight to Alexandria and avenge Alpha, he's starting to crack under the pressure.

It makes sense that Beta needed to manifest psychotic voices in order to cope with the pressures of leadership. He's always considered himself a better Number Two, and now — without Alpha at the helm — his broken brain has created an auditory hallucination to order him around. Perhaps this break with reality bodes well for the Alexandrians chances of survival.

Lauren Cohan didn't return as Maggie Greene on episode 15

Series overlord Scott Gimple and the whole Walking Dead creative team have been teasing Lauren Cohan's return to the series for months now. She was supposed to swoop in at some point during season 10, and we now know she's contracted as a series regular for season 11 — whenever that happens. In light of all the expectation surrounding Maggie Greene's triumphant return, the most important detail from "The Tower" is probably something that didn't happen.

We didn't get to see Maggie again. She was supposed to come back from wherever she disappeared to without comment in the middle of season 9. Her absence from "The Tower" means that — barring some seriously underhanded use of PR — Maggie will have some major part to play on "A Certain Doom."

It's hard to predict just what Maggie's role will be on the official season finale. The character's arc on the TV series has diverged significantly from her arc in the comics, in which Maggie Greene ultimately uses her position as leader of the Hilltop to become the first elected president of the Eastern United States. That fate seems unlikely on the TV series, since Maggie essentially abdicated her political position at the Hilltop when she disappeared, leaving her people to fend for themselves.

The TV writers will have to come up with a seamless way to integrate her back into the plot. Regardless of how they pull off that feat, with all the high-profile deaths and departures from the series recently, it will be nice to see another familiar face.

The Walking Dead will return ... eventually with the long-awaited episode, "A Certain Doom." Whether this dramatic hour will serve as the season 10 finale or the season 11 premiere is anyone's guess at this point.