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The Beta Easter Egg You Missed In Fear The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead is known for its rich worldbuilding and deep lore, which is one of the reasons the comics and multiple TV series that spun off from them have been such an enduring success. It also makes the franchise a prime candidate for fun callbacks and hidden Easter eggs. Now that the original series has two spinoffs (not including the upcoming Carol and Daryl focused series), there are even more opportunities to plant references in each of the shows to help further establish the interconnected world of The Walking Dead franchise and the characters that dwell within it.

This type of cross-series Easter egg was recently noted by a fan on Reddit. They made I.D. while watching an episode of Fear the Walking Dead. In a blink-and you'll-miss-it moment, the show gave viewers a look at the pre-apocalypse life of one of the series' most enigmatic and fearsome antagonists: Beta (Ryan Hurst). The Easter egg wasn't just there to provide a fun moment of connection between the two shows, either. It also teased a revelation that would later play out on The Walking Dead.

Here's the lowdown on the ultra-cool Fear the Walking Dead Easter egg that you might have missed.

Who is Beta?

Season 9 of The Walking Dead introduces viewers to a particularly repulsive group of survivors known as the Whisperers. These resourceful humans get their name from the tactic they use to move undetected among the herds of walkers that roam the US following the apocalyptic outbreak. They wear the skin of the undead on their faces to mask themselves so they can travel with the undead unnoticed. When they are among a herd, they communicate in unnerving, raspy whispers to avoid drawing attention to themselves.

The Whisperers are lead by a woman who calls herself Alpha (Samantha Morton), whose loyal second in command is a hulking man named Beta. While Alpha has a cult leader-like presence among the group, Beta is her muscle. He's a brutal man who, unlike the other Whisperers, never takes off his gruesome walker mask, preferring to keep his face hidden. This isn't out of a lack of self-esteem, but rather, a rejection of his life in the before times.

At one point in his story arc, Beta's mask does get torn off, and when his face is revealed, another Whisperer professes to recognize him. This leads to Beta to quickly kill the man in order to protect his secret. The truth about Beta's identity isn't revealed until the end of his run on the show, but before viewers of The Walking Dead found out, those who watch Fear the Walking Dead got a hint about the past of this menacing character.

Beta's past was teased on Fear the Walking Dead long before the actual reveal

Beta and the Whisperers were introduced midway through The Walking Dead's ninth season and were the main antagonists during season 10. In between the two seasons, the fifth season of Fear the Walking Dead aired. Although the Whisperers themselves didn't factor in the continued adventures of the southwestern group of survivors, there was a small sneak preview of a revelation about Beta's identity that wouldn't be confirmed on The Walking Dead until season 10.

As user TheBeastF5 pointed out in a recent Reddit thread that, during the season 5 episode "Today and Tomorrow," there's a scene where a group is conducting a supply run during which some vinyl records get strewn on the ground, while the survivors escape a pack of walkers. The camera lingers for a moment on the cases of the dropped records, revealing that one of them is the cover art for a record featuring a familiar face. Later, on The Walking Dead, viewers learn that artist was a famous country musician in the before times known as Half Moon, and who is now known as Beta.

This clever Easter egg and bit of foreshadowing was also noticed by some fans before the conclusion of Beta's storyline even aired. That's because his character does appear in the comic series that the TV shows are based on, and although his character is not completely the same, his secret identity plot is very similar.

How Beta's character differs in the comics

Even casual fans of The Walking Dead know that the shows are based on a long-running (but recently concluded) comic series of the same name. While the show and the comics have diverged greatly over the years, major storylines and characters often have many similarities. That is true of the Whisperers and Beta, a character who is first introduced in issue 154 of the comics.

Beta's storyline in the comics is fairly similar to that of the TV series, and that includes his famous past. However, unlike the TV series, in the comic books, Beta was a famous basketball player and actor — think if Michael Jordan went from starring in Space Jam to cutting off the faces of the undead and wearing them as a mask. 

This particular version of his backstory fits well with Beta's physicality in the comics. He's a very large and imposing figure who also moves quickly, skills he would have honed during his years as a professional athlete. Similar to the show, in the comic books, Beta is fiercely protective over his face mask, and kills his own allies if they catch a glimpse. In both versions, his identity is eventually uncovered, and he's recognized as the celebrity he once was.

Beta's country singer past is just one example of the intriguing ways that the multi-series The Walking Dead universe functions. Sadly, we'll be seeing less of that once the flagship show ends after its upcoming eleventh season. But, there's still The Walking Dead: The World Beyond to scratch that itch.