The Walking Dead season 10 finale finally aired last night, bringing an end to the Whisperer War that’s unfolded over the past two years. Sure enough, the survivors managed to get the better of Beta, with the villain meeting a grisly fate at the hands of Daryl. In the grand tradition of TWD bad guys having memorable deaths, Alpha’s loyal number two was stabbed with two knives in the eyes, which turned his own zombies on him. The insane Beta then let the walkers consume him, strangely at peace.
It was a cool ending for the character, but it was also very sudden. Beta bested Negan in a tussle and was just about to get his revenge on the former Savior for Alpha’s murder when Daryl attacked him, so the tables were turned and he’s finished off in just a few moments. While speaking with CinemaBlend, actor Ryan Hurst revealed the collaborative process behind working out Beta’s death scene and revealed that he wanted a full-on rematch between Beta and Daryl, but Norman Reedus preferred the idea of a quick demise.
“When I first read it, I was a big proponent for like, ‘There should be another big knife fight! Or there should be a real big fight with Negan, and we really feel like he’s gonna die, and then Daryl shows up, and Beta and him get into it again.’ And then Norman was the one who really pushed through. He was just like, ‘What if I just stabbed you in the face?’ I was like, ‘What do you mean? That’s it?’ And he’s like, ‘Yeah, that’s it. Like, I just kind of walk up and stab you in the face.’ I was like, ‘I guess.’ He goes, ‘Nobody will see it coming,’ and I was like, ‘Ah, there’s something to that.’ You know, you’ve been following this character, he is the antagonist for the second half of Season 10. We know that he’s going to die at some point, so it works better if you really sort of pull the rug out from under, if he’s just there on top of Negan, he’s gonna take his revenge and then turn around and it’s over. I fought it at first. I was just kinda like, ‘No, they gotta have a big duel!’ And Norman was like, ‘Nah, I really think I gotta just stab you in the face.'”
Director Greg Nicotero has also confirmed in another interview that it was Reedus who came up with the concept of Beta being stabbed in both eyes. Fans have been asking for another major fight between Daryl and his foe ever since they first duked it out in season 9, but Reedus has previously played down the chances, saying that Daryl would know his advantage would be in taking Beta by surprise and not in physical combat. Clearly, he pitched this to the TWD team and they agreed.
We might not have had another fight scene, then, but Beta’s death on screen is still superior to the more subdued one he has in the comics, with his creepy acceptance of it being particularly effective. And now, with the Whisperers out the way, the next big storyline to tackle is the Commonwealth, who were also set up last night. We’ll see that unfold when The Walking Dead returns to AMC in early 2021.