The Walking Dead has finally solved one of the show’s biggest mysteries by unveiling the identity of Beta (Ryan Hurst)
In last night’s (March 29) episode ‘Look at the Flowers’, Beta is seen exploring a hotel filled with guitars and vinyl records following the death of Alpha (Samantha Morton).
On one of the album covers is his face with the words ‘Half Moon’, revealing that in his previous life he was a country singer.
The twist is somewhat in line with the comics, though in his previous life there he is a famous basketball player rather than a singer.
Explaining how they came up with the reveal, showrunner Angela Kang told Entertainment Weekly: “So, we were thinking about all of that stuff, and in the comic books he’s basketball player.
“But as we were constructing it here, we were like, ‘Does [actor Ryan Hurst] really feel like a basketball player? Maybe more of a football player, but is that the way we want to go?’ And Ryan had this idea of, ‘Oh, maybe he was this musician,’ and we thought that that was really cool.
“And I think the aspect of it that was kind of important is he was this famous guy and he had this dark side that kind of came out in the apocalypse. So we worked on this backstory and then just thought it’d be really fun to have this musical figure and we were sort of looking for reference and that was what we were pulling on. And just the idea that even before the apocalypse there was a part of him that he kind of kept hidden at times.”
She revealed the clues planted earlier on, adding: “And there’s a song that played earlier in the season that Magna was listening to, and Emily Kinney actually wrote the song, our alum who played Beth. And that was Ryan Hurst singing that song, and that’s the song that recurs now, so we had a little bit of fun kind of burying all of that kind of in the show and even in Fear.”
Kang also explained that Beta was always content with be Alpha’s second-in-command, though with his leader now gone he is now facing an uncomfortable reality.
“We wanted to tell the story of: What happens to somebody like that when that charismatic leader is gone?” Kang continued. “We were just thinking for Beta, he wants to carry on the name of Alpha and he’s uncomfortable just calling himself the Alpha.”