The Walking Dead made the right choice with Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) kill Alpha (Samantha Morton). An alternate choice would have been Carol (Melissa McBride), who had been wanting revenge on Alpha since season 9 when Alpha ruthlessly murdered ten figures, including the son of Carol and Ezekiel, Henry.
In The Walking Dead season 10, episode 12, titled”Walk With Us”, Alpha attempted to locate Lydia (Cassady McClincy) so that she could establish her power and eliminate her only remaining weakness.
After capturing Lydia, Negan faked to shoot Alpha where he was holding her. After Alpha expressed her appreciation for what Negan had contributed to the Whisperers, she stepped into the cottage, just to have her throat slit by Negan.
At the end of the episode, Negan pitched the head to Carol, who commented, “Took you long enough”.
Using Negan kill Alpha rather than Carol was the ideal way for The Walking Dead to take, even though comics readers probably saw the twist coming.
This was the way the book version of the story killed off Alpha, but some had wondered if the show would take a different strategy. The Walking Dead already missed its chance for Lydia to kill Alpha, but Carol function as one to do it still felt like a real possibility, because the series has spent time establishing that competition.
Having Negan be the one to extract Alpha works for The Walking Dead since it adds something new to the comic story and provides resolution for two distinct character arcs in precisely the same moment.
Killing the principal villain of this season proved to be a huge redemptive moment for Negan, who had been on this path.
Negan had additional moments where he indicated that he had grown as a character, but killing Alpha felt like the culmination of everything Negan had gone through the previous two seasons.
Also, Alpha’s death in the hands of Negan did not rob Carol of her sin. Instead, the last scene of this episode gives charge to the two characters by revealing that it was Carol who let Negan from his cell. Negan killing Alpha has been part of Carol’s master plan, which means that Carol masterminded Alpha’s death.
So The Walking Dead was able to concurrently let Negan have his comic tale and let Carol have her revenge. Having Carol approach Negan and kill her wouldn’t have been compelling.
The Walking Dead has produced an interesting dilemma, as it’s hard to say other characters will respond to Carol getting revenge on a murderer by unleashing one of their biggest enemies.