We still don’t have a name for the mystery character played by Tony Award winner Tonya Pinkins, but we know some things — like the gal loves her markers. Whether she’s actually sniffing them (maybe that’s why she seems so messed up in the head) is another story.
Also, we know that: She has some sort of connection to the truck stop (confirmed by the showrunners). She has a walker named Pervis (well, had a walker named Pervis that she traded in for a new walker that used to be Quinn). She’s been using Pervis as her lapdog. She always has some sort of mud on her personage (perhaps to mask her scent among the dead). And she doesn’t like the whole “take what you need, leave what you don’t” thing because it breeds weakness (Quinn was weak, but he was then reborn strong as a walker). Additionally, on the press site for AMC, the character is labeled as “Filthy Woman” in photos — which, come on, folks. Let’s do slightly better.
Whoever this woman is, she seems to act as a conglomerate of the group’s collective darker tendencies, an evil doppelgänger of sorts who turns the good intentions of everyone against them. The “take what you need” boxes were meant to help people, and we find her now tainting the water bottles. June confronts Quinn, a man who jacked Al’s SWAT van when they weren’t looking, and tries to get him to see the good in the world again. Pinkins’ character then uses that trust against Quinn: he shows up to meet June at what he thinks is the meeting point, only to realize the mile marker had been changed when the “Filthy Woman” (we really need a better name for her) uses Pervis to kill him. Her dreads and walker companion are a nod to Michonne but, again, a warped version of the good that we know.
This is also why I think Pervis is actually the man who initially started the “take what you need” boxes and whose truck now lies with Sarah and Wendell. “Take what you need, leave what you don’t” was his motto and then it became the same phrase marked on zombie Pervis’ face. When Quinn rose again as a walker, she branded him with “People you know,” which is something he said earlier as he pointed a gun at June’s head. “We can work together. We can help each other,” June says in that scene. He responds, “No we can’t. We’re all the same: doing things to protect the people we care about, people we know, people we love. That’s where it stops, right?” That’s why “Filthy Woman’s” hair is so big, it’s full of secrets!
We also know from the season 4 trailer that she ends up writing “I lose people, I lose myself” on Morgan’s forehead at some point, or maybe he does it to himself. Either way, that’s my theory and I’m sticking to it.
She’ll no doubt become a foil for June, who’s following pretty much the exact same progression as Morgan — someone who is trying to be a better person in the face of their past mistakes. This recycled character development made her scenes this week drag. I suppose if everyone is crying all the time about wanting to find redemption, it eventually loses its impact.
(Recap continues on the next page.)