Spoilers for Season 9 of "The Walking Dead" follow.
The walking deadThe Season 9 finale felt very tame after the huge shock of last week's penultimate episode. "The Calm Before" saw the deaths of ten characters, two of which were longtime cast members. The Tenth Confrontation was a character who had taken on a central role in this new timeline.
(Readingmy review of that episode here, and why I think the deaths were safebut the creators of the series actually had no other choice.)
So with the deaths of Enid, Tara, and Henry acting as something of a tragic climax to the season since the time jump, what's left for the grand finale?
It turns out not much. Still, I thoroughly enjoyed this episode, in part because it was so understated. There was something eerie and sad about 'The Storm' - an emotional beat we don't often seeThe living Deadthat new showrunner Angela Kang really stepped up in season 9.
Weaving threads of sorrow through 'The Storm'. We are several months after the events on the hill. Times have changed. Winter is finally here (it took even longerThe living Deadinstead of insideGame of Thrones!)
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The story largely follows two groups. Ezekiel (Khary Payton) and Carol (Melissa McBride) have gathered the kingdom's remaining citizens and, along with several others, such as Michonne (Danai Gurira), have set off for the Hilltop and Alexandria. Some go to the first, some to the second. The kingdom is dead.
This is one of the concerns hanging over our heroes. The fall of the Kingdom is a bitter blow after so much time and effort. But, at least for show, I think it's good. As I keep arguing, there are too many communities and too much stagnation. I would like to see all of our characters reunited in one community. In fact, I'd love to see them back on the road. Perhaps Alpha and her Whisperers will help achieve that goal, but I highly doubt it.
Still, reducing the number of communities to essentially two (Oceanside is an afterthought right now) is a good thing. So is the smaller cast (although, as I've argued in the past,it can be even smaller.) Of course Ezekiel doesn't share my opinion.
However, this is only one of the tragedies that weigh on our king. Henry's death is even harder. And it affected his and Carol's marriage, as the loss of a child so often does. Carol, of course, has lost so many children at this point. But Henry, though adopted, had been in her life for many years, and Sophia was her son as much as her daughter. Losing him, and in such a brutal way, has torn her apart.
At one point, Ezekiel goes to the side with Daryl and asks him not to get stuck on the hilltop. It'll be easier to track down his issues with Carol when Daryl isn't around. It's one of those rare moments where Ezekiel drops the king's act and gets real. And I hardly blame him, even if he is wrong and his jealousy is misplaced. It doesn't matter anyway. Carol later tells him she is going to Alexandria and returning her wedding ring. "I will never stop loving you," she says. He says it was all a fairytale.
Lydia oh Lydia
Lydia is the other character most affected by the loss of Henry, though it's not so much his death as the reactions of the other survivors that lead her to suicidal thoughts. (Not to mention her life so far hasn't exactly been very happy.)
Alden immediately goes out and harasses her about the Whisperers when they see some zombies mixing with them in the street. Daryl sticks up for her, which is nice. I understand that Alden is bitter about his girlfriend's death, but he was once a Savior and should know better. In fact, hefinishedSavior, while Lydia was a young child raised as a Whisperer by her mother. He had no choice, Alden did.
Carol is clearly also full of bitterness and anger towards Lydia, although I think she realizes how unfair it is. It's Carol, more than anyone else, who deals with her feelings in this episode. Carol, whose daughter was killed long ago, who had to deal with the horror of losing so many other children - the two sisters from prison. the strange little boy from Alexandria - always in such violent circumstances.
He must see Lydia as the cause of Henry's death and as someone he should be taking care of and then could lose. McBride is truly amazing in these moments, she conveys so much with just her eyes. It is one of her best performances in all nine seasons of this show. Her conversation with the king was just incredibly sad. And as always, her conversation with Daryl (Norman Reedus) was one of the highlights of the finale.
(Speaking of Daryl, he's become such a fantastic character this season. I like him much more as a protagonist than Rick, and I prefer Reedus to Lincoln now that he has real lines and personality. More on that in a separate piece. )
However, it's Carol's two scenes with Lydia that really drive it home. Lydia escapes from the group and finds a zombie trapped halfway to the surface of a frozen lake. He goes onto the ice and kneels. She slowly raises her wrist to the teeth of the walker. He slowly moves it to the bite in what must be the most gruesome form of suicide I can imagine. Then Carol appears. He followed her. They look at each other. Not a word is said. They return to the group.
The next time Lydia runs away from Carol, she follows her again. Lydia begs her to kill her. She can't do it alone, only Carol can do it. He will make everything better, he begs. "There's only one way to fix it," says Lydia. "No one else can know."
"That's how you avoid losing someone else," he tells Carol. "Do it for Henry."
All the while, Carol just looks at her. "I'm too weak," Lydia says, "just like my mother said."
"You're not weak," Carol replies with tears in her eyes.
What a moment. I had tears in my eyes the second time I saw it. I have a feeling that Lydia will be a really great addition to the cast going forward, and I'm excited to see where her relationships with Carol and Daryl go in Season 10.
All this takes place as the citizens of the kingdom and their companions make their way to the hilltop, fighting the coming blizzard with limited supplies. At one point, they have to go through Whisperer territory, but they make it through without encountering any of the villains.
They run into some real walkers trying to cross a frozen river, and we get a pretty good action sequence, but everyone comes through unscathed.
Meanwhile, residents of Alexandria unite to weather the storm. It's a big storm and no one is used to dealing with winter storms because as far as we know the winters have been mild enough - mild enough to never happen to themThe living Dead,anyway.
They all make their way through the thick snow in a row, in the dark, and somehow have a harder time than their compatriots on the road. The dog runs and, very brave and not very smart, Judith runs after him. The dog would almost certainly be fine and return to the group on its own, but I think this kid just doesn't get it and leaves.
The adults run to find her and of course it's Negan, whom they let out of his cage instead of freezing him, who saves the day. He carries her over his shoulder back to safety (along with the dog). He suffers a nasty leg injury and ends up in the infirmary again.
That's where Michonne finds him and the two have what can only be described as their first "nice" conversation. We see Negan very clearly on the road to redemption, through Judith and Michonne. He even asks if Ezekiel and the others are okay.
"You care?" asks Michonne. He replies that he knows what it's like to lose a kingdom.
"Sanctuary is a hole," says Michonne.
"Well, I could have told you that," he replies. Could this be the start of a beautiful friendship? I am very excited about the idea. Negan was a bad guy, but he's a much more interesting character when he's not bad at all. The governor also had that potential for redemption, and now that Negan isn't just a psychopath, he's actually becoming someone I can look at without cringing.
At the end, we discover that the Whisperers have moved south for the winter. We don't know where to, but there's no snow, so it must be further south. Florida maybe?
Alpha and Beta stand talking and Alpha says she's going to have to be stronger if she's to get through what's to come - whatever that is. Beta then starts lashing out at her arms, leaving marks very similar to those on Lydia's forearms.
I think this is the Whisperer's form of hardening, lasting pain to be stronger. Samantha Morton is very good at conveying threat, even if she caused this pain. I really got her hot this half of the season. She's a great, badass badass, and I'm curious to see what she's up to for season 10. What's this mysterious thing she has to be so strong for? Are they planning the destruction of Hilltop and Alexandria despite the fact that they just want their own land?
In the end, we learn that Ezekiel not only tells parts of the story, he talked to Judith about the new radio system. When they disconnect, another voice comes over the radio, but no one hears it. Could it be a new community (maybe from the comics)? Could it be somewhere Rick Grimes has been?
Some people thought Andrew Lincoln would return for this finale, but it didn't, and I didn't expect it either, but this could be a hint of things to come. I think some people who read spoiler sites at the end heard about that voice on the radio and thought it could be Rick, but that sounded like a woman's voice to me. It didn't sound like Rick, although that would have been cool.
- Daryl kills a zombie with an ice pick, which is a first for this show and pretty cool.
- Where was the rest of Magna's team this episode? Luke and Connie and so on? Strange that they don't show up at all.
- Hey, Fear The Walking Dead has a season 5 premiere date!
- I really like Negan's line about how the bad guys never think they're the bad guys.
- I also want to emphasize how amazing that moment between Ezekiel and Daryl was, simply because Ezekiel was so real and so vulnerable in that moment. I like it infinitely more when he gives up the act of king and now that he's lost his son, his wife and his kingdom. . . maybe it's time to shed that personality too.
I'll add more scattered thoughts as they come to my mind. What did you think of the season 9 finale? I know it wasn't what you expected. No Rambo Carroll looking for blood. No retribution and revenge for the death of Tara, Enid, Henry and others. But I liked how this whole tragedy left everyone shaken and unwilling to fight (for now).
Abraham Ford actor Michael Cudlitz apparently thinks I'm too far off base with Florida as a possible winter location for the Whisperers:
Now I'm not sure where they went, and it's possible I misunderstood the scene and they didn't go anywhere. . . but one minute it's snowing and the next the Whisperers are standing in a forest without seeing a snowflake. Beta tells Alpha "Time away was good for the pack."
So I'm guessing it was far from the Alexandria Metropolis area and somewhere south where there wouldn't be snow, but not too far. . . SoFlorida.
In any case, I've asked Cudlitz to explain and if he does, I'll post his answer here. I'm all for more Twitter chats with his castThe living Deadso if maybe Norman Reedus (@wwwbigbaldhead) of Melissa McBride (@mcbridemelissa) or someone else from the show (front or backstage) wants to be there, the more the better. . . .
Because I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who got a little carried away with the scary change of scenery.
Okay, good Mr. Cudlitz was just joking, it turns out. He knew my Florida comment was off the mark, so here's his next tweet. The second more or less made my day:
Go for it.
As he's mourning Rosita's death, Eugene hears a voice over a radio, prompting him to embark on an unlikely friendship with the cautious stranger. The person is eventually revealed as Stephanie, a woman who lives in a sprawling Ohio community called the Commonwealth.What happened to Oceanside Walking Dead? ›
Oceanside's Fate Didn't Matter to The Walking Dead
When Aaron's group learned Oceanside was potentially wiped out, they essentially said "Oh well" and headed to Alexandria. In no way did Aaron suggest that they look for Rachel or Cyndie, whom Luke and Jules never claimed were dead.
Georgie, played by Jayne Atkinson, appeared in the eighth season episode “The Key.” She and her bodyguards, the twins Hilda (Kim Ormiston) and Midge (Misty Ormiston) approach Hilltop, make a proposal, and barter supplies for information.What happened to Kingdom in Walking Dead? ›
Several months after the fair massacre, the Kingdom was abandoned due to deteriorating conditions. A hard winter led to the boiler failing, causing several fires which damaged the buildings beyond repair. The residents of Kingdom relocated to Hilltop, Alexandria, and Oceanside.Who replaced Howard Stern on radio? ›
Roth was announced as Stern's replacement on October 25, 2005, who appeared on Stern's show as a surprise guest. The David Lee Roth Show launched on January 3, 2006. The show was produced by CBS Radio as part of its Free FM format, and was based out of WFNY-FM in New York City.Who ended their radio show with good day? ›
Harvey was also known for the catchphrases that he used at the beginning of his programs, such as "Hello Americans, this is Paul Harvey. Stand by for NEWS!" He always ended, "Paul Harvey... Good day." or "Paul Harvey...What happened to Oceanside granddaughter? ›
After Enid kills Natania, Cyndie is forced to step up as the leader of Oceanside. Despite having killed her grandmother, Cyndie allows Enid along with Aaron to leave. However, it seems that she has taken on her grandmother's mindset and now refuses to join the war against the Saviors.What happened to Michonne? ›
Michonne eventually ends up at a seemingly-utopian community known as the Commonwealth, where she is reunited with one of her daughters, Elodie, who she thought had died long ago.Why isn t Luke in season 11 of twd? ›
Fans of Luke rejoiced in knowing that the character was not secretly killed off like some of his predecessors during his hiatus from the show. During a panel appearance at Fandemic Tour Atlanta, Fogler said Luke is living at Oceanside with his girlfriend Jules Butler, which was confirmed in Season 11C.Who is Negan's daughter? ›
Negan has finally become a father figure for Lydia, and the show drops any father-daughter relationship that was structurally sound, out of nowhere.
Alpha (real name in the TV series universe: Dee) is a fictional character in the comic book series The Walking Dead and the television series of the same name, where she was portrayed by Samantha Morton.Will Andrew Lincoln ever come back to The Walking Dead? ›
The character was seemingly saved, with his future set to be dramatized in the upcoming Rick and Michonne spin-off series. Yes, Lincoln will reprise his role and Danai Gurira will also be back as Michonne.Who is immune in The Walking Dead? ›
Fear the Walking Dead showrunner Andrew Chambliss explained Morgan was immune in The Walking Dead because of luck. Since his introduction in the first episode of The Walking Dead, Lennie James' Morgan has had quite the journey.Why is the kingdom falling apart The Walking Dead? ›
Basically, Kingdom and the abandoned Sanctuary fell because that bridge between communities was never built. On the other hand, the metaphorical bridge between these characters is stronger now than it's ever been, and as Michonne says, they will never risk the bridge crashing down ever again.Is Disney getting The Walking Dead? ›
The show originally aired on the Fox channel over there before it was shut down, with its programming moving to Disney Plus soon afterwards. The first 10 seasons were available instantly, with season 11 episodes becoming available each week, debuting just a few hours after their US premiere.Why was David Lee Roth replaced? ›
After an infamous appearance on September 5, 1996, at the MTV Video Music Awards during which Roth and Eddie Van Halen reportedly threatened each other, Roth was passed over for Van Halen's vocalist job in favor of Gary Cherone.Where is the Howard Stern show filmed? ›
Howard Stern Show, 1221 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY, Business Services - MapQuest.Who is Howard Stern wife? › What did Paul Harvey always say at the end of his show? ›
the rest of the story….” And at the very end he would say, “Now you know…the rest of the story,” and conclude his radio show with, “Paul Harvey… Good day.” Feels like it was just yesterday, doesn't it? In our world, every day at Callaway-Jones, it is our job to tell the stories of the lives of your loved ones.What is the oldest running radio show? ›
The Grand Ole Opry is the longest-running live radio program in the world.
“I've never seen a monument erected to a pessimist.”
Pessimists. You know them because of what they think and say: “The worst thing that can happen will happen; it will happen to me; it will happen to me today but much worse than ever before.”
The centers of the two Virginia cities are roughly 72 miles apart, a journey which takes about 90 minutes by car. On foot, the journey would take nearly 23 hours -- without the zombie apocalypse getting in the way. "Tomorrow after noon, Negan and ten men at X," Dwight wrote on the map.Why did Enid shoot Natania? ›
As Enid sneaks around a truck, she hears Natania about to impale Aaron with a spear and shoots Natania to save him.How did Tara end up on the beach? ›
The community Tara found on her journey home. After falling off the bridge, she washed up on a beach, where two strangers—a young woman and a girl—found her. Because kids can never be trusted on this damn show, the little girl wanted to kill her.Does Michonne get pregnant by Rick? ›
This week we learned that during the six-year time jump Michonne gave birth to her child with Rick (named Rick Jr, or RJ). “When (showrunner) Angela (Kang) told me, firstly I was stunned,” Michonne actress Danai Gurira revealed during a Talking Dead segment (which you can see below).Why did Daryl leave for years? ›
The Walking Dead's series finale revealed that Daryl Dixon leaves Alexandria because of Maggie. The finale's one-year time jump showed that Maggie had been reinstated as the Hilltop's leader and is keen to find out what more is out there.What did Daryl do before the outbreak? ›
Before the outbreak, Daryl didn't have a job. He was a drifter. Finding Rick and allowing himself to be part of an extended family after being on his own for so long helped Daryl become less guarded and become a better person.Who is the father of Rosita's baby? ›
When they return to Alexandria, Rosita joins the community in paying respects at Jesus' funeral. Meanwhile, Rosita is in a relationship with community doctor Siddiq (Avi Nash) and discovers that she is pregnant with his child.Why did Luke leave the show? ›
His publicist claimed it was due to scheduling issues, while according to TV Line, a HBO spokesperson claimed it was "due to the creative direction of the character". At the time, Buzzfeed reported that Luke had requested that writers change a potential romance storyline with Lafayette.Where did Yumiko go? ›
She is a member of Magna's group and Magna's wife. After being rescued by Judith Grimes from life on the road, Yumiko and her companions are brought to the Alexandria Safe-Zone, before eventually moving to reside in the Hilltop Colony.
Following his departure from Alexandria, Negan joins Riverbend where he marries Annie who becomes pregnant with his child.Did Negan and Annie have a baby? ›
In a hospital, Annie and Negan are shown the baby on an ultrasound. The doctor comments that her amniotic fluid is a little high, but they caught it early so they can keep an eye on it.Who is Rosita's daughter? ›
Socorro Espinosa, affectionately referred to as Coco, is a survivor of the outbreak in AMC's The Walking Dead. She is the daughter of Rosita Espinosa and Siddiq, and the adopted daughter of Gabriel Stokes.Why does Beta never show his face? ›
Beta also decided to wear a ski mask to hide his identity from strangers to preserve his image as an inspiring musician before the apocalypse while descending into a ruthless killer to stay alive.Who did Alpha put on spikes? ›
Heads On Pikes
In the show, Alpha kills TEN of our survivors by beheading them and putting their heads on spikes. Siddiq, who was kept alive to tell their story, shows Daryl, Carol, and Yumiko the Whisperer border – WHICH IS MARKED WITH THE HEADS OF THEIR FRIENDS.
Which they do, but Beta doesn't fight back and instead allows the walkers to eat him, appearing at peace with his fate. With Beta and the remaining Whisperers all dead, Lydia and Carol lead the horde off a cliff and into a deep canyon, bringing the Whisperer War to a close.Will Rick return in season 11? ›
The two will find their way back together in the as-of-yet untitled Rick and Michonne spinoff that premieres later this year. Are you glad that Rick Grimes returns in The Walking Dead season 11?Is Daryl Dixon getting a spin-off? ›
'The Walking Dead': Daryl Dixon Spin-Off Series Sets 2023 Premiere. The series will bring back Norman Reedus as the fan-favorite zombie slayer. During the Television Critics Association's 2023 Winter Press Tour, AMC confirmed The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon is premiering in the second half of 2023.What is the new Rick Grimes show? ›
The Walking Dead: Rick & Michonne is an upcoming American post-apocalyptic television series created by Scott M. Gimple and Danai Gurira.Why didn't the zombies eat Morgan? ›
The Zombies Ignored Morgan Because He Was So Close To Death
Fear the Walking Dead showrunner, Andrew Chambliss explained Morgan gets his immunity from his near-death scent (via Entertainment Weekly). Morgan's smell tricked the walkers into believing he was one of them.
Gloria The first confirmed infected seen in the Walking Dead universe, and Nick's girlfriend.Who is the first person to get the virus on walking dead? ›
That's because Gloria is reportedly patient zero - the first infected person of the zombie apocalypse. That's courtesy of Lexi Johnson, the actress who plays Gloria. Johnson tells ComicBook.com her character is indeed patient zero.What was the biggest mistake in The Walking Dead? ›
- 1 Focusing On Negan As A Protagonist.
- 2 The Show Splitting Its Cast Starts A Disliked Trend. ...
- 3 Killing Off Carl Grimes Robbed The Show Of Its Future. ...
- 4 The Increasing Weirdness Made It Hard To Take Things Seriously. ...
The episode acts almost as a pilot for a new Walking Dead show featuring new and old characters alike — emphasis on “old,” or at least older, based on the six years of in-universe time that have elapsed since Rick Grimes' presumed death.Is the whole world affected in The Walking Dead? ›
TWD shocked both the characters and the viewers when it was found out that every person in the world was already infected and would turn once they died.Are The Walking Dead movies ever coming out? ›
There Won't Be Any Walking Dead Movies - Rick Grimes Or Otherwise. Not only was the Rick Grimes movie shelved for the miniseries, but there won't be any The Walking Dead movies - a Rick Grimes movie or otherwise. More AMC shows seem to be the future of the franchise.Will The Walking Dead finale be on Disney Plus? ›
That block of episodes drew to a close on 11th April, and since 3rd October we've now launched into an eight-episode stretch that will culminate in the series finale. The Walking Dead is available to watch now on Star on Disney Plus, with episode 21 premiering on 31st October 2022.Will Disney+ get fear The Walking Dead? ›
Meanwhile, if you want to catch up on The Walking Dead, seasons 1 to 11 are available to stream on Disney Plus.Who called on the radio in The Walking Dead? ›
Ezekiel is using it to tell the story of The Kingdom's brave pilgrimage to an unknown person on the other end of the broadcast. At episode's end, it turns out that Ezekiel has been talking to Judith and the two are now radio penpals. When Ezekiel concludes his story, he walks away… leaving the radio on.Who calls on the radio walking dead? ›
In the comics, the radio reveal goes down a little differently. Eugene is actually at the radio and is trying to communicate with someone. If you had the captions on during the episode and are a comic fan, you may have noticed that the dialogue is almost exactly what Eugene said at the end of issue No. 151.
On June 28, 2021, Jesse Kelly took over the timeslot under the title The Jesse Kelly Show. Since 2020, Kelly has been based at KPRC in Houston, a station owned by Premiere Networks parent company iHeartMedia, Inc. He had been in limited syndication through Key Networks.Who are the members of TV on the radio? › What does Judith call daryl? ›
Daryl calls Judith "little ass-kicker" again.
In response, likely confused, Judith calls Daryl a "big ass-kicker," resulting in a laugh from both Daryl and Carol.
Margot Bingham was cast as Stephanie, a survivor from an unknown location who communicates with Eugene over the radio for the 10th season, with her name revealed in the episode "Morning Star". The character appears onscreen in the 11th season, and is also Mercer's younger sister.Who is the CIA agent in walking dead? ›
Jason Butler Harner: Toby Carlson.Did Rick hallucinate the phone call? ›
After losing his wife, Lori, Rick Grimes begins having conversations with her through an unplugged telephone. While initially believing that the phone calls are real, even the hallucination of Lori admits to being a figment of her husband's imagination.Why does Eugene talk like that? ›
McDermitt noted in his Reddit AMA that he based the voice of Eugene off that of his brother. I actually based Eugene's voice on my brother Zach… and he gets mad every time I tell people that! But he speaks with such a flat, even affect, that he was like the perfect model for what Eugene sounds like.Is the doctor a whisperer? ›
He is a recent member of the Whisperers. Sometime after the blizzard, Dante is sent by Alpha to act as a spy at the Alexandria Safe-Zone.What is Jesse Kelly's political views? ›
Jesse Kelly is a conservative commentator.Who is the conservative radio host Jessie? ›
Jesse Lee Peterson (born May 22, 1949) is an American conservative radio host, pastor, and broadcaster.
Hunter Kelly is the host of PROUD Radio on Apple Music Country featuring music and interviews with LGBTQ country artists and allies, including Brand Carlile, Dolly Parton, T.J.Who is the most played person on the radio? ›
Ed Sheeran has been named the most-played artist on the radio worldwide. It's estimated that the 30-year-old singer-songwriter received an impressive 4.3 million plays on the airwaves over the past 12 months.Does anyone listen to the radio anymore? ›
Currently, there are more than 6,000 AM radio stations in the US, and the stations have thousands of listeners. People listening to these stations get information about traffic, weather, and news. In most cases, these listeners are in their cars or trucks.Who is the brain behind radio and television? ›
In 1895, the Italian inventor Guglielmo Marconi became the first person to “cut the cord” of electronic communications, sending wireless signals across the Italian countryside.