Monday 26 November 2018

'We should go. There's a storm coming'. No kidding....Review: #TWD S9:8 EVOLUTION #TWDFamily #TheWalkingDead


Some photos by Gene Page from AMC site.

If I'd had any doubts that TWD was totally back on top, this episode would have made squashed Walker brains out of them.  What an ending!  

I almost wished I didn't know about the Whisperers, because that bit when the one-we-assume-is-Beta ducked Jesus's sword would have been a mouth dropping open moment.  How do you fight the Walkers, when the Walkers fight back?

And that voice.... you are where you do not belong.... thanks to all concerned for a great mid-season finale!  The dead are centre stage once more, and from Aaron and Jesus's chilling observation that they're behaving differently, to Eugene's theory that it is possible for them to evolve and his (slightly mocked) insistence that he heard them talking, to Daryl's face when his flare and Dog's barking didn't work, the growing sense of unknown menace was spine-tinglingly terrifying.

...especially when Daryl revealed what was underneath....

As for the end scene.... déjà vu, anyone?  I've always loved how TWD uses echoes from the past, but at least when our gang were totally surrounded in S6:16 Last Day On Earth they knew what/who they were dealing with.  This time, they couldn't even see the foe; all they could hear was keep them together...

(that other aerial shot when they were totally surrounded: 1.00 in)

Looks like Tara's going to be running Hilltop after all, then... I couldn't understand why Jesus went back in to fight, on his own, when he could have just got behind the gate, but... yeah, I can go with it.  It's TWD; I suspend my disbelief.

Talking of people who have too great an idea of their own invincibility, I am sure Henry's new mate Gage is soon for the bite.  No new character can be that cocky and live.  The idea that he, Addy and Rodney have lived at Hilltop for over half their lives is interesting; what used to be is gone, irrelevant, as children grow up knowing only the new world.

Meanwhile back at Alexandria, the other main event of the day was, of course, Negan's escape.  What's he going to do with his new-found freedom?  Will he join in with the coming war against the Whisperers, or find a kindred spirit in Beta?  Will he persuade former Saviors like DJ and Laura to kneel once more?  After he resisted Gabriel's psychoanalysis, I rather liked 'Gaby's' momentary loss of serenity: 'Bad enough I have to clean up your shit, I shouldn't have to listen to it, too'.

Thanks to Anniek for reminding me, in the comments, that this wasn't the first time Gabriel left the door open; remember the end of S5?

Jesus talked some sense on his last day, about how, as a species, we are natural explorers; made me think of what Daryl said to Aaron, many moons ago, when they were trying to rescue Buttons the horse in S5:13 Forget: 'When they've (his group) been out here a while, they become who they really are'. 

I think it's this that holds the key to the enduring popularity of TWD, as much as the suspense, scary stuff and characters we love, because it makes us wonder how we would fare, too. Without technology, commerce, politics and so-called civilisation, some become the creators of homesteads, some defend them, others travel alone and meet traders along the road...

...and discover sides of themselves that would otherwise remain hidden forever.  
Look at Carol

Her meeting with Michonne brought a tear or two to my eye - I'm dying to know what happened to divide the communities.  Gage mentioned 'the war'; it must have been something horrendous, judging by the reception Diane gave Michonne's group, and most of all the look on Tara's face.

Come on, you've known each other since Terminus, and you walked the weary road to Alexandria together. I  imagine it's why Maggie's gone, but surely any awful thing Michonne did must have been influenced by her grief over losing Rick. 

Scott Gimple said the general feel of the world, post time-jump, would be 'medieval Amish', and the way the look-out near Hilltop shouted 'Riders!' and everyone scarpered back behind the gates underlined that; as of old, riders must mean danger, or news, either good or bad.  I notice Alden has done his bit by growing a distinctly Amish-style beard, too.  Love that he's with Enid - everybody say ahhh.  Sorry, Henry, she's way too cool and too old for you. High Five to Earl for telling him that if he can't hack being a grown-up, he can 'take his scrawny ass back to Kingdom.'

What next?  I am sure this fair that Carol keeps talking about could lead to something very good (as Tara said, albeit a tad sarcastically, it looks like the old gang's back together), but some seriously bad stuff is bound to go down, too.  I can't wait.  Excellent, excellent season.  Now, what do we do until February?

RIP Jesus 😢


He's here....


  1. Oh, boy--I had no idea about the whisperers, so I had the reaction you think you would have had. Holy Sham-Wow! I love this show; it is literally the only thing I watch anymore. This season feels like a rebirth, so let's hope we don't get the same old Negan back. People who don't evolve are catastrophically boring.

    1. Doesn't it just? And I envy you - I am NOT looking at any spoiler sites next half season!!! I've been reading about the Whisperers for ages, though, and was so looking forward to them, as they were hailed as being the most terrifying foe yet.

      I don't think we'll get the same old Negan back - I imagine the writers must know that even the diehard fans wouldn't want to see it. Oh, but when that 'walker' ducked under Jesus's sword - I went straight to Gif Man and said, I need one of this, now!!!!

  2. Wow just WOW what a mid season finale! I loved the extra creepy feeling with the mist surrounding them and not being able to see what's going on. Daryl is amazing. He's adapted to the new world and I loved that Jesus and Aaron said that he's the best at finding people when he's actually a loner. The moment the 'walker' ducked and grabbed Jesus my heart was racing. Wow what a scene! Negan is out again.....the only thing I thought was..this isn't the first time that Gabriel leaves open the door/gate. I can't help it but I never liked him. I can't wait to the second half of this season. It will be THRILLING! I'm hoping they're switching to Fear The Walking Dead in the mean time so I don't get any cold turkey withdrawals. Love love love this season!

    1. Thank you for that reminder about Gabriel - I've added it into the piece, with credit to you! Of course....

      One article I read said that Jesus/Tom Payne had been under-utilised in the whole show, and I also read that he wasn't sad to be leaving, because of this. I think that's why this death doesn't feel tragic, but I never felt very attached to the character anyway. YES! Re what Aaron said about that - I actually had it in my notes, dammit - trouble is that I make notes all the way through it then form then together into an order for the article, and bits get missed!! I'll go add it. Thanks for reading - and yes.... hope for FTWD, will go and look up when it's starting again!

  3. Nice that the show has added better dimension on the walkers to be more threatening (not sure if that's in book, but always liked the early days when when I was constantly afraid of those bites!), makes the show more compelling and drives it like more apocalyptic/zombie...surprised to say I like Negan better this season, not thrilled he is lose, however, interested to see what happens next. -TWD managed to bridge the GAP with Rick Grimes gone just FINE:)! M

    1. Exactly - the Walkers are what the show has always been about, and what got everyone watching, so it's good to see the circle back to them!

      As for Rick... it seems a long time ago now.

  4. What. The. Hell. Just. Happened!!!! I didn’t have a clue about the whisperers and literally shrieked at the telly when the dude ducked and killed Jesus!!!!!! O M G! I was reeling about Negan but that ending just blew my mind.

    1. Ha ha ha! I know - wasn't that a shock???!!! I don't feel too sad about Jesus; I feel more sorry for Aaron. In the comics they are 'together', but I'm glad they made them just friends in the show; would have seemed too contrived otherwise.

      I wonder who will get out alive?????