What a magnificent end to what has to be one of the best seasons ~ thanks to Angela Kang and Matt Negrete for writing, Greg Nicotero for directing, to everyone who has worked on Season 9 to keep our TWD world alive and kicking in the most thrilling and chilling way possible, and to Gene Page for all his amazing photos. 😀
I have to start with Negan in that fabulous scene with the 'love quadrangle'. The dialogue was packed with gems; even the lovelorn Eugene smiled when Negan called Gabriel 'Father-not-the-father' after pointing out to him that his 'girl's doctor was also his girl's baby daddy'. I love how he's been watered down into a kind of irritating nuisance, rather than the menace he used to be.
Later, when he stepped out alone in the blizzard to save Judith who'd gone to save Dog, it could so easily have slipped from touching to cheesy, but it didn't; it was a perfectly written scene, and there was something rather pleasing about him saving Rick's kid (who I still don't think is Shane's). Here's the scene if you want to see it again:
Rosita and the three men in her life is not the only love tangle that will no doubt be explored next season, of course, as we discover that Ezekiel is jealous of Daryl's relationship with Carol; was the king and queen's shared love for Henry and the care of the Kingdom the glue that held them together? Now that the Kingdom is no longer sustainable and Henry has gone off to be petulant in the TWD afterlife, does Carol feel another leaving-but-not-leaving coming on? She offered her ring back but Ezekiel wouldn't take it; this could herald so many different developments.
Somehow, she seems to open up with Daryl in a way that she doesn't with the King. Like she's her real self with him, and can admit feeling weak, because Daryl has seen her in every moment since all this began, right from when he watched her lay into the newly bitten Ed, through to the loss of Sophia and everything after that. I lap up every scene of the two of them together - there is so much feeling, unsaid.
When Ezekiel was warning Daryl off, I longed for Daryl to point out all this, but of course he didn't; he's way too cool.
As for Carol herself ... couldn't you just weep for her?
She's lost so much that she's scared of 'losing herself' again; but when Lydia invited Carol to put an end to her, saying that 'this is how you keep from losing everyone else', we knew that the woman who killed Karen and David for different but not dissimilar reasons was long gone. As Tobin said...
I loved all the scenes on the road, in the snow - brilliantly shot, and not something we've seen before; no warm Georgian autumn, this. 'We make it to the next way station or we die'. As ever, it was Carol who had the bright idea that would save everyone, i.e., crossing the frozen rivers and creeks.
When Lydia was inviting the walker frozen in the ice to bite her, I wondered for a moment if we were going to have an immune situation, not something that's been explored yet. I'm glad the writers didn't do a Whisperers attack as our people crossed their territory; it would have been too much. The blizzard was enough.
All the shots of frozen walkers made me think of that scene long ago, from S2:10 18 Miles Out, when Rick was talking to Shane of of their upcoming first Walker winter, and hoping that the bad weather would slow them down, little realising that, all too soon, the Walkers would not be their biggest problem. It's ironic that, now, being attacked by a mere flesh-eating monster is a lesser danger than what else is out there.
|Your boy, Rick!|
It's great that we're getting our gang all together again, albeit in two places (yes, Jerry, Kingtop could be a thing!), but most are back in Alexandria where they belong; Michonne saw that it was the right thing, too, with her observation that Alpha was able to walk around unnoticed at the fair because they no longer all know each other.
Some moving moments in this episode, like Daryl's barely-there, sad smile when he looked at Jadis's paintings of Glenn and Hershel - and then of course there was the lovely, lovely snowball fight - thank you so much to @rakshasa on the Fanpop site for submitting these :)
As ever with TWD, though, those lovely moments of family and warmth are only ever the calm before the storm, as we saw that Alpha is only just getting ready - she invited Beta to prepare her, and stop her being soft. Now we know how Lydia got those scars....
... then there was that moment with Michonne and Negan, as prophetic as Jenner's 'the day will come when you won't be' when she said that 'facing evil brings good people together', to which Negan remarked, 'it's just that no one ever thinks they're the evil one.
Predictions for Season 10 (of course I'll be wrong - who can ever predict TWD?)
- The return of Maggie - based on Michonne asking Yumiko if they'd heard from her.
- A time of hardship - the unusual cold weather could have an effect on the crops.
- A slow-build Whisperers War, worse than they could ever imagine.
- Negan becomes a semi-trusted ally, to most.
- Lydia will be accepted too - even by Alden (though I totally get why he was being snitty with her on the road!)
- Daryl and Connie - or Daryl and Carol? Or are we still being teased?
- Rosita and Siddiq will bond again once the baby is born, leaving Gabriel (and Eugene) out in the cold.
- And then, of course, there is the radio..... could that be Maggie? Or something to do with Michonne's eventual departure? Or is it someone from the Commonwealth, as in the comics? Or someone else trapped in Whisperer land? The fact that the communities talked over the radio in two scenes in this episode makes me think that this mode of communication is going to be a big feature of S10.
Thanks to everyone who has read, shared, liked and commented on these posts during this fabulous season, and I will think of more stuff to put together during the long summer, while we wait for October.
Not that I'm obsessed, or anything. 😉