SERIES 9; EPISODE 9
So The Walking Dead is back and with it, confirmation (just in case we needed it) that Jesus is dead. Aron sticking a knife into his head kind of put to bed any remaining hopes that Jesus would be resurrected, so to speak. I mus admit, his death at the end of the mid-season finale had me contemplating whether to carry on watching the show or not. It's not that I'm a Jesus freak or anything, but the show's insistence on killing off it's better characters was starting to wear a little thin..
Michonne led the survivors of the recent fracas with the Whisperers back to Hilltop where the residents took the news of Jesus' death pretty hard, as you'd expect. The need for vengeance is clear and the fact that the gang returned with a whisperer in tow will only fan the flames of revenge. The young whisperer, named Lydia as we later found out, wasn't the most responsive of prisoners and Daryll and Michonne luckily saw through her mixture of lies and hysterics. She appears to be fearful and desperate but you sense that it's possibly all a bit of an act. It looks as though Daryll is willing to play the long game though and seems to be keen on constructing a situation where the currently incarcerated Henry can act as the new girl's confidante and glean some vital gossip. Whether Hilltop has enough time to work this inside angle remains to be seen however...
In other news, Negan didn't go on a mad killing spree (come on, it was always a possibility) and instead managed to talk Judith into letting him go with the promise that he wouldn't hurt anyone again. However, just like that dude in the Shawshank Redemption that had become accustomed to being locked up and couldn't cope with the outside world, Neegs quickly discovered that being 'outside' the walls of Alexandria wasn't quite as good as he thought it might be. He went back to The Sanctuary and did a little bit of reminiscing and whistling and bashing some heads in. Oh and before that he had also managed to find a new jacket and escape a pack of wild dogs. What a day! However, after deciding that freedom wasn't what it was all cracked up to be, he rode back to Alexandria on a bike - but not before having another fantastical illusion (we're assuming that Judith wasn't really on her own out there!) where Judith reminded him that there was 'nothing out there' for him. Is Negan on a path to salvation? Is he a reformed character? I still have my doubts, but with Maggie now out of the picture, The Walking Dead does now have more leeway to explore that particular story thread.
And whilst Negan's trip to The Sanctuary reminded us all of the previous conflict, the episode's focus was very much on the current antagonists, the Whisperers. Although they still seem a little fantastical and their motives still seem a bit out there (seriously, how do a group of people think that walking around covered in blood and guts, looking like Leatherface is a fun way to spend their time?) they certainly pose a real threat to our remaining heroes. They also add a new dimension to the usual walker action scenes, with both the characters and the viewers desperately trying to figure out who is a walker and who is just pretending. It's made for some really effective action sequences and the whole idea of them is creepily terrifying. Luke and Alden's efforts to track Michonne and her crew invariably lead them into a Whisperer trap and it looks as if we may see a few of the leading whisperers unmasked over the next week or two. I kinda hope they don't in a way, as to humanise them at this point would feel like a missed opportunity. Play out the faceless pack of killers thing as long as you can, guys!
What else? Oh, Rosita is pregnant. But the baby isn't Gabe's. No, it's Siddiq's. Do you think that the writers of TWD just decided they couldn't be arsed to actually build up chemistry between characters? I guess it is just easier to jump ahead in time and just assume we're ok with random pairings. Easier, but not realistic or satisfactory, I may add. Eugene overheard Rosita's confession too. Poor guy. At least she didn't puke on him.
*Also, what did Michonne mean when she thanked Daryll for looking for Rick and also for 'After'? WHAT DOES THAT MEAN, PEOPLE?!
** Is anyone else just a little bored of the attempts to make Judith one of those too clever for their own good smart ass kids?