- Warning: There are major spoilers ahead for “The Walking Dead” season nine finale, “The Storm.”
- AMC’s “TWD” introduced snow for the first time on the show, appeared to set up a romantic triangle between Carol, Ezekiel, and Daryl, and introduced a mysterious voice on a radio at the episode’s end.
- INSIDER spoke with showrunner Angela Kang to discuss the mystery radio caller, how much time passed on Sunday’s episode, and where the Whisperers were.
- Kang also addressed whether or not the show is setting up a Daryl and Carol pairing. Kang says they will explore “some more aspects” related to Daryl’s difficulty getting into relationships in season 10.
After last Sunday’s episode which saw the deaths of 10 characters, “The Walking Dead‘s” season nine finale was a bit of a palette cleanser. For the first time ever, AMC introduced snow onto the zombie drama and showed off the threat of walkers during a blizzard.
A majority of the finale became centered around Carol and Ezekiel’s crumbling relationship after the death of their adopted son, Henry. In a bit of a surprise, Carol took off her wedding ring and left King Ezekiel to go back to Alexandria with her longtime friends Michonne and Daryl. It’s a moment that will most likely have fans wondering whether or not the show is setting up a Carol and Daryl pairing after nine seasons.
Showrunner Angela Kang spoke with INSIDER about flipping expectations with this year’s finale, where the Whisperers were during the blizzard, what’s going on with the mystery voice, and what to expect heading into next season (more Whisperers!). We also briefly discussed the Carol, Daryl, and Ezekiel entanglement. Kang said that while Ezekiel may see one thing between Carol and Daryl, that may not necessarily be what’s going on.
How much time passes in the finale? And where were the Whisperers during the blizzard? They migrated.
Acuna: First a very simple question. It seems like we see two different time jumps. How much time passes between Henry’s death and the majority of Sunday’s episode in the snow? And, then, how much time passes between the snow storm and when we see Alpha and Beta?
Kang: So, from Henry’s death to the snow I imagine it’s several months. We’re kind of tracking it through Rosita’s pregnancy.
Kang: So, she was probably barely pregnant at the time of the death. And, then, we jumped forward to [where] she’s quite a bit pregnant. Between that and seeing the Whisperers, there’s probably been a passage of a bit of time, but really what we wanted to imply was [that the Whisperers] are a migratory group. And, so, they may have gone South for the winter. They’re not even in the same space, but there probably has been a little bit of time that’s passed. But, we’re not talking about a matter of a huge time jump.
Kang: The timelines will become more clear as we jump into season 10 and the stories start to converge again.
Acuna: OK. I always try to keep track of these things.
What’s going on with the mystery radio voice at the end of Sunday’s episode?
Acuna: If I have time to ask about Alpha and Beta I will, but I have to ask about the radio at the episode’s very end. We hear this mysterious voice, similar to a scene from the comic. So, two things. One, it’s a little tough to make out on the screener what’s being said. It’s a little garbled. I heard, “Is anybody out there?” So, can you clarify what we should be hearing and whether it’s a man or a woman, at all?
Kang: It’s garbled on purpose.
Kang: But, they basically are saying, “Hello, hello, is anybody out there?” And, we sort of are being a little coy at this point, to be honest. It becomes a part of the story going forward in season 10. And, we’ll see what happens. Anytime we encounter some mysterious circumstances like this, it’s going to creep into the world of our heroes, and it will turn the story in some way. So, yeah, I’m looking forward to continuing with that story in season 10. But, there’s a little bit that we’re not quite ready to reveal at this point.
What’s going on with Carol, Daryl, and Ezekiel? And is Daryl asexual?
Acuna: Is Daryl asexual? And, the reason I’m asking this is because a lot of the episode gives you this kind of triangle around Carol, Daryl, and Ezekiel. Ezekiel doesn’t seem pleased with the interactions between Carol and Daryl. So, I’m wondering what we should be taking away from this sort of triangle that’s going on, because we do see Carol give Ezekiel the ring back.
Kang: Yeah, I think part of the thing with Carol and Ezekiel is that we really just wanted to play the truth of… a lot of times when couples lose a child, it ends up breaking up the marriage. It’s unfortunately true in many cases. In some ways it sort of ends this fairy-tale chapter of Carol’s life, just like the death of Sophia really catapulted her into a different chapter of her life where she became the Carol that we know and love, the tough badass.
For Ezekiel, [there’s] also the pain of… he sees this guy who is incredibly close to his wife, who he feels is drifting away from him. Whether or not there’s truth in that, it’s really about the eyes of the beholder.
Kang: As for Daryl and his romantic entanglements or not, I think that Daryl, he’s an abused character who does not trust people easily, which makes it pretty hard to get into some relationships. But, we’ll be exploring some more aspects related to that in the following season. I hope that answers the question a bit.
Acuna: I wanted to ask because it’s something Kirkman has said once on ‘Talking Dead’. I wasn’t sure if he was serious or not, but it’s always been in the back of my mind. And, a potential relationship triangle came up on Sunday’s episode, so I had to ask.
Why the pikes didn’t occur on the season nine finale: Essentially, Kang didn’t want to have a filler episode.
Acuna: I do have one question about last week’s episode that ties into the finale. So, myself, and, I think, others were really surprised you pulled a big punch by doing the big death episode a week before the finale instead of waiting for this episode. That’s been the expectation from prior seasons. What made you flip that and make this episode the finale?
Kang: You know, what was interesting, is when we started working on the season, the original expectation was, “Yeah, that’s going to happen in the finale.” But, as we got into it, it really felt like I wanted to keep the pace of the story moving. And, it just felt like we would be treading water for an episode if we waited until the finale. Or, I think we would have found something cool to put in there, but I was like, “It just feels like we’re ready an episode early.”
Also, I think that playing with the rhythms of the show a little bit is always good. It contributes to the sense of surprise. And, it also gave us the opportunity to do something really different. I was really excited about the idea of doing snow. I knew it would be kind of an ambitious thing, but it gave us a chance to do sort of an unexpected type of final episode.
Kang: In a lot of ways, episode 15 was more like a traditional finale. But, it all kind of came organically out of the feeling of the pacing of the story. And, the fact that kind of treating audiences to a little bit of a surprise at the end of the season was something that was sort of fun for us.
Acuna: I love that, because you told me earlier in the season you don’t like making people wait around. And, it seems in this case you knew this was the time to do it, so you did the pike deaths in [season 9, episode] 15.”
Kang: Yeah. And, I think that that was a big priority, making it feel like the plot is continually moving alongside the character’s stories. And, I think the director, Laura Belsey, did an amazing job with an epic episode which was not a finale episode. And, it just allowed us to get into the characters’ heads kind of at the end of the season in a different way, which I thought was interesting. But, also, [it allowed us] to send the message that the Whisperers are not your normal type of antagonists.
Kang: The Governor and Negan were behind walls, like you knew where their community was, there was no getting away from them in some way. They just were where they were. And, the Whisperers, the expectation of that immediate conflict doesn’t actually turn out to be the case. It’s going to be an interesting and unusual way in which our people have to interact with Whisperers, because they are a nomadic group. So, that kind of puts them in a different category of an antagonist.
What can fans expect next going into season 10: More of the Whisperers and “some left turns in the story.”
Acuna: While I’m wrapping up, is there anything that you can tease about what’s to come and what you’re excited for? It seems like you’re setting up a battle of the mothers between Carol and Alpha. The season itself has very much been about mothers as we’ve seen with Michonne and now Rosita.
Kang: We’re really excited to tell the story of what happens next with the Whisperers. And, yeah, there is definitely a major kind of conflict at this point between Alpha and Carol, but it extends kind of to all of our heroes. The Whisperers are so unlike any group that their methods and the ways that they interact with our heroes are going to be really different.
There will be some left turns in the story, too. We’ll work out what’s going on with this voice over the radio. And, I’m really excited for just a season which, hopefully, let’s us tell some different types of stories about how people deal with a hostile neighbour.
Season 10 of “The Walking Dead” will begin filming in May. “Fear the Walking Dead” will premiere June 2 on AMC. You can follow along with our “Walking Dead” coverage here.
- Read more:
- 17 questions we have after ‘The Walking Dead’ season 9 finale
- ‘The Walking Dead’ showrunner says the show’s big death scene was originally discussed for the season 9 finale
- ‘The Walking Dead’ showrunner confirms fan-favourite Eduardo is alive and the actor tells us he’d love to be back on the show
- ‘The Walking Dead’ showrunner breaks down the mysterious radio at the end of Sunday’s finale and teases what’s in store for season 10
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