- Warning: There are spoilers ahead for Sunday’s mid-season finale of “The Walking Dead,” “Evolution.”
- Sunday’s episode of “The Walking Dead” killed off a fan-favourite while ending on a mini cliffhanger with Daryl, Michonne, and more surrounded by a new threat. Where do we go from here?
- INSIDER rounded up the major questions we have regarding the mid-season finale and about the new teaser AMC released for the second half of the season. We’ve also provided some answers with insight from showrunner Angela Kang and “TWD’s” Tom Payne.
- Season nine of “The Walking Dead” will continue on AMC February 10, 2019. Until then, here’s what we’re dying to know.
Who are these whispering zombies and what is their deal?
If you’re not familiar with the “Walking Dead” comics, you may have been surprised that Sunday’s episode revealed that the whispering walkers weren’t evolving zombies. They’re just a group of survivors wearing masks of the undead called The Whisperers. (You can read more on who they are here.)
Showrunner Angela Kang told INSIDER she’s excited for viewers to get to see more of them when the show returns in February.
“We have Samantha Morten and Ryan Hurst coming up as Alpha and Beta for the comic-book fans. These are just great, great actors who kind of folded in so seamlessly and are wonderful people to work with,” said Kang about what’s to come. “I’m excited for people to see their work.”
“This group, the Whisperers, is unlike anything we’ve encountered on the show and we’re going to start to learn about their philosophy and the way that they handle things and it truly gave us the opportunity to delve into a group that was so different,” she added. “I think it’s been really interesting for us to kind of work on that and see the designs that go into it.”
Were we supposed to believe Aaron and Jesus were a couple on “The Walking Dead”?
Jesus and Aaron’s relationship status was left vague on Sunday’s episode, something Tom Payne tells INSIDER he’s well aware of on the show.
“I know,” Payne said of the uncertainty between the Aaron and Jesus dynamic. “Honestly, that’s the one part of the story that I feel is slightly unfair on the audience.”
When I asked Kang whether or not fans were supposed to interpret Aaron and Jesus as a couple, she confirmed they weren’t in a relationship.
“We really didn’t feel that we had built up that relationship to that point in our show,” Kang told INSIDER. “What really excited us was the idea that Jesus and Aaron had built a real friendship with each other. Not all the relationships on the show are necessarily romantic. Some of our deepest relationships are completely platonic ones.”
For those who wanted to see Aaron and Jesus together, Payne likes to think the two could have gotten together during the six-year time jump on the show.
“I actually did another interview before this where the interviewer asked me if I thought – because everyone always asks me if they’re going to get together – and he said, ‘Well, maybe they did mess around a bit in the six years.’ And, I was like, ‘Oh, I see. Yeah. Maybe they did.’ I wouldn’t say that’s an absolute no,” Payne said.
You can read more on that here.
Were there ever any scenes of Aaron and Jesus together on the show?
Not that we know of, but Payne told us there was a cut scene of him with a boyfriend at the Hilltop on the season nine premiere.
“As is the way of the show, things get cut and storylines get swapped around and other things take precedence and the whole thing got cut out,” said Payne. “I think it’s kind of sad because I’ve done a lot of work now with the LGBT+ community, and I know how much it matters to have representation on TV and I think it’s kind of sad when any of that gets cut out.”
“It’s not just that kind of stuff that gets cut. Lots of things get cut all the time,” Payne added about his scene with a boyfriend not being the only one cut out of the show.
Why is everyone, including Tara and Carol, so hostile toward Michonne?
When Michonne went to the Hilltop neither Tara nor Carol gave Michonne a warm welcome. Michonne hinted that she made a tough decision that resulted in keeping others alive at the expense of them hating her.
Michael Cudlitz, who played Abraham on the show and directed episode seven of this season, told INSIDER that Michonne’s separation from the Hilltop and the mark on her back are somewhat connected.
“A lot of it’s tied to the ‘X’ that we see on her back, that we just revealed on Michonne’s back. Now we see it on Daryl’s back,” said Cudlitz.
He hinted the conflict doesn’t have to do with Maggie being upset with Michonne over Negan.
“They had conflict over the Negan thing, but that was resolved. She stepped aside. She let Maggie tell that story, and carry that story off the way that she had to, because she knew she had to,” said Cudlitz of the mysterious change that occurred in Michonne and Maggie’s relationship. “So there’s no conflict left there, really. They actually agreed.”
Read more about what Cudlitz had to say in regards to the “X” mystery here.
What are the “X” marks on Michonne and Daryl and when will we learn more about them?
All we know is that it has to do with something dark that happened to the group during the six years that have passed.
“This is a story that we will reveal more about in the second half of the season, which starts airing in the new year,” Kang said in regards to the mystery “X.” “And it’s just one of these things that’s touching [on] important parts of backstories for characters. It’s something that obviously Michonne and Daryl, they both experienced something. There’s probably others that are affected in various ways, if not in the same ways.”
You can read more on what Kang had to tease about the “X” marks here.
Where is Negan going to go now that he’s free of his cell?
Father Gabriel accidentally left Negan’s cell open and now he’s off wandering around Alexandria.
Kang says we won’t have to wait long to see what he’s up to next.
“When we open up in the first episode back in the new season, we will find out what it is that Negan is up to,” said Kang. “He’s certainly been sick of being stuck inside that cell, both Negan and Jeffrey [Dean Morgan]. So it was fun to kind of have him out and about and I think there’s a pretty cool story to be told there that I hope that fans will enjoy who have enjoyed Negan from the start or who are kind of just enjoying seeing his evolution in the character.”
What is Negan doing with this shovel and who’s room is he in?
The teaser trailer for the second half of the season shows Negan up to no good. It looks like he’s creeping around inside Michonne’s home and may be looking for Judith from a drawing we see on a wall of the Grimes’ family.
Kang told INSIDER earlier this year that she was looking forward to some of the Carl/Negan comic scenes playing out with Judith.
“We got really excited about seeing this child of the apocalypse at the same age that Carl was, who was not a child of the apocalypse, and just see what kind of child you are when you grow up like that, to see her hopefulness, and her strength, and to also play some of the comic-book moments like between Judith and Negan that we didn’t get to play with Carl and Negan in the same way,” Kang said of having an older Judith on the show.
How are Daryl, Michonne, Aaron, Eugene, and the rest of the group going to get themselves out of the predicament they’re left in at the end of the mid-season finale?
The teaser for the second half of the season showed Michonne, Daryl, Eugene, Aaron, and more make it back to the Hilltop with Jesus’ body.
Do the Whisperers just let them off with a warning? Seems too easy, especially since the new villains were whispering to circle the group on the mid-season finale.
What’s up with the Oceanside gang — Where are they?
We hear a brief mention of the all-female group on Sunday’s episode when one of the new kids mentions he wouldn’t mind heading over to their camp. But we haven’t heard much else from them.
How were they affected by the six-year time jump? Is the leader Cyndie still alive and do they have anything to do with the hostility between Michonne and the Hilltop?
Are all of the Saviors really gone?
We saw Carol kill a giant group of them during season nine. The teaser trailer for the rest of the season shows Negan return to the Sanctuary. Are some of his Saviors still hanging out there or is Negan just returning home for kicks?
In the comics, they’re still around after the war, led by Dwight’s character.
Is there a chance we could see Dwight again?
Daryl sent him off on the season eight finale and told him to never return. While we’d love to see whether or not Dwight ever caught up with his ex-wife Sherry, we have a feeling the show may have had to write him off permanently.
Austin Amelio, who played Dwight on the show, is currently in a lawsuit as a result of a death on the show. AMC was sued for the wrongful death of stuntman Jon Bernecker in January. Amelio is named as a defendant in the case.
He was in a scene where Bernecker was supposed to perform a stunt off of a platform in 2017. According to the lawsuit, Amelio was the only other person in the vicinity of Bernecker when the scene was filmed.
Who will take over as the leader of the Hilltop now that Jesus is gone?
Tara seems like the most obvious candidate. She already appeared to be running things.
Personally, I’d volunteer Bertie, who’s been a long-standing member of the Hilltop community and always felt like one of Maggie’s right-hand women.
If you don’t remember Bertie, you can read more on her here.
Is Henry going to hang out with those trouble-making kids again?
Or has he learned his lesson? Just wondering.
Will Siddiq convince Michonne to go to the fair?
She has to, right? She needs to mend some fences with her family.
Is Daryl making friends with the Whisperers?
It looks like Lydia, the daughter of the Whisperer leader, is speaking with Daryl on the season nine trailer. She’s trying to get him to join their group. We later see Daryl approaching the group in the teaser.
Who is this person?
Is it a Whisperer Michonne and the group captured?
Is Rosita really into Gabriel or is she going to start a relationship with Eugene?
Negan hinted that he overheard Rosita saying something about Gabriel that he may not want to hear, but he could have been stirring up trouble.
Still, it’s clear that Eugene has feelings for Rosita. The show hinted on Rick’s departure episode that there could be something there. In a giant pileup, the two were spotted holding hands. It may have just been a nod to their relationship in the comics, but it also could have been a hint of what’s to come.
How much of a badass is Ryan Hurst going to be as Beta on this show?
The “Sons of Anarchy” star is joining the show as one of the top members of the Whisperer crew. Beta looks creepier than he does in the comics, and, from the looks of it, he’ll be squaring off with Daryl on the show.
You can follow along with Hurst on Instagram here until the show returns.
Is Tara holding Rick’s hatchet?
It sure looks a lot like one of Rick’s favourite weapons.
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