Since the 6-year time jump a couple of episodes ago, The Walking Dead season 9 has been building up to the introduction of the Whisperers, the latest threat to the survivors’ way of life. So far, only Rosita and the still-missing Eugene have had any contact with them and the wider communities don’t know anything about their existence. But that’s about to change, as this new clip from this week’s mid-season finale teases.
Season 9’s eighth episode, “Evolution,” will kick off with the scene below. The 90-second sequence sees Jesus, Aaron and Daryl viewing a group of peculiar walkers who are just milling around in a field, behavior unlike any they’ve seen from a herd of walkers before. Though they don’t understand it, they know it can’t be good news. Like Daryl says, “there’s a storm coming.”
So far, the show is heavily hinting that the walkers are evolving into more sentient, smarter creatures. However, comic book readers know that this is a big piece of misdirection on the writers’ part. The Whisperers are actually a group of survivors themselves, only they’ve taken to wearing the skins of walkers to blend in with the hordes of the undead undetected. What’s more, it also allows them to manipulate the walkers and use them for their own ends.
Exec producer Greg Nicotero has high hopes for how audiences will react to the Whisperers. He’s promised that they’ll be terrifying and in particular, has cited the performance of Samantha Morton – who’ll play the leader, Alpha – as “chilling” and even the best villain the show has ever produced. That’s a tall order, but we’re willing to see if Nicotero can be proven right.
Be sure to catch The Walking Dead 9×08 “Evolution” on AMC this Sunday, November 25th.