The Walking Dead returns for the second half of its ninth season next month, and we now have some details about the midseason premiere. The episode’s to be titled “Adaptation,” which presumably refers to the fact that the survivors will have to adapt to facing the terrifying new threat of the Whisperers. It also could have a double meaning though, as the show will begin to adapt a fan favorite arc from the comics.
The synopsis for the outing, meanwhile, reads as so: “The group unmasks a disturbing and dangerous new threat. An escaped captive revisits his past.”
To begin with, the use of “unmasks” is very apt, as we literally saw this new threat unmasked in the midseason finale. When a strangely-agile walker managed to kill Jesus in a fight, Daryl discovered that the would-be zombie was actually a human wearing a grisly undead face mask. In other words, he’s the first Whisperer that the gang have encountered (the creepy community who’ve taken to blending into walker hordes in order to remain undetected).
Meanwhile, who could the “escaped captive” refer to? Well, the obvious suggestion is Negan, who’s been locked up in Alexandria for about, oh, seven years within the timeline of the show. So, it’s about time he broke out to stretch his legs again. It sounds like we might finally learn about the character’s backstory, too, which Jeffrey Dean Morgan has been promising us ever since he first turned up in TWD.
Though this synopsis is playing it coy about the identity of the Whisperers, the teaser trailers so far have used the coming of the villains as the big hook for season 9B. They’ve given us our first look at Samantha Morton’s Alpha, for one, the Whisperers’ leader, as well as her number two Beta (Ryan Hurst).
And we’ll get to meet them and their chilling tribe when The Walking Dead 9×09 “Adaptation” airs on Sunday, February 10th.