After a few episodes of build-up, the midseason finale of The Walking Dead finally introduced the Whisperers. The creepy community of walker face-wearing weirdos immediately set themselves out as a major new threat when one of them killed poor Jesus. In the second half of season 9, the assembled survivors will have their work cut out for them fighting an enemy that can go unnoticed in a horde of zombies and apparently has it in for their whole way of life.
This new promo for episode 9×09, “Adaptation,” gives us more glimpses of the Whisperers’ leader Alpha (Samantha Morton) and her number two Beta (Ryan Hurst). It also introduces us to Lydia, Alpha’s teen daughter, for the first time. It seems that Michonne and the gang manage to capture Lydia, who teases that they shouldn’t anger her mom. We get a flavor of exactly why that is by the end of the teaser, too, with Alpha pulling a weapon on someone unseen.
Lydia has an interesting character arc in the comics, with her ultimately defecting from the Whisperers and her mother and joining forces with the Alexandrians. We’re expecting this to be carried over into the TV show, but EP Angela Kang has teased that there’ll be big surprises in store for even those familiar with the source material, so who knows?
One thing we’re pretty certain that we can expect is a fearsome new foe in the form of Alpha. Producer – and director of “Adaptation” – Greg Nicotero has gone on record to say that he thinks the character’s the greatest villain The Walking Dead has ever had, chiefly because of Morton’s chilling performance. The Governor and Negan might have something to say about that, but we’re willing to take him at his word for now.
In any case, we’ll be able to judge ourselves when The Walking Dead returns to AMC on Sunday, February 10th.