The Walking Dead ended the first half of its ninth season on a chilling note as some of the survivors encountered the Whisperers for the first time, discovering the truth about what appeared to be evolved, smarter zombies but were actually creepy humans dressed in walker skin masks. One even took the life of Jesus in battle, as the martial arts expert was not anticipating fighting someone with agility.
That final scene of the mid-season finale, titled “Evolution,” saw the gang hunted by the Whisperers through a graveyard at night and was as full-on horror movie as The Walking Dead has ever gotten. For those who were hooked on that sequence, we have some good news, as it sounds like season 9B will pick up directly where things left off.
Showrunner Angela Kang told EW that the mid-season premiere will follow on from Jesus’ death and see the others as they make the dangerous journey back to bury their fallen friend (something that was previously teased via a first look photo a few days ago).
“It’s gonna be a direct pickup. We’re gonna find out what happens to that group that was in the cemetery as they try to make their harrowing journey back home to bury Jesus.”
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But what of the Whisperers themselves? Well, Kang went on to promise that the chilling community will be explored more fully in the back half of season 9. In particular, we’ll get to know about the “brutal” philosophy that drives them and see how they’ll commit more “horrifying” acts.
“We’ll get to know more about this group and their brutal survival of the fittest philosophy and how that really plays out in horrifying ways.”
Samantha Morton is also set to be introduced as Alpha, the leader of the Whisperers. This week brought us our first glimpse at the character in the form of a new promo photo and a short teaser (see above), in which the villain was shown donning her disgusting face-mask. If you’re repulsed by her now, though, get ready to be blown away, as we’ve been told the actress delivers a “terrifying” performance and could even be TWD‘s best ever antagonist.
We’ll see for ourselves if that’s the case when The Walking Dead returns to AMC for the rest of its ninth season on February 10th.