9.16: The Walking Dead - Storm

ctg

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In the aftermath of an overwhelming loss, the communities must brave a ferocious blizzard; as one group deals with an enemy from within, another is forced to make a life or death decision.
As usual this episode is extended, but for the first time we see zombies in snow. Expect them to be frozen solid.
 

REBerg

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I retract my prediction that this episode would be epic. To say that it was a disappointment would be giving it waaaay too much credit.
Plodding through a snowstorm in a state that sees an annual low temperature of 48 degrees Fahrenheit? I experienced snow one December in Norfolk. It didn't amount to much.
Yeah, I know. Alternate Universe.
The most interesting things here were the statuesque frozen walkers. It might have been a good time to repeat Rick's trick. String a cable between a pair of those heavy horse-drawn wagons and run them through Alpha's walker stockpile. Thawed out pieces of walker would be more comical than threatening.
Speaking of Alpha, where are she and her masked gang wintering while all this is happening? The Alpha-Beta S&M scene at the end was curiously snowless.
"The Calm Before" would have worked so much better as a season finale.
 

ctg

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Goodbye Kingdom. Sleep well young prince. Hello Winter. We have waited ten years for the winter to arrive, giving death to the zombies. I know they freeze, but that is the whole point, just go out and use an hammer without a fear of them reaching out.

I cannot believe that the people were so unprepared. How many millions of years the winter has arrived and things have got harder? I am more surprised that the Kingdom water boilers ended failing, when their system should have been the best. How are things going to be any different at Hilltop's manor house?

They'll have same stuff and even longer distances for potential supplies. Well, maybe not as Sanctuary should have all the stuff for all the repairs. Nobody just wants to do it, because Sanctuary is engulfed in bad memories. Even King Ezekiel saw its potential, but he acted like a fool on dismissing all those pipes and other supplies. More so, they could have gathered all the people in theatre and just dressed one building with heavy curtains over all holes, and the heat coming from people and animals would have been enough to keep them warm.

I had a big problem with the zombies by the river. The only way I can explain it is tha somehow the zombie virus had made them warm blooded. All the other solutions leads them to freeze solid because of the bloody physics.
 

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It looked as though the river walkers might have been kept from freezing by deep snow insulation. I thought, at first, that they were whisperers lying in wait.
 

ctg

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It looked as though the river walkers might have been kept from freezing by deep snow insulation. I thought, at first, that they were whisperers lying in wait.
Well, yeah, I understand the argument, but you'd need the zombies somehow generate the heat to thaw themselves. Besides if the river had frozen, and it takes some doing as usually rivers carry heat with them far longer than anything on solid ground, then by all logical all the zombies should have frozen. If not the cold would make them super slower.

I went and read the producers argument and it was complete bull$h1t, about crocodiles freezing their snouts over the pond's surface. Not one time they mentioned the heat. If you read very early TWD comics, you'll see a period where Kirkman has the zombies frozen solid at the outside, and those who had somehow managed to stay indoors, were alive and slower than usual.

For me they really cocked it up at the end and I agree, the end for this season should have been the last one. This was an insult for the season that has so hard tried to get viewers back.

PS. I beta-read one of chronners best-seller novels last summer, and I had to point out that the winter didn't feel right. The book has not appeared on the market. I feel bad about it, but I hope that the author can short it out. I know what I say is harsh, but if readers or viewers suspension of disbelief is broken it's a bad thing, and usually means that we writers had failed to do a proper job.
 
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I have to agree. That must be the worst ending to any Season of any show ever. If the snow is so bad that they are freezing inside the Sanctuary, and that Walkers are frozen solid, and the river itself frozen over, then how can Alpha's people possibly survive outdoors without shelter. We have seen some of them, and they were a mixture of ages, even a baby, so not all young and super-human. The problem is that they are a very poorly drawn enemy. It is an unbelievable scenario, and it isn't explained how they eat, defecate, urinate, copulate or basically live among the Walkers. How do they get enough time on their own so that they can whip each other? As soon as someone went to the toilet or accidentally spoke then the Walkers would be all over them. However, they need to be kept as a viable enemy for next Season and so there was no "storm" took place in this one.

The better enemy was the children. That indoctrination was a believable threat and scenario, but they dispatched them in only half an episode and wasted the idea.
 

ctg

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How do they get enough time on their own so that they can whip each other?
If you looked closely, you noticed that they are nowhere near DC, because birds are singing, the trees have fresh green leaves and it's warm enough for them to wear next to nothing.
 

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If you looked closely, you noticed that they are nowhere near DC, because birds are singing, the trees have fresh green leaves and it's warm enough for them to wear next to nothing.
I picked up on that too. It looks like they have migrated to warmer climes.

The episode would have being better off titled 'Negan's Redemption'.

It was an underwhelming episode and to be honest I would have thought that they were better prepared to survive a harsh winter. No stockpiles of wood?
 

nixie

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Strange episode, the trek through the snow didn't really have me on edge, yes there was the hidden in snow walkers but it still didn't feel dangerous. Surely there should have been more tension?
I was more concerned about dog and Judith, convenient Negan was let out and the one to go after her.
This episode was more about relationships, Ezekiel and Carol, they seem to be at an end, he is very jealous of Daryl.
Trying a little to hard to make us feel sorry for Lydia.
Michonne and Negan, I don't think there will be romance but I think she'll start to rely on him for advice specially when there is conflict.
The whisperer scene came across as irrelevant.

Was that Maggie on the radio at the end?

This episode would have been more suited as a filler not a season finale.
 
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REBerg

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If you looked closely, you noticed that they are nowhere near DC, because birds are singing, the trees have fresh green leaves and it's warm enough for them to wear next to nothing.
Snowbirds.
 
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Dave

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Was that Maggie on the radio at the end?
It could well have been. I couldn't make out what was said, but I expect that some fans have been doing so.

I was more cynical as usual and I just assumed that it was someone further away, simply because that was such an obvious set up (when Eugene decided to fix the radios rather than the telephones) for contacting an external group next Season.

Edit: And yes, I guessed correctly. The voice said ""Hello, can you hear me? Is anybody out there?" and major spoilers taken from the comic books about the plot here:
'The Walking Dead' Season 9 Finale Just Introduced Its Next Community
"a sprawling Ohio community called the Commonwealth ...the most expansive and elaborate community in the world of the dead ...so vast that it includes law firms, bakeries and vacation spots ...making the Alexandria Safe-Zone look positively medieval in comparison..."
 
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ctg

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It was an underwhelming episode and to be honest I would have thought that they were better prepared to survive a harsh winter. No stockpiles of wood?
That is so strange because for Rick's Bridge they had whole operation in the forest, and because of it Aaron lost his arm. Hilltop has always had a good stockpile of wood, lined up against the barrier wall, and they are generally well setup for surviving the Apocalypse. It still makes me wonder, why they haven't got tiles from other houses, or used logs to build themselves proper housing instead of those caravans.

I was more concerned about dog and Judith, convenient Negan was let out and the one to go after her.
You weren't the only, but why they had left Dog in a blizzard is strange. It's not like all of this happened in two days, just after the last episode. There must have been time in between, because the trees have no leaves and it takes time for ice to get thick enough for crossing. Especially so with the flowing water in the rivers, but if you listened it, when Daryl stepped on the ice, it didn't even crackle. It would mean that the ice cover is at least 10 cm thick and that is enough thickness for a car to pass over it. So, them ditching horses and wagon was a bit strange, but I guess American's really don't understand ice as well as we Finn's do.

I would have preferred if they'd started the winter scene in next season and dedicated this season final to something else. Like the preparation for the war between them and the Whisperers. It makes me wonder thought, was this an approval nod from Kirkman and AMC team to GoT's White Walkers being the main threat in the final season?

I accept the White Walkers because they are clearly made from magic, where as Kirkman's zombies are more close to the scientific hypothesis. To me, my disbelief doesn't shatter when White Walkers can only be killed with Obsidian intruments and their leader is a litch. In TWD, there are no ghouls, no litches, no vampires, no other undead creatures. Not even skeletons and classical wrights.
 

ctg

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so there was no "storm" took place in this one.
True and another fact is that FTWD's zombie twister was so well made that I would have at least expected them to try to get in bar with that. But they didn't, why?
 

ctg

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The Kingdom was forced to shutter after suffering insurmountable damages, bringing another significant departure from Robert Kirkman’s comics that will continue to be explored in unexpected ways in Season Ten, teases Walking Dead showrunner Angela Kang.

“I thought that it was interesting to do a twist that doesn’t exist in the books, and I think in some ways we wanted to have what was happening physically at the Kingdom, as well as on a very personal level with Ezekiel and Carol, all kind of mirror each other,” Kang told EW.

“I also really love having scenes with our characters together and having them be on adventures together. Having them so spread out in order to play the difficulty of getting from one place to the other, the people end up getting stuck in their communities, and so I thought, well here’s an interesting obstacle to play.”

That move comes as the death of son Henry (Matt Lintz) acted as a devastating blow to the fairytale romance between Carol (Melissa McBride) and King Ezekiel (Khary Payton), who separated before going their own ways and taking refuge at Alexandria and Hilltop, respectively. Now, with the survivors under constant threat by the territorial Whisperers, the collapse of the Kingdom raises an intriguing dilemma ripe for the picking next season:

“An entire community shuts down at a time when there’s a certain lack of resources because of the state of the world, and also here is this new enemy that is saying, ‘All of this land is mine. Who cares if that’s your hunting land or your way to travel to each other? Who cares? This is all mine,’” Kang said.

“I thought it created these really interesting obstacles for the final episode. But going forward, I think having them unified but also dealing with what happens when basically an entire community is now refugees to your community and the strain that that can put on you, but also the help that you get from that, it just seemed like there was some really interesting areas for us to play with.”
‘The Walking Dead’ Showrunner Explains Why the Kingdom Had to Fall

Beyond exploring the aftermath of Carol and Ezekiel’s grief in Season Ten, the next season opener will pick up months later with the characters in new places — physically and emotionally.

“Things are going to pick up with a little bit more of a time passage, not a giant one like we’ve had,” Kang said of that midseason six-year time skip, “but winter will be over and people will be going to be in a different emotional space.”
If she doesn't use the winter for the communities to clear some of the dead from surrounding places I am going to be really, really disappointed. They could have used this winter to shoot more scenes instead of this one time episode. It would have made sense, but now we are going to see another reset on the situation and the Rickland people have wasted an important opportunity. Most important thing is that, now since everything has frozen over, they could make a run into the DC and not really worry about the city dwellers.

We know that the devastation happened in relatively quick pace and every since the dead has made threat everywhere they go. The winter is only time when you really can survive in The Walking Dead and not worry about the dead.

In my third book, there is a scene, where they fly over Iceland and all they see down there are frozen dead. Another thing is that the scene also presents evidence that another ice-age has started in my world. No dead are going to survive it, unless they are advanced species.
 

ctg

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A number of Walking Dead viewers were left wondering why some walkers froze completely and others were still capable of attacking Daryl (Norman Reedus), Michonne (Danai Gurira), King Ezekiel (Khary Payton) and the group on their icy trek towards Hilltop.

“The idea was that they would kind of freeze in place and be preserved over the winter, and when things thawed out, they’d just kind of come back to life and go about their business,” Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman explained aboard Walker Stalker Cruise 2018 when asked about winter walker physiology.

Kirkman, who has long featured snow-covered walkers in his ongoing comic book, compared the phenomenon to behavior exhibited by alligators during the “Bomb Cyclone,” in which gators survived extreme temperatures by freezing themselves in place, entering into a mini-hibernation with their snouts protruding above the ice.

Both the books and the show have explored different “types” of walkers, including some who are less active; in the books, these less mobile walkers are typically referred to as “lurkers.”

When Frank Darabont served as showrunner in the series’ debut season, some walkers showed lingering signs of “intelligence”: Morgan’s (Lennie James) wife was seen pawing at the doorknob to her old home, while some walkers were seen using rocks in an attempt to breach the department store where Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) holed up when trapped in Atlanta.

Though those attributes were quickly dropped and walkers have since become more homogeneous in their abilities, it could explain why some walkers outright froze in place and became totally rigid while others were able to emerge from snow and attack our heroes — even if it is a stretch.
‘The Walking Dead’ Fans Are Confused Why Some Walkers Don’t Freeze in Snow

Kirkman, shame on you.

The Walking Dead's cast members seem to be coming around to the former villain Negan. Jeffrey Dean Morgan's character definitively launched a redemption arc in the show's Season Nine finale when he risked his life to rescue Judith from getting lost in the snow storm. The extra effort made by Negan is enough to earn praise from Judith actress Cailey Fleming.

"I know it's fake snow but to me it's real snow," Fleming said in the featurette video above which takes fans behind the scenes of the AMC zombie show's Season Nine finale. "I'm like about to freeze to death. So, he's like, Hero Negan. He's funny. He's nice. He doesn't leave you out. Like, if you're sitting there, he'll come up to you and start a conversation."

Hero Negan? Did you ever think you would hear those words after this character took out so many beloved characters from the Alexandria, Hilltop, and Kingdom communities throughout Season Seven and Season Eight? Well, the AMC series is only following its comic book source material which is in the midst of what looks like a redemption arc for Negan.

The Walking Dead showrunner Angela Kang confirmed to ComicBook.com that the AMC series will follow such a story as it progresses into Season 10.

"As somebody who's working at ComicBook.com, you know what comes in the comic," Kang said. "There's some really interesting story for Negan moving forward, and we're going to kind of play with our version of it, but we just thought what is the way in which Negan gets out of prison in our world, and how is that similar to or different from the comic book version? So this all plays in his story moving forward."

Negan actor Morgan chimes in in the video above, leaving out any commentary on Negan's possible redemption arc, but sharing enthusiasm for the impressive production of the show's Season Nine finale. "It looks awesome. Its legit," Morgan said of the snow. "You always worry that fake snow is gonna look like fake snow and, my god, it looked like a blizzard."

As for Judith actress Fleming, Morgan has the utmost admiration. "I adore Cailey," Morgan said. He's worked with her in several scenes throughout Season Nine, often times offering opportunities for both cast member to bring out the best in one another and their respective characters. "She's one of the best actresses on our show, already."
'The Walking Dead' Star Calls Negan A "Hero"
 

Judderman

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The logic of travelling after the snowfall wasn't clear. Also Atlanta is never going to get more than a few days of snow. So the roads wouldn't be blocked for weeks. From the show it seemed like it must be minus 15 deg c or below. It was like we had been transported north. Unless they had seen a freak, long winter forecast.. Also they are in quite old fashioned/cheap coats. I'm sure there would have been some luxury down coats seen in abandoned shops during their years of scouting. Also I suppose they could just light fires in any building. It may get damaged, but they can lose one.
The Zombies coming out of the snow was like something out of Game of Thrones. That was fun and at least a chance to show a different scenario. Maybe the snow insulated them from the worst cold. I see Reberg mentions the same above. Regarding the frozen zombies, perhaps the whole Whisperers horde should be frozen! And in fact most of the zombies in the northern states of US and Canada. Though I don't think they will follow through with that.

The King is surely likely to die in the first half of next season. Now Carol doesn't need him.

Had the Whisperers moved down towards Florida? Though they wouldn't know of the coming snow, unless due to some clue from animal behaviour.

I agree with Nixie that it sounded like Maggie on the radio. Makes sense if she is to return soon. However I wont read the potential spoiler details above that it may not be.

I think the episode was normal length wasn't it. 45 mins without adverts. Previous episode was longer. I thought this was a good episode. But not impressive for a finale.

I do like the fact this episode got some movement going and we don't have everyone spread over many communities. Maybe more will fall soon.

I recently finished the Walking Dead Compendium 3 (comic), which gets up to date with the previous episode of the show (9.15). Definitely the comic is still enjoyable at this point. The issues for the 4th compendium are almost all written, so there must be plenty of source material to get through to end of season 12. Although I would prefer the show pace to pick up and cram whatever that is into 2 seasons. Also the show is written with twists to be different to the comic, but sometimes seem to make it worse.
 

ctg

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I think the episode was normal length wasn't it. 45 mins without adverts. Previous episode was longer. I thought this was a good episode. But not impressive for a finale.
Runtime:
46 min


It felt longer. Also IMDB gives this episode 8.1, while the last one got 9.5
 

Judderman

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Yeah it seems to have some reasonable views. Try not to think of how the snow is so bad, some of the details of the whys of various things, and it is enjoyable. A kind of dumbing down.
 

ctg

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Former Walking Dead star Steven Yeun, who played Glenn, has no qualms with Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) finding redemption after his back-to-back executions of Glenn and Abraham (Michael Cudlitz).

“What?!” Yeun said incredulously at Walker Stalker Con London when asked about Carl (Chandler Riggs) and now Judith’s (Cailey Fleming) friendship with Negan, who until recently served a near eight-year solitary jail term at Alexandria. “I don’t know, things change. People change. That’s life. But I’ll talk to them later.”

Though Yeun admitted he has no desire to ever return to The Walking Dead, calling that chapter of his life “finished,” the star mostly keeps abreast of developments through his former co-stars.

Asked what he thinks will happen when widow Maggie (Lauren Cohan) — who stepped away from Hilltop to help foster a new community with Georgie (Jayne Atkinson) — returns to discover Enid (Katelyn Nacon) and interim leaders Jesus (Tom Payne) and Tara (Alanna Masterson) have been killed, Yeun predicted Maggie will handle it:

“I’ll be honest with you, I haven’t seen since the end of Season Seven,” Yen said. “Not because I don’t like the show, but because I get all the information from my friends who are on the show. So I have like early access. But I don’t know how she would respond. I imagine, she’s always been badass, so she’ll just step up to whatever challenge is in her way. So Maggie will be fine.”

Yeun was later posed a darker question: what would have happened if it were the pregnant Maggie on the end of Lucille, instead of Glenn?

“I think if Maggie would have died, especially with the unborn child, Glenn would have been broken. I think he would have broke,” Yeun said.

“Honestly, I don’t say this just to say this, I think it is a woman’s strength to persevere through those moments. Not to say all men couldn’t, but just to say, women are strong. And I feel like Maggie, against Glenn in that moment, is the better candidate to continue to thrive. And Glenn might have just broke right there, if I want to be real.”

Yeun declined to speak on Cohan’s pay dispute and her subsequent stepping away from The Walking Dead in favor of new show Whiskey Cavalier, but said his former co-star is “wonderful, she’s an incredible actor.”

“And she wore all that pain on herself. And that’s a very hard thing to do,” Yeun said. “But I’ve seen my own wife persevere through things that I look at like, ‘I would never be able to handle that.’ And she just does, and deals with it. Maybe Glenn’s better than that, but that’d be pretty rough to see your wife and unborn child [killed]. Yeah, I try not to imagine that.”

Maggie confronted Negan for the first time since Glenn’s death in episode 905, refusing to kill him despite his tearful begging to be freed of his misery. Six years later, Negan took a large step towards his redemption when he risked his life to save Judith during a dangerous snowstorm.

Showrunner Angela Kang told ComicBook.com Negan moving forward won’t lose his edge, but he will continue his journey as an anti-hero-turned-good guy:

“I do think the way that Negan is, and I think sort of is in the comic book, he’s like, ‘Hey, man, I’m a joiner,’” Kang said.

“He wants to be important to the situation, so this is very much inspired by what’s in the comic book. We’ve just pushed it further along in time, and I think it’s been interesting for us to play with a version of Negan, who... He’s still Negan. Negan always has an edge. That’s always my role for him. Negan can’t ever fully go soft because then that isn’t who he is. However, it’s interesting to see what are the steps that he takes to try to redeem himself? What are some of the other aspects of his character that we haven’t seen before?”
‘The Walking Dead’s Steven Yeun Addresses Negan’s Redemption

I will accept Negan's redemption just like I've accepted Maul and Darth Maul's attempt of redemption in the SW Rebels. He has a very unique skillset, and I suspect it is going to come handy at some point. The important thing is that he's providing a daddy figure to little Judith. His actions should teach her and the rest that even the bad people can change ... if they so choose.
 
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