The Walking Dead Season 9, Episode 16, Recap: Did Alpha …

In Sundays Season 9 finale, The Walking Dead went from the apocalypse to snowmageddon. But of course the big question was, did Alpha ice any more of our survivors? Read on and find out


WELL NEVER FORGET THE MAGIC WE FELT IN THIS PLACE | As The Storm began, Ezekiel gave a radio address of sorts in which he recounted the fall of the Kingdom. (Guess the trade fair wasnt exactly the cure-all hed hoped it would be, what with the mass murder and all.) Once hed wrapped up his voiceover, he, Carol, Daryl, Michonne, Jerry, Lydia OK, half the cast led the Kingdommers down the path to their new home away from home Hilltop. Along the way, Michonne learned from Yumiko that Hilltops council had thus far been unable to come to any security resolutions. Whats more, Maggie hadnt answered any of their letters. Nearby, Daryl stuck up for Lydia when Alden took a verbal swipe at her. And when her protector caught Carol glaring, he reminded his bestie that Henry wanted her here. Shes a good kid. Alas, Carol saw only her son when she looked at Lydia. What, then, did she see when she looked at Daryl? I see you, Carol insisted. As the temperature dropped and the titular storm drew near, the group decided that theyd have to travel all night in order to beat it to the next way station.

After Daryl and Carol shot a couple of walkers with arrows, Ezekiel sent Carol on with the caravan; hed retrieve the shafts with Daryl. Once the men were alone, Ezekiel said that after the rough few months he and his queen had endured, he thought it would be easier for them to make a fresh start at Hilltop if it was just us. He wasnt trying to be a royal pain, he added, he was just trying to get back some of what hed lost. You think you can give me that? In familiar Daryl fashion, he didnt answer. Meanwhile, Lydia wandered off from the group and was thisclose to letting a walker bite her (a la a suicidal Charlie on Fear TWD) when Carol happened upon the scene and wordlessly ushered her back to the road. Since it turned out the gang would need shelter before the next way station, they holed up for the night at the Sanctuary.

I FEEL LIKE IM LOSING MYSELF AGAIN | During a moment alone with Daryl, Carol asked if something had happened between him and Ezekiel, and assured him that the King only blames you [for Henrys death] because he cant let himself blame me. Needless to say, Carol was having a bad time of it. After she admitted, Im really trying to hang on, but I dont know what Im doing, Daryl offered to take Lydia away, keep her safe somewhere on his own. Did he want that? Carol asked. No, he replied. Later, the groups leaders realized that they had to reach Hilltop before the storm made the roads impassable, potentially for weeks. They could cut their travel time by a lot, Carol noted, if they just walked across the frozen pond. When Ezekiel pointed out that that route was a straight shot through Alphas territory, Carol responded, Those borders are hers, not ours. Whats more, they could go under cover of darkness, Michonne suggested. The Whisperers neednt know they were ever there.

Before setting off to traverse the pond, Ezekiel and Michonne took turns playing the blame game. He held himself responsible for the fall of the Kingdom, she beat herself up for the time that the communities spent apart. That woman was able to walk among us because we didnt know each other, she said. We can never let that happen again. And they wouldnt, they swore. When at last the group reached the pond, Lydia again went missing. While Carol took off to find her, everyone else discovered that buried in the snow beneath them were hungry walkers a cool different effect than wed ever seen (which is hard to do nine seasons in!). While they fought off the zombiecicles, Carol located Lydia, who begged Henrys mother to kill her. Everythings gonna be better when Im gone, she said, pointing Carols spear at her chest. Her own mother was right; she was too weak. Instead of off Lydia, Carol jabbed a walker and tearfully told the girl that she wasnt weak.

YOU COULD TRY TO BE A LITTLE LESS PREDICTABLE | While all of that was going on, the residents of Alexandria were forced by malfunctioning solar panels to huddle up wherever there were the biggest fireplaces. Negan, sprung from his cell for the duration of the storm, delighted in a) being in a new room and b) getting to observe firsthand the awkward quadrangle that had formed between Rosita and her men. Its like Christmas to me! he chuckled. Since the chimney flue turned out to be, as Eugene put it, completely gunkified, theyd have to move to Aarons house with RJ and Judith, who was concerned because shed misplaced Dog. As they attempted to move through the storm, Judith heard Dog barking and took off to find him; in turn, Negan took off to find her. By the hardest he got whacked by flying debris he managed to get both the little girl and my favorite character to safety.

The following morning, Ezekiel, Carol and their entourage arrived at Hilltop, which Jerry immediately wanted to rename Kingtop. Daryl and Lydia would be heading to Alexandria the next day. It sounded nice to Alphas daughter; whyd he leave. One day, hed tell her, he said. Nearby, Carol broke it to Ezekiel that shed be moving to Alexandria and returned his ring. He understood, but I will never stop loving you, he said. And Ill never regret the fairy tale, she replied. When the Alexandrians subsequently made it home, a snowball fight broke out that allowed us to see Lydia happier than shed ever been. Even Carol participated. After Michonne was reunited with her kids, she paid a visit to the infirmary to thank Negan for saving Judith. And their interaction was almost friendly?!? He even commiserated over Ezekiels loss of the Kingdom and called crossing into Alphas turf ballsy.

WELL MAKE IT THROUGH THIS WINTER OF OUR DISCONTENT | Next thing we knew, it appeared to be spring, and the Whisperers were back from their winter holiday. The time away has been good for the pack and for you, Beta told Alpha. Mm-hmm. But Ive made mistakes I cant make again, she said. Ill need to be stronger for what comes next. With that, she had her right-hand man lash her arm as if to make her impervious to pain. Finally, as the episode and the season came to an end, Ezekiel and Judith chatted over the radio. Once they were done and hed stepped away, a staticky message came across. Is anybody out there? So, what did you think of The Storm? After last week, I thought it was anticlimactic (though I did dig the snow zombies). Grade the finale in the poll below, then hit the comments.

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The Walking Dead Season 9, Episode 16, Recap: Did Alpha ...

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Reviewed and Recommended by Erik Baquero
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