The Walking Dead season 10 episode 9 review: So that happened…

Lauren Ridloff as Connie, Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier - The Walking Dead _ Season 10, Episode 9 - Photo Credit: Jace Downs/AMC
Lauren Ridloff as Connie, Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier - The Walking Dead _ Season 10, Episode 9 - Photo Credit: Jace Downs/AMC /

The Walking Dead midseason premiere delivered a great balance of action and development, with a little side of WTF.

To fans it felt like The Walking Dead midseason premiere was a long time coming. And, in the end, “Squeeze” was worth the wait. Frequent The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead director Michael Satrazemis is a master at creating a fully immersive scene that really makes you feel like you’re in the scene with the actors.

In The Walking Dead midseason premiere, that was a pretty uncomfortable place to be if, like me, you’re at all claustrophic. During those scenes, where the survivors are threading and inching their way through tiny crevices in the rocks looking for a way out, I was unconsciously pushing my feet against the couch as if I was trying to make more space.

While some people complained about the darkness of the episode, it worked in this episode because it made the shadowy, taut, and tense atmosphere inside the caves seem a lot more palpable. It heightened the sense of not knowing what was coming and made some surprises, like the Whisperers appearing in the cave, very effective.

When the dead Whisperers turned and followed the survivors, it was a shock, and when they grabbed Jerry and started biting on his feet, it was a horrifying moment that felt like when Noah got devoured while Glenn had to watch helplessly. It was a massive relief to find out that Jerry hadn’t been bitten. But the episode had a lot of emotional tension on top of the physical action.

Daryl Has Learned to Communicate

It is such a joy to see Daryl get some real character development. For a long time he’s been in feral mode, and it seemed like his development had just stopped. Now he’s fully stepped into a leadership role, and he’s gotten much better at communicating his feelings, especially with Carol.

His speech to Carol in the cave was a heartfelt, mature plea to someone he cares about to pull back and see how her behavior was hurting others, including him. It will be interesting to see how he handles Carol lying to him and not listening to him. Will that push him back into a feral state of mind or motivate him to be even more open about his feelings? Hopefully, this will mean even more character development for him.

We Need to Talk About Carol

This is such a thorny subject in the fandom, but I’m going to climb up on the hill and say it: Carol’s inability to get her head straight when it comes to Alpha is going to have serious consequences before she finally gets it together. She’s clearly spiraling out of control — lying to Daryl, risking her own life and the other lives of the others, and always reacting to Alpha’s goading instead of being the one going on the offensive.

Her grief is understandable, but she’s going to have to take responsibility for everyone who gets hurt or killed because of her reckless actions, and the burden of that is going to be very hard for her to live with. I’m rooting for her, but she need to pull back and stop letting Alpha call the shots if she’s going to get the upper hand.

WTF Was That?

There was a collective WTF? from the fandom when Alpha decided to reward Negan by having sex with him. Her logic makes sense, that Negan is a “crass” man, and thus, would respond best to a “crass reward.” And after going years without having sex, Negan wasn’t about to say no. I think it was her leaving the mask on that tipped it into the WTF category for me. If Alpha just wanted to get some, I could understand that. The Whisperers are animals, after all. But with the mask? That was disturbing, even for The Walking Dead.

A Solid Midseason Premiere

The Walking Dead 1009 continued to build upon the momentum that developed through the first half of the season. It was a great warmup for the big battle that’s coming, and for the shocking events that are no doubt waiting for fans in the back half of season 10.

With Michonne’s last episode coming up fast, the return of Maggie, the arrival of Princess, and the end of the Whisperers arc all to come in the seven remaining episodes of season 10, The Walking Dead is “do not miss” TV once again.

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What did you think of The Walking Dead midseason premiere TWDFamily? Tweet us @SonyaIryna and @CulturessFS to tell us your favorite moments of 1009.