Walking Dead: Season 9 , Episode 9 Adaptation

Feb 16, 04:42 PM

Our Review..

Walking Dead S9 Episode 9, Adaptation 

When we last saw our not-so-merry band of heroes a few months back, things were looking rather grim on all fronts. Back in A-town, an emotionally unstable Negan escaped captivity by simply strolling through the unlocked door of his jail cell. The situation was even worse out in the wild, as Michonne and Daryl’s group found themselves in a graveyard with some folks known as the Whisperers — a knife-wielding gang of sick sonsabitches who ride with zombie herds and blend in by wearing masks of rotted flesh. Sweet finishing moves weren’t enough to save poor Jesus, who looked rather deceased after being stabbed in the back. Turns out that Jesus is definitely dead, the Whisperers are real bad news, and Negan’s gone softer than Eugene’s love handles.

Let’s begin with Judith Grimes, who I’m guessing is now a polarizing character, what with her precocious dialogue, her shocking lack of adult supervision, and her ability to hold and fire a gun with enough recoil to knock any kid the ground. Me? I’m on Team Judith, and thought her exchanges with Negan were among the highlights of the episode: From her opening line as Negan climbs the fence (“Thought you were smarter than this. Guess not.”), to her quick dismissal of his attempt to make a deal (“How ‘bout no,” she says with a wag of her pistol), it was fun watching Judith’s sass genuinely warm Negan’s dark heart. Her compassion and snappy banter are more than he deserves, with that sob story about how everything’s changed so much while he’s been stuck staring at the same four walls. Boo hoo, dude — you’re a murderer. Judith’s endorsement might be his only chance to change hearts and minds.

Sheriff Judy lets Negan go, but sagely warns him that there ain’t nothin’ outside those walls, and through a series of scenes, the former Big Bad learns she was right. A brief tangle with an extra-crispy walker ends with his meager supplies ruined. A drink from a nearby stream ends in a barf sesh. Even when Negan scores a minor win (a leather jacket from the menswear store with the subtle slogan, “Be the Man You Were Meant to Be!”), he loses (attacked by dogs and a zombie, offends PETA by locking said zombie inside to feed on said dogs). Even a return to the Sanctuary is one long, depressing, sad trombone moment, as Negan whistles into the emptiness and witnesses what’s left of his legacy: trash, rats, and a few old pals who are roamin’ and moanin’. Which direction should Negan head toward now: back to his old ways, or ahead to a new life? Good thing Judith let him keep her compass (so subtle, TWD).

In other “stuff I endorse” news, Luke is growing on me. He’s awkwardly endearing, and although he’s one lousy zombie killer, Luke is totes on board for a bomb musical collab at Zeke’s faire with Alden on vocals. Could Alden be the post-apocalyptic Adam Levine? Doubt he has the ink or the abs for the job, but hey, maybe his falsetto ain’t half bad after a couple of drinks. His thing with Enid seemed a little creepy at first, but she’s now in her 20s and a doctor and can’t spend the rest of her (very possibly short) life mourning Carl. Speaking of couples — who saw the Siddiq/Rosita hook-up coming? (Stop it, none of you did.) That makes way more sense than her thing with Gabe; it also breaks Eugene’s heart, knowing he’s at least third in line for her affection, now that Rosita has a bf and a baby daddy.

Then there’s the stuff I don’t like, which is, in a word, youths (with the exception, for now, of Judith). Kids are such rich storytelling devices, because their exuberance, hormones, angst, and underdeveloped prefrontal cortexes give writers an excuse to make them do the dumbest things. Take Henry, whom I was really beginning to like until this episode. Before we get to his soul-searching, it’s probably worth mentioning that Michonne’s crew escaped the graveyard in dramatic fashion and Daryl found a clever way to sort out the Whisperers from the “ori...