Spoilers for AMC’s ‘The Walking Dead‘ will be found below.
Readers of Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead source material may have noticed a brilliant misdirect in this week’s midseason finale. In the comics, when confronted by The Whisperers, several (mostly redshirts) are killed and only one survives: Jesus.
In the television series, however, the only person who dies in the first major confrontation with The Whisperers is … Jesus. It’s completely shocking for both comic readers and non-comics readers alike, and exactly the sort of change-up that Angela Kang continues to inject into season 9 of the series, revitalizing it creatively and turning in the best season of The Walking Dead at least since season 6.
However, as any good midseason finale should, this one left open a lot of unanswered questions that the series will hopefully answer when it returns in February.
1. Is Jesus Dead? This is not really an unanswered question. Jesus is dead. He will not be resurrected. This is not a fake-out. The Aaron and Jesus romance will never happen, which makes the death of Jesus doubly heartbreaking. It also elicited the loudest, “NooooooooooOOOOOO!” I have ever delivered at my television during an episode of The Walking Dead. This one hurt, but in a good way. In a surprising, unexpected way that is heartbreaking but that doesn’t lessen my excitement for the future of the series.
2. Will Negan escape? — Negan’s jail cell is left open this week, giving Negan a chance to walk away from from imprisonment for the first time in seven years. But where will he even go? The Saviors have been wiped out. He has no one to lead. He has nothing and no one on the outside, and while it’s not much, the relationships he’s forged with those in Alexandria are the best that he has. That said, we think we know where this is headed. The biggest reunion in the back half of season 9 may be between Negan and Lucille.