February 12, 2019 The Walking Dead – Adaption (Season 9/ Episode 8 Review)
After a early winter slumber, AMC’s The Walking Dead returned on Sunday, February 10, 2019 with the episode Adaption. The eighth overall episode in the ninth season of the series, it picks up directly where the mid-season finale left us a lengthy 82 days ago.
At this point, the cat is out of the bag. We know The Whispers are among the dead, and from the looks of it, have no good intentions. As seen in the mid-season finale, Evolution, The Whispers are a group who camouflage themselves in the dead’s skin to walk among them unsuspected. While kind of gross, in theory, it is a smart idea. The problem is, The Whispers seem to be a murderous, untrustworthy group. All but hunting down Eugene, the climax of their introduction came when Jesus and company were cornered in a foggy graveyard as the undead approached. Slaying them at will, suddenly one of the thought-to-be-undead fought back, shockingly ducking Jesus only to stab him.
Now with Jesus gone, Daryl, Michonne, Eugene, Aaron and company are left in shock, wondering exactly who and what these leatherface-like characters are. Working their way back to Hilltop, with them is Jesus’ body, to which they respectfully put to rest.
Meanwhile, Negan has escaped the prison cell he was left to rot in. Carefully working his way out, he is stopped at gunpoint by Judith. Judith, only really knowing the Negan who chatted with her daily from behind bars, for better or worse, lets him go. Negan, seemingly a changed man, enters the outside world, working his way back to The Sanctuary, only to find there is truly nothing left for him. A segment of scenes slightly reminiscent of when The Governor walked alone following the fall of Woodbury, in the end, Negan truly seems to be a character now with some redeeming quality.
With some other tidbits of information offered here and there between the lines of Adaption, the bulk of what unravels is a setup for more to come from The Whispers. In fact, Daryl and Michonne captured one of The Whispers, unmasking them to find just a young, petrified girl… or is she? Is her imprisonment at Hilltop really just a plan from The Whispers as they intend to infiltrate the community’s walls?
All this in mind, The Walking Dead’s return was fairly compelling. The introduction of The Whispers add some intrigue to the story and only time will tell how important they are to the fabric of the series’ storyline. Additionally, the character twist of Negan is extremely interesting, because he has transformed from this subhuman dictator-like leader, to a broken man, to presently one who is heading toward some sort of redemption.
There is still a lot left to uncover in Season 9, but that is not saying anything will be resolved upon its conclusion. The Walking Dead’s creative team like to drag these things out, and who can blame them when you need to fill out a weekly 45 minute episode for an entire season. That in mind, the mourning of Jesus seemed a tad over emphasized. Not to downplay his importance to the series, but The Walking Dead has had more vital characters killed off without as much as a whimper afterwards. Yes, the funeral was a nice touch, but the shooting style of The Walking Dead in general is becoming entirely too over-saturated with mega dramatic scenes. Why the compliant? Well, when you have a super dramatic scene in slow motion around every corner with epic orchestration surrounding it, it just lessens the drama of other significant moments.
Nonetheless, it should be interesting to see how this develops moving forward, particularly with the premiere of Omega on Sunday, February 17th . For these reasons, Cryptic Rock gives Adaption 3.5 out of 5 stars.