The Walking Dead – The Calm Before (Season 9/ Episode 15 Review)

The Walking Dead – The Calm Before (Season 9/ Episode 15 Review)

AMC’s The Walking Dead has offered its share of shocking moments in the 9 seasons it has been around. There was the deadly scuffle between Rick and Shane, the beheading of Herschel, as well as the brutality of Glenn and Abraham’s murder at the hands of Negan. These are just a few of the many eye-popping scenes fans have witnessed through the years. That in mind, on Sunday, March 24th, The Calm Before is another addition to the lengthy list of shockers.

Khary Payton as Ezekiel, Samantha Morton as Alpha – The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 15 – Photo Credit: Jackson Lee Davis/AMC

An episode that comes directly after Scars, where the reason behind Michonne’s isolationist attitude is revealed, we are returned to present times, where the fair between the communities is on its way. The first of its kind, with hopes for a positive future between the people, Alpha acts as an invader, infiltrating the events. Posing as one of the members of the Hilltop community, Alpha mixes right into the festivities, scoping out the kingdom, plotting something extremely heinous. 

Here she tracks down her daughter Lydia, seeking to bring her back to The Whisperers. Unfortunately for Alpha, Lydia wants no part of her demented, abusive mother any longer; perhaps enraging the remorseless Alpha even more. From here, somehow, Alpha has managed to capture members of the community, seeking to make examples of them. In total, she and The Whisperers snuff out 10 people; some minor characters, some larger, whom have been around for ages, and others that were just getting started. 

Sad and tragic at the same time, it is concealed exactly how Alpha is able to capture this many people. You would have to assume she was not acting alone and other Whisperers somehow snuck into the community fair to aid her. Which leads to the next question, after such a mass murder of characters in the second to last episode of season 9, where does the finale go?

Cassady McClincy as Lydia, Samantha Morton as Alpha – The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 15 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Could the season’s finale, The Storm, foreshadow Alpha’s attack and provide answers, or will it be a mystery? Second, will Daryl, Michonne, Ezekiel, Carol, and other leaders seek retaliation against The Whisperers? History tells you that will not be the case, since people have risen up against oppression and tyranny in the past. No one really knows where things go from here, but Showrunner/Executive Producer Angela Kang has alluded to that the season finale will provide a twist that will change everything. 

All these factors in place, it is impossible to grade the 9th season of The Walking Dead just yet. In truth, it really all depends on how everything shakes out with the premiere of the season finale on Sunday, March 31st. For many, the conclusion of Season 8 was a bit of a let down, and that is already considering the fact that season was not favored by many. So, what can the teased twist be for The Storm? Could it be the return of Rick Grimes? Perhaps, but that may be too predictable. It can be so many things, but it just might be something no one would ever expect. Until matters play out, Cryptic Rock gives The Calm Before 4 out of 5 stars. 

Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon, Avi Nash as Siddiq, Danai Gurira as Michonne, Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier, Eleanor Matsuura as Yumiko – The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 15 – Photo Credit: Jackson Lee Davis/AMC

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