On Sunday, November 11, 2018, the post-Rick Grimes era on AMC’s The Walking Dead began. The 6th overall episode of the series’ 9th season, it is fittingly titled Who Are You Now, and certainly deliveries a lot of information for what maybe in store for the future.
Directed by Larry Teng, whom also directed last season’s episode The Time After, Who Are You Now, sees The Walking Dead take yet another time jump. A practice the series has been utilizing often during the 9th season, it really would help if they started posting time stamps prior to each jump. Perhaps this is nitpicking, but it would certainly be of great assistance rather than people sitting at home on their couches trying to guess how much time has passed each time they do a time jump.
Nonetheless, the latest episode picks up at least 5 years into the future, although, your guess is as good as ours. Here we see what appears to be communities divided, but Hilltop, Alexandria, and The Kingdom all developed and moving forward. Focusing mostly on Alexandria, we see that the plans for development were put into motion and a lot of progress has been made since Rick sacrificed himself for the greater good of the cause. There is some assemblance of law and order, with a committee deciding whether outsiders can be welcomed into the Alexandria community or not.
Here, in Alexandria, everyone seems to be doing well and working together, but there is most certainly a sense of sorrow with Rick no longer acting as leader. In fact, Michonne seems to be having conversations in her head with what she believes to be a deceased Rick. She also is the most resistant about allowing anyone to come into Alexandria and is very protective over Judith – her last connection to both Rick and Carl, now essentially Judith’s mother.
Judith, who appears to be at least 9-10 years of age now, again, your guess is as good as ours, is a smart, capable little girl. Handy with gun, the elder version of Judith is also caring and less skeptical of helping outsiders. Judith even has seemed to have developed some sort of friendly relationship with Negan, who is still behind bars.
With these most bold changes laid out, there also seems to be a new threat lurking in the distance for the surviving members of the communities. This threat appears to be the highly anticipated Whisperers – living people who survive by wearing zombie skin to walk amongst the dead and blending in. This is hinted at the conclusion of the episode when Rosita and a gimpy Eugene are trying to hide away from a herd of zombies. You can actually clearly hear one of the walkers say, “Don’t Let Them Get Away.” Weird, right? Some may think the zombies are evolving and now talking, but really, do you think a reanimated corpse could be that articulate with their speech? Nonetheless, there are clues that The Whisperers are coming. For those who know nothing about The Whisperers, beyond what their comic nerd friends tell them, curiosity is running wild as to what threat they may pose.
All in all, the post-Rick Grimes era is starting off in a pretty compelling fashion. The story-line is good, a level of tension is starting to mount for the first time in a long time, and the developments of each community is interesting. It will be fun to see where things go from here and how far they will go before The Walking Dead team decide to re-introduce Rick, if at all. For these reasons, Cryptic Rock gives Who Are You Now 4 out of 5 stars.