The Walking Dead season 9, episode 16 recap: The Storm

Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon - The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 15 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC
Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon - The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 15 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC /

It’s a winter storm like nothing you’ve ever seen before on the season 9 finale of The Walking Dead.

The Walking Dead has never done winter before, but boy, did it look pretty darn amazing on the season 9 finale. Winter arrived with a vengeance leaving the groups stranded and scrambling for shelter following the tragedy of last week’s episode. As the finale begins, Ezekiel reflects back on the horrendous events that transpired during the fair. It still feels too soon to talk about and I’m not quite over losing Tara just yet.

The Kingdom and its inhabitants, however, are getting ready to leave their home behind in pursuit of a new one–Hilltop. After the Whisperers infiltrated their safe space, the group is hard-pressed to figure out how they will handle security from here on out. It doesn’t help that Maggie hasn’t been around, or rather that Lauren Cohan has been off basking in the success of ABC’s Whiskey Cavalier.

After losing Henry to Alpha, Carol isn’t thrilled to have Lydia around. But it’s Daryl that has to remind her that Henry cared a lot about Lydia, and would want her to stay with them. The animosity Carol feels for Lydia isn’t the only chilling thing in the air because the temperature is dropping quickly which means they all have to make it to the next way station ASAP.

Can we take a moment to discuss how Ezekiel basically asks Daryl to peace out and leave them be? Not very cool of the King, if you’re asking me. Plus, Carol found Lydia trying to end her life by almost letting a walker bite her and somehow found it in her heart to pull her away–with no words.

light. Related Story. The Walking Dead season 9, episode 15 recap: The Calm Before

Carol and Daryl have always shared a special relationship on The Walking Dead and it’s because of this that Carol quickly realizes Ezekiel said something to Daryl. She assumes it’s because of Henry and goes on to reveal that she’s been struggling. Being the sweetheart he is, Daryl offers to take Lydia away, even though it’s not what he wants.

With the storm growing in intensity with every passing second, the group had to improvise a way to get to shelter faster aka walking across the frozen pond. There’s just one caveat–it’s right through the Whisperers’ territory. But Carol doesn’t care because they didn’t agree to these borders, and they need to do something STAT if they want to live.


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After arriving at the pond, the group encounters something we’ve never seen before on The Walking Dead–walkers emerging from beneath the snow. Once again Carol finds Lydia wanting to end her life and succumbing to the weakness Alpha pointed out in her. Despite whatever Carol might feel about Lydia, she is a mother and can’t bear to see a child breaking down like this. She tells Lydia she is not weak and takes her back to the group.

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Back in Alexandria, everyone was gathering together in groups after the solar panels stopped working. This included Negan who had to be pulled out of jail so he wouldn’t freeze to death.

It has to be pointed out that the season 9 finale of The Walking Dead gave us some of the best Negan moments we’ve had in a long time. He’s spent so much time off the screen or quiet that seeing him crack jokes is simply amazing.

He’s also the first to notice that something smells funny which leads to a fire breaking out moments later. Moving through the storm was easier said than done, and the group struggled to make it from one point to another. At some point, Judith runs off to look for Dog with Negan running after her. We don’t know what it is about Rick’s children but Negan loves them, and his dynamic with Judith is everything.

Ezekiel’s group finally makes it to Hilltop as Daryl and Lydia prepare to leave for Alexandria the next morning. But they’re not the only ones going, Carol decides she is going too. As she breaks the news to Ezekiel, she hands back her ring and bids farewell to their royal romance. Maybe it’s time to make the Michonne/Ezekiel romance come to life from The Walking Dead comics!

Once everyone made it back to Alexandria, there’s a moment of peace and happiness as a snowball fight breaks out and Michonne reunites with her kids. There’s even a nice moment between Negan and Michonne as she thanks him for saving Judith’s life and he commends her for being ballsy and going into Alpha’s territory.

And just like that, winter turns into spring, and we get a glimpse of the Whisperers once again. They seem to have gone somewhere and are now back ready to take on whatever is coming next. Even Beta comments on how the time away was good for them. Alpha isn’t happy with how she’s handled things but isn’t going to let herself appear weak ever again.

Her solution to this? Have Beta whip her arm into a bloody mess.

The final moments of the episode show Ezekiel and Judith talking over the radio. After they say goodbye and Ezekiel walks away, we hear an unfamiliar voice coming from the radio asking if anyone is there. We have no idea who it is, but we cannot wait to find out next season on The Walking Dead!

Until next season, folks!

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