Review: The Walking Dead 916 – The Storm

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Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon, Khary Payton as Ezekiel – The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 16 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

The Walking Dead 916 – The Storm

There’s a storm coming but in reality it’s already arrived. The aftermath of the Whisperers eliminating so many people has thrown fragile alliances between the communities into disarray. Winter’s frigid tentacles spreading across the land has done little to quell the fire that burns within some of those left behind after Alpha’s attack.

Ezekiel struggles to lead while wishing for vengeance. Carol spirals out of control, fearing that Henry’s loss is causing her to lose herself once again. Lydia, now with a target the size of the Kingdom on her back, battles survivors’ guilt as those around her throw sharp comments and even sharper looks her way.

The Kingdom has fallen and with it some of the dream of a new society. To escape the ravages of the coming winter storm Ezekiel, Carol and the citizens of the Kingdom seek shelter in the Sanctuary. Faced with the challenge of crossing into Alpha’s territory, Michonne, Aaron and the other members of the leadership group try to find a path to way stations that will provide enough supplies for them to survive.

The Storm is bleak. Like the snow-drenched landscapes that encompass the majority of the episode, any sense of hope seems a long way off. Lydia echoes many of the sentiments held by several characters and no doubt quite a few viewers as well. Not all is lost however and even Negan shows his softer side with a dash of heroism. What doesn’t survive though is Carol and Ezekiel’s union. Losing Henry and their home proves to be too much, but to be honest an untethered Carol is more fun to watch.

The Storm does have some interesting visuals and the frozen landscape drives the majority of the narrative. Walkers coming out of the snow and the winter palette lend a fresh look to The Walking Dead’s customary visuals. These added wrinkles however can’t save the season finale. While watching the cast reunite after spending most of the season apart is nice to watch, the lack of Whisperer presence hurts.

Season 9 fades away into summer hiatus much like the winter storm that raged for much of the episode. Rick’s ‘death’ stirred up a lot and the time jump and Alpha’s long awaited arrival spun out of the winds of that event. However, following Alpha’s statement of power that concluded The Calm Before, what viewers are left with as the screen fades to black doesn’t really create much anticipation for what’s to come.