Each week, we comb through the guts of The Walking Dead, much like a horde of hungry walkers, to bring you the episode’s best moments, surprises, and other post-apocalyptic curiosities. This week: It’s cold, it’s snowing, and Negan’s character is growing.
Season 9, Episode 16: “The Storm”
Biggest advertisement: With all the promotion for the final season of Game of Thrones happening right now, it was hard not to shout “white walker!” every time one of TWD’s frozen zombies comes on screen.
Most likely to be an Etsy item: We’d buy one of those Shiva enamel pins that Henry had inside his memory box in a heartbeat.
Biggest hypocrite: Aiden, the former Savior and Enid’s boyfriend. Apparently it only takes six years and a lost loved one to forget you were a prisoner in a pen at Hilltop, desperately trying to prove that you weren’t evil. He may blame Lydia for Enid’s death, but come on, did you learn nothing from when the shoe was on the other foot?
Longest summer: The closest thing we’ve seen to winter before this episode was way back in the season three premiere. And even then, it wasn’t very cold.
Just a reminder: “Still nothing from Maggie?” Michonne asks Yumiko as they begin the journey to Hilltop, reminding the audience of the semi-departed character’s existence. It’s still too soon to know if Whiskey Cavalier, the ABC drama Lauren Cohen is currently starring on, will get renewed for a second season, but if it does, let’s hope TWD finds some solid resolution for her character.
Best nickname: “Father Not-the-Father,” as Negan loving calls Gabriel. Followed closely by “Doctor Baby Daddy” for Siddiq.
Second best nickname: “Kingtop”—Jerry’s right, this should become a thing.
Easiest to impress: We wish we were more like Negan, finding joy in the little things—like being in a larger room.
Worst plan: Michonne risked open war to get to the Hilltop. But the very next day, the snow storm was over, the roads were clear, and no borders needed to be crossed. We understand that they were low on supplies, but surely waiting one day would have been a better option?
Biggest question: Who was the mysterious voice calling Ezekiel’s radio? It seemed to be a female voice—Maggie? Jadis? Alpha? Another Whisperer? An Oceansider? A new character we haven’t met yet? Let the summer of speculation begin.
Second biggest question: Where did Jerry find and learn how to predict weather using a barometer?
Most in need of a chimney sweep: Seriously kids, chimney fires are no joke, and as long as this crew has been living in Alexandria, they should have learned how to clean them by now.
Oddest edit: We suppose that Alpha and the Whisperers migrated somewhere warmer for the winter. Unfortunately, there’s so much green in their forest that it doesn’t feel like the same season, even if they went all the way down to Florida.
Worst breakup: We’re not crying about Ezekiel and Carol splitting up; you’re crying!
Cutest moment: After an emotionally heavy and tense episode, we really needed that snowball fight between Daryl, Lydia, RJ, and Judith.
Best line: “No one ever thinks that they’re the evil one.” —Negan
Most disturbing image: Lydia’s attempted suicide by walker bite. There’s no doubt this kid’s had a rough life, and she doesn’t deserve to feel that everything was her fault. We’re glad Carol finally realized how she was contributing to Lydia’s depression and talked her back during the second attempt.
Best kill: Daryl taking down a walker with a large icicle. He was battling on a frozen pond in the middle of a snow storm—no way could the writers have passed up the opportunity for an epic icicle impalement.
Episode MVP: Negan, for his pure-hearted, selfless nature when it comes to children. We’re not sure at what age you stop getting receiving his nurturing side and start getting the nicknames designed to punch you in the gut, but Judith, and even teenage Carl, were decidedly not there yet. It certainly is strange to see a former antagonist pivot so much, but we’re glad he did. Here’s to hoping Negan gets a few privileges back in the next season.
See y’all in season 10!