The Walking Dead Season 9 finds survivors of the zombie apocalypse at war and the infamous Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), with another set of problems that do not moan and cannot be brutalized with a bat. These issues instead revolve around hierarchy, treaties, and the trouble with peace. Solid friendships are challenged as the once overwhelming reality of fighting zombies takes a backseat to a challenged diplomacy amidst rising tensions.
The latter makes season 9 of The Walking Dead, especially compelling since despite being a war hero and looked up to by many, Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) quickly realizes his war credits are not transferring to this tenuous peace time. Without the eminent threat of zombies or the Saviors, many survivors are restless as they are spending less time running for their lives and more time able to think about how their situation is not improving fast enough. This is the story of human civilization, once one needs are met (food, water, shelter), the next set needs to be met quickly, otherwise the leaders’ competency will be called into question.
Throughout the season, seeing hardened warriors struggle to deal with the realities of establishing a primitive government was utterly fascinating in a similar way to those who experience war have a hard time readjusting to normal life. After taking a break from The Walking Dead, I was delighted to come back to the series on this realistic note that made for excellent viewing.
There are some disappointments in the 9th season of The Walking Dead, such as Rick Grimes’ story arc, which makes sense outside of the show, but in the boundaries of the series, it seems rushed and sloppy. Also, without spoiling the exact timing, I am not a fan of the time leap that takes place. Even within the context of the story it seemed disjointed from the presentation of the plot and could have either been left out or smoothed a bit.
However, after the leap is complete, the antagonists of the second half of the season make the weirdness worthwhile. By far, the Whisperers were my favorite part of season 9 of The Walking Dead, alongside the character development previously described.
I was also pleasantly surprised by an old face making a return in a deep character arc that I thoroughly enjoyed. I’ll leave it at that in an attempt to keep this spoiler free!
The 5-Disc Blu-ray collection is was stunningly presented. The set comes with merch coupons, a code for digital download so you can take the episodes on the go, as well as various announcements for The Walking Dead related content. The home video release also includes special features such as deleted scenes, a behind the scenes look at the Whisperers, and more fun extras (9 featurettes in total) to hold any fan over until October when the next season comes out. The Walking Dead Season 9 is now available on home video.
WICKED RATING: 7/10
Creator(s): Frank Darabont, Angela Kang
Stars: Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus, Melissa McBride, Danai Gurira
Release Date: Available on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD August 20th, 2019
Length: 751 Minutes (16 episodes)