REVIEW: The Walking Dead, S9 Ep6 – Who Are You Now?

The Walking Dead S9 Ep6

Welcome to the post-Rick era on The Walking Dead and many things have changed but a surprising amount has also remained the same.

The show has skipped six years, mostly to age up Judith and Henry, and this episode has introduced both a new group of survivors and some new villains as well. Maggie was conspicuous by her absence and, as IGN noted, something must have happened at the Hilltop (and with Maggie) that led to Michonne’s paranoia about accepting new members.

The Walking Dead S9 Ep6But strangely, people have been living good lives even after Rick’s disappearance. Michonne and Carol are as tough as ever and both fiercely protective of their new families. Carol is with Ezekiel and they are co-parenting Henry (older but not wiser, apparently). The boy thinks her soft but she is still capable of burning a whole group of belligerent Saviors to death and walking away from the explosion with confidence. Never change, Carol.

Negan’s still imprisoned but he seems to be cheerfully resigned to his situation, even striking up a friendship with Judith, just like he did with her older brother. Daryl is living as a hermit now which makes complete sense.

The Walking Dead S9 Ep6Judith is delightfully the Li’l Ass-Kicker everyone believed her to be, rescuing the new group of survivors and bringing them to Alexandria. She has her father’s compassion and courage and a great role model in Michonne so I have high hopes for her.

But the community is not very open to new members these days and so the five new arrivals are subjected to a trial, one that also introduces us to them.

The Walking Dead always has an extensive cast so it’s tricky to add more to them when some characters who have been around longer don’t get enough development. But that’s the way it is and I love how diverse this new group is and how Michonne eventually gives them a chance.

Michonne is as strong and capable as ever though she occasionally still converses with Carl or Rick. The amazing news is that she and Rick have a young son! He’s called R.J. and he’s a beacon of hope in the bleak world of The Walking Dead, proof that children can thrive even in such a harsh world.

The Walking Dead S9 Ep6But the episode is not without its conflicts, of course. Rosita (who’s with Gabriel for some unexplained reason. What is up with Gabriel and the ladies this season, honestly?) and Eugene (now more capable and less annoying, probably because he lost the mullet) get caught up with a herd and try to escape by covering themselves in mud. As they cower in fear, we hear garbled words coming from the walkers themselves, our introduction to The Whisperers.

It’s a new world and there are many changes, some more refreshing than others, but certainly enough exciting material to keep me sticking with the show for the rest of the season.