AMC’s ‘Walking Dead’ show needs rebirth


Beware. Deadly spoilers inside.

Six years have gone by and still you can find me in the same spot Sunday at 9 p.m. I’m curled up in bed watching “The Walking Dead.” A lot has changed since Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) first woke up in a hospital bed to discover a zombie apocalypse waiting for him outside.

After a disappointing eighth season, I am relieved to watch season nine slowly redeem itself. The new showrunner, Angela Kang, may be to thank for this as it is evident this season is taking a different approach.

Season nine has focused heavily on dialogue and has followed the conflict between the politically opposed communities of Alexandria, led by Rick until Michonne (Danai Gurira) takes over, and Hilltop, led by Maggie (Lauren Cohan) until her abrupt departure when Jesus (Tom Payne) takes over. Rick is determined to create a new beginning, one where the communities can work together instead of fighting each other. Maggie’s new beginning does not start until Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), who is currently incarcerated in Alexandria, is dead.

One of the main changes from previous seasons is the decrease in zombie interactions. In the past seven episodes, there have only been two major ones, which include the museum scene in the season premiere and with Rick in his final episode. However, that may change with the new swarm of zombies, The Whisperers, introduced in the seventh episode.

This season’s main event was the departure of Andrew Lincoln. Leading up to the season premiere, and until his final episode aired, you could not watch AMC without seeing advertisements for Rick Grimes’ final episodes. AMC did a good job of setting up the anticipation, but to no avail. Rick’s final episode did not live up to the hype.

The episode opened with Rick impaled on a rock and a herd of zombies drawing closer. While heading back to Alexandria, he loses consciousness several times and has visions that included cameos from former characters, which were easily the best part of the entire episode. The episode ended with Rick setting the bridge on fire, engulfing the zombies and himself (or so I thought) in flames. Darryl’s (Norman Reedus) reaction to his best friend’s death made me tear up, but those tears subsided when Rick was rescued by a helicopter, leaving me unable to take the episode seriously.

At least Rick got a farewell episode. Maggie simply did not appear in the seventh episode after appearing in the first six, leaving Jesus in charge of Hilltop with only a mention that Maggie was gone trying to find a settlement. The way her absence was handled left me in utter confusion and frustration.

Now that Rick and Maggie are gone, it is vital for “The Walking Dead” to invest in the main cast that is left. Carol (Melissa McBride) and Darryl have so much potential that is not being used. Eugene (Josh McDermitt) and Rosita (Christian Serratos) are seen so little that sometimes I forget they are still alive. The only character I am still invested in is Michonne.

The main fault with the last few seasons of “The Walking Dead” it its dragged out storyline and unsatifying ending despite an exciting start. However, this has been a much more intriguing storyline than I have seen in a while.

The only problem is that it might be too late. The show has been a huge part of the AMC lineup, but I feel“The Walking Dead” may have finally run its course.