The Walking Dead season 9, review: Negan's solo travels – and four other talking points from episode 9

Two months after its mid-season finale, The Walking Dead is back with a rather sedate instalment designed to kick off the back half of season nine. The first batch of episodes, that began October 2017, culminated with the death of another main character. This time, it was the end of Jesus (Tom Payne) who met his maker at the hands of the latest group of villains that’ll be terrorising our heroes for weeks to come: the Whisperers.The latest episode, titled “Adaptation”, picks up immediately where things left off – with Daryl (Norman Reedus), Michonne (Danai Gurira) and company attempting to get away from Jesus’s murderers.For monthThese are the five biggest talking points from season nine, episode nine. 1. The Whisperers gets faces With Jesus dead, our gang scarpers from whatever the hell it is they’re up against – they’re still unsure. The next day, Daryl and Michonne jump into action – with a horde of walkers oncoming, they figure out that two of them aren’t dead at all; they’re humans wearing stitched-up walker masks. Disturbingly, the person underneath is a young girl who claims she’s the only one left of her group so, naturally, they take her prisoner. It’s entertaining – and rather impressive – to see how well the writers have weaved the Whisperers into the show, especially considering their whole deal sounds pretty ridiculous (try explaining them to your friends). 2. Negan’s solo travels The newly-freed Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) makes his way out of Alexandria – and directly into the path of young Judith who, ridiculously, lets him go. Free for the first time in six years, the former big bad heads to the Sanctuary, his old stomping ground – only now it’s empty and filling him with sad nostalgia for the times he used to rule the roost. So, what does he do? He heads back to Alexandria. “There’s nothing for me out there,” he tells Judith. While these scenes – unthinkable a few seasons back – do well in showing the character’s trajectory, they also regrettably undo a lot of the work Scott Gimple did in building him up – a frustrating thought considering how many hours were put into it. 3. Henry’s new friend Remember Henry, the adopted son of Carol and Ezekiel? He’s still in that Hilltop cell for getting drunk, only now he’s got a cellmate: that Whisperer Daryl and Michonne take prisoner. Pretty furious over the death of Jesus, Daryl becomes violent – but Henry prompts him to stand down. Despite telling Daryl a few moments earlier she doesn’t go by any name, she’s more than willing to share it with Henry: it’s Lydia, a name that fans of the graphic novel will be very aware of .