The Walking Dead: This week’s shock deaths prove how much I still care

Carol and Daryl in “The Calm Before”

For a long time now I have been complaining about the quality of The Walking Dead and how I no longer care about what happens. I considered dropping it after the Rick Grimes death fakeout but I still haven’t been able to bring myself to do so – and this week’s episode proved that I’m still into it, more than I actually realised.

*Many spoilers for S09E15 “The Calm Before”*

In this episode, Alpha (Samantha Morton) and the Whisperers kill off ten people as a way to punish the others for the whole Lydia debacle. It was pretty gruesome – they killed them (offscreen) and left their severed zombie heads on pikes in a line to mark a border. It was gradually revealed who had been decapitated – the new dudes (I genuinely don’t know their names as their appearance had been brief and very insignificant), a few Kingdom residents who we didn’t really care about and then the biggies – the heads of Enid (Katelyn Nacon), Tara (Alanna Masterson) and Henry (Matt Lintz).

I couldn’t believe it. I was genuinely so shocked. I gasped and actually had my hand over my mouth in shock and I had to watch the last 10-15 minutes again to process what just happened.

To be honest, I was not bothered about Henry dying because he was annoying from day one and he had it coming, taking Lydia (Cassady McClincy) away from Alpha. Enid and Tara were the ones that upset me the most. How could they be killed off?! They aren’t major characters in the same league as Michonne (Danai Gurira) or Daryl (Norman Reedus) but they’ve still been with the show a long time and I’m sorry to see them go. Enid was the Hilltop’s medical person, she was sweet, one of the only smiley people and she had just got a boyfriend!!! Tara was in charge of Hilltop and was vital in planning and decision making and was gearing up to help train others. Their deaths were unfair and so unexpected.

I’m sad that their deaths happened off screen though. When a longtime character is killed off, they should go out with a bang. Here, we only learned they had died from seeing their dismembered heads – we never saw them die. That’s a real shame. We had a flashback of them fighting the Whisperers but that was it – I really hope the next episode shows how the Whisperers broke into Kingdom, stole those people from the fair without anybody noticing and killed them. They deserve their death moment.

Deaths on The Walking Dead are usually promoted in advance or ruined with spoilers online but I came into this completely unaware of what was to come and I was left open-mouthed in shock. I still can’t believe it!! This has proved that I still care about the story and the characters more than I thought I did. The Walking Dead is now back on track for me and I hope it continues to make unexpected, shocking story decisions like this. I can’t wait for Sunday’s season finale now.

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