It took them nine years, but we finally got to see snow in The Walking Dead.
Technically, it could’ve snowed during the downtime or in the moments we never got to see. However, the producers were finally able to overcome the logistical hurdles of filming a winter wonderland, and as a result, gave us a dazzling season 9 finale.
Yes, this article will contain spoilers.
With a big blizzard coming, and with resources at the Kingdom drying up despite the trade fair, the characters were on the move. Ezekiel and Carol charted a course to Hilltop with the rest of the Kingdomers (Kingdomers? Kingdomites? We’ll just call them royal subjects).
Lydia was still reeling from a bad case of survivor’s guilt, believing she was the root cause of the ten casualties in the prior episode and that she didn’t deserve to live as a result. She was even fending off verbal jabs from Alden – who, by the way, was also once associated with a group that tormented our heroes. Maybe show some humility, huh pal? We know he just lost Enid, but still.
With the snowstorm bearing down, the group decided to take shelter at a halfway point along the journey – none other than the fallen Sanctuary.
Lydia contemplated offing herself by serving up her hand to a snow-trapped walker, and again when she asked Carol to finish her off herself. Despite being devastated by losing yet another child (seriously, the woman can’t catch a break), Carol welcomed Lydia back to the group with open arms.
Back at Alexandria, the frigid conditions necessitated an emergency plan. The group gathered everyone up and headed to the house with the biggest fireplaced – everyone including Negan. After throwing some shade at Father Gabriel, Gabriel’s girlfriend Rosita, and Rosita’s baby’s daddy Siddiq, Negan was still allowed to come with the group to stop him from freezing in his cell.
When the blizzard hit in full force, Judith ran off by herself to find Dog. Negan was the one who ran off to save her, rescuing the Ms. Grimes and Daryl’s canine companion even with an injured leg. He may have gotten into some good graces with Michonne for his heroic feat, but we wouldn’t count on them cutting his sentence down to community service and probation.
The episode closed with radio communications between Alexandria and Hilltop, showing the two remaining communities (no one ever talks about Oceanside much anymore) enjoying a nice telecommunications system thanks to Eugene.
In the final moments, a female’s voice was heard over the radio, giving fans a juicy talking point to hold onto until October. Is it Georgie? Maggie? Jadis/Anne? Some fans were hoping Rick would make contact with the group via the radio system. While that wasn’t the case, the producer did confirm the radio communication represents a big step forward.
“The Storm” may not have had the gut-punching, heart-wrenching ending of the penultimate episode, but it closed out the season with crisp visuals and a clear direction forward. See you in October.