The Walking Dead has evolved many times over nine seasons, as the post-apocalyptic survivors moved from place to place and encountered all number of horrible mini-societies. However, recent changes on the AMC series have been the result of everyone staying put, and the show's evolution is somehow more drastic than ever. In fact, so much happened in The Walking Dead Season 9 that, even though we're only at the midpoint, a recap is warranted.
First and foremost, Season 9 included not one, but two major time jumps. It picked up eighteen months after Negan was defeated in the united war against the Saviors. Then, midway though the season, the show jumped another six years. Everyone has new hairstyles. Daryl has a dog now, whose name of course is "Dog." Judith Grimes is a precocious tiny boss. New loyalties have formed. New teens are causing teen drama. Carol and Ezekial are married now. Something happened between Michonne and Maggie — but we may never find out what, as Maggie took baby Herschel and skipped town. Tara is the new leader at the Hilltop.
Oh, also Jesus died. See? So much happened, it's easy to forget. The fan favorite character went out in a blaze of glory in the midseason finale.
There are a lot of gaps in those six missing years to fill in, which may or may not happen when Season 9 returns. As for what did happen so far this season, here are some of the highlights:
Rick Died, Except He Didn't
Should fans have guessed that the Very Special Episode advertised as Rick Grimes' Final Episode would not be his death? The Walking Dead will do anything to subvert expectations.
Newcomers Are Skeptical
It's always best to explore a new world through fresh eyes, and the world of the second time jump is so different that the audience had to discover it along with a new group of survivors. Much like Rick's group used to be when they first encountered the Governor, Terminus, or Alexandria, these new people don't trust their new hosts.
Every Week Is Infrastructure Week
The main focus of Season 9 thus far has been building a sustainable future. That includes mills, bridges, and old-timey farming equipment jacked from the Smithsonian. The survivors are done simply scavenging and squatting. They're looking forward and starting to get optimistic.
Negan Escaped & Nobody Noticed
He's out, y'all! This is fine. Nothing bad will come of this. (It's also not likely an accident that his cell was left unlocked. Who is his accomplice?)
Not With A Bang, But With The Whisperers
After taking a refreshing breather to build up their existing communities into something lasting, the show is reaching back to its horror roots. The Whisperers are creepy, deadly, and totally ready to undo all of the progress that our Walking Dead survivors have made in the past... how many years has it been?