While fans were eager to find out what would happen after the devastation of the mid-season finale of The Walking Dead Season 9, AMC decided to throw in some hidden extras just for fun.
SPOILER ALERT: This article discusses the mid-season premiere of AMC’s The Walking Dead Season 9. Please proceed with caution if you have not yet viewed this episode and wish to avoid spoilers.
The mid-season return of AMC’s The Walking Dead Season 9 saw Hilltop responding to the death of Jesus (Tom Payne) and the revelation that a new group called the Whisperers were now threatening them. However, for eagle-eyed fans, there was plenty else to check out as well in Episode 9.
As Insider points out, there were many occasions where AMC either placed an Easter egg or reminded fans of earlier events in The Walking Dead.
Some of these moments are subtle, like Michonne (Danai Gurira) standing in front of the covered bridge is similar to her first appearance ever in The Walking Dead or the fact that AMC producers made Negan’s (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) escape from Alexandria reminiscent of the movie Halloween.
Others were more deliberate and designed for avid fans to hunt out.
For example, the shirt Negan is seen wearing after he escapes Alexandria is actually one of Rick’s shirts. In Episode 9, Negan is seen sacking Michonne’s house. Although viewers only get to see Negan take Judith’s (Cailey Fleming) compass in this episode, Negan explores the house further off camera according to episode director Greg Nicotero.
“He finds himself in Michonne’s house, he goes into Judith’s room, he takes Rick’s shirt, and he takes a hat because he’s trying to disguise himself,” Nicotero told Insider.
Later on, in Episode 9 of The Walking Dead, Negan is seen disposing of Rick’s shirt. While it appears that he merely dumps the shirt in a clearing, eagle-eyed fans will remember this place as the heartbreaking location where Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) and Glenn (Steven Yeun) lost their lives at the end of Negan’s bat in the Season 7 premiere of The Walking Dead.
When Judith discovers Negan escaping, she tells him that if she ever sees him again, she will shoot him. This conversation is a shoutout to a similar conversation between Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) and one of Negan’s followers, Dwight (Austin Amelio). That conversation ended with Dwight leaving The Walking Dead for good, whereas, in Episode 9, Judith and Negan cross paths once more. And, true to her word, Judith shoots at Negan but only knocks him off his bike and doesn’t actually kill him as the threat implied.
There is another Easter egg in Episode 9 which occurs right at the very start of the episode.
After the group manages to escape the graveyard, a Whisperer, disguised as a walker, is seen quietly opening the gate so that they can follow. This shot actually heralds all the way back to the pilot episode of The Walking Dead, according to Comic Book.
This moment mirrors the scene where Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) comes to a door that is chained shut. The iconic message “Don’t open, dead inside” is written across the doors but the hands of walkers are seen reaching out for Rick while he stands outside.
Greg Nicotero has confirmed to Comic Book that this shot in the mid-season premiere of The Walking Dead was an intentional, albeit subtle, reminder of that scene in Episode 1 of Season 1.
Season 9 of AMC’s The Walking Dead will return to AMC on Sunday, February 17, 2019. The show is scheduled to air at 9 p.m. ET. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Episode 10 is titled “Omega” and the synopsis is as follows.
“A captive or a refugee? A new arrival at the Hilltop opens up about the leader of a group of mask-wearing savages. A search party sets out on a daring mission to find two missing friends.”