(Spoilers ahead for the Nov. 18 episode of “The Walking Dead” on AMC)
The latest two episodes of “The Walking Dead” have been relatively low-key — to be expected given that multi-year time skip and Andrew Lincoln’s exit — but they’ve also been setting up the next big storyline on the show via the talking zombies that were/are chasing Eugene (Josh McDermitt) and Rosita (Christian Serratos).
So while “The Walking Dead” has spent significant time letting us get to know Magna’s new group and catch up on the new state of affairs with Maggie running around with Georgie, it has certainly also been steering us squarely toward the war with the Whisperers, a new antagonist group that worships zombies.
That movement has involved a plot thread that has seemed largely extraneous, but which looks like it will finally come to a head next week. This thread began last week with Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) trying to use the radio to find more survivors, and Rosita (Christian Serratos) and Eugene (Josh McDermitt) going out and planting a transceiver on a water tower to boost their range. And while they’re out there, a herd of zombies they thought had been going the opposite direction was suddenly bearing down on them.
“Herd musta flipped a hardcore U,” Eugene says about the situation, which is a big clue that this is not just a regular zombie apocalypse situation. But otherwise it kinda does play out like one. For a while, at least. Until, losing pace because Eugene sustained a knee injury while climbing down from the tower, the pair have to hide in the mud and hope the zombies pass them by.
And that’s exactly what happens. But as the her passes Eugene and Rosita, a voice can be heard among them. Or multiple voices, if you’re going by the closed captions. “Where are they?” “They must be close.” “Don’t let them get away.” It’s a talking zombie! Or zombies!
This week’s episode followed up by opening with Rosita running frantically through the woods trying to get away from that seemingly sentient herd of zombies as they continued their creepily undead-sounding chatter. Jesus (Tom Payne) and Aaron (Ross Marquand) eventually find her — she said she had to leave the injured Eugene behind in a barn before falling unconscious.
Then, at the end of the episode, Jesus, Aaron and Daryl (Norman Reedus) head off to try to find Eugene — and if the show follows the way this went in the comics, that expedition is going to mark the beginning of a new war for Alexandria and the Hilltop.
Now, I’m about to explain exactly what the deal is with the talking zombies — this is technically spoilers for future episodes, so if you don’t want to know what’s happening you should bail now.
Okay, you’ve been warned.
So the talking zombie is not actually a zombie, but rather a real live human disguised as one and rolling with the zombie herd. This person is part of a new group called the Whisperers, who are going to menace our heroes for probably at least the rest of this season and maybe longer than that.
The Whisperers, at least in the “Walking Dead” comics, are humans who worship the zombies and walk around wearing zombie skin and whatnot. It’s basically the same survival technique we’ve seen on “The Walking Dead” in the past, where people would slather zombie guts on themselves to get out of a bad situation. As you’ll recall, doing that is what cost Gabriel sight in one of his eyes, when he got infected doing that.
But the Whisperers don’t do it just as a survival thing — or at least they don’t anymore. According to the comics it started out as a means to survive but over time it became essentially a philosophy. “Humankind is an animal and zombies are their true form” kind of thing.
Despite that, the Whisperers do have a sort of primitive nomadic society — they’re still human with all the physical needs that any person has. And they don’t like strangers. Unfortunately, as they demonstrated in this episode, they’re able to steer zombie herds in whatever direction they want, and they can strike from within the herd as well. So that is the most overt threat they pose.
It’s hard to guess exactly how this plot will play out, because Carl (Chandler Riggs) was maybe the most central character in the whole thing in the comics, and he’s obviously not going to be a part of it now — though Judith (Cailey Fleming), all grown up the way she is, could fill Carl’s role. But with “The Walking Dead” seemingly not being concerned at all about deviating hard from the storylines in the comics the last couple seasons, the TV show version of the Whisperer War could go very differently from how it went in the books.
Either way, we’ll find out soon-ish, as the Whisperers story is officially now underway on “The Walking Dead.” And, if the show follows the template set up by the comic books, then a major character will probably die in the mid-season finale.
Read original story Here’s What You Need to Know About That Talking Zombie on ‘The Walking Dead’ At TheWrap