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For one thing, we'll finally get to see more of the Whisperers, the walker skin-wearing freaks led by Alpha (Samantha Morton) and Beta (Ryan Hurst). For another, we'll be getting some exposition via flashbacks, according to showrunner, Angela Kang, who recently spoke with Entertainment Weekly on what viewers can expect from the latter half of the season.
"It will be used, I’ll say, it’s more than once," she said of the flashback moments, designed to fill in the gap between a lengthy time jump. "It’s a little different each time. It’s something that tells specific pieces of backstory that I think are useful to understanding who some of our characters are and why they’re at where they’re at."
Just a few weeks ago, Kang promised that the latest batch of episodes would give us more insight into the Whisperers, particularly Alpha. As such, it may be safe to assume that one of those flashbacks could be reserved for her backstory, perhaps telling us how she came to realize that wearing a zombie pelt can held you blend in with the Walkers. Did she begin proselytizing this method to other survivors until she had a dangerous cult following? We'll see.
Another thing to look forward to in the second half of Season 9 is Negan's jailbreak —turn up the Thin Lizzy! The character, played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan, was defeated and imprisoned at the end of Season 8, then kept alive to show that humanity had not become a primeval pack of savages. Even so, no cell can hold him and he'll be reunited with his famous leather jacket and baseball bat weapon of choice.
"We’ll also find out what happened with Negan, now that he has broken out of the jail cell. We get to tell a really, I think, pretty cool story with Negan, as he goes on an adventure of his own," Kang added in her EW interview.
The Walking Dead returns to AMC for the second half of its ninth season on Sunday, February 10. The first episode — "Adaptation" — was written by Corey Reed and directed by the show's head of special effects/makeup, Greg Nicotero.