As The Walking Dead staggers ever closer to its season finale, fans will be pleased to hear there’s a big pay-off looming. Some viewers have been questioning their loyalty to a show that has been persevering with a long drawn-out story arc involving Rick’s war against Negan and the Saviors. But TWD boss Greg Nicotero told FANDOM that we’re about to get some resolution as the show moves forward into its ninth season, with a new showrunner at the helm.
“There’s some great stuff in the finale,” he said. “It’s a dense episode. Each season, we start a chapter and we end a chapter. I feel like wrapping a lot of our characters’ storylines up in this chapter so that we can then begin another chapter was probably the biggest challenge. But there’s some really great unexpected moments that when I watched the cut, I went: ‘Oh, that was really good.’ It has me leaning in, wanting to know what’s going to happen next.”
He added, “I’m really, really pleased with the performances of all the actors.”
Which sounds like there’s going to be some dramatic, maybe even heart-tugging moments interspersed between the inevitable action. A lot of characters have storylines around which we still have questions. Maggie and her pregnancy for one, as well as Negan, who shed a tear as he revealed a glimpse of his backstory to Gabriel. And which hasn’t yet been expanded on.
So what can we expect in terms of the tone of the episode?
“Our group’s pretty confident in where they’re headed in that episode, but the tone shifts pretty dramatically,” said Nicotero.
He also addressed the issue of the strangers who turn up in Episode 14, entitled “Still Gotta Mean Something”. Here’s the episode synopsis:
A Heaps prisoner makes a discovery; Carol searches for someone in the nearby forest; Rick and Morgan find themselves in the company of strangers.
“These strangers? In this instance, they will have a brief impact on the story. I don’t believe it’s the characters you’re thinking about,” he said, apparently ruling out that the people in question are Whisperers.
The episode runs for an extended length of time, and will hit screens on April 1 in the US and April 2 in the UK. The finale, meanwhile, airs on April 15 in the US and a day later in the UK. US fans will also be able to watch the episode on the big screen. It will premiere alongside the opening episode of Fear the Walking Dead, marking the transition of Lennie James’ Morgan from the original show to the spin-off.