The new trailer for The Walking Dead season nine-B just dropped and, in full disclosure, it’s not for the faint of heart. Or, perhaps more to the point, for the faint of stomach. We recommend risking your gag reflex being triggered, though, because the promo gives a (deeply unsettling) first look at new big bad Alpha.
Played by Fantastic Beasts star Samantha Morton, Alpha was first introduced during the first half of season nine — but only in key art. Fans knew she would at some point emerge as the leader of the Whisperers, a group who was initially believed to be walkers that had evolved to be able to speak and hunt.
Of course, the final few moments of the mid-season finale revealed the truth: the Whisperers are humans who wear walker skin as camouflage. Which brings us to the new, incredibly creepy teaser trailer for the back half of the season.
In the clip, we see — and can’t unsee — what exactly it looks like when Alpha creates her Whisperer mask. Peeling the skin off a corpse. Stretching it and sewing seams (bleeeeccchh) to make the skin-mask tight. And, finally, sliding it on over her face.
As if those actions alone weren’t enough to give you goosebumps, a foreboding song plays in the background, singing, “Whisper, whisper, whisper in the garden” in hushed, warped tones.
What? You didn’t actually need to sleep tonight, did you?
Given producer Greg Nicotero’s comments about Morton’s turn as Alpha, fans may be losing quite a bit of shut-eye when the final episodes begin airing. “I’ll be really honest, the casting this season has been impeccable. All the new characters — it’s been a joy to work with them,” Nicotero told Access, ominously adding, “And you take one look at Samantha Morton as Alpha, and it’s chilling. It’s chilling.”
It goes without saying fans have a lot of questions that need to be answered in the back half of the season about Alpha and the Whisperers. They go hand-in-hand with the many unexplained details still looming from the six-year time jump that occurred at the end of season six.
In an interview with Access (via We Got This Covered), TWD star Tom Payne — who played Jesus, the first primary survivor to (spoiler alert!) fall prey to the Whisperers — hinted that perhaps one of the show’s remaining episodes could address any lingering quandaries.
“There is absolutely the potential for Jesus to be back for a flashback episode. There’s a six-year jump that happened, within which we don’t know [what happened]. There’s a bunch of unexplained stuff,” Payne said, going on to reference a few notable mysteries. “And Jesus has been at the Hilltop with Maggie, and we’ll maybe find out how Maggie left and what happened in that storyline, maybe how Michonne and Daryl got their scars, maybe if Aaron and Jesus had a thing. So yeah, there’s lots of different loose ends which absolutely could be explained by a flashback episode.”
The Walking Dead returns with season nine-B on Sunday, Feb. 10 at 9/8c on AMC.
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