The Walking Dead season 9 will undoubtedly be remembered as one of the most eventful runs in the show's history, but there are still questions left unanswered. Kicking off with a lengthy time jump that saw Rick Grimes' network of communities develop considerably, Andrew Lincoln exited before the midseason break after nobly sacrificing himself in a fiery explosion. Rick was subsequently whisked away in a mystery helicopter, never to been seen again until AMC's forthcoming Walking Dead movies. Refusing to rest after that bombshell, an even bigger time jump pushed The Walking Dead years into the future and long-awaited new enemies the Whisperers were finally introduced.
Last week's penultimate episode marked the arrival of a huge moment from TWD's comic series, the inter-community fair and after Alpha's daughter, Lydia, was taken in by Alexandria, the Whisperers' leader was seeking revenge. She succeeded in infiltrating the fair and brutally took out a number of a major characters including Henry, Tara and Enid. This week's season finale was a notably calmer affair, chronicling the Kingdom's evacuation to Hilltop and Alexandria's attempts to ride out a violent snow storm.
Since The Walking Dead season 10 has already been confirmed, it's no surprise that the final offering of season 9 managed to set up a few unresolved story lines to keep viewers talking until the show's return. Here are all the major unanswered questions from The Walking Dead's season 9 finale, "The Storm."
6. Who Was Making Contact On The Radio?
After much tribulation, Eugene's radio project has finally been completed and the closing scene of The Walking Dead season 9 saw Alexandria's Judith exchanging sentimental cliches with Ezekiel at King-Top. Establishing a line of communication may represent a huge step forward for the community network but the scene didn't exactly feel like a dramatic way to round off the season.
That was until mystery female voice came over the radio after Judith had already walked away. Who was this person, and how did they obtain means of long-range communication? Are they a lone survivor seeking assistance, or do they belong to a previously unseen community? Perhaps more importantly, are they friend or foe?
In the comics, Alexandria uses their radio to contact a group calling themselves the Commonwealth. Specifically, the woman on the radio is revealed to be Stephanie - one of the settlement's radio operators who quickly strikes up a rapport with Eugene. A huge community unlike anything seen before in the franchise, the Commonwealth is plagued by its own internal issues and although they do seek to became allies to Alexandria, there are several points of contention between the two groups.
The Walking Dead's TV adaptation has introduced several original groups such as Jadis' Junkyard community and the Highwaymen and therefore the emergence of this new radio bunch doesn't pack quite as much of an impact as it did in the source material. For this reason, it's impossible to rule out some kind of swerve in the AMC series, whereby the voice on the radio is completely unconnected to the Commonwealth, who are instead introduced via other means.
5. What Do The Whisperers Have Planned?
"The Storm" quickly made clear that the allied communities would not be launching an immediate retaliation after Alpha's sinister message with The Walking Dead's fair/pike deaths, with the various higher-ups unable to form a consensus. Even more strangely, Alpha and her Whisperers were mostly absent in season 9's finale and even when evacuees from the Kingdom were forced to take a detour through enemy territory, none of Alpha's creepy foot soldiers stood in their way. Season 9's prime antagonists did, however, find time for a brief appearance towards the end of the episode, and the scene appeared to promise plenty of battles ahead.
Beta reveals that the Whisperers had actually gone on vacation during the harsh winter, thereby also confirming that the encroachment onto their land had gone unnoticed. Fully energized and refreshed, the Whisperers are now back from their trip and the time away has helped Alpha realize the "mistakes" she made, as the leader also affirms that she'll need to be stronger for "what comes next." With that, Alpha extends her arm and proceeds to take a whipping from her oversized assistant, leaving welts exactly like the ones Daryl and Henry found on Lydia.
Clearly, the Whisperers have plans and Alpha's strange punishment seems to suggest that this won't involve sending Hilltop a heartfelt letter of apology and accompanying gift basket. Fans can perhaps assume that, at some point, a full-on conflict will erupt between the Whisperers and the allied communities and Alpha's closing lines of season 9 suggest as much. Nevertheless, it's currently unclear how that scenario will come about, especially as Alpha's border restrictions are largely being respected by Kingdom residents.
The most likely reason for conflict would be that Alpha has now decided to fight for custody of Lydia. Although the woman is clearly abusive towards her daughter, Alpha has also gone to extraordinary lengths to ensure Lydia's survival in the zombie apocalypse and it was somewhat surprising how quickly the Whisperers' leader accepted Lydia being taken in by Alexandria. Could this be the "mistake" Alpha was referring to, and how will she correct things in season 10?
4. Will Maggie Ride To The Rescue?
Although it was far less publicized, Lauren Cohan also exited The Walking Dead alongside Andrew Lincoln, but, according to producers, her absence is only set to be a temporary one. In-story, Maggie has taken up residence in Georgie's unseen community after an altercation with Michonne, but it's fair to say that Hilltop has suffered a torrid time in her absence, with stand-in leaders Jesus and Tara both dying at the hands of the Whisperers.
"The Storm" revealed that since Alpha's appearance, letters have been sent to Maggie but no reply has been forthcoming, opening up a raft of possibilities as to why Hilltop's former leader appears to have abandoned the community during its time of peril. Perhaps Georgie's people are suffering some kind of trouble of their own that has stopped Maggie's letters getting through. Maybe Maggie has simply moved on from her old life and found a more comfortable existence elsewhere. It's also possible that after receiving the news from home, Maggie has already geared-up and is on her way back to Hilltop in time for a heroic Gandalf-style reappearance in season 10.
Maggie's status largely depends on whether Georgie's community and the Commonwealth are one and the same, as many comic fans currently suspect, and whether either is connected to the voice heard coming over the radio in this episode's final scene. Hilltop's new method of communication certainly could've been relayed to Maggie in a letter, and with the Whisperers roaming freely perhaps she decided to reach out via the airwaves instead of by mail. Many question marks still hang heavy over Maggie's departure and her mooted return in season 10.