The Walking Dead Season 9 Episode 11 Review: Natural Selection

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Alpha is a serious force to be reckoned with.

The Walking Dead Season 9 Episode 11 continued the tense standoff at the Hilltop when Alpha came knocking in search of her daughter. It was a thrilling episode that that displayed just how vicious and cutthroat the Whisperer leader is.

That included an unnerving scene involving an infant whisperer.

Face To Face - The Walking Dead Season 9 Episode 11

This series has been in desperate need of a creepy and intriguing villain. Negan was imposing and brutal, but his over-the-top schtick got tiresome very quickly. However, I think that had more to do with Negan being featured so prominently when he initially arrived.

It's as if the writers were so excited to introduce Negan into the series that they doubled down on his character's popularity from the comics, but it mostly backfired.

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Thankfully with the Whisperers, it appears that the show has learned from its mistake and has shown far more restraint with the Whisperers. And it's already paying dividends.

To sum it all up, the entire confrontation between Alpha and the Hilltop had me on the edge of my seat. 

Unmasked - The Walking Dead Season 9 Episode 11

Also, having a lead female villain introduced to the series is also a great way to mix things up and it definitely makes it all the more interesting.

Major props must be given to Samantha Morton with her portrayal of Alpha. She has brought such menace and intrigue to the character and it's fascinating. There's something about Alpha's blank, emotionlessness eyes that is chilling. There's just nothing there.

Sure, the Whisperer masks are frightening but unmasked Alpha is far more terrifying.

Your people crossed into our land, there will be no conflict. Your people killed our people, there
will be no conflict. I'm done talking. Bring me my daughter, or there will be conflict.


Daryl had no intention of releasing Lydia back to her group, but he immediately changed his tune once he realized that Alpha was holding all the cards and Alden and Luke's lives were in jeopardy.

That entire scene was eerily reminiscent of The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 8 standoff with the Governor holding Michonne and Hershel hostage. Luckily, no one lost their head, but the season is still young.

Give Us What We Want - The Walking Dead Season 9 Episode 11

So far the Whisperers have been depicted as a very primitive group, and there's no doubt that Hilltop could have easily wiped them all out.

The Whisperers knew that, but what makes it concerning is how they never wavered or showed any fear as to what Hilltop could have unleashed onto them.

What was even more shocking was how willingly and easily Alpha was willing to sacrifice that infant to the approaching herd. Alpha's nonchalant "Oh well" shoulder shrug to the Whisperer mother to leave the baby was even more unsettling.

If this is what the Whisperers would do to their own, I can only imagine what they'd be willing to do to those who cross them.

If the mother can't quiet the child, then the dead will. Natural selection.


Thankfully, Connie was nearby and able to swoop in before that baby became an appetizer.

As graphic and brutal as this series is known for being there was never any chance that it would go to that level with Walkers chowing down on a newborn.

The Talking Dead - The Walking Dead Season 9 Episode 11

Sure, it was shocking at how easily they were willing to sacrifice the child and added some extra tension to the scene, but there was never any real danger.

But what that scene did was show just how emotionally detached this group is and the lengths at which they're willing to go.

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I'm going to spend as little time as possible on Henry because I refuse to put my own mental health at risk.

Did anyone expect anything less from Henry releasing Lydia...again? You'd think after the first time Henry pulled his shenanigans that Daryl would have realized that leaving the keys out for anyone to grab probably wasn't the best decision.

Open Sesame - The Walking Dead Season 9 Episode 11

Lydia deciding to return to her mother in order to avoid any further conflict wasn't too surprising. 

She's terrified of her, but I think she's even more fearful of what her mother might have done. Especially to Henry, whom she is obviously developing feelings for.

In the end, Alpha kept their end of the deal, releasing Luke and Alden and leaving. But that certainly won't be the last we see of them.

War has been averted, but that will soon change seeing as Henry snuck out to go after Lydia which will inevitably stir up more trouble. 

The Whisperer visit was merely a warning to the Hilltop to stay out of their territory. Now Henry's going to screw it all up.

Way to go, kid, you have officially become the most hated character on The Walking Dead.

Holding A Grudge - The Walking Dead Season 9 Episode 11

Last week I mentioned how Ezekial and the Kingdom have been mostly absent this season, and while I'm glad we finally caught up with the King, it wasn't exactly the visit that I was hoping we'd get.

It was a bit ridiculous putting everyone at risk for a projector bulb, but I understood Ezekial wanting to be able to give the children something special.

Some things are worth fighting for, even a light bulb.

A Word With The King - The Walking Dead Season 9 Episode 11

It was interesting to learn that the communities had been working on putting laws into effect, but it still had no signatures due to the communities growing apart over the last several years.

We all know something happened that prompted the fallout between the communities, mainly Alexandria, but we're still in the dark about what caused it.

Whatever happened, it has been insinuated that it coincided with how Daryl and Michonne received their scar. And in the coming weeks The Walking Dead Season 9 Episode 14, "Scars," might finally shed some light on what actually transpired that led to the fracture of the communities.

Related: The Walking Dead Season 9 Episode 10 Review: Omega

Other notes:

  • It was great to see Jesus again, even if it was only through a flashback.
  • I'm surprised the boombox that was used to lure the walkers out of the theater didn't attract other nearby walkers. Hmmmm....
  • Did anyone else enjoy Enid's callback to "Just Survive Somehow"?
  • Ezekial's comment to Carol about their group finally being done losing sounded a bit too foreboding. 

Now it's time to hear from you, TV Fanatics!

What did you think of "Bounty"? Will Henry's decision to go after Lydia cause even more issues for the group?

Hit the comments below and let me know.

You can watch The Walking Dead online right here at TV Fanatic.

Bounty Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.0 / 5.0 (18 Votes)

Steven Ford is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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The Walking Dead Season 9 Episode 11 Quotes

Your people crossed into our land, there will be no conflict. Your people killed our people, there
will be no conflict. I'm done talking. Bring me my daughter, or there will be conflict.


If the mother can't quiet the child, then the dead will. Natural selection.