The Walking Dead/Evolution

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Season 9, Episode 8
Airdate November 25, 2018
Written by David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick
Directed by Michael E. Satrazemis
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The Walking DeadSeason Nine

Evolution is the eighth episode of the ninth season of The Walking Dead, and the one hundred twenty-third episode overall.

Starring: Norman Reedus (Daryl Dixon), Danai Gurira (Michonne), Melissa McBride (Carol Peletier), Alanna Masterson (Tara Chambler), Josh McDermitt (Eugene Porter), Christian Serratos (Rosita Espinosa), Seth Gilliam (Gabriel Stokes), Ross Marquand (Aaron), Katelyn Nacon (Enid), Tom Payne (Paul "Jesus" Rovia), Khary Payton (Ezekiel) (credit only)

and Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Negan)

Also Starring: Callan McAuliffe (Alden), Avi Nash (Siddiq)

Guest Starring: Eleanor Matsuura (Yumiko), Dan Fogler (Luke), Cooper Andrews (Jerry) (credit only), Nadia Hilker (Magna), John Finn (Earl Sutton), Lauren Ridloff (Connie), Matt Lintz (Henry), Kerry Cahill (Dianne)

Co-Starring: Angel Theory (Kelly), James Chen (Kal), Matt Mangum (DJ), Mandi Christine Kerr (Barbara), Jackson Pace (Gage), Kelley Mack (Addy), Joe Ando Hirsh (Rodney)


Plot Overview

While Michonne and the others arrive at Hilltop, Daryl, Jesus, and Aaron go to find Eugene. However, a herd appears to be trailing them that's behaving unusually.


Arc Advancement


  • Tara and the rest of Hilltop give Michonne a very cold and hostile welcoming. It appears to have to do with something Michonne did, but she refuses to mend fences the way they want.
  • Daryl, Jesus, and Aaron spot a heard that's mulling around and later ignores loud noises. When they find Eugene, he tells about hearing them talking to each other and that they've pass through trying to find him. One then breaks normal behaviour by dodging an attack, using a sword, followed by others. Daryl then finds what appears to be stitches on the back of the head of one and learns it's a mask and those underneath are alive.
  • Michonne, Magna, and Yumiko come to rescue Eugene and the others. However, they become surrounded by the Whisperers.


  • Father Gabriel has been regularly visiting Negan. He credits him for helping him when he was "touch and go," but is unable to accept he'll make any further progress.
  • While Gabriel tries to help Negan, when he learns about Rosita, he expresses frustration with him.
  • Henry learns Enid is in a relationship with Alden.
  • Henry meets some kids his age with whom he gets drunk. He's later found and put in jail for being "drunk and disorderly" for two days. He explains he saw Carol cry and realised how big of a deal it was and just wanted to forget it for a while.
  • Jesus is killed.
  • Negan finds his cell door isn't locked and walks out.



The Show

Behind the Scenes

Allusions and References

  • Eugene's theory about the walkers evolving harks to the zombies from the George A. Romero films, as the overall arc in the original series was their evolution. Having established residual memory, leading to Day of the Dead where a scientist's attempt to domestic them based on this leads to one using a gun and even attempt to talk.

Memorable Moments

  • Jesus goes to dispatch a couple of walkers in his way. One goes down normally, but the second ducks his attack swings around to pierce him from behind with a sword, whispering in his ear, "You are where you do not belong."


  • The "walker" that dodges Jesus either has a sword not seen in the previous shot, or there's a continuity error in which he takes it from Jesus, but in both consecutive shots, that hand is nowhere near enough for him to grab it from him.


  • Negan: I'm sorry, man. I didn't know.
Gabriel: Don't. It's bad enough I've got to clean up your shit, I shouldn't have to listen to it, too.