The Walking Dead/The Calm Before

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The Calm Before
Season 9, Episode 15
Airdate March 24, 2019
Written by Geraldine Inoa &
Channing Powell
Directed by Laura Belsey
← 9x14
9x16 →
The Storm
The Walking DeadSeason Nine

The Calm Before is the fifteenth episode of the ninth season of The Walking Dead, and the one hundred thirtieth 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) (credit only), Katelyn Nacon (Enid), Khary Payton (Ezekiel), Samantha Morton (Alpha)

and Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Negan) (credit only)

Also Starring: Callan McAuliffe (Alden), Avi Nash (Siddiq), Eleanor Matsuura (Yumiko), Dan Fogler (Luke), Ryan Hurst (Beta), Cooper Andrews (Jerry), Nadia Hilker (Magna), Brett Butler (Tammy Rose Sutton), John Finn (Earl Sutton), Angus Sampson (Ozzy), Lauren Ridloff (Connie), Cassady McClincy (Lydia), Kerry Cahill (Dianne), Cailey Fleming (Judith Grimes), Nadine Marissa (Nabila), Matt Lintz (Henry)

Co-Starring: Angel Theory (Kelly), James Chen (Kal), Matt Mangum (DJ), Anthony Lopez (Oscar), Avianna Mynhier (Rachel), Elyse Nicole Dufour (Frankie), Caroline Duncan (Hilde), Jansen Panettiere (Casper), Gustavo Gomez (Marco), Brian Sheppard (Miles), Kelley Mack (Addy), Jackson Pace (Gage), Joe Ando-Hirsh (Rodney), Jason Kirkpatrick (Alek), Josh Ventura (Martin)


Plot Overview

The fair unites the communities, but while Michonne, Daryl, Carol, and Yumiko go out, Alpha infiltrates the Kingdom to recover Lydia.


Arc Advancement


  • Lydia is given asylum. In the likelihood that the Whisperers will retaliate against Hilltop, it's decided to unite the communities and they sign the charter. Ezekiel and Carol sign representing the Kingdom, Tara representing the Hilltop, Rachel Ward from Oceanside, and Gabriel as head of Alexandria's council.
  • Eugene is trying to get a radio up and running to allow the communities to talk to one another.
  • The Whisperers make a border to separate them and shows Daryl the giant horde of walkers they will weaponise if they cross it.


  • Alpha finds Lydia, only to find she's dedicated to the communities. Alpha effectively disowns her. She returns to the camp and kills an unfortunate Whisperer who catches her crying.
  • The border drawn up the Whisperers is made up of heads on pikes, comprised of several of those from the fair, primary among them being Tara, Enid, Tammy, and Henry.


  • Michonne recalls how Rick was hesitant about bringing her into the prison when she first arrived ("When the Dead Come Knocking") and Tara showing up with the Governor's militia outside of the prison ("Too Far Gone").
  • Rachel reminds Tara that she was going to kill her when she washed up on the Oceanside's shore ("Swear").


The Show

  • The victims of the Whisperers are entirely different than in the comic (which were 12 instead of 10) with the exception of Tammy.
  • While the beginning of winter has been depicted before, this is the first time it's ever snowed in the show.

Behind the Scenes

Allusions and References

Memorable Moments

  • Daryl, Michonne, Carol, Yukimo, and Saddiq make the horrific discovery of the row of pikes with severed heads.


  • Daryl: What do you want?
Alpha: Nothing. You don't got a single thing to offer me. I've seen how you live. I've walked your streets. It's a joke. Your communities are a shrine to a long-dead world. My people, the Whisperers, we live as nature intended.
Daryl: That's just all the bullshit you feed your sheep so they'll follow you.
Alpha: They follow me 'cause I am the Alpha. And if the Alpha doesn't assert herself, then there's chaos. So that's what I've done.
  • Siddiq: I was there. I was taken with the others. And I saw. I was supposed to die with them. I was ready to. Then Alpha whispered in my ear, "Tell them." Something hit me and everything went black. And when I woke up, I was alone. What happened was evil. It was evil. And I think she left me alive to tell you that story. To scare you and to drive us all apart again. But I want to tell you a different story. See, before the end, Ozzy, Alek, and DJ found us. They gave us an opening and everyone fought back. They fought like hell. And what they did was more than brave 'cause they defended each other. And they sacrificed for each other. And some of them - they didn't even know each other, but they still fought like they did. Like they were family... 'til the very end. And, uh, and in the end, they - their time was cut short, but ours keeps going. So we have to keep going. For them and... for all of us. We need to honour them. We need to honour them and we need to remember these friends - our family - died as heroes. That's the story that I want to tell you. That's the story that I want us all to remember.