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"I will forever be haunted" - The internet reacts to The Walking Dead season 9's penultimate episode

An image from The Walking Dead season 9, episode 15 - The Calm Before
Image credit: AMC

The Walking Dead season 9's penultimate episode, The Calm Before, was a non-stop cascade of shock, awe, and emotions. So many gosh darn emotions! We won't reveal the details here (though consider this your only spoiler warning before we do), but suffice to say that things aren't looking too bright for the future of our new age communities right now. 

Of course the internet had things to say, then, and Walking Dead fans have always been great at speaking for all of us within the space of 280 characters on Twitter. Below, we've got some of the best internet hot takes on the latest episode, fresh from the online oven, so go watch it and come back here to find out what everyone else is saying about the latest apocalypse disaster. 

Goodness knows what AMC has in store for the finale, because I'm not sure season 9 can get any more bloody and tragic at this point. 

When tragedy hits...

The Calm Before held its bombshell until the very last moments, but that did nothing to reduce its impact on our eyeballs. Ozzy, Alek, D.J., Frankie, Tammy Rose, Rodney, Addy, Enid, Tara, and Henry all lost their lives to The Whisperers, and had their zombified heads planted on pikes to serve as a reminder not to mess with Alpha (and also conveniently marking the border between her territory and Hilltop's). It was a gruesome sight, yet beautifully choreographed and almost poetic in its tone.

RIP The Highwaymen

We were only introduced to them a few episodes ago, but The Highwaymen paid the price for protecting the road to The Kingdom by losing two of their men, one of which was their leader, Ozzy. It's unclear whether AMC has any further plans for this group beyond The Whisperer arc of season 9, but one thing's for certain. Carol's going to have to host a lot of movies to make up for this calamity. 

Badass Carol unlocked

Speaking of Carol... The Walking Dead's very own Wonder Woman, Carol Peletier lost yet another child to the zombie apocalypse, this time in the form of surrogate son (and eternal thorn in the viewer's side), Henry. I'll admit I was pretty glad to see his head there instead of Ezekiel's, but the emotions rushing across Carol's face as the realisation dawns on her is no less painful to take in. 

The Negan redemption story

Finally, finally, we might just have a reason to bring Negan back into The Walking Dead. While The Walking Dead season 8 turned most viewers off the Saviour leader for good, his brutal, pull no punches approach to war could be a much needed edge against the inevitable climax against The Whisperers, and fans are already demanding Alexandria release him for a final stand. Talk about turning the tables. 

If you've read the comics, then you know there's an opportunity for AMC to bring both Negan and Lucille back into the fold, regardless of the man's former war crimes. Whether that takes place in The Walking Dead season 9's finale, or continues over into the already announced tenth season, remains undisclosed. Given the size of Alpha's Walker herd, though, I think our heroes might be fighting her for a while...

In the mean time, check out the biggest questions we have about the upcoming Walking Dead movies, and how Rick Grimes might return to our small screens.

I'm GamesRadar's Features Writer, which makes me responsible for gracing the internet with as many of my words as possible, including reviews, previews, interviews, and more. Lucky internet!