Tonight, The Walking Dead season 9 made some big moves with its midseason finale, and that included a big character death. (Obviously, there are a lot of major spoilers ahead.)
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At the end of tonight’s episode, the AMC series chose to write out the character of Jesus with him falling at the hands of the Whisperers, the Big Bads who have now emerged as some of the show’s biggest forces to be reckoned with. Wiping off the character now — even earlier than he dies in the comics — does set the stage for a lot of really dramatic stuff in the weeks ahead. We’re going to have some more opportunities to understand where these people come from but, for the time being, the focus does have to remain on Jesus. He’s the one who paid the price for their particular arrival.
Speaking via Entertainment Weekly, here is some of what executive producer Angela Kang had to say on the subject of what happened with this big character death:
There are a lot of factors that go into what characters are the one. I think in this case, Jesus is really somebody whose life has a great impact on the characters both leading up to this point, but also leading forward. These characters are split apart more than they ever have been. Jesus kind of stands for a particular philosophy of togetherness and unity. Hilltop, where he’s been filling in for Maggie, is dealing with challenges of leadership and who needs to step up there while the other communities have their own challenges.
The summation of Kang’s comments here suggest that eliminating this particular character now serves a big purpose in that it could drive some of the communities even further apart. As someone who watches our heroes (if you can call them that) and roots for them, this is certainly bad news. Yet, for drama it does set up that whatever happened over the past six years is going to continue to divide and cause chaos — especially without someone around to help keep some element of peace.
Jesus is obviously not the first major departure this season — at least with Maggie and Rick Grimes, though, we know that the two are still alive. There’s a chance Maggie could still return at some point in the future.
Are you going to miss Jesus on The Walking Dead? Be sure to share right now in the attached comments. (Photo: AMC.)