#TheWalkingDead Season 9 Episode 8 "Evolution" Mid-Season Finale In Depth Recap And More

Holy freaking oh my god!

Sunday night's Mid Season finale was off the chain! From badass walker-killing moves to creepy whispers from the (not so) dead that walked beside them, Sunday's episode was one for the top best of the series.

'Evolution' opened with Daryl, Dog, Jesus and Aaron tracking the herd that hunted Rosita and Eugene. Daryl speculated that about 130 to 140 walkers were involved in the said herd, but something wasn't quite right... they were just mindlessly wondering in a big cyclone funnel. None of their actions pointed to an average herd. They were confused but decided to move onward. The camera panned to the walkers when one stopped and turned.

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When it came back, Alexandria was busy with daily activities including Gabriel attempting to save Negan. But, to no avail... he insists to the Father that no matter how close he comes, the thoughts that follow would "blush the collar on your neck right off." Negan gives Gabriel compliments on bagging and tagging Rosita, and he admits that he appreciates everything he's done for him. Negan tells Gabriel that the window they installed for him has given him a sort of "TV" which he loves because he gets all the juicy talk including that of Rosita which may or may not include how she feels about the Father or...someone else. Disgusted, Gabriel gets up and leaves. That's when he sees the Hilltop messengers with word of Rosita.

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A man on horseback is seen riding quickly towards the front of Hilltop, warning the residents that riders were nearing. Michonne and her band arrive shortly after. Michonne likes the growth she sees. Luke likes what he sees with the new place and Kelly signs to Connie that she will keep a close watch. The guards warn Tara, and Magna tells her group to get ready. A gate guard asks Michonne why she is there and Michonne tells her. Everyone drops their weapons to show they aren't a threat, and the weapon will be returned after thorough inspection. After they go inside, Tara tells Michonne what happened with Rosita, Eugene, and Aaron. She tells Michonne that "it's like the old gang's back together" after she tells Michonne that Daryl came down with Henry and Carol. Siddiq asks Enid about Rosita, and she tells him she's exhausted and dehydrated but nothing serious. Tara tells Magna's group that they'll have to wait until the leader returns for inductions, but they'll have to earn their keep for the meantime. Connie signs "thank you" and Kelly interprets. Siddiq tells Michonne that it was a good thing they came. Magna, Connie, and Yumiko get to work immediately. Siddiq apologizes about keeping things from her. Carol walks up and greets Siddiq and hugs him. She greets Michonne and tries to persuade her to help and get back to the communities of old, but Michonne won't have it. Disappointed, Carol says it was good to see her. Carol is packing up to leave when the guard asks if she may hitch a ride. She feels that Hilltop doesn't need her anymore. Carol agrees. Henry sees his mom off and tells her that he will be back before the fair. Daryl and Dog track as Aaron and Jesus talk. Aaron thinks that Jesus should take the leadership seriously and stop trying to shove it away considering how good of a leader he is. Daryl hushed them and told them that another herd was nearing and the wind was carrying the sound. He wound up a timer and threw it into the field.

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Jesus watches the herd from the forest and tells Aaron and Daryl that either the herd merged with another or its a different herd. Daryl said it didn't matter as long as it was going the opposite direction. Henry was hard at work apprenticing when Enid stopped by to grab Alden. Earl asks Henry if he would like to have dinner with him and Tammy Rose and Henry was going to decline until he saw Enid and Alden kiss. A heartbroken Henry agrees to dinner at Earl's house. While changing Negan's bedpan, Gabriel was subjected to daily Negan banter and taunting. After picking up on the fact that something was wrong, Negan asked what was going on and genuinely offered an apology. "Its bad enough I have to clean up your shit I shouldn't have to listen to it too." Negan's cell is slammed, and he is released back to his cage. At lunch, Henry is seen eating alone. After, three kids by the names of Gage, Addy and Rodney call him up to chat. They all have been at Hilltop most of their life's so they ask about traveling and other communities. Rodney asks about Oceanside being all women and say that maybe he should become a fisherman. After a small chat, they ask if he wants to partake in some fun. He agrees. Michonne and Rosita were inside of the infirmary with Rosita who was still unconscious. Siddiq tells Michonne that it isn't too late to change things with the communities. She tells him that she won't mend fences to their terms. Rosita suddenly wakes up and freaks out. Michonne tells her that a search party is already out looking for him. Rosita tells them that can't handle what they done know what they are dealing with and quickly remove her dip and walk away.

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Dog tracks close and Daryl follows close by. Dog finds a barn then alerts Daryl to a hay pile where Eugene was. After he called that he was down there, Daryl and Aaron pull him out. Eugene tells them that he was injured and needed to be hidden for the betterment and survival of Rosita. He tells them that the herd is looking for him. They all say that's not true and Eugene says that same herd has come back twice. He tells them that they were whispering and Rosita can back him up because she heard it too. He tells them "it isn't a normal herd" and Dog suddenly barks signaling that the walkers were near. They pick Eugene up and run out the back. Rodney, Addy, Henry and Gage party and drink. Henry asks what they do when they're bored, and they show him. They corralled a walker and threw things at it, and they try to make loops around it or urinate all over it. Henry had seen enough and killed it. They get disgusted and leave.

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Jesus, Aaron, Daryl, Eugene, and Dog track their way back through the forest while the herd is nearing. They stop at a road crossing and Eugene offers a theory that the walkers are evolving. He explains to them most confusingly that even though they're dead, they aren't dead-dead meaning that they aren't functioning a normal way but considering they still have to be put down by a brain tap, they're still "alive"...kind of. Daryl says he and Dog will stay back. Jesus, Aaron and Eugene leave. In Negan's cell, he's throwing his ball back and forth when it goes out of bounds (outside of the cell). "Well shit," he says. But Negan stares for a moment before he stands, noticing something. He walks over and pushes on his cell door which flies open. Smiling, he grabs his ball and stares at it. Smiling again, he throws it away and leaves his cell.

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That night, Tara brought Earl to Henry's cell below Hilltop and told him that she had better things to do than clean vomit from her boots. Earl scolds Henry and says that he reeks of bad moonshine. He tells Henry that he may as well pack up and leave if that's how he's going to take his responsibilities. Henry admits to screwing up and explains Earl why. He tells him that people are counting on him. Earl says that he will talk to Jesus about getting him out of the cell and tells Henry to get some sleep. Earl leaves, and Henry does what he was told.

Daryl is propped up on top of a roof waiting for the herd to near. He gives Dog a command to bark as he starts to set off firecrackers but hears something and immediately silences him. "Keep them together" Jesus, Eugene, and Aaron arrive in a graveyard, but the herd is getting closer. They squeeze through a small gap for a choke point to slow things down. Jesus finds a gate but its rusted over. They find a ledge low enough to get over but its too late... they're upon them. All three men get their knives, and they kill. Whispers are heard! Then, Michonne is seen! Magna, also. They break the gate down and open it up just in time as walkers come. Jesus steers them away then Hong Kong flies them until all of a sudden one maneuvers behind him, stabbing him and whispering "you are where you do not belong." Aaron yells and the others charge. They kill all the ones near. Aaron sees Jesus' dead body and cries. Daryl calls Michonne after seeing something...stitches. He cuts the stilted open and pulls the mask off to reveal a person... whispers are heard all around them as they get surrounded. "They are surrounded, they're trapped, don't let them slip by..."

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Holy god! I have been waiting so long for this arc to begin in the show and may I say I am not disappointed! This was very well done, and I was delighted. This episode chilled me to my bones. What did you think of the Mid-Season finale? Comment below!

The Walking Dead returns to AMC this coming February.

Author/Editor: Joeleen Gatlin