“The Walking Dead” is slyly getting some egg-cellent updates.
Since the slog of watching Daryl (Norman Reedus) crying and being tortured for a whole episode in Season 7, the AMC drama has come a long way. Sunday’s episode again provided some interesting turns as Henry (Matt Lintz) is caught by the zombie-skin-wearing Whisperers after following them to try to get back his new boo, Lydia (Cassady McClincy). Lydia’s mom and leader of the Whisperers, Alpha (Samantha Morton), wants to end all this nonsense by having her daughter kill Henry (meeting your significant other’s parents can be so awkward). But before that happens, Daryl and Connie (Lauren Ridloff) lead a group of walkers to attack the Whisperer camp. In all the chaos, Daryl, Connie, Henry and Lydia escape, which will probably make their next meeting with Alpha a bit uncomfortable.
With all that going on, it was easy to miss that “The Walking Dead” also made a couple subtle changes to its opening title sequence.
A few days before Season 9 premiered, the AMC show released its new, animated opening credit sequence, which was filled with Easter eggs and came courtesy of the company Huge Designs:
In an email interview about the Season 9 credits late last year, Huge Designs and “Walking Dead” producers told HuffPost that fans should watch out for more changes on the way.
“We’re already working on some additional changes for Season 9,” showrunner Angela Kang told us. “Walking Dead” producer Ryan DeGard said it’d be tough for fans to discover all the Easter eggs in the credits because “we also have plans to add a few more things as time goes on.”
With the latest episode, “Walking Dead” delivered on that promise.
We’ve been watching the credits closely each week. Up until this point, the Season 9 credits ended with a single zombie walking toward a windmill.
As of this week, the sequence ends with a new, updated nod to the Whisperers. Two more “zombies” appeared at the end of the sequence on Sunday, with one apparently holding a weapon and seemingly having stitching on the back of its zombie mask:
Another, slightly sadder, change we spotted includes Tom Payne’s name finally being removed from the credits.
Payne’s character, Jesus, made a shocking exit in the most recent midseason finale when a “zombie” dodged one of his slashes and killed him, thus introducing the Whisperers to the show.
Since dying, Jesus has lived up to his namesake, intermittently rising from the dead to appear in flashbacks or showing up as a corpse.
Payne told HuffPost, “It’s so funny. I literally get dragged around for the whole episode as a dead body.”
With Payne’s name now removed from the credits, it seems doubtful our savior will come again, at least for a little while.