The Calm Before
The Walking Dead Season 9



Critic Ratings: 22
Critics Consensus

"The Calm Before" exemplifies everything that The Walking Dead does best - bittersweetly affirming the bonds of a makeshift community and finding glimmers humanity in a nihilistic landscape before dropping a horrifying twist that will leave viewers reeling long after.

Episode Info

The fair at the Kingdom is underway, with all four communities coming together in celebration for the first time in years. While some pacts are renewed, other deals will come at a much steeper price.


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Critic Reviews for The Calm Before

On the one hand, it's an effective piece of horror... But as another chapter in the ongoing narrative, it just makes me want to throw up my hands. Here, again, is another pile of agonizing misery for our heroes.

Mar 25, 2019 | Rating: B- | Full Review…
Top Critic

It was a beautifully structured ending.

May 24, 2019 | Full Review…

"The Calm Before" is an incredibly strong episode of The Walking Dead, as it finds the ways to hit a viewer properly. It delivers on the level of danger one wants to see and hits at emotions without feeling manipulative.

Mar 29, 2019 | Full Review…

It says a lot about how strong and incredibly well-done this episode was that, even after nine seasons and dozens of brutal and shocking deaths, this episode and how it ended still made me go "Holy sh*t!"

Mar 27, 2019 | Full Review…

Props to showrunner Angela Kang for all the misdirection these last few episodes.

Mar 25, 2019 | Full Review…

The time was right in tonight's episode for a big, shocking palate-cleanser.

Mar 25, 2019 | Full Review…

All told, this episode was par for the course in a season that has clearly wanted to telegraph hope as its main message, but hasn't been able to find the solid narrative footing to get its viewers there.

Mar 25, 2019 | Full Review…

If "Warning Signs" was this season's high-water mark for showing how the series can evolve... "The Calm Before" was an elegy for the old days, an excellent tribute to everything that used to make it compelling in its early years.

Mar 25, 2019 | Rating: A- | Full Review…
Top Critic

"The Calm Before" could have easily served as a proper season finale, but I'm excited that we'll get one more episode in what has been a revitalizing season for The Walking Dead.

Mar 25, 2019 | Rating: 4.8/5 | Full Review…

The Walking Dead doesn't usually get extended stretches of happiness like this, but it works wonderfully in growing characters and in giving them a brief (too brief) moment to breathe.

Mar 25, 2019 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

The Calm Before turns an iconic Walking Dead moment into something unexpectedly powerful, cementing season 9 as a new high bar for the show.

Mar 25, 2019 | Full Review…

All in all, this is probably the most purely devastating and emotionally affecting episode of The Walking Dead we've seen in the last couple of years.

Mar 25, 2019 | Rating: 8.2/10 | Full Review…

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