For its season nine mid-season premiere, The Walking Dead chose a character-driven episode rather than a plot-driven one.

The episode opened with Michonne (Danai Gurira), Daryl (Norman Reedus), and the group returning to Hilltop with Jesus (Tom Payne)’s body. The community was shocked at the death and grieved for their lost leader.

As they continued, Michonne and Daryl also took one of the Whisperers hostage. The young girl was terrified, but reiterated the idea that the group’s civilization could never last.

Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) escaped Alexandria and wandered the landscape, eventually stumbling upon The Sanctuary. There, Negan reflected on his past and the way he led the community. Ultimately, he decided to return to Alexandria, where he was shot by Judith Grimes (Cailey Fleming). Is it a sign of good faith that Negan is returning? Or is he hoping to get revenge?

Finally, at the end of the episode, the leader of The Whisperers was revealed. Two members of Hilltop were kidnapped by them and the camera panned to their leader, Alpha, who only said, “The trail ends here.”

Alpha plays a huge role in the comics and will surely play a similar role in the show. As the season progresses, audiences are definitely in for a treat with the ruthless leader.

Here’s how fans reacted to the episode on Twitter:

The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on AMC.