The Walking Dead Season 11 - Episode 3 - "Hunted" Alexandria (Carol, Magna, Rosita, Kelly, Judith, Hershel, et al): Kelly and Carol return from a trip; Magna asks if Kelly will share a shift with her, but Kelly begs off, clearly distracted and is not forthcoming with what's on her mind, leaving Magna very disappointed. Aaron debates Carol about prioritizing safety (repairing the walls) over her plan to find wild horses to use as food, countering that the group will soon be too weak to lift anything heavier than a sack of grain, and would starve soon after that. The Alexandria children (Judith, R.J., Hershel and Gracie) show how maturity and circumstance shaped them with a frank discussion about whether they worry when their parents leave, and how parents always promise to return, only for the sake of not worrying the children. Hershel believes adults say such things to make themselves feel better, but Judith looks to R.J. as she says her mother always comes back (SEE NOTES). Later, Carol, Rosita, Magna and Kelly attempt to catch a few wild horses; Rosita's had a few dreams about Abraham trying to tell her she has something to do for Alexandria, but in every dream, he's shot in the head before he can tell her what to do (SEE NOTES). Carol's group come across the walker-mangled remains of a horse, which leaves Carol fearing they've lost their one source of food. Carol insists on continuing the search, but not before Magna surprises Carol by hugging her. On the way back home, they just so happen to run into several tame horses... Later, the group successfully lead the horses to Alexandria; Magna asks Carol to stop leading Kelly on with the idea that Connie might be alive; Magna feels Carol is doing this because she's afraid of what it means (for Carol) if Connie is dead, since Carol led her into Alpha's trap. Carol coaxes a horse to lay down, where she promptly kills it. In time, the meat is cooked and shared with the Alexandria residents. Judith finds it a bit difficult to eat, but Hershel suggests the other children take smaller bites ("The smaller, the better"), revealing that he's had to eat horse meat, and other things--like spiders, when he was on the road with Maggie. Maggie's group (Maggie, Daryl, Negan, Father Gabriel, Alden, Duncan, et al.): The Reapers attack, sending Maggie's group scattering in all directions, with many wounded or killed. While Daryl tries to get his bearings--then flees with Dog, Father Gabriel is wounded behind his right ear, while a wild-eyed Negan, disappears into the forest. Maggie is understandably traumatized by the death of so many of her companions, but finds one of the Reapers' weapons and hurls it at one of the killers. Said killer runs off, leaving Maggie alone in the woods. Morning: Maggie makes her way to an abandoned building, with the Reaper she attacked in pursuit; after reacting to every noise in the darkness, she shakes off a walker by kicking over a stairwell raining, sending it falling several stories, but the Reaper attacks, but suffers the same fate as the walker. In the woods, Father Gabriel sits alone, repeatedly paraphrasing Psalm 46:1 - "God is our refuge and strength" as its revealed that a Reaper weapon was partially buried in his thigh. He sees one of the killers hobbling away, mask discarded and clearly injured, and Gabriel is determined to follow... In the abandoned building's lobby, Maggie runs into Alden, but both are attacked by Reapers; Maggie cuts her attacker with a broken bottle and is beaten away by Negan, who saves Maggie (for the second time) by pushing her out of harm's way as their Reaper detonates a grenade. (SEE NOTES). Alden--stabbed by the other Reaper--is seriously wounded. Maggie does not hesitate to help him to his feel, despite Negan questioning her plans (getting to the radio tower and food). Adding that he knows theatrics, he takes the Reapers' costuming and ruthlessness as the real deal, and trying to get back to the main road (or any for that matter) is a terrible plan. With no choice other than to starve, Negan helps Maggie support Alden. It isn't long before the encounter Agatha and a mortally wounded Duncan, who asks Maggie to take her home, then dies. leaving a tearful Maggie to stab him in the head to prevent reanimation. Father Gabriel finds the injured Reaper, holding his bleeding neck, but starts the following exchange: Reaper: "Don't be scared." Gabriel: "I'm not." Reaper: "We have been blessed. I--I have been blessed." Gabriel: "You have a funny definition of blessed." Reaper: "But it is you who has come to me. Will you pray for me?" Gabriel: "You tried to kill my friends!" Reaper: "Yes. And they tried to kill me. Pray for me. Even your enemies deserve that much. I thought you were a man of God?" Gabriel: "God isn't here anymore." Gabriel stabs the Reaper in the head (SEE NOTES). Elsewhere, Maggie and Negan spot a growing horde of walkers; Negan continues to offer his help, noting that in the years she was away, he changed. Maggie does not buy that, believing he simply had the others fooled into believing he was a different man, but he's free to leave. After some "yeah, this one is not going to make it" dialogue from the terribly injured Aden about his child, its not long before they are attacked by another group of walkers; Negan helps Alden, but Agatha is bitten and swarmed, forcing Negan to pull the screaming Maggie to safety. Using a church for shelter, Negan prods Maggie to come accept the handwriting on the wall regarding Alden. Surprisingly, Alden agrees they should leave him there, for the sake of Alexandria--specifically the children. Maggie replies that his adopted son (Adam) needs him, too, but Alden again reminds her what's at stake. Negan chimes in, telling her she has to make a decision; Maggie barks that its easy for him, but he does not get to decide who lives and who dies anymore, and blames him for destroying everything that had been built at Hilltop and Alexandria (by partnering with the Whisperers). Negan calmly turns the conversation back to Maggie, repeating "...you still have to decide." Maggie gives Alden a knife, and half-jokingly demands that he will still be there when she returns. Alden barricades the church doors as the others leave. On their way through the woods, Negan uses his crow bar to kill a walker, turning to see Maggie staring at him--and the blood and gore dripping from the crow bar, all to reminiscent of Lucille after Glenn's murder. The two continue on their very uncertain journey... NOTES: Judith's confidence that her mother "always returns" sort of telegraphs the events of the Rick movie intersecting with TWD's series finale, as I cannot see Michonne returning before said finale. Rosita dreaming about long-dead Abraham trying to tell her anything is not a good sign. in fact, one might say its telegraphing a mid-season shocker. The Walking Dead's comic readers know that Rosita and Father Gabriel have been outlived by their TV counterparts; comic Rosita was one of the victims Alpha beheaded and placed on a wooden pike, while Gabriel was murdered by Beta while the former was caught hanging from his feet on a watchtower. The showrunners could continue to take their own route with both characters, but Rosita's dreams and Gabriel's "God isn't here..." nihilism seem like something is coming to a head for one or both. On the Father Gabriel note, his faith was tested in season ten's "One More," but his beliefs only reaffirmed the truth he lived by contrasted with the vindictive, hopeless Mays. Now, he's saying, "God is not here anymore," as if he's completely broken by yet another group of mass murderers. I've expressed this in other season reviews, but I hope the one character of obvious faith is not transformed into another boring nihilist that has overflowed the "cans" of too many TV series. The Reapers do not seem as nomadic and disorganized as the Wolves or Whisperers; they have grenades and are never afraid to use them, so it suggests its a healthy resource. If that;s the case, the heroes are not going to put up much of a fight with arrows and and a few bullets. This would be a good time for someone--or a group of someones to return with the might of the Commonwealth... Great character studies all around. As far as Maggie and Negan are concerned...I think she's still intending to play the revenge card when the opportunity presents itself. GRADE: A.