Spoilers The Walking Dead: the 11th and final season

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by TREK_GOD_1, Aug 15, 2021.

  1. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 24, 2006
    Location:
    Escaped from Delta Vega
    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.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2021
  2. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 24, 2006
    Location:
    Escaped from Delta Vega
    BTW, AMC is running a spot for the Rick Grimes movie (using clips from TWD episodes), so apparently, its still a thing.
     
  3. Starkers

    Starkers Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2001
    Location:
    Starkers
    Did that story really happen to Maggie, or was she just remembering watching Bond Tomahawk? :p
     
  4. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 24, 2006
    Location:
    Escaped from Delta Vega
    Heh. If you're referring to her kidnap story, for a moment, I believed it was possible for Maggie to spin a tale to justify her cold / take-no-prisoners mentality, but when one thinks of the number of twisted villains / groups that popped up throughout the ZA history, the butchers of her story could have been real. That is--after all--a world where people are tortured, beheaded, wear the skin of the dead, actively participate in cannibalism, mutilate dead bodies, keep walker heads in aquariums, etc.
     
    Starkers likes this.
  5. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2001
    Location:
    The Wormhole
    Enjoyable episode, though it sure seemed to go by really quickly. I remember when the commercial with Chris Hardwick came on talking about Talking Dead coming up next, which is always used during the last commercial break, I was thinking "we can't be nearing the end already" and I had to check the time, and sure enough, that was the case.

    Not really much to say about this one. The Reapers are shown to be lethal and cruel, though we still don't really know much else about them. Maggie and Negan are grudgingly beginning to work together, realizing their mutual survival depends on their cooperation.

    I totally had it figured out well in advance that Carol was going to kill one of the horses for food purposes. I mean come on, if food's as scarce as it is with everyone starving, it'd be silly to ignore all that steak laying around.

    Brief though they were, I liked the scenes with Judith and the other kids bonding, sort of offering a glimpse into the next generation of the zombie apocalypse. I can definitely see them establishing relationships between all the child characters to be followed up on if they ever do an adaptation or variation on the story of the comics finale.
     
    Cancel Culture and TREK_GOD_1 like this.
  6. crookeddy

    crookeddy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2006
    Another series low for viewership and even I'm losing interest after being hyped for the premiere.
     
  7. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 24, 2006
    Location:
    Escaped from Delta Vega
    The Walking Dead
    Season 11 - Episode 4 - "Rendition"


    Daryl and Leah: Flashback to the Reaper attack: Daryl and Dog escape into the woods, but are separated after Daryl wounds one of the killers, and runs from yet another Reaper group. The next morning, Daryl circles back to yet another ruined building, and is surrounded by Reapers, but his real shock comes as Dog sits at the side of one, refusing to go to Daryl when called, the reason made clear as the Reaper removes the mask to reveal Leah, Daryl's lost love (Season 10 / Episode 18's "Find Me"). Daryl feigns ignorance about the people he traveled with, but Leah is not buying his story.

    His face covered and taken prisoner to an empty room in a compound, where Daryl is interrogated, then chloroformed by Leah. When he wakes up, he find himself subjected to waterboarding by men Leah calls her "family." No matter how much he's tortured, Daryl never betrays his friends. One of the torturers argues with Leah, telling her she should not have brought him to the compound.

    Locked in a cage, Daryl spots Maggie's friend Frost in another cage, but still pretends to barely know him, believing they are under surveillance. Hours later, Leah visits Daryl's cell, where Daryl still refuses to give up information, professing his honesty to her. Leah is called away to witness some bizarre, New Agey ceremony performed over Michael Turner--one of the wounded Reapers; she has no time to mourn, as her leader--a man named "Pope" claims "God is angry" and those who killed Turner will feel the wrath of the Reapers.

    Leah returns to Daryl, crying about Turner, who served with her in the military--effectively, he was her surrogate little brother. Leah still cares about Daryl (although claiming in the ZA, they would never be happy together). Daryl still spins his story that his companions (from the forest) are part of larger group, far larger than the 15 Reapers he counted. Leah seems to buy this tale.


    Pope: Convinced Daryl can be converted, Leah speaks to Pope, selling Daryl as being as fearless and hard-edged as they are and can be trusted. Pope chides her for risking their security, all because she once had a relationship with Daryl.

    Changing his mind, Pope tests Daryl by locking him (and Leah) in room, then setting it on fire. Resourceful as always, Daryl finds a way to break out of the burning building, seeming saving Leah's life, but this was a test--his being "forged by fire," as Pope puts it.

    Finally meeting Pope, it clear Daryl is still viewed with suspicion, leading the Reaper leader to prod for information. He asks if Daryl believes in God--Daryl says "No--not anymore" (SEE NOTES). Continuing, Pope recalls serving in the military, criticizing the politicians who "wrote the checks," and spoke of God, but they never saw Him--not as Pope and his unit did. Pope's group were not suited to return to "the world" (i.e., could not find work or support) so they became mercenaries who committed a number of dark missions.

    Eventually, the government came for Pope's group, and on one occasion, they took shelter in a church that somehow stood while the area around them were bombed, convincing Pope that he and his people survived because they were God's chosen people. He works on Daryl's mind, pushing the idea that Daryl coming out of his own fire without a scratch or burn means he's been chosen, too.

    Accepted into the group, Pope questions a man who brought Turner back to the compound; the man said he suffered wounds from Daryl's former companions and did not abandon Turner. Knowing that the man lied and "turned his back on his brother," Pope throws the man into a campfire, burning him alive--the price of treachery. Leah studies Daryl as the "coward" roasts.

    NOTES:
    Now that the the people behind the masks of the Reapers have been revealed, they are not as intimidating--certainly not like the psychotic aura they had in the brief season 10 appearance. I'm guessing that will change as they will likely cause the death of one of the regulars, and judging from dialogue in episode 5, it would be too much of a coincidence for a certain line of dialogue to mirror recent statements of the same kind....

    Daryl says he no longer believes in God, but I'm wondering if he's being sincere, or was that his testing the waters with Pope, to gauge what kind of answer he would receive. With Father Gabriel's "God isn't here anymore" line to the Reaper, I hope the series is moving toward painting every main character as some bleak atheist type, and for Daryl, it would suggest he never learned anything from Hershel, who found his way back with truth & strength in his faith (after Shane's barn insurrection in season two's "Pretty Much Dead Already"), other terrible situations.

    GRADE: A.
     
  8. theenglish

    theenglish Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2001
    Location:
    Western Canada
    I really don't care about viewership ratings for the show--this is the last season. The show has had an amazing run and is going out on a high note. I like that the Reapers have been introduced because it provides some sense of suspense for those of us who have read the comics. Also, I am wondering how the Commonwealth story is going to play out as most of the characters involved are completely different than the comics.

    These last two episodes I have enjoyed very much. It is rare that I agree with Trek God's ratings but, like I did with Black Lightning, I agree with a lot of what he is saying in his reviews.

    The things I wonder,

    We probably are not going to get the epilogue we got in the comics as the other series are still going on. Maybe that is being saved for the Rick movie?

    Also, Kirkman has said that the image of Rick's statue has pretty much always been his planned ending for the story even when he changed that ending to make it less bleak. There is no point in Rick having a similar statue now as he is not involved in the story. Any guesses on who might be the hero to be remembered? Eugene might be an interesting choice if he finally gets some courage and becomes the one to resolve the Commonwealth story line.
     
  9. Starbreaker

    Starbreaker Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2001
    Location:
    Birmingham, AL
    The Reapers are losers and Pope is goofy. Alexandria could go raid their camp and have these idiots wiped out in minutes with some coordination.
     
  10. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2001
    Location:
    The Wormhole
    Well, the Reapers and Pope in particular are nuts. It does sort of seem as though there will be no reasoning with the Reapers, with Pope believing he's ordained to eradicate everyone else who isn't part of his group.
     
  11. The Habs Fan

    The Habs Fan Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2005
    Location:
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Episode 6, On the Inside, is my personal favourite of a very strong season 11 so far (other than the Reapers). Also, it might be the scariest episode in all of TWD.

    I agree with Starbreakers that the Reapers don’t seem like they should be much of a threat. There’s hardly any of them. Sheer numbers should be able to defeat them.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2021
  12. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 24, 2006
    Location:
    Escaped from Delta Vega
    The Walking Dead
    Season 11 - Episode 5 - "Out of the Ashes"


    Commonwealth (Ezekiel, Yumiko, Eugene & Princess): The quartet watch an orientation video (aka sales pitch) featuring the Commonwealth's face, a "Director of Operations" named Lance Hornsby who speaks of the leadership of Governor Pamela Milton. Hornsby's message already tips off the fact that all members are given jobs based on their skillset as determined by the leadership. To that end, Eugene, Ezekiel and Princess are given their job assignments, but Yumiko receives an invitation to possibly work in some higher station. Eugene suggests they all keep their eyes open for the truth behind the Commonwealth, and not let it derail their mission to help their friends back home.

    Yumiko wanders into a well stocked bakery, where she reunites with her brother Tomi--once a surgeon, and now a baker....

    Fake Stephanie treats Eugene to ice cream; seeing another woman receive a tray of cones, he asks about the flavors, but strangely, the woman just looks at him without answering (SEE NOTES). Eugene is impressed by the town's creature comforts, but he noted how much his own people needs a place like the Commonwealth. Spotting a radio tower, fake Stephanie suggests he radio his friends, and leads Eugene, Ezekiel and Princess to the radio room (located in a converted train station)...with Mercer watching the entire time.

    Mercer and a few guards are distracted by Princess. At Alexandria, Rosita & Judith (SEE THEIR ENTRY) are radioed by Eugene, with Rosita bringing him up to speed on events (e.g., Alpha and Beta's deaths, the food shortage, etc., but is cut off, as Mercer and his guards arrest Eugene and fake Stephanie for "unauthorized use of government property." Later, Eugene, Ezekiel and Princess are read formal charges, and warned that if they're found guilty, they will be permanently banished from the Commonwealth. Before the problems escalate, Hornsby asserts his authority, ordering that the heroes are not moved for any sort of trial; fake Stephanie warns that they will still be made to pay a price...

    Elsewhere, Yumiko catches up with her Tomi, who recalls how he fled Chicago not long into the ZA, and ended up being discovered by the Milton family, who saved his life. He talks up the good life at the Commonwealth, noting that he almost forgot what's happening outside of the walls. Yumiko wonders why Tomi-once a surgeon--is not using his skill to save people, but Tomi defends himself, saying he's finally happy, likes being a baker ("the one gift I got out of the world falling apart"), and that his sister should not ruin that for him. She asks if she could get help if she needed it, and learns anything is possible--as long as she follows the rules.

    Aaron: Aaron suffers from nightmares that he (and Gracie) are surrounded by members of the Saviors, the Wolves, Whisperers and of course, walkers, with Aaron being killed. His fear has emboldened him to not even consider talk of abandoning Alexandria (an idea explored by Rosita), but lead a trip back to the ruins of Hilltop, in search of food, and the blacksmith's tools.

    Aaron, Carol, Jerry and Lydia find Hilltop "picked clean" and occupied by a few walkers; Lydia--her past experience kicking in--notes that their movement means they're being herded. Aaron flies into the walkers, killing them, until he knocks one down, who turns out to be a Whisperer Lydia once knew. The Whisperer claims he's the only survivor using walkers for comfort and protection, but Aaron, Jerry and Carol do not believe him--justified by their discovery of other Whisperer survivors in the old basement cell.

    Jerry discovers the clothes of one of the Whisperers' victims from Alexandria--meaning they participated in the attacks on their community. This sends the Whisperer survivors into a panic, breaking free of the heroes, but the lead Whisperer is hung from his arms, with a walker used to coerce him into talking. When he refuses, the walker bites the man, but Aaron demands more answers, using the bite and a means to cut off his hand as incentive. Lydia is outraged by the scene and storms off (SEE NOTES). Even Carol has had enough and kills the walker, much to Aaron's anger and nightmare-fueled fears. Carol admits that after Henry's murder, she marched down a dark path, and he does not want to go there. Aaron frees the Whisperer, leaving a knife for the man to amputate his own hand.

    Preparing to leave with their scavenged materials, the Whisperer insists they are not all bad, referring to spotting a woman who escaped Alpha's cave trap and ran into the woods near the "screaming cave"; knowing he's referring to Connie, Carol wants to search for her, but Aaron cautions that they should wait until morning.

    Judith / Rosita: Judith instructs her circle of kids (RJ, Hershel and Gracie among them) in the use of swords, but is distracted by another group of youngsters teasing walkers at one of the openings in the wall. Judith's criticism of the kids' foolish behavior is met with one of the older boys pushing Judith to the ground, and insulting her, saying:

    "You talk too much. No wonder your momma abandoned you!"

    Judith stands and points the edge of her sword at the boy's throat, daring him to repeat his insult; Gracie talks Judith down from the edge, with the boy calling her a "psycho." Judith walks away, trying to fight off the coming tears.

    Later, Judith return to her home (now a commons area for a number of people; she spots some of the asshole-ish kids from the fence running off suspiciously, and she sees the reason why: the wooden porch planks that Carl & Judith used to leave handprints (S8's "Honor") has been broken and left in the floor. Judith demands to know who broke the planks, but the main asshole boy denies his role in the vandalism, spitting that Judith should not pull her sword on him again (SEE NOTES).

    Outside, Rosita finds Judith with the planks, who sees the broken pieces as a symbol of everyone being gone (i.e., Carl, Michonne and Rick), worrying that one day, she will forget them. Rosita comforts the child, adding that she misses them, too. Continuing, Rosita speaks of her mother, who prepared her for surviving, even if she was not around (and in fact, died when Rosita was not much older than Judith), just as Rick and Carl had done for Judith. Although Rosita mentions that Judith does not need the handprints to remember how much Carl & Rick loved her, she offers to repair the planks.

    Maggie / Negan: Still heading for the satellite post, Negan says their situation only works if they trust each other; as expected, Maggie asks why would she trust him. Negan asks Maggie why she--with such a deep resentment of him--has not killed him yet. Her reply: she wonders than every day.

    Arriving at the satellite post, Maggie searches through hidden supplies; Negan does not want to wait around for others in their party, fearing that they're just setting themselves up to be caught by the Reapers. Maggie rejects taking the meager rations found back to Alexandria, as it would not help them survive; Negan tries to appeal to her senses by referring to Hershel, but she's thinking of the community as a whole. Negan asks that they wait until sundown, and if no one shows up, they leave, implying no one else survived.

    Long before sunset, Negan breaks his word to Maggie, trying to gather the food and heading back to Alexandria, which leads to a shoving contest and stand-off between the two (SEE NOTES), and Negan seemingly a moment from using the crow bar. This is interrupted by the arrival of Father Gabriel and Elijah. Feeling outnumbered, Negan has to deal with the others deciding to wait for the rest of their party.


    NOTES:
    Carol was written as sort of a loose cannon (not the first time) in this episode, with how willing she was to chase after the Whisperer's story about Connie. Yes, Carol is still seeking some sort of redemption in the eyes of Kelly. but chasing a clue that's very old cannot lead to anyone just hanging around in the general area,. and with walkers all around, it would have increased the chance of an unarmed and hungry Connie being killed.

    More Rosita screentime--the most in quite awhile. Add the backstory she shares with Judith (to make viewers care about Rosita), and I cannot help but suspect she (or Gabriel) may end up being one of the shock deaths of this final season.

    Yes, Eugene ran into the real Stephanie without knowing it, but now that he's in trouble, one wonders if the real Stephanie will come to his aid or still desire a relationship.

    Negan's tension with Maggie has no release valve, and we were led to believe Negan would kill her if necessary, which has to be setting up their final showdown, as I cannot imagine anything would bring peace between the two.

    Judith's foe (the asshole adolescent) and his friends also seem like a set-up for some conflict, and although Judith has a certain amount of plot armor, I'm not sure that extends to RJ...

    Lydia's anger with Aaron's brutal behavior is the most attention paid to the character in some time, and for someone so vital to several subplots over the past two seasons, she's been sidelined. Either develop her or have her walk off into the sunset...but not end up killed off.

    Then, there's Aaron's nightmares and aggression; either he's made new enemies out of the surviving Whisperers, or I can see one of the Alexandria juvenile delinquents threatening Gracie (as opposed to enemies of the past).

    GRADE: A.
     
  13. Mark de Vries

    Mark de Vries Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2001
    Location:
    Groningen, the Netherlands
    A bit of patchy episode, especially when contrasted with the previous ones. Too many storylines worked out over too many short scenes. On the other hand, they are being progressed along: the season is still going somewhere.

    There has to be some resolution coming up for Negan and Maggie, especially since Negan has been a bit of an empty character lately.

    Good point about the real Stephanie: I hadn't caught on to that yet, but it makes sense.

    And what about Mercer? With all the pretense going on in the Commonwealth, I am expecting him to be the one that can offer some sort of solution for Eugene and the others. The dollar bill episode shows him to be have some measure of common decency. Fake Stephanie can't be trusted, and if she says that Hornsby can help, he clearly can't or won't...

    I like how the kid characters are being developed more, especially Judith and perhaps also Gracie.
     
  14. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2001
    Location:
    The Wormhole
    Damn, this episode was excellent. All the various plotlines were really absorbing, from the Commonwealth drama to Judith and the douchebag teenager, Negan and Maggie having to shelter in a house, and Aaron, Carol, Jerry and Lydia going to the remains of Hilltop and running into the remnants of the Whisperers, it was all great stuff. The Commonwealth introduction video being so corny was definitely a highlight of the episode. We once again see some development into the group dynamic among Judith and the children of Alexandria. It's interesting to see Aaron developing a dark side, likely an outgrowth of the trauma caused be recent events which are apparently giving him nightmares. Negan and Maggie's storyline is interesting in that although we are conditioned to view Maggie as the hero and Negan as the villain, Negan is actually making a lot of good points which Maggie is apparently refusing to listen to due to their history. Which is understandable and I like that it's playing out this way.

    A thought I had when Fake Stephanie first suggested to Eugene they go to the radio and call back to Alexandria was that it was a ploy in order for the Commonwealth to gather intelligence on Alexandria. While that doesn't appear to be the case, Mercer cut the transmission off too soon for that to happen, it does seem there is some sort of plan in place given Cheesy Video Guy is stepping in to prevent Eugene, Ezekiel and Princess from going to trial.
    Where I suspect that storyline is going is that the teenagers are going to eventually end up in a potentially lethal situation where it's up to Judith and the other kids to save them. And while Judith would most likely do the right thing in such a situation and save them despite the fact they're assholes, I suspect perhaps one of the other kids might decide to let the teenagers get what they deserve. Maybe not Gracie, as she's the one who talked Judith down from her earlier confrontation with the teen, but RJ or Herschel I could see potentially behaving in such a manner.
     
    TREK_GOD_1 likes this.
  15. I was Mephisto All Along!

    I was Mephisto All Along! Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2017
    I think you can see one in the pilot episode. Remember when Rick was in the tank. That soldier zombie didn't really move at first and just seemed like a dead person until it woke up for the lack of a better word.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2021
    The Wormhole likes this.
  16. Starkers

    Starkers Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2001
    Location:
    Starkers
    The last two episodes have been ok.
    The Daryl episode just felt very familiar. For Reapers read Claimers, Whisperers, Wolves, Saviours etc it all just seems very samey, even down to the leader being a bit mad and killing one of his own. Even the reappearance of Daryl's GF couldn't save this.

    By comparison the last episode had a lot going on. Man, Aaron has changed a huge amount from the character we first encountered, how many seasons ago now? Nice to see Jerry and Lydia, and nice to see Carol being the voice of reason again. The torture scene was uncomfortable.

    I can't see where the Maggie/Negan dynamic is going. I don't know what's stopping her just killing him (or trying to) either it's that she wants him to suffer so a quick death would be letting him off the hook, or, subconsciously at least, she understands that he has changed and that they're stronger with him than they are without him. I suspect the latter. I hope there is an endgame, even if it's something trite like him sacrificing himself to save Herschel, that would be preferable to it just fizzling out (though I want something less obvious)

    The Commonwealth is interesting, though the damn place just kept reminding me of the Good Place! I'm guessing there's some dark secret hidden beneath the surface but at the moment apart from seeming a trifle militaristic and everyone being assigned jobs I can't tell what it is (feel free to tell me in spoiler code, I'm way past being that bothered about spoilers when it comes to TWD) I didn't pick up on the silent ice cream girl being the real Stephanie.

    I think the main problem with the Commonwealth is that it already feels a little rushed, maybe some of the time wasted on the Whisperers would have been better served setting up the CW?
     
  17. I was Mephisto All Along!

    I was Mephisto All Along! Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2017
    Everyone is going to like On the Inside. This episode is super tense and scary. Even I was feeling nervous watching it. Might be the shows scariest episode ever.
     
  18. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2001
    Location:
    The Wormhole
    Not so much a "secret" as it just hasn't really come up yet.
    But basically, the status a person has in the Commonwealth is decided based on what they were before the apocalypse. Those who were among the rich and elite in the old world, still live a life of luxury in the Commonwealth, while those who had labor or combat oriented jobs are viewed as a lower class, despite the fact that their skills are more valuable in a Zombie Apocalypse World.
     
  19. Starkers

    Starkers Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2001
    Location:
    Starkers
    ^That's kinda what I'd figured, I think I imagined there was something even worse at the heart of it.
     
  20. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 24, 2006
    Location:
    Escaped from Delta Vega
    The Walking Dead
    Season 11 - Episode 6 - "On the Inside"


    Connie & Virgil:
    Frantically running through the nighttime forest, Connie and Virgil find an abandoned house and barely make their way in as a group of walkers attack. Connie is intent on reading a message she's carried since her disappearance, leaving the job of searching the house to the ever-panting, ever-panicking Virgil. Virgil promises to help Connie return home, but she--believing the Whisperer war is still going on--writes that home is "Unsafe".

    Connie searches the house for herself, along the way, she sees the eyes of every subject of family portraits scratched out... While poking around a medicine cabinet with a hole in its back wall,, she's horrified by the eye of something staring at her. Warning Virgil that they are not alone. Virgil peers into the hole, does not see anyone. Frustrated that Virgil does not believe her, she marches down the second story hall, but is separated from Virgil by a door shut by someone else. Alarmed, Connie tries and fails to open the door, and soon finds herself pursued by a bizarre human with ash gray skin, long, unwashed hair and wearing a loincloth, crawling like a spider....

    Connie shuts herself off from the man, and heads to a basement littered with human and animal bones (SEE NOTES), but makes her way into an airshaft running the length of the house. Spotting Virgil in one of the rooms, she pounds on the wall, warning him that he's about to be attacked by one of the man-things--a moment too late--as the man-thing jumps on Virgil, attempting to strangle him. Virgil stabs the man in the torso, sending the creature crawling away.

    Realizing Connie is behind the wall, Virgil frees her, and explains that he's never seen people "this far gone--hunting us like prey." He gives Connie the knife, telling her that no matter what happens, she has to keep going. He confesses that he once lost his way, making choices he "can't unchoose," until Michonne brought him back from the dark (so to speak), which led him to Connie. He begs her to find her family and keep going--no matter what happens, despite Connie refusing to leave him.

    At that moment, a number of the men-things attack, one stabbing Virgil in the back; Connie drags Virgil to the front door, just as the men-things crawl down the stairs in pursuit. Realizing she cannot protect Virgil in any practical sense, Connie spreads a walker's guts all over her, and opens the front door, letting the pack of walkers into the house (still shuffling about from the morning) while shielding Virgil. The walkers attack the men-things, devouring most, while Connie drags the dying Virgil out of the house...


    Alexandria (Carol, Rosita, Magna, Kelly, et al.): Carol, Rosita and Aaron discuss going after Connie--only to learn (from Magna) that Kelly has run off on horseback to search on her own. Kelly stumbles across a satchel which contains Connie's slingshot and notebook with messages about Connie's actions / destination after escaping Alpha's trap. Tearfully looking in every direction, Kelly heads off, but her horse has other plans (eating) and refuses to move. Carol, Rosita and Magna catch up to her, with all genuinely surprised at the sight of Connie's notebook. Needless to say, the quartet are determined to find Connie, a search that goes on well into the night.

    As Connie and Virgil stumble from the house, one of the man-things--mortally wounded by walkers--still chases after the duo, only to be killed by Kelly (using Connie's slingshot). As you would expect, Connie and Kelly share one of this series' biggest emotional reunions / payoffs.

    Daryl & The Reapers: At the Reaper's HQ, Frost is tortured (by the hot-headed Brandon Carver) for information, including having his fingernails pulled off; Pope tests Daryl with the sight, watching for reactions Daryl will not provide. Pope has Daryl join in the questioning, but through it all--choking Frost and cutting off one of his fingers--his expression is saying something entirely different than the words coming out of his mouth (IOW, he's telling Frost he's acting against his will). Eventually, Frost cannot bear the pain and reveals the location of a house Frost's companions were using as a base.

    Pope sends Leah, Brandon and others to find and kill their enemies...taking Daryl with them, which Brandon rails against, as he does not trust the new recruit, and resents his past with Leah.

    Finding the house, Daryl, Leah, Brandon and three Reapers scout the location, with Daryl dropping back, obviously worried that Maggie and the others might be inside. With Leah covering Brandon, Daryl uses a power line's movement to send a message to a watching Maggie, who hides with the others (Gabriel, Negan & Elijah) in the crawlspace used for supplies. Finding an empty house, Brandon argues that they were being dicked around, but Daryl (seeing the hidden floorboard to the crawlspace) plays his role, suggesting they continue their sweep. At this point, Brandon is looking for any reason to suspect Daryl of anything; Leah sends him away to make one last search and confronts Daryl, giving him the "you're either with us, or you're not ultimatum"--and to stop pissing off Brandon.

    Brandon returns, and bickers with Daryl, who spin theories about how Maggie's group might return with greater numbers than the Reapers' 20 (yes, that was for Maggie's ears). Leah orders the group to leave, but Brandon ramps up his anger with Daryl, accusing him of only being a part of the group because of Leah. Of course, Daryl is ready for a fight and admits (again, for Maggie's ears) that he is only there for Leah, and that Pope scares him. Brandon claims to have Leah's back, but she reminds him of the night he set fire to the cabin he locked Daryl and Leah in, asking if that was a test. Brandon states that these days, everything is a test. Brandon discovers the crawlspace, but its empty (Maggie's group already making their way back into the woods). Leah leads the group back to their camp.

    Back at the camp, Brandon reports that their targets slipped away, but Pope is not too bothered by the failure, as he says he managed to get "what he needed" out of Frost (while glancing at Daryl), who is now a walker tied to a post. Daryl stand off, exchanging stares with Leah...


    NOTES:
    The basement of bones seemed to be a tribute to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (the original, not that shitty remake) where Pam (the meat hook character) falls into the room of furniture and "art" made from human bones.

    Brandon is set up as Daryl's nemesis, who appears to have raised Leah's suspicion antennae a bit, which makes one wonder if she does not trust Daryl at all, hoping she can be his buffer long enough for Daryl to come clean., but the big question is what was Pope referring to about "getting what he needed" from Frost? The smart money is on the Reapers attempting a form of Negan's hostage demands of Alexandria (with Daryl used as the same coercing chip as Sasha).

    So, this episode is a first: the introduction of the man-thing group. The audience--like Virgil--had not seen anyone that far gone before; even the Wolves--barbaric as they were--still maintained the lifestyle of upright human civilization to a degree. This group could have been the same described by Maggie, only they were operating without the leader she killed. Although it would be interesting to pay this pack a freaks another visit, the creep factor would be maintained if they are a one-off threat.

    Connie made this episode, and while she was well aware of her limitations, she proved that she has the skills to survive when facing two, potentially overwhelming threats.

    GRADE: A.