The Walking Dead Season 11 - Episode 8 - "For Blood"- Mid-season finale Daryl & The Reapers vs. Team Maggie: Maggie's group lead the walker horde to the field surrounding the Reaper compound, but are temporarily set back by a series of landmines--its shrapnel causing minor woulds to Negan and Elijah; Daryl kills his cigarette buddy in order to unlock the food shed, but raises the suspicion of Pope when he retrieves his crossbow. Moving cigarette buddy's body aside, Maggie and Father Gabriel manage to move close to one side of the compound, where Gabriel works his way to the second story of a building, quickly creating a sniper's nest. Maggie drives a truck through the compound gates, and with it, the army of walkers that waste no time overwhelming the Reapers. Pope is unhinged, ordering the firing of a mounted, custom RPG launcher at the courtyard where his men are engaged with the walkers. Claiming God is directing his actions, he yells at the questioning Leah, saying she cannot question God, or question him (note the order--he's the last word). As one of his men lights the RPG housing's fuse, Daryl grabs his knives, ready to stop the launch, but Pope--now proving he never trusted Daryl, pulls his own knives, but is stabbed in the throat by Leah, who then steps on the dying Pope's head, bracing it as she prevents his reanimation. In the courtyard, a Reaper attacks and nearly kills Maggie, until she's saved by Father Gabriel's sniper skills, allowing her to escape. Daryl admits that he's a part of the "enemies," explaining who they are in his life; Leah appears exhausted in her disappointment with Daryl, but does not act against him...until she radios Carver, telling him Daryl killed Pope. Completely betrayed, Daryl now knows Leah cares about family...her family and is just as merciless as Pope. Daryl escapes down a ladder just as the hotheaded Carver arrives, bitching about how he always wanted to kill Daryl. Leah promises to kill every enemy in the compound (SEE NOTES) Maggie and Negan cannot understand why the Reapers seem to be retreating..until they see the RPG mount, just as Leah gives the order to fire on the crowd. Alexandria: Battling a savage rainstorm, torrential floods and an army of walkers, the Alexandrians are forced to split into groups; Carol will repair one of the walls, with Connie surprising Magna by volunteering to go with her (SEE NOTES). Kelly is not about to let her sister out of her sight again, so she joins Carol's party, while Magna partners with Aaron to extinguish a fire in the tower. While the teams head out, the house is battered by rain, flying debris and walkers. When one of the doors is close to being torn down, Rosita arms herself and goes outside to cut down as many walkers as possible (SEE NOTES). Judith: The episodes plays with the idea of Judith's seemingly fearless attitude, and how she now admits she's been afraid on several occasions. Although she gets some comfort from Virgil mentioning Michonne and the child having a part of her mother in her, eventually, she is shaken (again) by the horde of walkers who break into the house. Discovering Gracie in the basement, she also sees the basement is rapidly flooding from the broken windows; racing upstairs, Judith's path to the staircase is blocked by a horde of walkers, as she retreats to, and locks the basement. With walkers pounding on the basement door and the flood waters rising to dangerous levels, Judith and Gracie seem doomed (SEE NOTES)... NOTES: Judith and Gracie's situation might be the most classically 1930s cliffhanger-ish ending in The Walking Dead franchise's history, even above Fear the Walking Dead's recent nuclear assault season finale. While I said Judith and Gracie seem doomed, yeah, it's highly unlikely Judith will be killed off, as she has taken Carl's place as the "future" of that world. On the other hand Gracie....who knows. Perhaps Aaron's nightmares were all about Gracie after all... Rosita was given her own setpiece "Rick in "No Way Out" moment; if you recall, in season six's "No Way Out," Rick was so enraged at being powerless to help Carl (who had been shot in the eye by Ron Anderson), that he was in a mass-slaughter frame of mind, leaving Denise's house to take on every walker in sight. Rosita was not motivated by tragedy / powerlessness, but she too left the house to kill off numerous walkers. Once again, in a season that's been building up Rosita in ways not seen in a few seasons, one gets the impression that something terrible is headed her way...or Gabriel's. As always, I hope both survive, but this is the final season of a series that's never been shy about killing off a large number of main characters, so the chance of that couple walking off into TV history are thin... Leah promising kill everyone at the compound could be the way Father Gabriel might meet his end; we must remember that he spared the life of Mancea (the Reapers' pastor of a kind), and now that he's behind Reaper walls, he might confront Mancea--or fail in hoping to appeal to the man's faith--only to be killed by the man, or even Leah, since she's so single-minded with her vengeful behavior. Magna seemed upset that Connie wanted to help Carol, since she (Magna) had blamed Carol for Connie's fate in Alpha's cave. Now that Connie is back, Magna seems to act as if Carol sort of "got off scott free" and no longer has to face condemnation for a trap she led others into. I wonder if there will be a confrontation between the two... Well, that's it until 11B begins February 20. The Walking Dead's final season is rich with "what's going to happen" characterization, and plots are moving quicker than normal, no doubt due to the storylines needing to line up with the Rick movies. There's no dip in overall story quality, only one hint after another of something significant happening in the next episode. Easily one of the best fantasy series of 2021. GRADE: A+.