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The Walking Dead recap: Cue the fireworks

Norman Reedus stars as Daryl Dixon, as seen in Episode 8 of AMC's The Walking Dead Season 11
Norman Reedus stars as Daryl Dixon, as seen in Episode 8 of The Walking Dead Season 11. Pic credit: AMC/Josh Stringer

This week’s episode of AMC’s The Walking Dead is the last of the first part of Season 11. Last week saw various storylines heading towards conclusions, but unfortunately, there was not a lot of resolution in Episode 8.

For starters, if you were wondering if Eugene (Josh McDermitt) was going to finally ‘fess up to the location of Alexandria in order to get out of jail, well, who knows, because Episode 8 didn’t even head on over to the Commonwealth for a check-in.

Instead, it focused solely on a storm ravaging Alexandria and the ongoing conflict between Maggie (Lauren Cohan) and the Reapers.

So, let’s break down what happened there.

Alexandria is attacked by both a storm and walkers

This is the second mega-storm for Season 11 of The Walking Dead. This time around, though, Alexandria is getting blasted and, with the damage already there leftover from the Whisperers War, it comes as no surprise that the walls don’t hold.

Everyone is holed up inside the one house and it is mayhem. The front door chooses this time to let its inner rot be known and there simply aren’t enough boards to keep the walkers out.

Christian Serratos as Rosita, Cailey Fleming as Judith, and Angel Theory as Kelly, as seen in Episode 8 of AMC's The Walking Dead Season 11
Christian Serratos as Rosita, Cailey Fleming as Judith, and Angel Theory as Kelly, as seen in Episode 8 of The Walking Dead Season 11. Pic credit: AMC/Josh Stringer

They all split up, with some going out to repair the damaged walls and others staying put in order to help protect the young kids.

In the middle of all this, Virgil (Kevin Carroll) manages to have a heart-to-heart with Judith (Cailey Fleming) about her Michonne (Danai Gurira).

Gracie (Annabelle Holloway) also decides that she needs a weapon at the most inopportune time — just as they all decide to head upstairs and try to defend themselves from up there.

Judith finds Gracie in the basement and has no time to really get upstairs before the walkers are everywhere inside the house and Judith and Gracie are now locked inside the basement with water rushing in through the small windows.

Unfortunately, that is where this storyline ends, and viewers will have to tune into the second part of The Walking Dead, which will premiere on February 20, in order to find out more.

Ritchie Coster stars as Pope, as seen in Episode 8 of AMC's The Walking Dead Season 11
Ritchie Coster stars as Pope, as seen in Episode 8 of The Walking Dead Season 11. Pic credit: AMC/Josh Stringer

The Reapers have some unwelcome guests

Meanwhile, Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) is still playing at being a Reaper.

Last week’s episode saw Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) teaching Maggie how to be a Whisperer in order to lure a huge horde of the undead toward Meridian, where the Reapers have taken up.

So, this week’s episode opens with the horde now on Meridian’s doorstep and Pope (Ritchie Coster) is getting ready for an all-out war.

He tries his best to work out what exactly is going on and even asks Daryl for some intel regarding Maggie. However, Daryl is only really feeding him half of the story, and that means that it’s hard to really formulate a proper plan.

Lauren Cohan as Maggie and Seth Gilliam as Father Gabriel, as seen in Episode 8 of AMC's The Walking Dead Season 11
Lauren Cohan as Maggie and Seth Gilliam as Father Gabriel, as seen in Episode 8 of The Walking Dead Season 11. Pic credit: AMC/Josh Stringer

Plus, Daryl manages to kill one of the Reapers on the sly and let Maggie and Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) into the compound. So, yeah, Pope is really trying to push sh*t up hill at this point. Lucky for him, though, he has some gnarly catapult-o-fireworks on hand.

Daryl is still trying to help out his community while not alerting the Reapers to his true allegiance and things get tough for him in this episode of The Walking Dead — especially when the explosives start going off and he knows that his friends are walking among the dead.

He spends most of this episode looking downright panicked and finally comes clean to Leah (Lynn Collins).

Lynn Collins stars as Leah, as seen in Episode 8 of AMC's The Walking Dead Season 11
Lynn Collins stars as Leah, as seen in Episode 8 of The Walking Dead Season 11. Pic credit: AMC/Josh Stringer

Breakups are the worst

Episode 7 saw Daryl nearly tell Leah something but stopped short. However, this week sees him finally laying all of his cards on the table for Leah.

Daryl admits that he is doing all of this for his family, and Leah gets that. After all, the Reapers are her family too.

However, she is also well aware that Pope is starting to unravel and is more interested in sending his “soldiers” to die rather than protecting him like a family, such as the group did when they first formed.

So, for a while there, it looks like Leah could sway either way.

When Pope wants to launch his fireworks weapon, called a hwacha (which is a medieval Korean weapon, according to Entertainment Weekly) into the crowd — his own men included — Leah finally decides to pull the pin on having him as her leader.

Ritchie Coster as Pope and Lynn Collins as Leah, as seen in Episode 8 of AMC's The Walking Dead Season 11
Ritchie Coster as Pope and Lynn Collins as Leah, as seen in Episode 8 of The Walking Dead Season 11. Pic credit: AMC/Josh Stringer

She kills him and then alerts the remaining Reapers to what’s really going on — because Daryl told her everything.

Leah also lies to them all and tells them that Daryl killed Pope, so I guess they won’t be dating again anytime soon.

The episode concludes with Leah lighting up that hwacha and sending it out directly into the path of Maggie and Negan, which means that viewers will now have to wait until February in order to find out Maggie’s fate.

Season 11 of The Walking Dead will return on February 20, 2022.

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