Season 11 of The Walking Dead is the final season of AMC’s zombie apocalypse series.
Fans have been long waiting for the final eight episodes to air — and not wanting it all to be over.
And, here we are, at the first of the final eight, and the network has decided to open with Judith (Cail Fleming) talking and a reminder of the old days.
Cue, Rick (Andrew Lincoln) waking up from his coma and a trip down memory lane of all the worst villains the show has to offer.
Then, we enter the present day, where Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Maggie (Lauren Cohan) are fighting the current-day big bad: the Commonwealth.
Well, Lance Hornsby (Josh Hamilton), to be exact.
Lance Hornsby is on the warpath
The Season 11B finale of The Walking Dead closed with Hornsby taking control of the smaller communities. While Alexandria and Hilltop had been left abandoned, he did manage to capture a live town, taking over at Oceanside and the finale ended with the cliffhanger of not knowing what would happen with the people there.
While we don’t find out what has happened to Oceanside in this episode, we do have Daryl and Maggie nearly taking out some of their own when Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) arrives with Aaron (Ross Marquand), Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), and Annie (Medina Senghore), who are ready to take out “s**thead and the d**kless brigade. Negan’s words, not mine.
While Hornsby casually strides toward their location, they can’t decide whether to head back to the Commonwealth to get their people out or stay and fight.
The point is made that Carol (Melissa McBride) is there. And we all know that chances are she has already singlehandedly dealt with everything so I have no idea why they’re still arguing.
Then Daryl decides they can do both by sending Negan in. After all, they haven’t seen his face before.
And, if he dies? Well, that’s two birds hit with a single stone.
Riots are afoot at the Commonwealth
It seems that Carol needn’t take out anyone at the Commonwealth because the community seems to be imploding.
A riot is underway and people demand that Sebastian (Teo Rapp-Olsson) be held accountable for his actions.
It seems like the flyer that Connie (Lauren Ridloff) published is working.
Meanwhile, Pamela Milton (Laila Robins) is in (public) total denial about what her son is capable of.
While all this plays out, those remaining here from Daryl’s group are concerned about what to do if things get ugly.
When Rosita (Christian Serratos) and Mercer (Michael James Shaw) discuss the fact that Rosita is not in uniform, Mercer gets a call through and has to go check it out.
On the inside, Stephanie (Margot Bingham) is acting the part in front of Pamela but confirms to Yumiko (Eleanor Matsuura) that she is Team Anti-Commonwealth.
Yumiko knows it’s time to go
With Pamela suspecting Connie as the reason behind the riots, Yumiko goes to Magna (Nadia Hilker) and tells her to get everyone out of the Commonwealth.
While Magna agrees with Yumiko that it is time to go, she doesn’t like the idea that Yumiko wants to stay behind with her brother, Tomi (Ian Anthony Dale).
But, seriously, I’m pretty sure Tomi would rather leave than stay anyway, so I don’t know what the big deal is all about.
Mercer and Negan meet
Negan asks for Mercer when he arrives at the Commonwealth, and he is quickly interrogated by him. Mercer works out pretty quickly that Negan is Team Daryl and sends the other guard out so they can talk plainly.
And, honestly, I know Negan and Maggie have their own Walking Dead spinoff in development but, can Mercer tag along as well?
But now Mercer knows Negan is here to help his own people and that maybe the head of the Commonwealth army should join them.
Then, when he is finally let loose on the streets of the Commonwealth, the first thing he does is go looking for Carol.
So, what’s Carol up to?
While Carol could be taking out the Commonwealth from the inside, she has been tasked with looking after the kids instead.
But when she sees Fake Stephanie, Shira (Chelle Ramos), in the crowd, she quickly gets her troop moving.
So when Shira and her heavy, Roman Calhoun (Michael Tourek) turn up at the apartment, they are all in hiding.
Calhoun takes a pic of Judith and RJ (Antony Azor) but, luckily, Negan knows the Commonwealth is partial to using kids to control those who they consider “undesirables.”
So, when he and Carol meet up, they quickly get on the same page and Carol decides they need some “insurance” so they can escape safely. By insurance, she means Sebastian.
They just have to work out where he is hiding first.
When they find him — passed out and feeling sorry for himself — it only takes Negan one single speech for Sebastian to trust Carol.
Rosita finally turns up for work
While Rosita doesn’t want to suit up, she finally does and, lucky for her, she gets paired with Mercer as they head out to kill the walker swarm.
Unsurprisingly, they have a quiet moment to chat before the walkers cause absolute chaos and we now know that Rosita will only help with walker stuff, not Commonwealth bulls**t within the walls. Also, Mercer will help her family escape should they choose.
It’s lockdown time
Pamela has enacted a lockdown. And, considering we have all lived through lockdowns over the past two years, we can all guess how this is going to end.
Pamela blames a swarm of walkers approaching — how convenient is that?
While people are starting to head back to their homes, Shira and Calhoun lock on Judith and RJ. Luckily, Jerry (Cooper Andrews) sees them in the crowd and enacts his own lockdown by getting people to crowd the pair so that Jerry can escape with the kids.
They have a narrow escape again after that as Calhoun fails to work out fire escape staircases and a kind woman allows them access to her apartment.
Later on, after dark — and curfew — people are still outside at a candlelight vigil for April (Wynn Everett), who died back in Episode 14 of The Walking Dead. The Commonwealth army immediately gets heavy-handed, using tear gas to clear the crowd.
Yumiko is p**sed when she finds this out and goes straight to Pamela, where they have a tense conversation about who Pamela should trust when Carol turns up with Sebastian.
A mother/son reunion
Pamela is glad to see her son and gives him a quick hug before slapping him and laying in with how he has embarrassed her and himself with his actions.
While Pamela has been very vocal publically regarding Sebastian’s innocence, she won’t take his bulls**t when he spouts his innocence in private.
Carol jumps in and suggests that maybe Lance Hornsby is the one responsible and Sebastian looks immediately relieved that he can blame someone else for his f**k ups.
A plan is hatched to take down Lance Hornsby
While Negan is back at the Commonwealth, Daryl starts taking out the Commonwealth army — even getting a shot off at Hornsby — and I’m left wondering what the point is of the army since they obviously don’t know how to take out a single guy with a gun.
Honestly, I think the problems started when they decided on the stormtrooper outfits.
But at least the plan works and there are plenty of fatalities. They then use the sewer system to draw down Hornsby’s remaining troops.
Episode 17 of The Walking Dead then ends with Daryl taking Hornsby hostage and viewers will have to wait until next Sunday to find out what happens next.
The Walking Dead airs every Sunday night at 9/8c on AMC.