It’s the beginning of the end of The Walking Dead … sort of. The flagship show that set off a mega franchise of post-apocalyptic zombie shows is coming to a close. But we’re nowhere near that end.  In, “Acheron: Part 1,” Daryl (Norman Reedus), Maggie (Lauren Cohan), and the Alexandria community continue to pick up the pieces after the Whisperer War. And Eugene (Josh McDermitt) and his group continue to be interrogated by the mysterious soldiers from the railyard.

It’s the final season of The Walking Dead. And things are not starting off great …

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TWD MRE

After Alexandria’s food supply was destroyed by the Whisperers, Team Family has been searching for food in nearby locations. They find an old military facility full of MREs (ready to eat meals) and you guessed it, full of walkers. The walker army is dormant, so the team has to be very quiet and stealth when gathering the MREs. But! They also have to enter through the roof, making things very difficult. 

The ladies are lowered down by rope. They quietly search for the MREs and fill up multiple bags. Once their bag is full, they take it to the ropes and the guys pull it up. While they look around, Carol (Melissa McBride) eyes the military guns laying on the floor, but Maggie shakes her head. That’s not what they came for.  

One of the bags of food is too heavy for the rope, causing it to break. Daryl reaches out quick enough to grab the bag of food, but cuts his arm in the process. One drop of Daryl’s blood falls into the mouth of one of the walkers and that wakes up the entire platoon. The ladies quickly gather the rest of the MREs and fight off the walkers as the guys pull up the food. 

The guys start shooting walkers from the roof, giving the ladies time to make it to the ropes to escape. Maggie and Carol pick up the military rifles to hold off the walkers. One by one, the ladies are pulled up to safety. Carol is the last one, but she sees a box of MREs and runs to fill up her last bag. Daryl throws daggers at the walkers that get too close to Carol. She quickly grabs the food and Daryl’s daggers before being pulled up to safety.

RISKY MOVES

The Alexandria council discuss where to find food on The Walking Dead

Ross Marquand as Aaron, Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon, Seth Gilliam as Father Gabriel Stokes, Christian Serratos as Rosita Espinosa, Okea Eme-Akwari as Elijah – The Walking Dead _ Season 11, Episode 1 – Photo Credit: Josh Stringer/AMC

They return to Alexandria with the MREs. More of Maggie’s friends from Meridian show up and they all know about Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan). The community leaders start distributing the food, but it will only last a week. There’s nothing to hunt in the nearby woods because the last walker horde scared everything off. They’ve searched all of the nearby, abandoned places with no luck. Maggie says Meridian has a lot of food, water, crops and animals. But the Reapers took it over, killing most of the people. 

Maggie knows two things about the Reapers. They only come at night and by the time you see them, you’re dead. They caught one of the Reapers in the extended season. He came after them alone and that makes Maggie think there aren’t many of the Reapers around. She wants to go back and get the food. 

Aaron (Ross Marquand) doesn’t like the idea. They need as many people as they can get to put the walls back up and keep everyone safe. Rosita (Christian Serratos) is concerned that the Reapers will come to Alexandria and kill everyone. Maggie reminds them that her son Hershel (Kien Michael Spiller) also lives there. The new people that arrived are Meridian’s best fighters. With them by Maggie’s side, she is confident that they will be successful. Rosita says it sounds like a suicide mission. Daryl says without food, it doesn’t matter if it is or not. He volunteers to go with Maggie along with Gabriel (Seth Gilliam),Alden (Callan McAuliffe), Gage (Jackson Pace) and Negan. 

A thunderstorm rolls through, causing some delay, so the group goes to the subway tunnels under the city. Negan suggests they wait for the storm to pass, but Maggie doesn’t care about his opinion. He tries to reach out to Daryl for support, but Daryl has changed his tune about Negan since Maggie arrived. Along the way, they hear a loud noise. The water is pushing through the pipes. Negan finds water line marks, indicating that the tunnels flood when it rains. Daryl and Maggie won’t listen and encourage the group to keep moving. 

INTERROGATION

Eugene, Ezekiel (Khary Peyton), Yumiko (Eleanor Matsuura), and Princess (Paola Lázaro) are taken to a new location where they are asked a series of questions. The thing is, they are questioned for hours and asked the same questions over and over. The auditor informs them that they are at level one of assessment. If they pass, they will move onto level two. 

They pretty much tell the truth about who they are and what they were doing before the apocalypse. Then questions come up about where they come from, how long they’ve known each other, their health, and how they came to the railyard where they were captured. Ezekiel lies about his cancer, saying the growth on his throat has been there since he was a child. They also lie about where they come from, saying they don’t have a community to go back to. 

Ezekiel gets frustrated and confronts a man in an orange armor. (We already know this guy is Mercer (Michael James Shaw).) While Ezekiel tries to complain about the questions, he starts coughing uncontrollably. Mercer gives him water. Later, Ezekiel tells the group about the encounter. Princess says they have to get out. Yumiko agrees, saying the Commonwealth might not be real. Eugene disagrees saying Stephanie warned him that her people were cautious and he compares it to Michonne’s caution. He thinks they should be honest about their community. Everyone disagrees, afraid the soldiers would attack Hilltop and Alexandria. 

Princess sees a couple in the next holding cell. They’ve been there for nine months, having gone through reprocessing several times. As they talk, the soldiers come in to take them back through reprocessing again. Eugene agrees with everyone that they need to leave immediately. 

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ACHERON

Maggie and Daryl lead their team through the tunnels and find bags of bodies. Negan voices his concern about the body bags, thinking someone put them there for a reason. He questions Maggie’s leadership, but everyone ignores him. Maggie instructs everyone to kill the bagged walkers and clear a path. 

One of the walkers gets out of the bag and attacks Gage. Negan questions Maggie’s leadership again, saying she’s leading the group to their death. He brings up a couple of good points. They don’t even know if the tunnel has a way out. Whoever killed these people could still be down there. Negan decides to leave and Gage wants to go with him.

Maggie’s friends are ready to let him go, but Maggie says they need him because he knows the city. Negan believes Maggie brought him along to kill him. He says he won’t die on her terms. Instead, he tells her to finish it now. He won’t let her put him down like a dog like he did to Glenn. (RUDE!)

Daryl hits Negan, knocking him to the ground. Maggie steps forward saying they went underground because up top is deadly, they are moving fast because their kids are starving, and she’s in charge because that’s how everyone voted. She is always thinking about killing Negan. She’s not the same woman she was six years ago when she left Hilltop. There’s a little bit of that woman left in her and that’s the only reason Negan is still breathing. That won’t last for long. 

ESCAPE

Princess comes up with a plan to escape on The Walking Dead

Josh McDermitt as Dr. Eugene Porter, Eleanor Matsuura as Yumiko, Khary Payton as Ezekiel, Paola Lázaro as Juanita ‘Princess’ Sanchez – The Walking Dead _ Season 11, Episode 1 – Photo Credit: Josh Stringer/AMC

Eugene, Yumiko, and Ezekiel plan for their escape while Princess watches the guards. She says two of them are having sex and they don’t want anyone else to know. She’s been watching them enough to know who’s who, when they sneak off and how long they are gone. That gives Ezekiel an idea. 

When the two guards leave for their break, Eugene and Yumiko steal their uniforms and lead Ezekiel and Princess down the processing hall. They make it out of the building and the first thing Princess sees is a huge cart full of confiscated money. They also see a wall of pictures called the Wall of the Lost. Princess finds a picture of Yumiko with a note from her brother. They have a straight shot to the gate and very little time to move, but Yumiko says she has to stay.

OVER THE TOP

Maggie’s group treks on and Alden’s flashlight goes off. He calls for Gage to give him a new battery, but the kid is gone with all of their supplies. Daryl hears growling coming from behind them. They split up, half staying behind to fight off the walkers, the others to the abandoned train in their path. The train is full of walkers too. Daryl suggests getting around the train by going over the top of it.

Daryl tries to get Dog to go with him, but Dog takes off on the side of the train. Daryl goes after him as the rest of the group climb over the train. Maggie is the last to climb up and she gets caught by a walker. Negan looks over the top of the train and watches her struggle. She calls for his help, but he leaves her to fall. 

The Walking Dead airs Sundays on AMC. You can also watch the entire series on AMC+.

Noetta Harjo
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