The Walking Dead Starts the End With More Middle-Page Content
What is the plan for the remaining episodes of the series’ final season? Since the characters most definitely don’t.
It appears that no one informed The Walking Dead that the third act of its eleventh and last season had begun. It’s an unceremonious continuation of the previous episode save from a brief montage of well-known faces at the beginning and some narration by Judith (Cailey Fleming). That’s actually a good thing! It’s also not exactly a nice thing.
Hornsby and almost a million Commonwealth troopers were pursuing Daryl, Maggie, Aaron, Gabriel, Negan, and his new wife Annie when we last saw our crazy friends. Back in the Commonwealth, Carol was caring for the children and working odd jobs for Hornsby, while Yumiko represented Governor Pamela Milton. Eugene, Max, Magna, Kelly, and Connie were instigating a revolt against the wealthy elite of the city, which culminated in Connie writing an article about Pam’s son Sebastian’s habit of dispatching the “undesirables” of the city to die on various errands on him. I feel it is imperative to point out once more that the newspaper depicted in the last episode resembles a terrorist manifesto, and a particularly shoddy one at that.
The Commonwealth has started protesting outside Milton’s office, yelling “Give Sebastian to us!” in order to… murder him, I guess? despite it being repeatedly stated that the article gives no proof that Sebastian is to blame for the deaths of so many missing people. I’m not sure why they believe this is a viable choice considering that the Commonwealth has a court system. Although, to be fair, Sebastian is the worst person in the zombie apocalypse and I can understand why they’d want to bypass a trial and go straight to the execution. Sebastian is Kingsley St. Buffingsworth of the Cape Cod Buffingsworths.
I’m going to come right out and say that I found a lot of “Lockdown” to be confusing. It has some good action, but not enough to make me lose track of the story, which is where The Walking Dead frequently stumbles. Although I’m not sure whether they are aware that Hornsby has already seized control of Alexandria, Hilltop, and Riverside, I don’t mind Daryl and the others hunting Hornsby for the most of the episode. Negan’s dispatch to the Commonwealth to inform Carol and the others that Hornsby will almost surely radio home and dispatch his spies to steal the children is acceptable to me as well. Jerry has obviously been hoarding food at Jerry’s hidden lair in Carol’s attic. Everything appears wise!
Because everyone seems to be operating in opposition to one another, it is what the rest of the Commonwealth is doing that irritates me. Kelly is concerned that things have already spiralled out of control, while Connie is thrilled to have incited the proletariat to rise up against the upper class and demand the murder of an asshole. Magna despises the wealthy and desires a revolution, but she also feels compelled to save them from the war that a revolution will eventually bring about. Despite the fact that she is Pam’s attorney and will almost certainly lose the revolution, Yumiko feels compelled to remain in the Commonwealth, and Magna offers to stay if Yumiko does. Why bother toppling the Miltons if you want to leave immediately? If you’re concerned that a revolution will put everyone in danger—which, of course, it will—why start one?
Similar to how Connie’s newspaper singled out Sebastian’s sins, despite the fact that its headline (in bananas) just read, “Pamela Milton is lying to you,” which, uh, she isn’t? Even while it’s possible that she’s lying about other things, she genuinely appears to have no idea what Kingsley has been up to. In contrast, Carol and Negan track down Kingsley, who is unconscious, inebriated, and peeing into Mason jars in a hidden room, so they may securely transport him back to Pamela in exchange for the governor getting Hornsby under control. Carol even suggests that they put the responsibility for the deaths on Hornsby, which would completely deflect attention away from the Milton family and put an end to the revolution.
It would have been far more fascinating to see these people collaborate if they had held a team meeting to discuss their objectives and the best way to achieve them. This is partly because they are all working in opposition to one another. Given that there are only seven more episodes left, it would at the very least give the fight with the Commonwealth a more epic sense.
Fair enough, I don’t believe the villains have a strategy either. Hornsby appears to have taken control over Hilltop, Alexandria, and Oceanside in hopes of gaining unimaginable wealth and power—both of which are unattainable—in the future. Despite the fact that it’s terrible, exploiting the working class isn’t illegal in the zombie apocalypse any more than it is in real life, Pamela Milton wants to maintain control and live a life of luxury. However, when confronted with protesters, she starts what is known as plan “B14,” which the show suggests is the following:
putting the city under lockdown and ordering everyone to return home However, somehow, after that, they are informed that anyone found in violation of the curfew will be jailed “for their own protection.” But why wouldn’t you just arrest everyone outside regardless of the time when they’ve already told everyone to go back to their house?
The lockdown is a completely good and smart thing to do, despite how it is dampening public dissatisfaction, as it turns out there is indeed a massive zombie horde approaching the town. But did Pamela really have a massive army of zombies ready and waiting for this precise circumstance? How was she going to capture them? When she could just have her minions lie and say zombies were on the way, why did she somehow have someone transport the zombies to the Commonwealth, endangering everyone including herself?
Furthermore, the zombies get through several lines of defense before Mercer, Rosita, and a very small team of Commontroopers head out to stop them. It is hinted that Milton or someone else instructed the soldiers in advance to let the zombies through, but why? If he was commanded to leave his post when zombies are approaching, wouldn’t at least one of the troops get suspicious? By the way, they’re still there when the episode closes, with Daryl holding a knife to Hornsby’s throat and the gang being surrounded by Commontroopers who very deliberately refuse to lay down their weapons.
The issue is, I don’t really care about any of these unanswered questions or story gaps. I won’t be disappointed if The Walking Dead manages to surprise me in any way over these final eight episodes because I don’t have any expectations that the show will go all out for them. If the show decides to wrap up this Commonwealth business as soon as possible and begin setting the groundwork for the upcoming TWD seasons, it might do so by introducing one of the evolved zombies we’ve heard so little about or by providing hints as to how or why Daryl winds up travelling to Europe in his spin-off. However, I don’t think the show will do this for at least another six episodes. I suppose it’s live the revolution until then. until you decide you don’t want it to. both ways
Random Thoughts: For some reason, AMC has started posting production stills from The Walking Dead alongside the regular stills, and this was just too adorable not to share.
What caused the Jeep to flip? There are just two options: Given that he was on a field that was essentially flat, either the driver made a terrible mistake or the undead committed the crime. Stupid in both cases.
The expression on Carol’s face when Negan uses her ability to solve challenging challenges as a metaphor for how he has seen her pull rabbits out of her ass when telling Kingsley about it is flawless. The comment made him happy, but Negan’s use of those exact words utterly infuriated him.