This article contains spoilers for the series finale “The Walking Dead”.
“The Walking Dead” has been ending for a very long time.
When it debuted on AMC in the fall of 2010, “The Walking Dead” was kind of an anomaly in the prestigious TV landscape – series like “The Sopranos” and “Breaking Bad,” a gory, effects-heavy horror drama that combines graphic, massive guignol violence with strong moral core for adults. It soon emerged as an unexpected hit: At the height of its popularity, around 2013-16, it became one of the most-watched cable TV series in history, with nearly 21 million people watching the Season 7 premiere to find out who’s who. After the hotly debated (and wildly controversial) finale of the previous season, the new villain is murdered by Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan).
Ever since we learned the answer to that question—it was a double concussion that both Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) and Glenn (Steven Yeun) had a baseball bat over their heads—the show’s importance has dwindled. Ratings have plummeted, hovering between one and two million viewers per episode these days, while main cast members either escaped to the “Fear the Walking Dead” spin-off or were written off entirely.
Among them is Andrew Lincoln, who played the show’s lead character, Rick Grimes, before leaving in the middle of Season 9. Only fan favorites Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Carol (Melissa McBride) remain from the original group of survivors. A handful of multi-season stalwarts like Negan, Maggie (Lauren Cohan), Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam), and Eugene (Josh McDermitt).
The 11th and final season of the post-apocalyptic zombie drama is split into three eight-hour episodes, the first episode of which premiered in August 2021. the previous six seasons; reluctantly incorporated into the Commonwealth of Nations, a huge, prosperous community led by Pamela Milton (Laila Robins), an ostensibly benevolent governor; nefarious foes led by the mustachioed tyrant Pope (Ritchie Coster) fought and defeated the Reapers; and got into an elaborate confrontation with Lance Hornsby (Josh Hamilton), the manipulative deputy governor of the Commonwealth, who caused all sorts of trouble before he was killed a few weeks ago.
There was so much to cover in one season. Much of it is based on material outlined in Robert Kirkman’s Walking Dead comics – especially the arrival of our main heroes in the Commonwealth where the comics ended in 2019 and the ongoing power struggle between the corrupt leaders of the Commonwealth and our (mostly) noble heroes. But the series has deviated enough from the source material over the years, recklessly killing off key comic book characters, or pursuing new issues of its own invention. Many questions remained about how the show would end.
Last week’s penultimate episode left us with an old “Walking Dead” chasm: Brave Judith Grimes (Cailey Fleming) is shot during and trying to do so during a tense stalemate between the core group and what are now all-true forces of the Commonwealth. Save him before he bleeds out, Daryl, Carol and the others are surrounded on all sides by flesh-eating walkers. The finale picks up where we left off with a frantic struggle to escape the herd of walkers and save Judith’s life.
We’ve decided whether you want to relive the magic one last time or close the book on a show you stopped watching years ago. Here are five takeaways from the long-awaited ending of “The Walking Dead.”
The abyss of the previous episode was short-lived. As Daryl lures ailing Judith to an abandoned Commonwealth hospital and safe from harm, she is knocked unconscious by a city cop, forcing Judith to fend off a raping walker and make sure they are unharmed. Carol and the others soon join them inside, but as Judith’s condition – her blood type begins to stabilize thanks to a “fits-all” Daryl’s generous (and very affordable) blood transfusion – Luke (Dan Fogler) and his girlfriend Jules (Alex Sgambati) , they are not so lucky to succumb to their zombie wounds.
At the other end of town, Rosita (Christian Serratos), Eugene and Father Gabriel arrive at the local daycare center, which is almost completely overrun by walkers in one of the show’s darker turns – Rosita’s youngest daughter, Coco, is the lone survivor. The baby in tow reunites with the three of them Daryl, Carol, and the others, and now they’re joined by Maggie, Negan, Aaron (Ross Marquand) and Lydia (Cassady McClincy). They even managed to free Mercer (Michael James Shaw) from Commonwealth prison.
The reunited team seizes an army truck and heads to the nearby safe house, where they are apparently ready, with surgeon Tomi (Ian Anthony Dale) ready to restore Judith to full health.
Everyone got together again. Judith survived the danger. Next agenda? Transformed from governor to despot, Pamela gathered together the wealthiest of the Commonwealth and retreated into the city’s gated inner sanctuary, leaving the proletariat to fend for itself against a herd of predatory loafers. Mercer doesn’t like this and tells the group that he plans to save people and take him down on his own if necessary. However, this is not a group to take the evil dictatorships lightly. They all agree to sack Pamela and save the Commonwealth once and for all.
Thus a reckoning. As the city’s underclasses beg for admission into the protected community, a horde of walkers attacks them, and within minutes our heroes surround Pamela and her troops, demanding the door open. Under threat of being shot, Father Gabriel tries to open the door – forcing the normally silent Daryl to speed through the ages with a title drop.
Saying “We have only one enemy”, he invites both sides to unite and unite against idlers. “We are not the walking dead.”
An exciting speech that will convince Pamela’s last remaining allies to abandon her and join the cause forever. He was promptly arrested (for “grave crimes against the people of the Commonwealth”), the gates opened, and the zombies kept away. Judith even says some encouraging words for Pamela, hoping to inspire her to change her mind. “It’s never too late,” she insists.
Like Negan before her, Pamela is overthrown and imprisoned, left to reflect on her crimes. A swarm of walkers was used to start a massive explosion using a group of oil barrels, a turntable, and an old Living Color LP, which destroyed the secure site and the mansion where Pamela lived. symbolic gesture. Taking over the governorship, Carol plans to abolish the caste system that has made the Commonwealth so unfair. Why don’t you start by blowing up the wealthy part of town?
Afterwards, the people of the Commonwealth gather to eat and drink to the sounds of Fleetwood Mac. Various characters, up to a long sad expression, enter the long sincere heart. Negan offers Maggie a long-overdue apology for killing Glenn, which Maggie doesn’t fully accept, but appreciates anyway. (“I don’t want to hate you anymore,” she tells him. Expect the healing to continue in next year’s Maggie-Negan spin-off “Dead City.”) Negan even gets a light, respectful nod from Daryl. This is perhaps the biggest sign ever that people are finally ready to accept his redemption.
One year later
Blackout and fast forward: It’s been a year since Pamela was ousted, and in the meantime we take a cursory look at what the people of the Commonwealth of Nations have been up to.
Connie (Lauren Ridloff) still works as a reporter to “keep management honest” and is happier than ever. As Judith prepares to flee for her new drama, she receives a letter and farewell package from none other than Negan and wishes him well. The town as a whole seems to be flourishing, no longer under immediate threat of siege or roaming invasion. It’s the closest the show has ever gotten to demonstrating its capacity for optimism. Is it a happy ending? Ecstatic in the context of “The Walking Dead.”
But there is a man who is not content with enjoying the peace and quiet. Ever the nomad, Daryl Dixon is getting ready to leave the Commonwealth behind and hit the open road on his motorcycle… well, it’s hard to say. But according to reports, it could take him all the way to France in another “Walking Dead” spin-off.
Daryl’s need to keep his story in motion as everything wraps up neatly has a somewhat disjointed effect, but at least we get a great finale scene between Daryl and Carol, who have been inseparable since they bonded in the show’s second season. “It’s not like we’re ever going to see each other again,” she assures him before leaving, making fun of a possibly future screen reunion. His tearful response is more poignant.
“I’m allowed to be sad,” she says, fighting back tears. “You are my best friend.”
Of course, one of the biggest differences between “The Walking Dead” and its source material is that the story’s original protagonist, Rick Grimes, left the series four years ago, whereas he remains the main character throughout the comic’s sequel. The comic ends with Rick’s death – murdered in cold blood by Pamela’s cocky, sociopathic son; it is a crime that hastened widespread social change and upheaval in the Commonwealth community. Since this couldn’t be the end, one of the biggest unknowns of this finale was what would replace it.
As it turns out, the show concludes with the return of Rick (and Lincoln). The final moments of “The Walking Dead” show us Rick wandering a beach full of corpses, writing a letter to his family and filling it in a bottle.
A Lincoln-led mini-series is being worked on about Rick’s continuing adventures, and here we get a few enthusiastic glimpses of what this might look like: Rick is alone and on the run, and after tossing his message in a bottle at sea, he’s tracked down by some guys in a helicopter and called him to surrender by megaphone. warns that he has no other choice. This is evident from their previous interactions. It’s also clear that Rick hasn’t given up hope of someday reuniting with his family, even though it’s been at least seven years since he left the main story (in the story’s timeline).
Rick’s brief appearance has a sad memory tone. The shore excursions intersect with a montage of the cast leaving from past seasons, and we get some voice-over narration from Lincoln that evokes an earlier conversation between Rick and his longtime partner Michonne (Danai Gurira). “I always think of the dead,” says Rick, as the faces of the underachievers, beloved characters (Chandler Riggs’ Carl, Jon Bernthal’s Shane), and some forgettable characters (Jeffrey DeMunn’s Dale, Lawrence Gilliard Jr.). . Bob), cross the screen. Naturally, he ends with a phrase that has become a mantra for the show: “We are the living.”
It’s a fitting word to conclude, capturing the stubborn resilience of the human spirit, which is probably the overarching theme of the show.