When The Walking Dead’s final chunk of its last season dropped on Sunday, AMC+ subscribers were treated to an extra bonus with Episode 18. The back-to-back combo brought us right back into the world we left back in April with Episode 16, but it also served as an opening into what we can expect for these remaining six episodes.
If you’ve already seen the episode and you want to compare notes, or you haven’t seen it and you just really like spoilers, follow along below for my complete review and recap of Episode 18.
Warning! This article contains major spoilers for The Walking Dead Season 11, Episode 18: A New Deal.
Oh my Lord. The Walking Dead is back. ❤️
— TIKA (@TiKATheGift) October 4, 2022
One major takeaway I got from this episode is that it’s setting the stage for the main group to break apart into smaller segments, as often happens on TWD. Our heroes are packing up and leaving The Commonwealth while others are heading off to check on the other settlements of Hilltop and Alexandria after Lance Hornsby and his soldiers went through. The idea is that Pamela will allow everyone to leave and return to their settlements in exchange for blaming Lance for the civilian killings instead of the real killer, her son. This is the “new deal.”
“Whatever game you’re playing, Pamela, I’m very much in it,” Lance yells to her while he’s handcuffed in the dirt.
Pamela and Sebastian Milton
Pamela officially blames Lance for the killings in front of everyone and tells her son that he will be the one to take over the Milton legacy (started by Pamela’s father). She believes that the people will go along with it as long as Sebastian is cleared of any guilt. But while Sebastian is left alone with Pamela’s assistant, Max, the kid cannot keep his mouth shut about how much he hates the people of The Commonwealth. Max records his rant to use against him later.
Eugene even gets in on the behind-the-scenes espionage as he approaches Lance about the best way to take Pamela down. I think Eugene figured that Lance had had enough of the governor’s antics, but Lance simply told Eugene that he needs to side with her instead. Is this part of Lance’s own plan to take them all out at once, or does he just know that a Eugene/Pamela alliance wouldn’t work anyway.
During the Founder’s Day celebration, Sebastian is all set to make his big official political speech, but Max and Eugene take that opportunity to play what Max secretly recorded earlier over the loudspeaker.
“The Commonwealth is built on buying into bullshit,” the recording spoke to the crowd. “The desperate need to believe that the old American dream is still real… it’s a friggin joke.” Ouch.
Daryl and Judith
In the preview trailer for this episode, we saw Daryl handling Rick’s old Colt Python revolver, which led us to believe that he either found clues to Rick’s whereabouts or we’d get a hint at some kind of connection between Rick and future spin-offs. But that’s not exactly what happened.
Rick pulls the handgun out to give to Rick’s daughter, Judith, who initially rejects the offer. As showrunner Angela Kang states in the after-show summary, Judith doesn’t want to continue this world of constant death and killing.
But that sentiment doesn’t last long. During the chaos that ensues when the civilians hear Sebastian’s recorded words, Sebastian gets bit by a walker and goes down. While people are screaming and panicking in the background, a shot rings out and the walker drops. Judith stands behind, her dad’s revolver poised in a firing position, complete sadness in her eyes.
Quote of the Show
Near the beginning of the episode, Daryl’s group faces off against Pamela and Lance’s group. Daryl takes Lance hostage, but is convinced to let him go. Of course he can’t do this without one last Daryl-ism.
He stabs Lance in the hand while the others look on in astonishment. “Don’t worry; he’ll live,” Daryl says as he walks away.
This episode was great because Sebastian met his end. No, seriously, that was the best part. The only thing that would’ve made it better is if Lance met the same fate.
There wasn’t a ton of action in this one, but it was full of previews into where the main group is heading from here. But now that Sebastian is dead, and Pamela Milton probably knows that Max and Eugene had a hand in that recording, will Pamela still let everyone leave peacefully? Will Mercer leave with everyone, or stay to enforce Pamela’s bidding? The next episode should be interesting.