While the first episode of The Walking Dead’s 11th and final season released on Sunday for AMC viewers, AMC+ subscribers got to see the second episode of that season a full week early. This appears to be the new schedule for this last season as AMC sweetens the deal for those willing to dish out the $8.99 USD for the premium streaming service over last season that only offered the early episodes three days early.
So what happened in this second episode? Follow along and read my full review, recap, and impressions of The Walking Dead Season 11 Episode 2 entitled Acheron: Part II.
Warning! This post contains major spoilers for Season 11: Episode 2!
When we last left our heroes, Negan had just ducked out of helping Maggie climb up on a train car and her grip failed, sending her down into what we thought was a horde of undead with no possibility of survival.
Welp, turns out, as we see at the beginning of this new episode, it was just one walker down there and she was able to quickly disperse him with a shot to the head. I feel a wee bit duped by that, but that’s how this works, so I move on.
A few more zombies slowly make their way to a trapped Maggie but she learned her marksmanship from Mr. Rick Grimes himself, so they’re all put down quickly.
Or wait maybe not! In a quick ode to Glenn, it looks like Maggie might be in over her head with these undead as they swarm on top of her, but she’s able to make it under the car to safety.
Well episode 2 of this season of the walking dead brought back my love for the show
— XsiKick (@XsiKick) August 22, 2021
Meanwhile, the rest of the squad climbs into a train car from the top hatch and Negan is confronted about Maggie. “She was right behind me,” he lies. The group decides to move on without her, assuming she didn’t make it, and pushes forward from train car to train car.
But when Maggie crawls up into the train from a floor hatch, Negan’s lies catch up to him. There’s a brief power struggle as Negan tries fib after fib, but it isn’t until we see a very difficult choice being made by Maggie that the large group first shows signs of splitting.
Remember in the first episode when Gage and a few others ran off because they didn’t want to face the initial horde of zombies at the beginning of the tunnel? Well now we see Gage back again, trapped in a neighboring train car, begging to be let in to safety. Negan and Alden want to rescue him, but Maggie says no. The group of undead behind him prove that even if they able to rip the stuck door open in time to get Gage through, those zombies will be a bigger fight than they (think they) can handle with their current low ammo supply. So she lets Gage die as they all watch.
You can see the pleasure in Negan’s eyes as the cracks in the group begin to form against Maggie.
But Maggie sits them all down (while undead are tearing at the doors and windows all around them!) and explains her point of view. She tells the horrifying story of a group she found while out alone with her son. A man tried to lure her into his lair, but she caught on and killed him first. She then entered his home, killed the three “deformed… I wouldn’t call them men” before finding the creepiest thing of all.
Sparing the goriest of details, it seems that this house was used to sexually abuse women who had their arms and legs severed and their throats cut out. I don’t think even Rob Zombie could come up with the scene Maggie described here, but her story was told to show the others that there are genuinely terrifying things going on out there after the apocalypse, and it’s so important to maintain those that are good and right like Alexandria, Hilltop, and Meridian.
Daryl and Dog
We then cut over to Daryl as he continues his chase after Dog. Daryl discovers a very strange remnant of what looks to be a community that lived in the secret tunnels for a long time, presumably right after the apocalypse began.
While there’s no sign of life, it looks like it did thrive at one point. A mural on the wall depicts people with crowns being beaten and killed by normal (unturned) people and the words “Your Crown For Your Life.” In the aftershow, director Angela Kang explains that this mural shows the class division that happened with the survivors even when all people end up being the same class: homeless and surviving.
Daryl then discovers a note scrawled on a 100 dollar bill, showing that paper currency is nothing more than scratch paper at this point. The note said: “Dear Dad, you always said if you don’t come back in a week to move on. Mom didn’t listen and went looking. It’s been 3 weeks so we’re going next. I’ll watch Jesse and turn on the radio everyday at 10. See you both soon. Love, Tom and Jesse.”
While this does appear to just be a simple family note, I have a feeling that we’ll either meet Tom and Jesse or their parents at some point soon.
But it’s important to note that the mural, the briefcase full of money, and other notes are all showing Daryl just how crazy some groups of survivors lived, which is a theme that directly connects with Maggie’s earlier story.
After finding Dog once again, Daryl is able to rejoin Maggie’s group on the train just in time to help them fend off one side of the wave that’s overtaking them. And in a classic Daryl move, he stuffs a grenade in the mouth of one walker, yells for everyone to take cover, and watches as the remaining enemies turn into zombie spaghetti all over the train car walls.
They eventually leave the train tunnels and head out into the darkness of the outside world once again. When they come upon a group of dead bodies strung up by their feet, they slow their roll a bit.
This is when we first see the group of masked badasses aggressively strutting up to meet Maggie’s group. Are they friend or foe? Are they looking for a fight?
These, my friends, are The Reapers.
Yumi, Eugene, and Princess
Yumi’s small group is shown in their holding cell at Commonwealth when Yumi gets the idea that she and Princess are going to demand to talk to the manager, i.e. the people in charge. This never ends well for Karens.
But it really kinda does. Both Yumi and Princess go do their own thing (Princess asks to use the restroom while Yumi successfully convinces her interrogators to let her see her brother), leaving Eugene to fend for himself.
What type of trouble can Eugene get into while alone with people who want to pick his brain? Convinced that his friends are all being tortured or worse, Eugene confronts the guards and is taken back into an interrogation room with Mercer.
Eugene puts on a top performance convincing Mercer that he’s not lying about his settlement and he tells the story of his radio friend, Stephanie. He explains to Mercer that he told Stephanie that he came from a large settlement to impress her, but he was lying. He even threw in a bit about how he’s a virgin and was hoping that one day Stephanie might be the one to change that. His desperate tone paid off, though, as Mercer swallowed every bit of that lie.
Eugene is reunited with his pals in a holding car while they all share stories of how they’re perfectly safe and just took wrong turns or made other mistakes that led them there. This is when Eugene realizes that these Commonwealth folks might actually not be as bad as he imagined.
Mercer comes in and announces that Eugene, Princess, Yumi, and Ezekiel are all now official citizens of The Commonwealth. Of course they’re very excited by this, but then the door opens again.
And in walks Stephanie.
We’ll have to see if Eugene ever picks his lower jaw back up off the floor in the next episode, but it’s safe to say that the little rascal is smitten.
What’s Coming in Season 11?
IMDB is on top of the next few episodes with small teasers for each. For Episode 3 (Hunted), the synopsis explains: “Maggie’s mission team gets separated and hunted by the Reapers; Carol, Rosita, Magna and Kelly attempt to catch horses for Alexandria; Judith, RJ, Hershel and Gracie cope with their parents going away.”
And for Episode 4 (entitled Rendition), we get this: “Daryl and Dog get captured by the Reapers; they are taken to the Meridian and reconnect with a familiar figure from their past.”
Episode 5, entitled Out of the Ashes, does not have a summary, but Episode 6 (On the Inside) does: “Escaping from walkers, Connie and Virgil hide in a house occupied by mysterious creatures; Pope tests Daryl’s loyalty to the Reapers with a conflicting mission; Kelly leaves Alexandria in search of Connie.”
With all of this in mind, Season 11 is really turning out to be a good one. Of course, they’re still laying the groundwork now for the best stuff of the season, but it’s all so exciting so far!
New episodes of The Walking Dead will hit AMC every Sunday night at 9:00 p.m. ET and a full week before that for AMC+ streaming subscribers.