This is it. After 11 seasons, The Walking Dead has come to an end. And while many fans are sad, there’s also quite a bit to be happy about. The spin-offs will carry on the stories of Daryl, Maggie, Negan, and even Rick and Michonne. So while the TWD universe is not dead, the ending is bittersweet.
So let’s take a deeper look at that final episode.
Warning! This article contains major spoilers for The Walking Dead Season 11, Episode 24: Rest in Peace.
Did Judith survive?
The main takeaway from this episode is that it acted as a fitting wrap-up for everything that happened during Season 11 (and the entire series). I feel like the episode started out typical enough, with Daryl bringing a wounded Judith to the Commonwealth’s hospital only to get mugged by a couple troopers. And with Judith saving the day by closing off the entrance doors so the undead couldn’t come in, before she passed out herself.
The rest of the group seemed to be gathering momentum as stragglers rejoined one by one. Unfortunately for Luke and Jules — the couple who recently returned last episode — their time was up. Luke lived a bit longer in a touching tribute (harmonica and all), but Jules was brought down by the horde and promptly eaten. Rest in Peace.
Judith ended up making it through her injury, thanks to an impromptu blood transfusion from Daryl and actual medical care from Tomi later in the episode. Eventually, everyone with injuries was able to rally together in the safety of the hospital. The bad news is that Pamela Milton took all the doctors, nurses, and meds with her as she fled back to her place.
As Gabriel, Rosita, and Eugene find Coco and save her from walkers, they head toward the others for safety. But at one point, Rosita (carrying Coco) slips and falls into the crowd of undead. Rest in peace.
Wait! No! She didn’t actually get eaten! Rosita is able to get back up, fight off the zombies and get back together with a grateful Gabriel and Eugene. The problem is, as she later reveals, she actually did get bitten while she was down. This plays out in a heart-wrenching scene with Eugene, and again later with Gabriel and Coco. Now we can say rest in peace.
Negan and Maggie
Maggie catches Negan running off with a high-powered sniper rifle to finally put an end to Pamela Milton, but she stops him. She can’t let him have all the fun! But the two end up having the first of two great heart-to-hearts. Negan tells Maggie that he finally realized what she must’ve gone through as he faced the possible end of his own wife and unborn child. “I was about to lose everything and I finally understood what you must’ve felt,” he said before he officially apologized for killing Glenn. “I’m so sorry for what I took from you, and what I took from your son.”
Maggie doesn’t answer him right away; she lets his apology sink in as she leads the way up to the roof to snipe Pamela, but later they get to really sit down and talk it out.
Later, when the dust has cleared, Maggie tells Negan that she appreciates his apology and she accepts it, but she can’t forgive him. “I hear him calling for me and I hear you mocking him while he’s dying. So I can’t forgive you, even though I’m so grateful that you saved my son.” This is tough for Negan, but I’m sure he understands why — especially now that he has a new budding family.
But ultimately, I feel like this was the gateway that the characters needed to make that Maggie/Negan spin-off work.
— Dalton Ross (@DaltonRoss) November 21, 2022
Meanwhile, Mercer is busted out of jail by Princess and Max so he can join forces with the rest of the group against Pamela. With the help of a few renegade troopers, Mercer is able to confront Pamela at the gates, along with the troopers who are still loyal to her.
But the tides finally turn on Governor Milton as Mercer lets everyone know her rapsheet, including how she shot Judith. The remaining troopers side with Mercer and Pamela is now the one who is arrested.
But just before she’s taken away, she faces an army of undead at the gates. Among them is one familiar zombie who is particularly determined to eat her face. Did you recognize him? That was Lance Hornsby. Unfortunately, he didn’t get to eat her face before Maggie blasted his head off (instead of Pamela’s… boooo).
So now let’s get to the good stuff. Mercer devises a plan to lead the remaining horde into the main town square where dozens of barrels of fuel are wired to go boom. This all plays out so gloriously with Living Colour’s “Cult of Personality” blaring in the background. What a great song for a great scene.
The walkers come in and BOOM, the entire place goes up in several gigantic explosions. This is exactly what Daryl actor Norman Reedus meant when he said that the show would go out with a bang. Rest in peace, Commonwealth.
12 years 11 seasons 177 episodes today is the final episode of The Walking Dead the biggest show of all time Rest In Peace The Walking dead from 1×1 Days Gone Bye-11×24 Rest In Peace good bye The Walking Dead. 2010-2022 #TWD pic.twitter.com/uoMMOexRqa
— Steven The Number One Father Gabriel (Fan) (@Gabriel_Aaron28) November 20, 2022
One Year Later
The timeline jumps ahead one year where we see Eugene, Max, and… what’s that? It’s their infant baby and her name is Rosie (presumably short for Rosita)!
Ezekiel is making a speech as the new governor of Alexandria, along with his Lieutenant Governor, Michael Mercer.
Daryl sets off to do his Daryl stuff alone, saying his farewells to everyone. It’s especially sad when he says goodbye to Carol, knowing that the scene could’ve played out differently if Carol was joining him in his spin-off show. But I also completely respect Melissa McBride’s choice to not spend more time away from her family filming for TWD. “I’ll be back,” Daryl promises.
So there’s hope. We have hope that everything’s going to be alright, despite the fact that the zombies aren’t all gone and there will still be challenges, but it feels like we can leave these survivors in a good place. It feels like they’ll be just fine.
— Dustin HyperShadow92 (@HyperShadow92) November 21, 2022
Rick and Michonne? Rick and Michonne!
Just when we think the episode is over and all the happy scenes will conclude the show, we get a glimpse of Rick and Michonne. While they’re not together, Michonne mentions that she’s still looking for Rick. May I just say that her leather armor looks completely badass? I hope that carries over to the spin-off!
As for Rick, he seems to be in much worse shape. He’s barefoot along a coastline, writing a touching letter to Judith and her little brother. He talks about how he remembers all the living and the dead. A montage plays out, showing every single person we lost on the show. That hit me way harder than I thought it would.
And just like that, the episode takes another turn. “Consignee Grimes, you’ve been located and are instructed to surrender,” a voice calls down from a helicopter loudspeaker. Rick screams “no! no!” but ultimately realizes that he must give up. What does he know about that chopper? What have these people already done to him?
“Come on, Rick. It’s like he told you. There’s no escape for the living,” the voice continues. He?
We’re the ones who live.
This final shot is perfection.
— Drew Reed (@DrewReed1099) November 21, 2022
I think this was a great episode to wrap things up and the (kinda) surprise return of Rick was amazing. And while there really wasn’t too much in the way of groundbreaking content, it was a nice ending. Of course they’re going to show Rick. Of course Maggie and Negan are going to semi-reconcile. Of course Daryl is going to set out on his own. Of course we’re going to get the lead-ins for all the spin-offs. But I don’t think this was necessarily a bad thing. It’s just how it needed to be done with a show like this.
So now we look forward to these spin-offs: Dead City (with Maggie and Negan), Daryl Dixon, Rick and Michonne, and the next season of Fear the Walking Dead. Bring it on!
Also be sure to check out our further coverage of this final episode with a look into what Rick and Michonne’s letters said, a kill count for the finale, and more info on a surprise appearance in the commercials.