The Walking Dead Season 11 premiered on AMC with a recap of the first episode, “Acheron.” With the show’s return to its roots, fans are excited for what’s to come.
The Acheron: Part 1 is the premiere of the 11th season of AMC’s The Walking Dead. The episode recaps the events that happened in Season 10.
When The Walking Dead returns with “Acheron: Part 1,” Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) leads Maggie (Lauren Cohan) and Daryl’s (Norman Reedus) survival quest. The Walking Dead Season 11 Episode 1 contains spoilers. In the aftermath of the Whisperer War, Maggie and Hershel Rhee (Kien Michael Spiller) called a war-torn Alexandria their sweet home, where Carol (Melissa McBride) sicced Negan on Alpha (Samantha Morton) to finally quiet the Whisperers. The two adversaries are among the survivors trying to rebuild Alexandria — the only town surviving after the Kingdom was shuttered and the Hilltop was burned — but Alexandria will collapse if our group does not locate food soon.
Death and Life
Daryl and Maggie are in charge of a mission to infiltrate Fort Connors, a US military installation in Virginia. The ground is littered with an army of camouflage-clad walkers. Maggie, Rosita (Christian Serratos), Lydia (Cassady McClincy), Kelly (Angel Theory), Magna (Nadia Hilker), and Carol descend into an eerie hangar.
They’re on a quest to collect food and supplies while avoiding biting the farm, so they slip through the cemetery of lurkers (walkers that “play dead” until they awaken from a latent condition). Kelly and Magna stab a couple of walker “guards” in the head with their knives before stealing a crate of Meal, Ready-to-Eat rations.
From the high ground, Daryl offers cover, but a spilt drop of blood awakens a lurking walker, setting off a chain reaction. Maggie, Carol, Lydia, and Rosita are a four-person army fighting zombie soldiers in the FUBAR mission.
When Daryl, Jerry (Cooper Andrews), and Alden (Callan McAuliffe) fire bolts from above, help arrives. Carol fires a machine pistol she picked up, mowing down the walker army. Carol stays behind to collect as many left-behind MREs as she can while the heroes attempt a last-minute escape with their recovered supplies.
Carol is saved from a zombie that comes too near by Daryl slinging a sword. She pulls on a rope and is dragged above the throng. The introductory scene, which was devoid of speech, has come to an end.
We’re still here.
The tired party returns home on the road to Alexandria, where they are met by Aaron (Ross Marquand) at the gates of their once-walled town, which is now dusty, filthy, and ruined. The War of the Whisperers’ Aftermath RJ (Antony Azor) and Judith Grimes (Cailey Fleming) run to hug Uncle Daryl as he meets Dog. Rations are distributed by Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam).
Maggie and Negan cross paths once again. When Hershel greets her with Cole (James Devoti) and the rest of the Wardens: Agatha (Laurie Fortier), Duncan (Marcus Lewis), and Frost (James Devoti), her stern face transforms into a grin (Glenn Stanton). They believed they were dead, according to ‘Mags.’ Meridian would be at Alexandria, the remaining Wardens reasoned, assuming she was still alive.
A dispute breaks out among the residents over food. “There is enough food for everyone,” Gabriel argues. There’s one week of food left before Alexandrians and their children go hungry, according to a secret meeting of the Alexandria council.
There are no crops or back stock in Alexandria after the addition of two additional settlements. Aaron is sure that by raiding homes for materials and reinforcing the wall, they can make it work, but they’re working with damaged equipment and empty bellies.
Agatha and Frost agree to go hunting. The earth is depleted — Daryl claims that the last large horde drove all the animals away — and searching for fresh land would take too long. They need nourishment. There is a lot of it. Now.
Or Alexandria will go hungry.
The Most Effective Defense
Maggie is familiar with one more location, Meridian, where she resided before returning to Alexandria. “There’s enough of food, water, crops, and animals,” she claims, but Elijah (Okea Eme-Akwari) points out one flaw: “And now it’s gone.”
Meridian was claimed, and invaders killed the majority of the survivors. The Reapers are a group of people who live in the afterlife. “They come at night, and by the time you see them, you’re already dead,” Maggie says of them.
“They’ve arrived at Meridian. There’s enough food to keep Alexandria fed until we can get this building back up and running “In the remains of the community’s burned-out church, Maggie argues. “That is why they accepted it. All we have to do now is return it.”
Aaron suggests that they should fortify Alexandria and strengthen the walls. He threatens, “Walkers will get inside.” “It’s not a question of if, but when. Alexandria needs our assistance.”
Maggie replies, “This is for Alexandria.” “My kid has arrived. I, too, have a stake in the outcome.” The idea, according to Rosita, sounds like a suicide expedition.
“”It won’t matter anyhow if we don’t have food,” Daryl retorts. I’ll go now. Is there anybody else?”
Gabriel is willing to help. No, Rosita says with a shake of her head. Carol chooses to remain in the background. Maggie’s group is on their way to Meridian.
There is no going back.
A storm is raging. In the face of bad weather, Maggie, Daryl, Negan, Gabriel, Agatha, Duncan, Frost, Gage (Jackson Pace), Roy (C. Thomas Howell), and Dog push on. Maggie resists Negan’s suggestion to bunker down and wait for the storm to pass, but the journey is now six hours long, and there’s no time to waste. Daryl reluctantly agrees that they must seek refuge.
The gang comes upon a metro station and descends into a filthy subway tunnel under Washington, D.C. Negan is ordered to show the way by Daryl. Maggie compels Negan to lead them, despite his desire to bunker down: North is the yellow line. At Reagan National, switch to blue. Then take the red line to Bethesda.
Negan separates Daryl from the rest of the group. Daryl dismisses him. As they go further into the tunnels, Frost and Cole push him, and Father Gabriel notices ominous graffiti: “If there is a God, he will have to beg for my pardon.” The foreboding advice to back up is disregarded.
Above us, the storm rages. Up ahead, a dog barks. The storm is causing the pipes to moan as it pushes air through them. “God is asking us to turn back,” Negan replies, pointing to a water-line mark on the pipes. “This implies that when it rains, this tunnel floods on a regular basis.”
It’s terrible down here, Daryl says, but it’s much worse up there. We continue to go forward. “You’re in on it,” Negan mutters to himself.
A New World Order has been established.
A hooded Eugene (Josh McDermitt), Ezekiel (Khary Payton), Yumiko (Eleanor Matsuura), and Princess are escorted by a tiny army of white-armored warriors (Paola Lazaro). The four are now sitting in front of two professionally dressed auditors, Clark (Carrie Genzel) and Evans, within a prison camp outpost (Matthew Cornwell). The red-armored General Mercer, who is standing watch, is a brawny badass (Michael James Shaw).
Interrogative and invasive inquiries are asked by the auditors. “We are Commonwealth Auditors, and you are being assessed at Level One. You’ll advance to Level Two if you pass the inspection.” They will be re-processed if they do not pass inspection.
They begin the evaluation. The quartet discusses their backgrounds. Ezekiel worked at a zoo. Princess used to work at a music shop. Yumiko worked as an attorney. It’s all a matter of process.
What is your highest degree of educational achievement? What is your zip code? What were the findings of your most recent regular physical examination? Have you ever had a measles vaccination? Is there a family history of cancer? Have you been arrested before? Do you have a history of drug abuse? How many times a day do you go to the bathroom? What kind of wipes do you use? What brought you to the railway station in the first place?
“I was on the road with my traveling buddies…” Eugene says.
“We were locked up in a location with a functioning radio,” Ezekiel says.
Eugene: I’m Eugene “Stephanie and I struck up a conversation. We were planning on meeting, but my buddies were concerned, so I—”
“—Pretended there were more of us than there are,” Ezekiel says.
“That’s how we landed there in the rail yard,” Yumiko and Princess said.
What is your settlement’s location? Have you encountered any organizations on your travels? What is the address of your settlement? Your settlement’s location. What is the status of your settlement?
There are both falsehoods and facts in the mix.
In the seclusion of their gated cell, the four speak. Yumiko inquires whether they are aware of Ezekiel’s cancer; he responds that they are not. They don’t have any.
A scoffing Mercer gets a grin and a peace sign from Princess. Yumiko has a sneaking suspicion that the Commonwealth isn’t genuine. Eugene realizes he’s being tested. Princess is adamant about not lying to the soldier-cops. “Our people need help,” Eugene counters, “and I believe these people can provide it.”
A couple of strangers can’t recall whether they were detained for four or nine months. They’ve gone through the reprocessing procedure. And then there’s the reprocessing. And then there’s the reprocessing. Eugene decides they must go as the Stormtrooper-looking soldier-cops take another stranger away kicking and screaming.
This Difficult Life
Negan lags his steps on the alleged death march in the tunnels and gets side-eyed by the gang. Maggie claims that the subway turns into a sewage, filled with plastic-bagged walkers that have long rotted and decomposed, remnants from the collapse. One of the slimy skin-eaters had its neck cut so deeply that it was almost beheaded.
“We’re on our way through a mass burial that may or may not still be in use. “So, I’m asking you,” Negan asks to Maggie, “are you sure they all died during the fall?””
Some of the people begin to move. Maggie tells the gang to clear the way by taking everyone out. Alden begs her to keep her hands on her hips. She screams, “I’m not stopping,” and she doesn’t stop, walking over writhing people. They stab at the swollen corpses with their knives.
Gage is attacked by a bloated tunnel walker, who almost kills him. Negan, on the other hand, rescues him by ramming a crowbar into its squishy, water-bloated corpse. This is the last straw.
Maggie “has been acting like a dictator since we left,” Negan adds, pointing out that she doesn’t listen to anybody – not Alden, not even Daryl. “We’re not sure whether there’s even a route out of this tunnel! It’s possible that whomever or whatever murdered these scumbags is still down here. Has that idea ever occurred to you? Exactly. Yes, it has. So you’re the goddamn pied piper, and this is a funeral march.”
Negan withdraws from the mission. Gage and Roy support him. Maggie should let him go, according to Agatha: he’s meant to be assisting, but he’s just delaying them down.
Maggie, on the other hand, needs him, and he knows his way about town. “Can I be your tour guide in Washington, D.C.?” With a swagger, Negan spits back. “Doesn’t anybody here know how to read a map? I’ll tell you why I’ve come to see you… She took me to this place to die. I’m not coming back if we get through this. She’ll find a method, a reason, and she’ll do it on her own. Away from Alexandria’s prying eyes. In the midst of the forest.”
Negan confesses to Daryl that he suspected him of being a part of the plot. However, none of them had any idea. “Do you all want to entrust your life to her? Her mind isn’t even in the game since I’m living rent-free in her skull.”
He continues to tease you. “So, Maggie, you want me to die on your terms? It’s not going to happen. So, what are your thoughts? Let’s just get this over with. Right now, at this moment. I’m not going to let you drag me through the mud, dirt, and slime to bury me like a dog. Glenn was the same way.”
Negan is knocked out by Daryl’s SOCKS.
“We’re down here because death awaits us up above. We’re going quickly because our children are hungry. Because that’s how everyone voted, I’m calling the shots “Maggie snarls, her pistol primed and ready. “As for me murdering you… It’s something that I’m constantly thinking about. I’m not going to tell you that you’re incorrect about me because you are. The lady who departed six years ago is no longer in charge of you. Only a sliver of her remains in me, and that sliver is the only thing keeping you alive. But I’m not sure how long it will continue. So, Negan, keep pushing me. Please.”
We Discover Ourselves
Back at the Commonwealth outpost, the four devise an escape plot that takes advantage of guards who had wandered away for some strange deeky. Eugene and Yumiko, disguised as soldiers, draw a Star Wars and accompany Princess and Ezekiel, who are “prisoners.” When Princess notices a container filled with dollar notes — money ‘confiscated for incineration,’ they’re almost free.
They are fascinated by the hundreds of pictures of pre-apocalyptic faces on the Wall of the Lost. “FLAG FOR EXPEDITED ASSESSMENT AND COMMONWEALTH ADMITTANCE.”
“Isn’t that you?” Princess asks, pointing to an orange letter and a faded picture of Yumiko. “HAVE YOU SEEN MY SISTER MIKO CONTACT TOMI AT H,” reads a letter attached to the package.
They must go. Yumiko is obligated to remain.
The Core of the Problem
In the bowels of the tunnels. The remainder of the bodies are stabbed by Maggie’s gang. Negan notices a railway car blocking their way through, and things become much worse when Gage and Roy flee with their ammunition clips and food. Negan is blamed by the surviving survivors for frightening them away.
Daryl hears zombies groaning and snarling. A swarm of subway walkers emerges from the shadows. They’re picked off by Daryl, Elijah, Frost, Duncan, and Agatha, and Alden can’t get the train car door open because it’s blocked by debris. They can’t get past the choke point because there are too many walkers, and the only way out is above and over the rail car.
They scale the platform to the top. When Dog rushes off, burrowing under some obstruction, Maggie and Daryl stay back, helping the group up. Daryl pursues Dog, burrowing under the railway car and into the mud on his hands and knees.
Maggie and Negan are surrounded by Walkers. As death approaches, he climbs up first, followed by her, trying to grasp the platform’s top. Maggie’s leg is gripped by a walker. She’s the one who starts it all. She can’t maintain her grip on the walkers as she throws them off. Negan may be seen from afar. She shouts angrily. “Negan!”
Negan lowers his gaze. He keeps an eye on things. He sits and waits. He doesn’t do anything… He vanishes into the night, leaving Maggie to her destiny. Maggie’s grip slips and she falls to the waiting walkers below. The episode has come to an end.
For all things TWD, follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter. The Walking Dead: The Final Season Part 1 airs new episodes every Sunday on AMC and AMC+.
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