11.01: The Walking Dead - Acheron: Part 1

ctg

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Daryl leads a mission team to scavenge the military base he discovered. Maggie tells her story, prompting a new mission for survival that only Negan can lead. Eugene and his group go through assessment by the Commonwealth's paramilitary police.

This episode will air August 22nd. It is the 154th episode in overall and it presents the beginning of the end for the TWD final season. Movies are not included into the count.
 

ctg

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It's been a while since TWD was in the air, but it is the end. We know it. AMC knows it. The crew knows it. But is it the end that we talked about, where everyone dies, because there is no winner in this war? The Dead will survive, and they keep growing their numbers while the Living struggles. Not just from the Dead, but from others of their kind.

I recently thought about how much I have written about this series, Kirkman and the Dead and it's a lot. I cannot put a number on it, but I know that they are part of me. I like watching the struggle and this End Time doesn't feel as a liberation, but more like an oppression. The Dead will win, but will we see the Living survive the Last City State in America known as the Commonwealth or will they get overrun?

The thing that Max Brookes great articulates in the Zombie Survival Guide is that the survivors need to establish militias or organised resistance groups and really take the fight to the Dead. Kirkman does the same in the comics, as Dwight is made to a military leader that keeps the Ricknation clear from the Dead ... until the Whisperers arrive.

Now we have the Reapers, the most serious threat that our people has ever faced. How to deal with the opponents that is so much more superior than anyone they have in the ASZ?

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I loved this scene. It's like my opening in the From Exopolis to Necropolis with the Dead in torpor state. We have seen them usually active, not in this state even though it makes sense. I think the writers also wanted to show a reason for why our people haven't raided the bases. Simply they just couldn't handle the number of armoured dead.

Maggie most certainly got greedy and she didn't think for a second about what firing a gun would do to a horde state. Then again Carol wasn't much better. So why is it that they chose to fight and go loud instead of flee and fight in the places, where they can easily defend themselves?

What I mean is that there are always more than one way to do the thing, whatever it is. They could have sought other avenues instead of the skylight. Going loud just sprung up more Dead. It was a mistake.

Same as Carol getting greedy for the supplies box. I screamed at my screen for her to leave it and I don't get why Daryl didn't do the same, when they'd already gone loud.

Which one is going to be louder?

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First council meeting in a long while, but after that base raid, hearing the numbers there's no way in hell that they can keep up against the Reaper threat. Whispers War devastated the community to a state where it cannot recover. But Rickland was never about one place. They abandoned Sanctuary and Kingdom. And yet Kingdom had crops and facilities to grow food. It was just that their heating cocked up.

And then there is the Oceanside. What they don't have are the boat, but the ocean should be full of fish, especially as there has not been human activity to tip its ecobalance. In other words, they should have plenty of fishing opportunities.

No need to go to Meridian and end up dead in the Reaper hands. The way Maggie described the place sounded a like a perfect place for a highly specialised group to live.

Reapers aren't stupid.

My choice would have been to leave Alexandria, repopulate Kingdom and split the people between Kingdom and Oceanside.

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DC Metro. Man, it is amazing to see them finally using the urban settings to their fullest potential. It's just perfect for tensile situations and I get why Negan were hesitant on going deeper into the guts of the Capital sub infrastructure. There is no escape.

Maggie didn't give a toss because all she can see is red. Daryl not hearing the voice of reason was stupid as well. He was acting like wildman again, needing Rick to hold his hand.

Hating something doesn't mean that you need to be a stupid. Negan got it right, them venturing through the mass grave was nothing but an act of idiocracy. Them not thinking about the evidence, typical. Analysis has never been something that has been a thing with the people of the Ricknation.

So Negan only did them a favour by playing devil's advocate. He told exactly the truth for why Maggie had brought Negan to DC underground. Has nobody learned nothing from past events? Sometimes it feels that our heroes are their worst enemies.

They don't act logically, as there are so many times emotional impulses, instead of doing it the right way. How many fighters they can afford to lose?

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I don't know if loverboy expected to see authorities in their suits, when he set up to see his romantic interest. I certainly didn't and I don't get why they are needed when the Old World is no more?

The auditors milked them for more than there ever was a need. Personally I would have given them false info mixed in with some truths. Ezekiel did the right thing when he told them piss off with their questions.

What they'd given was enough to satisfy any needs. Continuing those questions would be equivalent of extending the torture. Like in the train, the Commonwealth shows weaknesses in their protocol and order.

It is not a machine even if it tries to act like one.
 

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And then there is the Oceanside. What they don't have are the boat, but the ocean should be full of fish, especially as there has not been human activity to tip its ecobalance. In other words, they should have plenty of fishing opportunities.

No need to go to Meridian and end up dead in the Reaper hands....

My choice would have been to leave Alexandria, repopulate Kingdom and split the people between Kingdom and Oceanside.
Sounds like a better plan.

When they were in the corridor escaping, and the guard came out and asked where the guards were taking their two 'prisoners', I was sure they were going to reply with "Prisoner transfer from Block one-one- three-eight," but I guess that was just the Storm Trooper uniforms!
 

ctg

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When they were in the corridor escaping, and the guard came out and asked them where the guards were taking their two 'prisoners', I was sure they were going to reply with "Prisoner transfer from Block one-one- three-eight," but I guess that was just the Storm Trooper uniforms!

Nice. In the same spirit they could have said, "These are not the prisoners you're looking for!" :giggle:
 

ctg

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Sounds like a better plan.

I thought about that plan for a while, not really sure if it's good to criticise their plan. It's just if you watched Angela's bit at the end, she said that "Alexandrians are hurting, they are essentially licking their wounds." And it's true, they have multiple groups, their own civilians, and their idea is to make it harder for them to survive if they lose the warriors. Anything other than that is a better plan. Even staying in the base, putting a rationing plan in action and then hitting the military base again.

Going boldly towards the most dangerous enemy they know is madness, but I think we have to see them doing a stupid thing and losing Ricknation so that they can all be processed into the Commonwealth.
 

ctg

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Negan has lost any forgiveness I may have started to feel.

I was waiting for this. Maggie put a gun on his face and claimed that she's waiting for an opportunity. Negan seeing the opportunity took it, rather than going down the redemption arc and sacrificing himself to save his enemy. He's a bad boy, then again he never claimed to be a good one. But just like you in the last episode claimed, he defended the boy.
 

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It wouldn't have been a sacrifice, he only had to put out his hand.
I did have an issue with Maggie being in charge, she no longer knows the people of Ricknation. Negan was right in what he said but the likely hood is he's created another orphan.

Stupid as it was for Daryl to go after dog, I'd have down same.
 

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No lack of action in this one -- although creeping through a dark tunnel full of nastiness and being picked off one-by-one doesn't pack a lot of originality.
Negan might be a bit paranoid and premature in his detailed vision of Maggie ending him. I don't doubt that she plans to kill him, probably in as painful way as possible, but she realizes he has value as long as she can keep his hope for atonement alive.
Why don't the Alexandria survivors concentrate their efforts on clearing out the walkers and making the military base their new HQ? Lots of food, weapons and at least one helicopter to acquire.
Eugene's quest to re-enter the dating pool is a real bust. I noticed that the Commonwealth interrogator's hours-long barrage of odd questions frequently included asking the location of their community, as if one of them might have been frazzled enough to provide it.
I thought Princess was tripping again with her knowledge of her captors and their issues. Seems that her gift of gab is not completely crazy.
 

ctg

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I thought Princess was tripping again with her knowledge of her captors and their issues. Seems that her gift of gab is not completely crazy.
Some people just can do magic. To us it seems impossible, but to her it's just a thing. But I do wonder how they got out from the cell, capture the lovers and do it all it without raising an alarm?
 

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"She brought me here to die. If we get through this, I'm not coming back," Negan tells the scavenging survivors when excusing himself from the dead-end undertaking. "She'll find a way, she'll find a reason. She'll do it herself, away from the prying eyes of Alexandria. Here in the jungle."

A glaring Daryl and accusations of paranoia do nothing to deter him: Maggie can't lead these people. "Her head isn't even in the game because I'm in her head, living rent-free," he snarls, poking and pressing to get it over with right here and right now. "Because I am not gonna let you drag me through the mud, filth, and slime to put me down like a dog. Like Glenn was."

"I fought it! That's the one line that I immediately called [showrunner Angela Kang] and I was like, 'I can't say it. I can't f---ing bring up Glenn's name here,'" Morgan told Entertainment Weekly about the going-too-far reference to Glenn's death at the end of Negan's baseball bat. "And I was like, 'Any goodwill that Negan has gotten on his side is going to go out the window the minute I say Glenn.' I tried to nix the line completely."

Morgan argued the line was unnecessary and experimented with different takes, replacing "Glenn" with "your husband" and other substitutions to keep the name out of Negan's mouth.

"But ultimately, it was like, 'Well, let's just try the f---ing Glenn line.' And then, of course, when I saw the cut, I was like, 'Oh, f---ers!' [Laughs] They had to put it in," Morgan said. "But look, I get it. I know why it was there, to elicit the reaction exactly that you and I felt in seeing it."
 

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Maggie has secrets she isn't sharing, probably not going to be answered now.

The commonwealth isn't the answer.

Negan has lost any forgiveness I may have started to feel.

I dunno. Negan might rightfully believe he has done enough to have earned some respect after all he has done for the group. Maggie wasn't there for The Whisperers. Also Maggie does not come across as a trustworthy leader. Her plan is rubbish, if the Reapers are as dangerous as she makes out and we have no reason to doubt her the that group is not going to beat them.

Daryl has turned out to be a disappointment. He lacks any credibility as a leader and will always be a follower.

Negan spoke sense yet still went with the group. He could argue that he was looking after himself in that there was no doubt Maggie was going to kill him. If Maggie survives that fall into the dead it is another knock on the credibility of the TWD.

Agree with CTG on using the guns. I have just finished reading Bobby Adair's Slow Burn series and the last thing survivors do is use guns as the noise just attracts more zombies.
 

ctg

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When their mission to save a starving Alexandria takes a detour through walker-infested subway tunnels, Negan believes Maggie is leading him into a trap to die, and his mouth almost gets him killed with a gutsy Glenn remark about being put down "like a dog."

"I feel like she's trying to put the needs of the many, in front of the needs of the few... the few being herself," Cohan told the AMC Blog about Maggie working with Negan to save Alexandria. "And it's not really her needs per se, but more her hopes of avoiding him, because he's either dead or he's just not around anymore. I think she's making a deal with the devil, because a lot is brought up for her in this episode."

It was Negan who spurred Maggie to leave Alexandria in the Season 9 episode "What Comes After," but it's the Reapers who made her return home in the Season 10 episode "Home Sweet Home." Maggie told Daryl (Norman Reedus) she would deal with Negan if it means having a safe place for her son Hershel (Kien Michael Spiller), but when pressed by Negan in the subway, she tells him: "The woman who left six years ago is not the one standing over you now. There's a little bit of her left in me, and that little bit is the only thing keeping you breathing. But I don't know how long that's gonna last. So keep pushing me, Negan. Please."

"It involves them going down into the depths of their own souls in a million ways... She keeps Negan alive because she has to keep alive the part of herself that doesn't kill people. That part of her that doesn't indulge in that brutal kill-or-be-killed attitude. Maybe he does have something to offer, and maybe she doesn't know what hope is around the corner," Cohan explained. "She says to him, 'The woman who left here isn't the one that's standing over you right now.' She doesn't say it, but I actually think she's thinking, 'I really hope [the woman who left here] comes back. I really hope she's not completely gone. I have to try to do things that bring her back — and one of those things is not killing you. I won't let you make me be that person. I won't let you bring that out of me. You insult my husband, but I won't become that person.' So it's very dark, but it's hopeful in its own weird way."

It's the memory of Glenn (Steven Yeun), and her father Hershel Greene (Scott Wilson), that continue to inspire Maggie years after their deaths. "But I also think it's who she is as a person," said Cohan.

"It's Maggie and Glenn's first meeting [in Season 2 episode 'Save the Last One'] where you see Maggie's plan is 'You can't wait. You've got to make it okay somehow.' It's one of the first things she ever says to him, and I think it's that shared view that bonded them so deeply. It's part of how she honors him—keeping that alive," Cohan explained. "It's such an interesting thing. When you look at your spouse and you just think, 'I want to be the best thing that you saw in me. I want to keep that person intact, and that's how I keep you alive too' ... the people make you your best self whether they're here or not. It's such a sustaining thing amongst all our darkness."

I don't believe in Cohen's story, when she acted the whole scene as if there was no chance in hell for redemption. Maggie doesn't think about it as she's literally begging Negan to show his colours. Old Man Hershel was much forgiving and I get that years that went by might have hardened Maggie's mind on the revenge. Not forgiveness or seeing the whole picture and understanding that since all the doctors has gone, they need every living soul for survival. Even the bad ones.

In the interest of the bad ones they should somewhat embrace them and understand that these people might not have qualms of doing what needs to be done, while those who does wouldn't be able to commit themselves to the act. For example we have seen how Eugene is still bad at the killing business and all sorts of activities that push beyond what we consider normal. But in the regards of the TWD universe, they are ten years into the post-apocalypse and it's not getting any easier.

Not even with the Commonwealth in sight and I suspect they'll have more people inside that are not capable of doing what needs to be done than those who'll do it in order to survive.

Negan isn't megalomaniac. Strand is same cast and he's now more firmly in the villain cast than Negan. Maggie doesn't see it as she has a tunnel vision and all she can see in Negan is a target ... for killing. Is it right when they need all souls for survival?

Does the Commonwealth see it that way? I doubt it since they were showing recycling and out right punishing people for surviving the calamity. I bet that inside the Commonwealth we are going to see some sort of tyranny.
 

svalbard

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Mayhap she is giving us a bit of a look into the future where either she saves Negan or he gets them all out of a bind. Hope it is the first because then we have the real Maggie.
 

Judderman

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Some people just can do magic. To us it seems impossible, but to her it's just a thing. But I do wonder how they got out from the cell, capture the lovers and do it all it without raising an alarm?
I felt like I had missed an exciting, or at least explanatory scene of the start of their escape. Seemed too easy.
 

Judderman

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I dunno. Negan might rightfully believe he has done enough to have earned some respect after all he has done for the group. Maggie wasn't there for The Whisperers. Also Maggie does not come across as a trustworthy leader. Her plan is rubbish…
Exactly. She has no place being a leader any more. Incompetent. Hopefully we won’t see Maggie again but we all know she will be back. No need for a big deal about a returning actor otherwise.

Also some new characters about that can be killed off. We don’t know much about them, other than looking tough.

Overall not a bad episode but I will keep my expectations low.
Began spoke sense yet still went with the group. He could argue that he was looking after himself in that there was no doubt Maggie was going to kill him. If Maggie survives that fall into the dead it is another knock on the credibility of the TWD.
 

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I really expected Negan to save Maggie, but knowing that Daryl is under the train, I expect he will do it.

Tension.
 

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