Walking Dead Recap: Family (season 11, episode 23)

Judith, sword on her purse, puts Rick's hat on her little brother RJ's head.

picture: Jess Downs / AMC

in Summary of last weekShe wrote: “Did you feel nervous watching the walking Dead Any more? Is the TV show ever really really a surprise for you Any more? I’m sure it’s been a long time since then TWD Made me feel like a character He was in real danger or do anything that made me I wonder what would have happened Next.” I’m happy to report tonight’s episode that surprised me, made me anxious, and left me wondering what’s going to happen next week.

Photo of the article titled The Walking Dead did what he should have done all along

Now, looking at next week’s episode of the walking Dead It’s also the series finale, you’d have every right to feel like it’s too little, and it’s too late. But I’m thankful that the show is finally starting to feel like a series finale instead of business as usual. When “The Family” begins, Alexandria is completely liberated from the occupying Commonwealth forces after last week’s episode – which you might think might be a fun hour of TV, but obviously isn’t – and all the heroes who aren’t stuck in Alexandria (Eugene, Yumiko, Max and Mercer) Or trapped in a horde of zombies (Aaron, Lydia, Jerry, Ezekiel, Lucas and Jules), board a train, and head to the Commonwealth to rescue their children and take out Pam.

Before, during, and after boarding the train, the characters have emotionally meaningful conversations that rework the plot or recreate the same old character beats. Judith has a big argument for letting her join the assault to honor her father Rick, her mother Michonne, her brother Carl, and even her mother Laurie, whom she has never met, and to help ensure a better peaceful future for them. Perceived (…sometimes). Later, Daryl promised to tell her “all the stories about everyone who loved you”, which put me in a very good shape. Negan admits to Ezekiel that he is well aware that everyone he rides with is a better person than him, and if Ezekiel can’t see that, well, there’s someone out there who didn’t pay attention.

Photo of the article titled The Walking Dead did what he should have done all along

picture: Jess Downs / AMC

Perhaps the best line in “Family” comes from the train. As the zombie Commontroopers drive toward the Commonwealth, Aaron, Jerry, and Lydia manage to sneak into an abandoned RV, but Elijah, Luke, and Jules are swept away before they can enter. Lydia tries to woo her boyfriend Elijah, but she’s just getting by. To get chomped on the wrist by zombies. Yes, one of the protagonists was actually bitten by zombies! Of course, her arm would have to be cut off to avoid becoming a zombie herself – something that Aaron was uniquely suited to deal with, as the same thing happened to him. But instead, Jerry cuts down while Aaron consoles her. Just before he lowered the blade, Aaron told her sympathetically, “You’re so lovable, Lydia.” It’s beautiful, and I’m not sure it’s true, but it’s a great moment nonetheless.

Within the Commonwealth, people are justifiably angry at Governor Pam, so she calls for “B17” – that is, having troops drive a huge horde of zombies to the city’s front gates so she can justify a citywide shutdown. Unfortunately, no one told her about Variables, smarter than average – the undead can climb walls and eat soldiers, and one of them landed on the “open gate crane” while eating, allowing thousands of zombies direct access to residential and commercial areas of the Commonwealth. It’s bad news for everyone but viewers: the variables are back! They had a huge impact on the story! They will likely be back next week too! Oh, what a bounty of riches.

Photo of the article titled The Walking Dead did what he should have done all along

picture: Jess Downs / AMC

Princess manages to call Mercer from the train and tell him about the plan, so Mercer withdraws his troops from the train station where Alexandria’s team will infiltrate. Unfortunately, Pam hears about the redeployment, has Mercer arrested, and the armed goons inside so they can shoot the Alexandrians when they arrive. Weirdly, Pam is also there for the action and starts shooting an assault rifle at Maggie, only for the cool Judith to get her out of the way and shoot her instead. Judith is down! Get ready for riots!

As if the characters on the show know that the franchise will lose all its remaining goodwill if Judith dies, the group bands together, escapes the station, and begins heading to the Commonwealth Doctor. Even Pamela has the decency to terrify her. She shot a child, screaming at the Alexandrians, “I did this!” to blame. Bam escapes, only to learn that a giant flock of zombies is coming to town. I instructed the Commontroopers to guide the zombies into “Lower Wards”, aka The poor part of the city, protecting the “real estate”, that is, the homes of the wealthy. He is the most active and blatantly The evil class that Pam has ever shown, is clearly incompatible with the leader of the new army, Vickers.

However, Vickers does at least partly what was said, and begins deploying troops to direct the zombies – and the group lands right between two barriers with the horde toward them. The Alexandrians manage to fight off enough zombies to allow Daryl, who holds Judith, to escape an alley, but the episode ends with the rest rushing in.

Photo of the article titled The Walking Dead did what he should have done all along

picture: Jess Downs / AMC

I have no idea how they will get out of this, and I love it. I’m sure the answer would be silly or require a bit of backtracking, but I like the feeling that these characters – especially Judith – are in real danger, even if they probably aren’t. I love that Lydia was bitten by zombies, because it makes me feel somewhere in the stupid lizard’s brain watching TV, that the other characters might be eaten too. I love that the disparate zombies have turned what used to be bad but trapped into a total disaster, proving that they are much more dangerous than the zombies we’ve been watching for over a decade, even if they need a little luck on their side. I like not knowing exactly what will happen next.

Check it out – me grateful of all this. The episode wasn’t so great that I didn’t wonder how Bam controlled half the Commonwealth army without Mercer somehow knowing anything about it, or how it had a perfectly good, united force with thousands of zombies leading to their hometown in it. Bidding, or why, again, don’t lie and tell people the herd of zombies has been spotted so martial law should be enforced rather than really bringing zombies to their front gate – a gate far enough from the city that, as we see tonight, it’s unlikely that any Civilian whether the threat is real or not. This is not necessary, Pam. Do some simplification!

However, my only real complaint about “Family” is that this episode should have aired weeks ago, or at least an episode like it. If I hadn’t spent it so long watching this show and recapitulating, I honestly would have been a little confused because there was only one more episode. but since the walking Dead He’s only been spinning his wheels for most of the previous six episodes, I’m satisfied he only has one more hour left. I just hope it’s as good as this one.

Photo of the article titled The Walking Dead did what he should have done all along

picture: Jess Downs / AMC

Miscellaneous meditations:

  • Oh, I was upset when Mercer spoke out that there were legal grounds to remove Pamela from her position. Look guys, either the Commonwealth has an efficient legal system that you can use to legally vote for the bad rich lady or you can stage an armed coup, but not both. Choose a lane.
  • I found it delightfully frightening when Aaron and the others were whispering to each other in the horde of zombies lest they be detected. Whisperer tech, man – they were crazy, but they knew what they were doing.
  • Speaking of, another commonwealth of JDust off the screen. Did the last season’s budget shrink, or…?
  • Boy, it sure looks like Jerry is going to die, right? Aaron and Lydia – even Jerry himself – made it seem like the last time they went to see each other. Jerry even says, “See you on the other side.” But the reason for his going is to help Elijah, Luke, and Jules, who are dead, captured, or still trapped hiding in the crowd, and not a single person has been able to help them in any of these three situations.

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