When the announcement came down back in September of 2020 that the eleventh season of The Walking Dead would be the final season, it came as no surprise. Initially premiering all the way back in 2010, the series has far surpassed any mainstream expectations, after all, who would have ever thought a show about a zombie apocalypse would reach as many people, in as many different demographics as this? Prior to AMC’s premiere of The Walking Dead, zombies were reserved mostly for the avid Horror lovers, and that was really about it. That all changed when The Walking Dead hit, in fact, at one point it was one of the most watched series on television.
An historic achievement not overlook, The Walking Dead became a pop culture phenomena spawning it’s own multi-location fan convention, two spin-off series, webisodes, video games, and more. That said, was it all taken too far? Could have the over exposure killed the original The Walking Dead series? Perhaps, but on the flipside, you could also say the excessive exposure prolonged the series much further than ever initially thought.
Either way, the final season of The Walking Dead arrived initially in August of 2021, and as of April of 2022, is still not over. On an extended farewell tour, it was planned for the final season to include twenty four episodes broken into three parts consisting of eight episodes each. That in mind, some might argue part one of season eleven, initially premiering August 22, 2021 and ending October 10, 2021, was uneven, and at times, lackluster. Fortunately the news is not all bad, because part two, premiering February 20, 2022 and just wrapping up on April 10th, is perhaps some of the intriguing Walking Dead we have seen in some time.
In part two of season eleven we are given more insight into the Commonwealth; easily the most organized and well-establishment society anyone has seen in The Walking Dead universe. Unfortunately if we have learned anything from the past, nothing is ever as good as it seems…who could forget Woodbury or Terminus?
Anyway, the bulk of these latest eight episodes very much focus on the Commonwealth, their mysterious Governor Pamela Milton (Laila Robins: Planes, Trains & Automobiles 1987, The Blacklist series), wicked Deputy Governor Lance Hornsby (Josh Hamilton: Dark Skies 2013, Eighth Grade 2018), as well as their complex military leader Mercer (Michael James Shaw: Limitless series, Avengers: Endgame 2019). Furthermore, Eugene makes his character stand out as he plays Sherlock Holmes in his attempt to uncover unseen truths while Maggie asserts herself independent of Commonwealth’s temptations to conform with them. However, in the part two finale, Acts of God, Lance’s power hungry ambitions come to a peak and it seems like independence of any community outside of Commonwealth is bleak.
Overall the storyline that part two of season eleven follows is compelling while flowing quite nicely. Too often in the last few seasons of The Walking Dead you could not help but feel frustrated with the non-linear timelines, bombardment of excessive character introductions, and sometimes dragging paces. In this pocket of eight episodes we finally have some cohesion and a good sense of direction. Which leads us to part three, the last act in the original The Walking Dead series.
AMC has yet to announce the release date of the final eight episodes, but one can only assume where this is all going. There is an awful lot to accomplish here – the creative team behind the series needs to wrap up this Commonwealth conflict and also needs to provide viewers with some resolve after devoting a decade plus of their life to The Walking Dead. Yes, some viewers may hop on the next ship of Walking Dead spin-off adventures, but many will most likely bid bon voyage all together.
A bitter truth, at this point in time the only thing that would entice many devoted Walking Dead viewers would be a resolution to the disappearance of original protagonist Rick Grimes. So the big question is if and when that will ever happens. Until then, watch part two of season eleven of The Walking Dead with confidence that you will enjoy yourself. That is why Cryptic Rock gives it 4 out of 5 stars.