December 6, 2022 The Walking Dead – The End of an Era (Season 11 Review)
Originally premiering all the way back in 2010, twelve years later, and after eleven seasons, AMC’s The Walking Dead reached its conclusion on November 20, 2022. A series which by 2014 was red hot, shattering viewing records for any cable series, and spawning a swell of mainstream fanfare like not seen prior, The Walking Dead is historic in many aspects. Sure, the last few seasons have arguably not been as strong or compelling as those which came earlier, but even still, most who started with The Walking Dead, stayed loyal and devoted to it until the end.
Wrapping up after initially launching the final season back in August 2021, the final episode ever of The Walking Dead is fittingly entitled Rest in Peace. Drawing in 2.27 million views in the episodes premiere, for some, the series finale is a very uneven and unfulfilled ending. Why? Well, it has been twelve years and many dedicated viewers justifiably wanted more resolve than Rest in Peace might have had to offer. Briefly recapping everything that transpired in season 11, the drama of the Commonwealth and the city’s political corruption is at last snuffed out thanks to the mainstay Walking Dead characters uniting together one last time. A conclusion not much different than prior triumphs of our chosen hero’s past, this time around there is no tomorrow.
However, as unresolved as The Walking Dead’s finale might feel, you cannot help but ponder the idea that AMC and the series creators planned it this way. Of course, there is Fear the Walking Dead which has run since 2015 and The Walking Dead: World Beyond running since 2020… but what is next? While all the details are still unclear, there will reportedly be a Daryl (Norman Reedus) spin-off Walking Dead series set in Europe, while Maggie (Lauren Cohan) and Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) will have their spin-off series called Dead City, and finally, Michonne (Danai Gurira) and Rick (Andrew Lincoln) will at last get a spin-off series as well. A lot to digest, for some it is exciting that they will be able to continue along a journey with these characters. However, for others, they might be cutting their ties and thanking The Walking Dead for the memories.
In all, as a whole, the eleventh season of The Walking Dead was perhaps the most entertaining and evenly paced since Rick’s departure back in the ninth season. The theme is compelling enough, the tension is plausible, and for the most part, the story lines are not too absurd. And it would have been a fine season had there been a new season coming, but as it stands, some are feeling a bit short changed.
Looking back, there have actually been season finale episodes in years past stronger than Rest in Peace. In fact, some finales were so good some viewers might have felt satisfied with it all ending right there and then. Nonetheless, the original The Walking Dead series is no more, and for what it is worth, through the ups and downs, it is one of the strongest television series ever to be produced for cable television. Thanking the cast and creators for a fantastic run of Horror-Drama laden television, Cryptic Rock gives Season 11 of The Walking Dead 3.5 out of 5 stars, and the entire 11 seasons altogether, 4.5 out of 5 stars thanks to the abundance of strong seasons early on.