Thoughts on the Walking Dead episode 1 and 2, season 11 (S11E01, S11E02)

📢 Before we begin, spoilers for S11E01 and S11E02. And for the comic book series.

This season started with the group dropping into an abandoned military base; many bodies were on the ground. They snuck past them, so based on this, it was clear they understood the zombies were hibernating, but they didn’t take advantage of this. So at this point, it was clear what would happen next.

I yelled at the TV, “stab them in the heads before they get up!” But no, no preemptive measures. They wanted to do it the hard way, I suppose. If it were me in this apocalypse, my favorite weapon would be the spear. Mine wouldn’t be too heavy but sturdy. There would be no need to even bend down to re-end their lives, so it’s good for the back. Also, I’d be poking every single one of their heads, all the time, not only in this situation but every situation. My nickname would be poky-man.

I believe it was for “drama.” If they did something less ricky, it would be boring. I assume they have analytics or focus groups to test this, so it was the right market decision to appease the masses. It would have been great to show it going smoothly. To illustrate, “yeah, these people who have lived through 10 years of zombies, yeah, they are competent at it, like a well-oiled machine.”

If producers reversed the situation and only men fought, I probably would not have noticed. It would be a “normal” action sequence, so I favor these little moments to make the larger media landscape more balanced.

Here is where I should mention: I haven’t watched all of the season 10 bonus episodes yet, so if they have important plot points, forgive me, please.

I enjoyed the builds; it felt medieval. I’m not sure who Carol was referring to when she was talking about taking in two new communities, but I would assume that it is Maggie’s people and some other group, I guess probably Hilltop.

When Maggie talked about leading a group of walkers away from her old community, Meridian, I daydreamed about the most effective ways to do this. We’ve seen it before; they make noise and walk away or ride horses for miles. I wondered if there would be a safe way to thin the herd as they led them away.

My first thought was to have some people walk backward and shoot arrows. Other people should watch the front. They could take turns, but I think the arrows would get crushed by the herd. This seems wasteful. Maybe they could have a cart and some metal arrows attached to a string so they could pull them back in. I’m just spitballing here.

I wouldn’t want to use a spear in this situation because it feels too risky. If you fall, boom, eaten. The goal would be to have a zero-risk method. Maybe it would work if the humans were high up on a cart. Or if they had a super-long spear.

Another approach I imagined: have a couple of ninjas sneak up behind them and shoot arrows. As they follow the herd, they can collect the arrows and reuse them. But this has the chance of splitting the herd. Maybe the other ones would notice and break apart and come toward them, and then more and more would follow, splitting the sea of walkers into two big chunks; half going back toward the place they were trying to lead them away.

In general, I wasn’t a fan of how there was already another “big baddie” group to fight. I would prefer if there were some time to breathe as a viewer.

Story-wise, I liked the situation; their community is in ruins and low on food. It is a tough spot.

From here, the episode jumped back and forth between two stories: going to Meridian and how’s it going at The Commonwealth. Instead of following the show’s pattern, I’ll discuss the Meridian gang first and then the Commonwealth.

Mission to Meridian

Since when did they call it “the fall?” I mean, it was fine, but it sounded out of place. Maybe it was introduced in the bonus episodes; but to think about it more, if it is Maggie’s group that uses the term, then this weirdness is quite good. As it highlights how long Maggie has been away and how their groups are different.

Bruuh… Negan should have stayed home. I don’t get it, was he forced to go? Does he have fewer rights than everyone else?

I liked the vibe in the subway. It reminded me of a book called Metro 2033 because spooky things happen in subway tunnels too. Pipes leaked gas that made people go crazy, and people randomly disappeared. The wind through pipes was a nice effect; the environment being more active was cool. Are zombies part of the environment, though?

How did Maggie know these people died during the fall? I assume “The Fall” refers to the time shortly after the zombie outbreak. It makes no sense to me how she can be so confident.

When Negan fought that big zombie alone, it felt like forever. It was like 10 seconds of screen time. I wondered: what was everyone else doing—standing there and watching him? To me, it implied that Negan was right; everyone wanted him dead. Or what they have shown was not the reality, but Negan’s perception, to highlight his paranoia. But the only time I remember something like that was when Rick or someone saw his dead wife, oh and also maybe a voice on a radio, but that person was in the process of becoming dead. That last one might have been only in the comic books, I’m not sure. I may be hallucinating these situations.

It was super funny that no one from Maggie’s squad waited for her. I would have enjoyed it more if Maggie had died.

It was cool to see Daryl explore the subway. But I didn’t understand the meaning behind the crown imagery.

It felt like I watched someone play a good Fallout game, where you come across a place, and even though everyone is dead, the environment tells a story. It felt more real because of the small snippets of people’s lives; real life isn’t coherent. Life does not follow Chekhov’s gun: if you see something, it will be used later. Ah, wait a moment, one of the kids in the photo held a bunny, and Maggie found a bunny earlier. What does it mean?

There was a map on the wall, with the words “denons” at the top. Did they mean to write “demons”?

After the group was through Maggie the tunnels, mentioned they could re-equip at a hidden supply cache; it contains food, ammo, weapons, and whatever else. And then I thought: wtf, why didn’t you mention that at the council meeting!? This further cements the idea that Maggie isn’t going for food but revenge. But to be honest, I don’t care so much about what is happenin’ with Maggie. 

Maggie starting a flair: let me just set the scene here before I tell you a spooky story!


At the commonwealth, I enjoyed the glimpse into their bureaucracy, and it explained their situation well. Pass level one and go onto level two; avoid reprocessing. It also painted a picture that the only way to leave is through joining; it feels crazy.

I could complain about not seeing how they escape with the suits, but I will give it a pass.

The wall of lost people was cool to see. As soon as I heard Yumiko mention she was a lawyer, I remembered the plot-line in the comics, but it was Michonne instead. I saw her reacting to knowing her brother was her, but I didn’t connect with the moment. It was not the actress’ fault, but it was just, in the comics books, Michonne was a character we got to know well, and here, I don’t know Yumiko so well. Like, bruh, idc.

It was cool to see some speaking solve a problem instead of violence.

The legal jargon said by the commander was boring.


Here are things that I would enjoy:

  • Well executed battle tactics against zombies.
  • Fights where the bodies pile up, and have an impact, good or bad, on the fighting. 
  • A story about the repairs at Alexandria.

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