Sunday 5 September 2021

Review: #TheWalkingDead Season 11 Episode 3: HUNTED

 Previously: Review: S11x02 ACHERON: Part II

- S 11 x 03  HUNTED - 

Written by Vivien Tse

Directed by Frederick E O Toye

An episode of many different moods and atmospheric settings: much ill feeling, darkness, danger and foreboding, but also sunshine, joy and friendship.  It was a delight to see the offspring of Rick, Michonne, Lori, Shane, Maggie and Glenn playing and laughing together, these children who have only known the world as it is now - and I love how Hershel described the pre-Walker years as 'olden times'!  

This, coupled with Maggie telling Alden that she's not sure Hershel would be surprised by anything anymore and the way in which he interacts with the others, shows him as already wise beyond his years, like Judith.  Though when he asked Judith if she'd ever been on the road, and she said she hadn't, not really, I thought, ah, but you have... you ate crushed acorns, slept in a barn with Walkers at the door, you were saved from death by Tyreese and Carol, more than once -you just can't remember.😉

Leading straight on from the end of episode 2, with Maggie's group on the road under attack from the Reapers - Daryl and Dog last seen chasing one of them into the darkness, Elijah dragged off by a noose around his neck after helping Maggie, and Frost gone too... looks like next week we'll see where those masked, scythed-up beasts hang their hats, presumably with at least one prisoner.

There was me complaining, in my last two reviews, about how much I didn't like the Meridian gang, and now Cole, Agatha and Duncan are no more.  I admit to feeling a bit sorry for Agatha - to have got this far, then have your life terminated by Walker bites.  Many reminders already in this season that they're the real enemy; it's so easy, these days, to see them almost as pests one has to dispatch before going about one's business.  This should please anyone who got fed up with the lack of zombie action in some recent seasons.

Negan dragging Maggie away from Agatha, because it was too late to help her, triggered another one of those TWD echoes: Lori dragging Beth away from Patricia after the farm was overrun.  1.15 in this clip:

So who are (and why are) the Reapers?  After we saw Gabriel doubting that prayer does any good anymore, the scene with him and the wounded one (who my subtitles told me is called Nicholls) gave us a little insight into what they're about - the fact that Nicholls was reciting Psalm 23, and asked Gabriel to pray for him.

'God isn't here anymore.'

Then there was the burned man named Judas, and the large wooden cross outside the wrecked church where Maggie and Negan left Alden, if indeed that is something to do with them.  I'm thinking that after the Pestilence, War and Famine, they are Death, the fourth Horseman of the Apocalypse, what with their name, hood and death masks and all, though what their creed or aim is, exactly, remains to be seen.

As for the Maggie/Negan stuff, I grow weary of her venomous looks and that downturned mouth.  Nothing against Lauren Cohan, who is a terrific actress and portrays every emotion so well, but I'm starting to think Maggie needs to find a way to deal with the fact that he's not going anywhere.  Perhaps she'll find it, now that they've gone off on their own - let us hope so.  It was inevitable that fate would conspire to put them together at some point.  Fun and games coming up, then.

No, he's not going to beat you to death with a crowbar.  
He just wants to find the food and go home.

Love those mannequins in the background!

One could argue that it's fair enough for her to spit venom at him every time he's within 100 yards of her, when you consider THAT NIGHT ... but think also of Rosita, who scarcely mentions it.  Negan did the same to Abraham, who she loved.  I know that by the time THAT NIGHT took place they had parted, but she still loved him.  I was just thinking about this the other day, when this article by Renee Hanson appeared in my Twitter stream: Abraham Ford died that day too. 

So it was most cool when Rosita said that she dreams about him ... we're reminded of Glenn constantly, and it's good to hear Abraham's name again.  But what did that dream mean, if it meant anything?

The original TWD Power Couple?

I wouldn't be surprised if Negan and Maggie come to some sort of understanding next week.  They're both strong, brave, clever and incredibly resourceful - they could do so much if not wasting their energy being at odds.

He said, 'You were gone for a long time.  People change.'  And Maggie wasn't around to see even Michonne and Daryl start to accept him just a little bit.  Then again, when she shouted at him that they'd arrived at where they are now because of him, and all that he did, you could see her point.  She would never have left Alexandria in the first place if he hadn't 'turned that sleepy little burg upside down'.  Who knows.

But he's right.  She was gone for a long time.  They built Alexandria back up, and he couldn't have stopped the destruction of Hilltop.

I have to say I was surprised at Alden being scathing towards him, seeing as it was Negan who killed Alpha for them all.  You know, the Alpha who put Enid's head on a stick.  Like, Enid, the woman he loved.  Uh-huh, yes - that Alpha.

I have no doubt that when they get to Meridian they will find no food, or food and a whole lot more that they would rather not find.  Was Negan right when he said there was too much danger out there, and they should go back?

'Really?  So we're going to go... towards the screaming.  Cool.'


No Commonweath intrigue this week, but wasn't it great to see Carol, Rosita, Magna and Kelly out and about around Alexandria?  

Magna seems to have softened a little - that hug she gave Carol was so surprising, and so right, and I loved that Magna saw it was what she needed - poor Carol doesn't get too much affection these days.  More hugs for Carol!

She's always taking herself to the edge, going that little bit further for the sake of her community.  As Tobin once said, 'You're a mom.  It's not the cookies or the smiles, it's the scary stuff.  It's how you can do it.  It's strength'.  As ever she was right, and they found the horses.

...including the one she chose to put down, so they could all eat.  At least lovely Aaron was there to help her.  Have to say, I wondered how Aaron appears to have 'bulked up' somewhat, considering their lack of food...

Magna might find that Carol's right about finding Connie, too.  Of course we all know that she's somewhere else with Virgil, not dead, but you can understand that she doesn't want Kelly's hopes raised.  I think it's kind of sweet that Carol's taken Kelly under her wing.  

If Magna has softened, then Rosita has too, and I just loved that little scene with her showing Coco the horses, then she looked up and you could see her concern for Carol washing her bloody hands after killing the horse.  The hard thing.  Carol always does the hard thing.  

btw, I always notice the authenticity of the surroundings, which is consistently first class, and I see the church in Alexandria has been rebuilt using the wattle and daub method, as people used to build houses centuries ago - made me wish we could spend a while in that time between S8 and 9, to see how they built the community back up.  Just, you know, hang around in Alexandria for a while.  Who knew they had a dairy farm??

Let's hope those out there in the Reapers' danger zone can make their way back safely... eventually.  Daryl, Dog, Negan, Alden, Gabriel, Elijah, Maggie and Frost.  I wonder if Gabriel will make use of the Reaper mask that Nicholls left behind?  Anyway, from the trailer it looks like Daryl's on the case... but is the place Meridian, or elsewhere?  

...and who is this guy who wants them to feel his wrath?  I'm guessing ... Pope?  As in 'Pope marked you', as directed at Maggie in 10x17 Home Sweet Home.  A former fundamentalist preacher, maybe!

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