The Walking Dead Season 11 Episode 2 Review: Acheron 2Paul Dailly at .
This is not the Maggie we know.
The Walking Dead Season 11 Episode 2 gave us a deep dive into her psyche as she made some tough decisions and recounted some of the most harrowing parts of her life since leaving the group.
If you watch The Walking Dead online, you know Maggie had suffered great loss during her tenure on the series, but hearing what happened when she was away from the group, well, it's a surprise she has any humanity left.
Leaving Gage in the subway cart was a tough decision, but it perfectly reiterated the fact that Maggie has changed considerably.
The wider issue with the decision is that it didn't feel like Maggie had entertained any other thoughts about saving the youngster from the walkers. It felt more like she decided without thinking it through.
But who can blame her? The decision might have saved everyone else. Yes, the door ultimately gave way, and the walkers got on, but it could have been much worse had they opened it from the jump to save Gage.
It was also a huge surprise that Maggie didn't try to kill Negan for leaving her for dead.
It seems like she understands that, at one point, they might have a life-or-death beatdown, but she also recognized that she would have probably done the same to Negan if the opportunity presented itself.
Negan: OK, so what?
Gabriel: You're just admitting it?
Alden: You tried to kill her.
Negan: No, she was in trouble and I didn't help. There is a big difference.
It's a complicated dynamic between the pair because they will never truly be able to be friends. Their existence in each other's lives is a matter of convenience, and I suspect the show will continue to hone in on that dynamic as we delve deeper into the final season.
Alden's reaction to Maggie's decision wasn't surprising, but what struck me was that Negan and Alden -- two former Saviors -- were the first people to try to save Gage.
Ultimately, Alden probably recognized the person he used to look up to has changed, but seeing people split down the middle about these decisions is fun for viewers.
There will be a moment Maggie's leadership skills will be called into question, but this hardened version of the character is able to think about survival over connections to people, which makes it all the more intriguing.
Alden: He's right there.
Maggie: I know he is.
Alden: To hell with you.
The fight on the train between the walkers and the humans was chilling and probably one of my favorite scenes of the series. The Walking Dead has a habit of cutting away from the action and having the characters talk to fill viewers in on what happened.
It's not a good way to tell a story, but at least the show is finally following through with well-executed storylines.
Daryl saving the day was not a surprise. Daryl tends to emerge from the shadows when people least expect it, but he truly is one of the best people when it comes to survival because he's the most observant person around.
I'm going to guess we'll be meeting Leah again fairly soon and that she'll be a part of The Reapers, this new group that's been stalking Maggie for eons.
The arrow coming out of nowhere made me jump because it seemed more like a scene for talking than a hard left turn. These people are scary, and given the way Daryl and Leah's relationship ended, there's a lot to resolve.
The character's sudden appearance in a flashback episode can't have been for nothing. This being the final season, it's time to develop some of these relationships more to give the sense that the show is moving ahead.
I suspect this will be the type of show to go out with an open-ended finale because, let's face it, the franchise will still be alive long after the parent series wraps, and it's not like the show will just butcher all of the characters at the end.
While the episode was very good, the Commonwealth arc is already dragging, which is not a good sign for the future. Granted, the quartet has finally passed their initiation, so we'll probably see the inside of the place through their eyes.
Alden: Maggie, listen to me. We have time. We can get that door open.
Maggie: We don't have the ammo to clear them.
Eugene surprised me by infusing his tall tale about where he came from with some facts. Josh McDermitt gave a much more nuanced performance in this installment because the writing was much better for him than in recent seasons.
Keeping Alexandria a secret is necessary, but something tells me they're going to come in contact with a familiar face when they delve into The Commonwealth life. That person will be able, to tell the truth about them.
Then again, it might be the case that The Commonwealth comes across Alexandria and sets out to destroy it. If they're anything like the CRM, well, Alexandria should be worried.
Maggie and her squad being attacked again is tough because it also means the resources in Alexandria will continue to diminish.
I know the series has never been a show about winning, but would it hurt the writers to give the characters a break? It's tough to watch them be put through all this doom and gloom, but it highlights the nature of a resource-ravaged world a decade into a zombie apocalypse.
That's all I got!
What did you think of Maggie telling us about the past? Do you believe her decision to leave Gage was right?
Do you think the show could be setting Maggie up as a villain?
What are your thoughts on the Commonwealth arc?
Hit the comments below.
Catch new episodes Sundays at 9/8c on AMC.
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.