The Walking Dead Season 11 Review: Claustrophic, Chilling, & Shocking

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There comes the point in every show when they overstay their welcome, but if the first handful of episodes of The Walking Dead Season 11 are any indication, the series is saving the best for last.

The show changed for the better when Angela Kang took over on The Walking Dead Season 9, employing a much darker tone than before, and while the final six episodes of The Walking Dead Season 10 were hit and miss, there was still a lot to love about them.

Thankfully, the show continues to embrace the darkness on The Walking Dead Season 11, which picks up with the characters worried about the future of the communities.

The Walking Dead Season 11 Key Art

After everything that's happened to them, safety is, once again, a foreign concept, and that allows the final season to take some big risks in the opening episodes, setting the stage for some big shocks along the way.

Many of the characters became too comfortable in their respective communities, and the lack of resources and protection allows the actors to play very different iterations of what came before.

Lauren Cohan is back at the center of the show as Maggie, and one of the things that stick out about her return is that she's changed considerably.

Negan Fights Back  - The Walking Dead

We need to remember that she was away from these communities for several years. It might not seem long to viewers, but the show uses many time jumps, and that means she has seen a very different world than what she sees in Atlanta upon her return.

Maggie was struggling to come to terms with the death of Glen, but now she's concerned about her son's future and what having a lack of resources could mean for the communities that were once thriving.

The writers manage to nestle Maggie back into the narrative very well. It feels very natural, and after everything that happened to her ahead of her exit, she needed some time away to help other emerging communities.

There's a clear desire in Maggie to bring these places back to their former glory, but in a world ravaged by zombies, supplies are running thin. 

A Tense Scenario - The Walking Dead

Maggie is more centric this time around, taking on more of a leadership role, which works very well. She was gone for a while, but now it's time to shine the light back on the character, and the show pulls it all off well.

She will never be able to forgive Negan, nor should she, but will she be able to co-exist in the same location as him? That's one of the more convincing plots.

Negan is back and in all of his witty glory, but the events of The Walking Dead Season 10 Episode 22 have undoubtedly changed him. He knew he had to say goodbye to the past if he had any hope of surviving the post-apocalyptic world.

The writing for Carol and Daryl went off the rails a bit in the bonus episodes, but those episodes were placeholders between the two seasons, so I can forgive that.

Carol Tries to Banish Negan - The Walking Dead Season 10 Episode 22

Thankfully, they are both back to their former glory in one of the most highest-stakes missions in the history of the series.

The Commonwealth plot kicks up to high gear in the opening episodes, introducing us to a very different group than we've met before, changing much about what we thought we knew about them.

Then there are The Reapers. I figured the Reapers would have little screen time ahead of the season, but they get quite a bit.

I really don't want to delve into spoiler territory, but The Walking Dead Season 11 is dark, filled with stakes and nail-biting moments.

Carol Speaks to Jerry - The Walking Dead Season 10 Episode 21

The plot advances swimmingly, and it seems as if the show knows it's wrapping up these plots because it moves through them quicker than before.

If you've fallen off The Walking Dead train over the years, now would be the perfect time to get back on.

The show is in fighting form, and you're going to want to watch these episodes the moment they are available.

Remember, you can watch The Walking Dead online right here via TV Fanatic.

The Walking Dead Season 11 debuts August 15th on AMC+, with the episodes airing on the regular AMC a week later. Yes, every episode will be available on AMC+ a week early.


Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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Paul Dailly was an Associate Editor for TV Fanatic.Follow him on X.

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The Walking Dead Quotes

Shane: What's the difference between men and women.
Rick: Is this a joke?
Shane: No serious. I've never met a woman who knew how to turn off the light. Born thinking the switch only goes one way: on.

Hey you. Dumbass. Yeah, you in the tank. Cozy in there?

Voice on the Radio