The Walking Dead Season 11 Episode 4 Review: Rendition

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If you wanted to learn more about The Reapers, then The Walking Dead Season 11 Episode 4 was the hour you were looking for.

Unfortunately, the hour featured the best and worst of this long-running post-apocalyptic drama.

We'll start with Leah. If you watch The Walking Dead online, you know the bonus episode was clearly the set-up for the character to return at some point.

A Familiar Face - The Walking Dead

I wanted to be gobsmacked at the face under the mask. But when Leah removed the mask, it was probably one of the most predictable reveals in series history.

It was a half-assed reveal, but hey, we had to revisit this complicated dynamic at some point or another.

Leah desperately wanted Daryl to be introduced to her group, and she was willing to risk it all.

Pope Talks - The Walking Dead Season 11 Episode 4

There's a poignant story in here somewhere about Leah in that she left the group and returned after some time away.

It helps to make it more believable that she just up and left because, despite her and Daryl's deeply rooted issues, there was a bond between them.

For Daryl, this was an interesting dynamic because he rarely shows emotion. But, inevitably, Daryl couldn't be welcomed into The Reapers without them knowing whether he threatened the group.

Daryl's story about joining Maggie's group just days before because he was starving tracked very well with what Leah knew about him, making some aspects of this whole introduction to these characters worthwhile.

Dragged - The Walking Dead Season 11 Episode 4

The tests were absurd. My jaw hit the floor when Daryl and Leah were locked in the room, and it was set alight.

It was a chilling scene that could have had fatal consequences, but Daryl helping the woman he fell in love with highlighted that he had the capacity to think of someone else's safety before his own, which allowed him to join this group. 

The Reaper code was highlighted to a T when Pope -- who is super scary -- killed one of his own.

It was a truly harrowing image, but it also highlighted that the Reaper code is flawed. We don't truly know how many people comprise this group, but there's a lot given that a separate group was tracking Maggie, Negan, Alden, and Gabriel on The Walking Dead Season 11 Episode 3.

Pope and Leah - The Walking Dead Season 11 Episode 4

Their origins are interesting, and it might be the sole thing that sets them apart from the other groups on the show.

So far, they're a nice contrast to the Commonwealth, but the issue is the Pope of it all. The character is scary, and his actions throughout "Rendition" showed that he could turn on one of his own without a second thought.

Daryl is in a tricky situation. His allegiance to Alexandria will probably shine through, but there will come the point he will have to choose whether he likes his chances with Leah or the people he's been with since the beginning of the apocalypse.

Connie's imminent return will further complicate things, but I suspect Pope will continue to fly off the handle at any given time, and the people who have blindly followed him will calling in to question his actions.

Daryl at the Fire - The Walking Dead Season 11 Episode 4

This will probably take some nudging from Daryl to Leah, which will spread through the group. There are clearly different factions of the group, but a character like Pope is too unpredictable to care about.

He thinks the Reapers are God's soldiers, but their actions certainly speak otherwise.

Daryl-centric episodes are usually very good, but "Rendition" had the lofty task of revealing the truth about these people, and it felt too hastily cobbled together because of the way Daryl had a tie to one of them.

The show clearly wants us to think Daryl will start to warm to the Reaper way, but this also feels like a bit of a retread when you consider the way Negan infiltrated the Whisperers and brought down their leader.

Daryl in Danger - The Walking Dead Season 11 Episode 4

Given that happened only a season ago, I hope there's something more creative planned. As we are halfway through this first batch of final season episodes, it's mildly concerning that the show seems to be burning through the plot.

We can't have three big groups in the mix for long, and given that the emphasis is on the Reapers, I suspect they will be dealt with by The Walking Dead Season 11 Episode 8 -- the midseason finale.

That will leave ample time to tackle The Commonwealth and The Whisperers. Even at that, it seems like the writers are trying to pack as much content into these episodes as possible.

I know the end date announcement shocked both the fans and the creative team, but some of the plots need some time to breathe.

Scary Reaper - The Walking Dead Season 11 Episode 4

What would have made this episode much more exciting would have been if we had some other plots going on in the background.

In hindsight, The Walking Dead Season 11 Episode 3 could have been blended with this, showing different people stalked by The Reapers, and trimming the unnecessary scenes.

What are your thoughts on this deep dive into the characters?

Do you think the show is putting too much emphasis on these new villains?

Reaper Camp - The Walking Dead Season 11 Episode 4

What are your thoughts on Pope?

Hit the comments below.

The Walking Dead continues Sundays on AMC.

Rendition Review

Editor Rating: 3.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.0 / 5.0 (15 Votes)

Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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