The Walking Dead Season 11 Episode 9 Review: No Other Way

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The Walking Dead has failed to live up to the hype at many turns in recent years.

Many TV shows get less shocking as they grow older, but The Walking Dead Season 11 Episode 9 was one of the best premieres to date.

It was time to weave some of the plots together to truly give the sense that The Walking Dead Season 11 is the final season, and damn, it was a nail-biting premiere that changed the trajectory of the series.

The Villain - The Walking Dead Season 11 Episode 9

If you watch The Walking Dead online, you know the Reapers were hastily introduced in a way that felt more forced than natural.

With Pope dead and Leah bringing her plan of attack to the forefront, there had to be emotional beats that made all of this worthwhile.

Daryl, bless his heart, wanted to believe that people could change, but Leah is more driven by vengeance and the ideals of a very dated world order than her love for him.

The back and forth in Meridian was a lot of fun, especially the well-choreographed fight scenes, and it was shocking that no one died in Meridian.

Dog Chills - The Walking Dead Season 11 Episode 9

The series has clearly learned its lesson about killing characters off for the sake of shock value, and it's the mark of a confident show when it can lay everything out on the table.

The resolution to the Reapers arc was electric, thanks largely to the performances from all of the actors.

There was a genuine struggle. Each side was fighting for something they thought was right, and quite frankly, it was some of the best payoffs we've ever had on the series.

Leah was untrustworthy. She was offering deals left, right, and center until she realized she had her eye in the sky in the form of the sniper.

Gabriel Has a Plan - The Walking Dead Season 11 Episode 9

Asking if the deal was still good rubbed me the wrong way because she and the remaining Reapers should have been executed on the spot for everything they've done.

Daryl desperately wanted to believe they would go away, but Maggie knows first-hand how giving the bad guys time to think about their next plan can come back to bite.

Maggie has made it through several different obstacles in her life. It's a miracle she's still here and managing to hold it together.

She's one of the most badass characters on TV, and she also knows that her son's life is essential. Had she allowed Leah's henchmen to survive, she would have probably regretted it when they fought back.

Magna at Alexandria - The Walking Dead Season 11 Episode 9

It was a brutal turn of events, but it flawlessly highlighted the lengths Maggie will go to to keep those closest to her safe.

It also put her and Daryl on opposing sides, a wedge that was made bigger by the time jump when we got to see Daryl as one of the lead soldiers for the Commonwealth showing up at the Maggie-led remnants of Hilltop with an army.

More of that in a little.

Maggie's violent outburst was scary enough to send Negan away from the people he's worked with for years now.

Zombie in the Basement - The Walking Dead Season 11 Episode 9

He's taking his fate into his own hands because he knows that, deep down, Maggie will get revenge for his execution of Glenn.

The Walking Dead Season 11 has put these in the same breathing space to give us a new and exciting dynamic, but their work together was only ever temporary.

Now that Negan has left the Alexandrians behind, it raises questions about where we might see him again.

Will he return in a blaze of glory to save everyone? Will he slip back into his old ways? The possibilities truly are endless.

Maggie Fights - The Walking Dead Season 11 Episode 9

Alden's death was not a surprise. He's been missing for a bunch of episodes, and he wasn't exactly in the best shape when we last saw him, so there was never going to be a happy ending for this narrative.

Daryl allowing Leah to survive was somewhat concerning. His worldview is different than Leah's, but something tells me they will cross paths again before the series is over, perhaps at the Commonwealth.

Daryl is usually the most skeptical of new faces, so color me surprised to see that he's leading this group of soldiers in the future.

It looks like his relationship with Maggie is further strained in the future, and maybe she isn't ready to give up her life to this new civilization that is sketchy as hell.

Daryl's New Normal - The Walking Dead

There are a lot of questions heading into the next episodes, but it was a nice hero moment for Eugene to arrive at the decimated Alexandria to help his former allies.

The tension at Alexandria was at a high throughout "No Other Way." It's hard to see such a pivotal location to the series falling apart, but it did survive some of the bloodiest battles.

Now, everyone is quite literally done with the constant fight for survival, so I can't wait to see where this goes next.

We have just 15 episodes left before the series wraps up, and there is still so much we need to unpack.

Carol at the Commonwealth - The Walking Dead

What did you think of the resolution at Meridian?

Do you think Maggie made the right call?

Will we see Leah again?

Are you surprised by the flash-forward?

Hit the comments below.

The Walking Dead continues Sundays on AMC at 9 p.m. Catch new episodes a week earlier on AMC+.

No Other Way Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 5.0 / 5.0 (12 Votes)

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

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