The Walking Dead Season 11 Episode 16 Review: Act of God

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If you've been struggling to understand where The Walking Dead Season 11 is going, then The Walking Dead Season 11 Episode 16 was likely the episode you've been waiting for.

We had several hints the end was nigh for all of the characters, and the locusts were a nice touch to add to the dread of it all.

Marco's death was both predictable and frustrating.

Yes, we know Leah is essentially a sharpshooter, Terminator-like person with what can only be described as superhuman abilities, but it's difficult to believe she didn't wipe out any of the other characters.

I mean, I know several spinoffs have been ordered, but there are several characters who would have made for a much better midseason finale death to really raise the stakes.

If someone else was to go this episode, I figured it would be Lydia. She's a fantastic character, and as much as I don't want her to die, she would have been a much more satisfying death.

Gabriel Searches for Answers - The Walking Dead Season 11 Episode 16

The emotional ramifications that would come from it would have really sent some of the others in unpredictable directions.

It would hit Negan, Maggie, Daryl, and Elijah in a big way. Then again, maybe the writers were baiting me into believing she would die because Maggie tried to get her to leave and get to safety.

Negan: I don't know... Saving some shithole of a home that's not worth saving.
Annie: Negan, don't.
Maggie: Actually, he's right. Maybe Hilltop isn't worth saving. Those people are. This fight that I'm in, that I started, with Hornsby... It's not gonna end until I end it.
Negan: And I got no doubt you will. But I also got no doubt that you are firmly in the crosshairs of this Lance asshole, so... So I'm coming with you.
Maggie: No. I'll finish it.
Annie: Maggie, we can help fight...
Maggie: No, please. I need you to stay here... With Hershel, with those others. Keep them away from Hilltop and safe until this is over.
Negan: He doesn't exactly trust me, you know?
Maggie: But I'm starting to. You saved him at Riverbend. Whatever else happens, and whatever else has happened, I will never forget that.
Negan: Wow. You have big balls, Maggie Rhee. I got you. And I got your boy.

The wider issue with the show of late has been in how the show has spread out the storylines. I understand the need to put Maggie front and center because she's the person who opposes the Commonwealth way of life.

But people like Yumiko, Magna, and even Carol have been largely sidelined in favor of getting the wheels in motion to reiterate the flaws inside the Commonwealth.

Lance on the Radio - The Walking Dead Season 11 Episode 16

Whether that will change in the final episodes of the series, I don't know.

With all of the spinoffs on the way, many of the characters will probably ultimately get the time to shine, but I'm starting to get the feeling that the show is not going to be able to bring the storylines to a close in a satisfying manner.

The resolution for Negan and Maggie was a long time coming, and the show did a very good job of showing these enemies being pushed together under the most harrowing of circumstances.

They've made peace with one another, but I suspect there will still be resentment from Maggie's side, and rightfully so.

Lydia Joins Forces - The Walking Dead Season 11 Episode 16

Maggie's brutal beatdown with Leah was fantastic, but knowing that Maggie would be headed to New York for Isle of the Dead put a dampener on the stakes of it all.

Leah was a compelling enough character, but it was clear the writers were struggling to bring the show to a close, so they failed to develop her in a way that made her arc meaningful.

Leah: I have waited for this moment for a long time.
Maggie: I know what you want. I wanted it myself for a long time. You can't kill me. That would be too easy. If that was what you wanted, you would've done it already. You want me to suffer. Feel everything that you felt. All the pain. 'Cause somewhere inside you, you think that'll take away your pain. It won't. You're wrong. It's not just you.
Leah: By the time I'm done... Everyone you love will be dead.
Maggie: Then I guess that makes us even. I took your family, you take mine.

Lynn Collins gave a powerhouse performance, but had the show had another season or two to not rush this storyline, it could have been one of the best.

Leah's motives were clear, but we were truly robbed of any emotional reaction from Daryl. I understand he had to get Maggie and get the heck out of that house, but there should have been more.

Leah Hunts - The Walking Dead Season 11 Episode 16

Daryl has chosen his side, and as expected, it's Maggie, which will complicate things for the rest of our heroes at the Commonwealth.

Lance can easily send the message back to Pamela about what has transpired beyond the walls to round all of the survivors up because they'll be plotting something.

The visuals of the Commonwealth taking over all of these big locations from the show were striking. They really solidified the new world order.

Lance is a power-hungry idiot who fails to think of the bigger picture. He's started a battle with Maggie and her people, and he's largely been faltering ever since.

The Clues - The Walking Dead Season 11 Episode 16

The heads-or-tales flip on whether to kill the people of Oceanside as a cliffhanger was a cheap hook for the final eight episodes.

Had these Oceanside characters been more developed, it would have landed with a bigger thud.

Daryl: Man, we need a break. Been doing this for a while now.
Commonwealth Soldier: And we'll keep doing this for a while, if that's what it takes.

If the intent was to show that Lance is more unhinged than ever, it was effective.

Max stealing the documents was a pivotal moment because it highlighted that she's devoted to the cause.

Maggie Promises - The Walking Dead Season 11 Episode 16

Sebastian definitely knew she was up to no good, and you just know he's going to use this as leverage down the line.

Then again, he's tired of being sidelined by his mother, so maybe there's a chance he will surprise everyone and gravitate to the side of good.

Connie publishing the paper will have far-reaching ramifications because it will start a debate about where everyone's loyalty lies and what they're willing to believe.

Again, we haven't really spent enough time in the Commonwealth or seen the true scope of it to understand how the people who have been there for years view the place.

Searching for Safety - The Walking Dead Season 11 Episode 16

As things stand, I'm cautious about how the series will conclude, and it's hard not to feel like AMC spoiled the fun by announcing all these spinoffs in advance.

Surely, announcing a handful of spinoffs but saying that details would be kept under wraps until a later date would have been the way forward to conceal how the rest of the series will play out.

That's just me.

"Act of God" had its moments and carried the tension very well, but many aspects of the hour felt cobbled together as a means to highlight the end is nigh.

Gabriel Hides - The Walking Dead Season 11 Episode 16

What did you think of Leah and Marco's deaths?

Do you think there should have been higher profile casualties for the last midseason finale?

Do you think the show lacks the stakes because of all the spinoff announcements?

Hit the comments.

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

Act of God Review

Editor Rating: 3.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.5 / 5.0 (22 Votes)

Paul Dailly was an Associate Editor for TV Fanatic.Follow him on X.

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