The Walking Dead made its return on the 19th of February for those without AMC Plus. This was the first episode of the second leg of eight episodes to close out the series. This episode literally wastes no time as it started right where the last episode left off. Hwacha missiles flying fast and furious at Maggie and Negan. Maggie quickly escapes to a storage container, but a Reaper looks for the same shelter so they fight. Maggie ends up getting the upper hand as missiles and walkers are going by, she gets him out in the open and he gets hit with one of those exploding projectiles. Maggie escapes to a building but Carver is hot on her trail, she runs into Negan and Elijah and gets everyone hidden behind a fake wall. From there they can hear and see Carver as he talks to Shaw on the walkie that nobody will get out alive.

Daryl is in another building fighting with a Reaper, who we learn is Austin, until Daryl is able to choke him out before Shaw and another Reaper get into the room. Daryl was hiding behind a big whiteboard and slipped behind them. Gabriel is making his way through, what I assume is a third building and he comes across their Priest. After chatting with him and then hearing a gunshot, Gabriel guts him. Back with Maggie, she makes an ambush with Elijah and Negan for Carver. It was a tough fight, and Negan had to use some sand in the eyes diversion the three of them are finally able to subdue Carver. Maggie is going to end him before Daryl arrives and tells her to stop. She wants to use Carver to trade for everything they want.

The two groups meet for a standoff. Daryl wants the Reapers to drop their weapons and to leave, if he thinks anyone is following them he will kill Carver. If he thinks they are far enough out and nobody has followed them he will let Carver go. Leah doesn’t want any more lies and has Jenson let out a warning shot from above with the sniper rifle. She wants everyone to come out, so Negan, Elijah, and Maggie do. Carver smooches a kiss towards Elijah who stumbles after him saying, “Her name was Josephine”, before falling. Carver goes to kick him while he is down and Carver gets shot in the leg. Shaw screams, “Jenson! What the hell?” The voice comes back, “nope, no Jenson here, you can call me Gabriel.” Everyone now knows that Gabriel killed Jenson and the tables have turned. Shaw asks for the deal that Daryl offered back, knowing if they fight while Gabriel picks the Reapers off both sides will lose people, and she seemingly gets it without Carver as the other three drop their weapons and leave.

Lauren Cohan as Maggie Rhee – The Walking Dead _ Season 11, Episode 9 – Photo Credit: Josh Stringer/AMC

What comes next is just Magic! The shots, the movements, the music, oh man the music was top notch. It reminds me of a score when Rick Grimes was out doing his thing, Maggie looks on Elijah who says, “for Josephine, for everyone.” Something clicks in Maggie’s mind and she grabs a gun that Daryl slipped her earlier and headshots one Reaper from behind, clips Leah, and injures the third. She turns around and headshots the injured one before going back towards Carver. Daryl yells, “WHAT THE HELL?” As he goes to look for Leah, Maggie goes back to Carver to headshot him but she is out of bullets so she gets a weapon and hits him in the chest killing him. Negan sort of just processes it and takes mental notes. Daryl does find Leah, but tells her he didn’t want this, they could have both had a second chance, and tells her to leave before he changes his mind.

Maggie goes to check up on Alden who was left at the church. He, and a Reaper both are now walkers. Maggie breaks down at the site of Alden as a walker. Negan catches up to her after she buried Alden, he tells her she was always going to do what she did to the Reapers. She is also always going to do that to him, but he won’t let her have the chance so he is going to leave, and with that, he walks off into the unknown. At night Maggie makes it back to Gabriel and the others and they ask if Negan caught up to her and she tells them that he left.

While this was going on, a lot was happening back in Alexandria. In the house, Rosita and Lydia are fighting off walkers on the stairwell when Dianne informs them that Judith and Gracie never made it upstairs. So the three decide to fight off all the walkers to go find them. Magna, Carol, Connie, and Kelly were able to block the breach by the gate and were heading to look for another when Aaron and Jerry call them towards the windmill. Aaron says if that windmill falls it will create damage they can’t fix, so they split up, 2 go to look for another breach, the rest plan to put out the fire at the windmill when Aaron hears Gracie’s emergency whistle and goes to help her. As we know previously, Gracie and Judith are trapped in the flooding basement with walkers, Aaron bashes his way through the window and through a walker’s head and tells the two to head towards the window. After fighting off another walker he helps them out the window. The door and guardrail break as a ton of walkers pile in shortly after he is able to save the girls.

 – The Walking Dead _ Season 11, Episode 9 – Photo Credit: Josh Stringer/AMC

Back upstairs, the ladies are having a hard time getting the upper hand over the walkers as Lydia says she heard the whistle from downstairs. Rosita tells her to go out the window to help as they will keep fighting these walkers off. Lydia climbs out the window and gets down to see Aaron in the basement hugging a pipe on the ceiling. She leaves to get something and then in the next scene we see him climbing out the window with help of a strong rope. Lydia tells him the girls are safe, and that he would have done the same to save her, which is agrees, so they go to help at the windmill.

Daryl and company return, with Jerry on lookout wonders where everyone else is, as they did leave with a pretty sizeable group. Rosita asks if it is all food, and Lydia asks where Negan is, the answer of course is yes to the food, and that Negan left. Lydia is saddened but doesn’t show it very much. Daryl and Connie have a brief reunion which is nice. Things don’t last long as Jerry yells, something is coming! It’s a slew of Commonwealth soldiers, some horses a carriage, and Eugene running through everyone to try to stop everyone from fighting yelling everyone is friends.

Eugene introduces Lance Hornsby as the spokesman for the Commonwealth, all decked in a nice suit. He says he is impressed with what has been built, it’s obvious that they have been hit by hard times as of late. He can offer labor and supplies to rebuild, or another more interesting offer. We get a six-month flash forward time jump, with Maggie and Elijah on the wall at Hilltop with a group of Commonwealth soldiers outside of the gates. Maggie says it doesn’t have to be like this, and a soldier says “yeah” while taking off the mask, revealing himself to be Daryl as he says, “yeah it does!” Daryl is a soldier?! Who would have ever imagined?