About this episode
– Episode 1 (of 24), ‘Acheron: Half I’
– Written by Angela Kang and Jim Barnes
– Directed by Kevin Dowling
Spoilers for The Strolling Useless season 11 episode 1 observe.
It’s been a very long time coming, and that is it. ‘The Starting of The Finish’, reads season 11’s tagline. Over a decade has handed since we first watched Rick Grimes awake amid the apocalypse, and now the curtains begin to shut on this award-winning present.
Regardless of the constant drop in viewers for a number of seasons now, and a few dire intervals of pacing and characterization all through, even The Strolling Useless’s largest critics must agree that the present’s long term is exceptional. After watching this opening episode, ‘Acheron: Half I’, it’s exhausting to say if this closing season has a little bit extra life in it but, because it lastly prepares to shamble off heart stage.
We choose up quickly after the conclusion of the final season, following the varied residents of Alexandria as they get better from the The Whisperer Warfare, and encounter new teams of survivors with potential pals and foes alike. Issues are at a precarious stage for our motley crew. Sources are low, tensions are excessive. You’ve heard all this earlier than – it is the identical tried and true narrative construction we have seen in The Strolling Useless for the reason that first season’s arc greater than a decade in the past.
Regardless of the predictable story setup, although, the characters truly behave in stunning methods on this episode.
Maggie vs Negan
The once-villainous Negan has was a closely-watched ally, as he guides the Alexandrians by means of an underground railway to the Warden’s ransacked settlement for provides. Although clearly unwelcome, Negan being trusted to guide the folks he as soon as terrorized says quite a bit about how issues have modified.
Issues have not modified, after all, for Maggie.
Whereas Negan started his ‘redemption’ arc, Maggie had left the group to boost her son after he killed Maggie’s husband Glenn and their pals in a bloody spectacle. Funnily sufficient, she’s stored a grudge in opposition to him. Her return brings that pressure with Negan again, and it seems to be the actual inner battle going ahead with our group, to the purpose the place they every nearly kill the opposite on this episode.
Your loyalty to Maggie as a viewer and the latest humanizing of Negan does make it exhausting to root for one over the opposite – it is form of like when your mates are arguing, and also you don’t need to choose sides as a result of they’re each making good factors. Although this battle includes extra undead and gunfights then your mates’ bickering, we’d wager.
In the meantime, a unique detachment from Alexandria searching for assist lastly reaches a group of survivors. This storyline has been constructing since Eugene heard a mysterious lady, Stephanie, over a ham radio and their growing relationship turned a core plot level within the earlier season.
Being strung alongside that complete time with none actual solutions has been grating, so that you’d assume we would get some closure on this new season, proper? Sadly, that is not the case simply but.
Upon arrival, Eugene and the group are locked up and interrogated by Stephanie’s group, a gaggle known as the Commonwealth. They are a militarized faction, and the principle characters should show themselves to their captors. After the brutal therapy they obtain, the group tries to depart, earlier than Yumiko discovers her sister may be amongst them and needs to remain. Inevitably our protagonists and the Commonwealth will butt heads, earlier than discovering causes to belief each other.
This can be a acquainted arc for The Strolling Useless at this level, and but we will’t look away. Though the present walks and talks prefer it at all times has, the trail it takes finds methods to be surprising and interesting.
As that is the primary episode of a two-parter, we’re left with half of the story and loads of questions nonetheless up within the air. There are indications about the place issues are going for the primary a part of the season, at the very least, with a concentrate on Maggie and Negan’s battle, the persevering with menace of the Reapers (not seen on this episode) and the wariness across the Commonwealth alliance.
It is nothing out of the strange, however with this being close to the top of the present’s run, it feels prefer it’s enjoying it protected once we needs to be seeing one thing grander fall into place. Then once more, we’ve seen high-profile reveals take a left flip of their final seasons earlier than, and barely has that turned out properly (right here’s you, Jon Snow).
The Strolling Useless is at all times on a knife’s fringe of giving us a tense, human-feeling drama or an all-out gore fest. The writers seems be aiming for a tried-and-true conclusion with season 11, however that security doesn’t essentially sit properly. We’ll simply must see what adjustments – if something – with half two of the opener subsequent week.
The Strolling Useless nonetheless has a novel magic, all these years later. However regardless of the at all times improbable efforts of the present’s forged, the identical issues proceed to plague the collection, equivalent to poor lighting, dangerous dialogue mixing and the zombies not often feeling that menacing.
In the case of the story and characters, this primary half appears like extra of the identical, for higher or worse. If there is a grand imaginative and prescient deliberate out for this closing season, we did not actually see sufficient of it on this episode to get enormously enthusiastic about what’s to come back.
- The identify of the episode, ‘Acheron’ is in reference to the ‘river of woe’ from Greek mythology, the principal river from which the lifeless are ferried into the underworld.
- This episode was first out there to stream on AMC Plus on August fifteenth 2021, per week sooner than the final broadcast.
- The Commonwealth group the principle characters encounter is the biggest survivor group ever encountered within the present. Their comedian ebook counterpart numbers 50,000 folks.
- The underground railway that Maggie’s group enters seems to be the Washington Metro, at a fictional station known as ‘Pyron’. The prepare route Negan supplies is correct to the real-life metro traces, implying that the Reaper camp is someplace across the border of Virginia, Washington and Maryland.
- A lot of the prepare tunnel part of the episode thematically riffs on the thought of ‘Acheron’. The tunnel floods periodically, the prepare carriage seems like a ship the characters should trip on, and the bagged our bodies are organized just like the lifeless drifting to the underworld.
The Strolling Useless season 11 airs on AMC within the US each Sunday, and releases weekly on Disney Plus within the UK every Monday.