There are only eight more episodes of The Walking Dead. And as the show works its way towards the November 20 series finale on AMC (somewhat ominously titled “Rest in Peace”), we can’t wait to see what twists and turns the zombie apocalypse show brings us in its final installment.
But first, where did the drama leave off when 11B concluded in the spring? Well, in short, there’s trouble brewing at the Commonwealth, and our favorite survivors are scattered both behind and outside of the walls of the previously preconceived paradise. Outside of the perimeters, there’s Daryl (Norman Reedus), Aaron (Ross Marquand) and Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) — who last we saw had royally angered Commonwealth baddie Lance Hornsby (Josh Hamilton) — in addition to those who haven’t quite made it into Commonwealth yet, and have been living on the fringes, like Maggie (Lauren Cohan) and Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan).
Marquand teases that Aaron and Gabriel are “still on the lam” after the events of 11B’s finale. “The veneer of diplomacy and kindness between Aaron, Gabriel and Lance is completely gone now,” he adds. “So, they’re on the run, but they’re also open to resolving it in a peaceful way if that’s possible. But I don’t think any one of them is kidding themselves that that’s an option at this point, so they’re just going to have to run and gun it.”
And though they are pros at “running and gunning it,” the two-faced Hornsby, pursuing them as traitors to the Commonwealth, is not one to be trifled with. “He’s trying to just keep it together,” Hamilton notes. “He’s not trying to sow the chaos, he’s just doing what he has to do. But things will get a little hairy. He’s definitely put to the test.” In true defense of his character, Hamilton jokingly adds: “It seems like everyone’s against him, I don’t know why.”
In the 11C premiere, “Lockdown,” Daryl and Negan will rush back to the Commonwealth to prevent Hornsby from getting to their families and close friends. But, inside the Commonwealth walls, it isn’t going any better. The very-in-love but also very-in-danger Eugene and Max (Josh McDermitt and Margot Bingham) are sowing a bit of their own chaos to take down Commonwealth Governor Pamela Milton (Laila Robins) and her spoiled adult son, Sebastian (Teo Rapp-Olsson), who has caused a ruckus of his own. Commonwealth citizens are protesting and demanding justice for the many crimes he’s committed — particularly the ones that have gotten Commonwealthers killed.
“Eugene’s doing this weird dance of cautiously, nervously moving forward to expose the Miltons in a way that they’re held accountable,” McDermitt says. “His desire to save and help people, his friends, and the community — he understands that that’s putting Max and others in a difficult position, but I think he knows what’s right and what he should be doing, and so I think that’s what’s driving him.” Adding: “He’s committed to making the Commonwealth a better place to live.”
Laila Robins as Pamela Milton – The Walking Dead _ Season 11 – Photo Credit: Jace Downs/AMC
And thankfully, Max, still serving as Pamela’s executive assistant, is all in. “This is definitely the most exciting thing that she’s had to deal with in a very long time,” Bingham says of Max and Eugene’s plotting to take down her boss. “Being a little mischievous is very fun. And partaking in any of these crazy stunts with Eugene, they don’t seem so crazy because she’s head over heels in love, and she just knows that it’s going to help everybody. She knows what the Miltons are all about. She knows what her brother [Michael James Shaw’s Commonwealth Army General Mercer] has had to do to serve. She’s definitely aware of all of that [and] she takes it up another notch in the next couple of episodes.”
Just how they’ll do that is yet to be seen, but it seems like between a rogue Hornsby, protesting in the streets, and more, the Miltons will have plenty to overcome to maintain their hold on the urban community. And let’s not forget reporter Connie (Lauren Ridloff) is also coming for them. Let’s just say, we think the Commonwealth will put up a good fight in these final episodes, but it sounds like the Miltons might be toast pretty soon.
The Walking Dead, Season 11 Premiere, Sunday, October 2, 9/8c, AMC