AMC’s The Walking Dead will kick off their 11th and final season on August 22, 2021. I was given access to the first two episodes of the season back in July. Although I would love to give you all the juicy details of the episodes, I cannot go in detail with certain plot points. For now, here is my non-spoiler preview of The Walking Dead’s 11A premiere.
I will also note that these two episodes are titled “Acheron Part 1” and “Acheron Part 2.” These two are not airing back to back and these were the rough cut versions of the episodes.
What I like about Part 1 and Part 2, is how the boundaries are tested. Those mostly have to do with Maggie and Negan. The two of them are reaching a level of a big clash that I believe will happen later in the season. Their tension that is building up on Part 1 that is carried into part 2 also affects the group too. But not to the point of who’s side is one person is on. More like if what one person is trying to make sense over another in the current situation. I will have to say this, one line said from one of the characters will have a trigger warning. What happens after that said line is exactly what that character deserved at that moment.
The atmosphere truly brought out the threatening horror of The Walking Dead, which has been missing for quite some time. It is no surprise that AMC has managed to capture the horror vibe on the show from the abandoned train station to the military compound. Especially the first opening minutes where one move wrong could have been a disaster for the group. Additionally, the group encountered a very disgusting walker who almost resulted in one of them losing his life. However, there was one character who made sure it wouldn’t happen.
The sound department also gets a high praise from me. The score, and how the sound was used for one particular scene made me question whether if it was reality or just part of the episode. And I am not sure if it is because these are the earlier versions of the episodes, but one line said from a character is muted. I read that character’s lips when it was muted and it might have been a “F” bomb (Editor’s Note: I watched the final cut of the episode last week and the line was unmuted. No “F” bomb to be heard).
One question that ran through my mind during the first two episodes was about the status of Alexandria. There was no explanation on what happened to the community. I hope this will get addressed later on in the season.
What you knew about Maggie a long time ago, is completely gone. Although I will refrain from calling her a “Dark Maggie”, she is different and cold. You’ll have to discover what the reason is, but there is one. As far as I recall, Rosita, Aaron, and even Carol did not get much screentime in the first two episodes. But when they were on screen, it did matter!
I did not forget to mention Eugene, Yumiko, Princess, and Ezekiel. It might have been debatable whether if their scenes could have been one episode, but It worked for these two. They have not stepped foot in The Commonwealth yet, but they are questioned for a long period of time. There were multiple times that this sequence was showed to us as a split screen. Speaking of The Commonwealth, Mercer is here! I will not disclose which episode he debuts on, but Mercer is more menacing and threatening than he is over his comic book counterpart.
The scenes with the guards were good, and I liked their interactions with them, but there was one major scene that caught me by surprise. Whether the actress is being recast or if the character is a decoy is unclear, but I was caught off guard when I saw it. Furthermore, a revelation to one of the characters is also depicted in the comics in a similar manner if you understand what I mean.
I do also feel that 11×01 should have been longer, or aired alongside of 11×02 based on what happened at the end of 11×01. And a few minutes before the end of 11×02, be sure to pay close attention to the area!
That is it for my preview. While the first episode of the final season is not as strong as the season 10 premiere, it did made me look forward to the rest of the season. I am sure that fans of The Walking Dead are happy that the show is back. I can also say that The Walking Dead is back and better than ever!