The Walking Dead – Season 11, Episode 10: New Haunts Review

By Ben Wright (@iamzavagno | www.xgeeks.co.uk)

This review contains spoilers.

After last week’s return, from the mid-season break, we resolved the Reaper storyline and jumped six months into the future where Maggie and a few others remain at Hilltop whilst Daryl, now in full Stormtrooper armour is working for the Commonwealth. So, it’s safe to say there has been a huge shift in the landscape of The Walking Dead!

So, what happens next?

In what I thought was going to be a dream sequence, starring Judith, Daryl, and R.J – it turned into a haunted house experience – welcome to ‘day 30’ in the Commonwealth! With Carol baking and Ezekiel in charge of the petting zoo, everyone has their role to play in this new world order!

Speaking of Ezekiel, he isn’t looking so great and Carol notices, so decides to do a little break-in at the hospital, but is soon caught by Yumiko’s brother, whose own secret seems to have come out, as he’s now a doctor again! Things aren’t looking good for Ezekiel though. It’s not so much the low survival rate of the required surgery, but more down to the fact he’s so far down on the list that he’ll likely not last that long!

Judith meets Mei, a very eager Tween and they both eventually bump into Princess, who is, of course, dressed as Princess for Halloween! Mei is super nice and eager, so naturally, I DO NOT trust her! So, we’ll see how this plays out over the coming weeks!

Mercer is in charge of training up the new recruits, which sees Daryl and Rosita having to split up and form new, but temporary, partnerships while they clear houses as part of their training. While Rosita’s performance pleases Mercer, Daryl is another matter altogether! Come on, we knew there was a possibility that the show could setup Mercer and Daryl to butt heads, so I’m glad they didn’t go in that direction. Out of all the characters who left, Daryl is still the one I thought wouldn’t accept or take to life in the Commonwealth, but then again, he’s got the kids to look after now, so he’s likely doing it more for them than himself. Sebastian Milton is getting some advanced weapon training, I.E. playing at being a fighter, and is as useless as expected. With Daryl saving him and making him look weak in front of his mother, who was conveniently passing by, Mercer indicates to Daryl that it’s best to toe the line rather than be a lone wolf!

At the party, yeah, a party! We begin to see the class divide in full flow and this is such a strange concept for the TV show, not so much the comics. Mercer plays his ultimate bad-ass cards on the table and gets Princess into the party. Pamela is gunning for Connie, given their past, and Lance isn’t exactly in her good books either! But tonight, Pamela has more than these politics to worry about as former Commonwealth stormtrooper Tyler, now demoted to a waiter, decides to crash the party and expose the class divide. Tyler takes ‘Max but Stephanie really’ hostage, before escaping, but is soon tracked down by Daryl inside the haunted house. He talks Tyler down from taking his own life and brings him in peacefully. With Sebastian standing at the door, Daryl decides to take heed of Mercer’s advice and tells Sebastian to say he caught him. Nice move Daryl!

With Daryl and Rosita now out of basic and given their uniforms, the fun can really begin! Rosita’s first job is to take part in a raid on Sebastian’s house, finding a secret hidden room with spray paint, stencils, and lots of pro-worker banners and shirts. Having this scene played out to Motorhead’s ‘Eat The Rich’, the record that Judith is playing on her new record player, was a nice touch! Looks like we’ve got ourselves a class war! Oh and for what it’s worth – UP THE WORKERS!

This was a very interesting and new type of episode for The Walking Dead, and while some might find the tonal switch jarring, I welcome it and am really invested and excited to be exploring a new concept in a show that has been going on for eleven seasons now!

I like how they have split the characters in such a way that some are being elevated, whether willingly or reluctantly, and the others are being kept down. Exploring the class system in the Zombie apocalypse is such a fun and new idea for the show and I think they can get a lot of mileage out of this narrative. I can easily see our heroes having to stand off against each other as time goes by, brother against brother, sister against sister! Give me that Captain America: Civil War splash page but with The Walking Dead characters!

There were plenty of political setups too, as Pamela and Lance are clearly going to come to blows before too long! Does Lance have a part to play in the worker uprising? My initial hunch says yes but let’s see how it all plays out…

What did you make of the latest episode of The Walking Dead? Let us know in the comments or on social media!

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