In “The Walking Dead” recap, Daryl and the survivors attempt to escape the train tunnels and make it to Meridian while Eugene hopes that his faith in Stephanie and the Commonwealth hasn’t been wasted…
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
There’s a tale of two groups in the second part of “The Walking Dead’ season 11 debut as one searches for supplies in order to feed a hungry community while the other is just trying to find a new place to call home.
While the first episode of the season put the groups into serious peril, by the end of episode two, both are headed in vastly different directions — at least for now.
Following a harrowing late night run at a military base in an attempt to find some food, Daryl, Maggie and the rest of the survivors at Alexandria realize that time is running short for them to save the community. After the Whisperers ran roughshod through the place, tearing down walls and ruining whatever crops were grown, the Alexandria safe zone is no longer nearly as safe.
So Maggie decides to lead an expedition to her old home called Meridian, which was taken over by a group known as The Reapers. Maggie is convinced this group is smaller than what she initially expected, which is why she believes they can take back the community, which is filled with guns, other weapons but most importantly enough food to keep Alexandria alive.
Of course, Maggie’s leadership skills come into question when she leads the group into an underground train tunnel where they are soon greeted by a heard of zombies who haven’t tasted living flesh in quite some time.
Meanwhile, Eugene, Yumiko, Ezekiel and the Princess undergo an extensive interrogation at the Commonwealth, which leads them to believe that they made a huge mistake traveling to this community with the promise of a better life. Just before escaping, however, Yumiko is shocked to learn that her brother has already been living at the Commonwealth and he’s been searching for her over these many years.
With a chance to be reunited with family, Yumiko convinces the group to stay and try to gain entry into the Commonwealth but can these people actually be trusted?
Let’s find out as we recap the latest episode of “The Walking Dead” titled “Acheron Part 2”….
The end of last week’s episode saw Negan crawl to safety on top of an abandoned subway train but instead of reaching down to rescue Maggie, he turned and walked away, presumably leaving her there to die. Of course no one really believed Maggie was going to perish but it was another reminder that there’s still a lot of simmering hatred between these two and that’s not likely to go away any time soon.
After making it inside the car, Negan reports that Maggie was right behind him but she never appears, which leads Alden to propose a rescue mission. Even Maggie’s people tell him that’s a fool’s errand because she would tell him to stay put and not risk his life to save her.
With the train doors rusted shut, the survivors are forced to pry away at the metal enclosure as they seek to travel through each car until exiting on the other end of the tunnel. Before the group can get moving, they all hear a banging on the floor of the train car and when a latch door opens, Maggie appears before them.
She not only survived but did so by climbing underneath the train to get away from the horde of walkers.
As soon as she makes it inside, Maggie spots Negan and pistol whips him with her gun for leaving her behind to die. Negan doesn’t deny a word of her accusations, which puts him in the crosshairs of the entire group but he’s quick to point out that Maggie came out on this run for two purposes — to find supplies and make sure he doesn’t come back alive.
With those stakes, Negan decided not to play the savior (no pun intended) and rescue Maggie — but he clarifies that he didn’t try to kill her. He just didn’t attempt to save her, which is a big difference.
Despite the group’s desire to end Negan, he’s still a useful tool as they make their way into Washington D.C. but more importantly they’ve got another survivor banging at the door looking for rescue.
Gage — the young boy who was nearly eaten by walkers a week ago before disappearing into the tunnels — as re-emerged on the train and he’s attempting to reunite with his friends. Unfortunately, he’s behind a locked, rusted door and walkers are descending upon him in a hurry.
Rather than waste resources and man power breaking down the door, Maggie orders everyone to stand down. It’s an awful way to die but she reminds them that attempting to save Gage could end up doing more harm than good, especially if the walkers from the other end of the train barrel through an open door.
So the entire group is horrified to watch as Gage is eaten alive by the walkers.
As dejected as they all seem by Maggie’s actions, she then decides to tell them a story about trust and survival about when she was on the road alone with just Herschel by her side. The story involves an encounter with an old man and a spilled grocery cart who promised them food for their help getting home.
Of course, Maggie recognized that they guy couldn’t be trusted and after putting a knife to his throat, she found the chloroform soaked rag that he had planned to use on her. After dispatching the old man, she eventually finds other women he had captured and tortured in his house — removing their arms and legs but not allowing them to actually die.
Sadly, Maggie confesses that her first though wasn’t about the atrocities committed upon these women but instead if they were still alive, then the old man must really have food in his home. So she scavenged for supplies to feed her and her son so they could survive and the apparent moral of the story is that you’ll do what needs to be done in order to stay living rather than dying.
Meanwhile, outside the car, Daryl has made his way deeper into the tunnels while chasing after Dog. He comes upon a former settlement along with a few supplies and some notes left for people who were previously waiting for friends and family to find them.
Obviously that rescue never came.
Daryl eventually gets stuck in a shaft while crawling to find his dog and he’s forced to fight for his life before finally popping out on the other side. After killing a few more walkers, Daryl is startled by the return of Roy — the survivor from Hilltop played by C. Thomas Howell. He had disappeared along with Gage after the rest of the group decided to forge ahead and they decided to get out while the getting was good.
Unfortunately, Roy and Gage were separated and they ran into more walkers while trying to escape.
A bigger problem is that Roy was carrying the ammunition bag and he lost that during his trek through the tunnels, which means the survivors no longer have the necessary weapons to take on The Reapers. Roy ends up handing Daryl his gun and a single grenade he was able to hold onto during his attempt to get out of the tunnel but now the entire group is in serious trouble as they attempt to survive and make it to Meridian.
Keep Your Friends Close
Back at the Commonwealth, Yumiko is convinced that she needs to speak to a higher up in order to reveal her relationship to a member of their community while also proving her worth to them. In a former life before the zombie apocalypse, Yumiko was a lawyer — a damn good lawyer it seems and she’s really adept at reading people.
So after demanding to speak to a manager, Yumiko is brought back to the interrogation room where she turns the tables on the people asking the questions. Yumiko surmises that the woman is probably a forensic psychologist and the man was probably some sort of organizer and both are doing this job as a way to prove their worth to the community to justify their place in the Commonwealth hierarchy.
Both of the interrogators are impressed by Yumiko’s ability to profile them and then she also reveals her relationship to a member of their own community, which means her group should get expedited entry into the Commonwealth.
Outside that room, Princess is dying to go to the restroom so she leaves Eugene behind so she can go take a tinkle. She’s quite excited when finding out that they have toilet paper at the Commonwealth.
As for Eugene, he’s now the last man standing after Ezekiel never returned from his previous meeting with the interrogators, which means the entire group may be in serious trouble.
Finally, Eugene demands that he get to speak to the people in charge again as he seeks to tell them the truth about his group so they can finally be released.
In the room, Eugene sticks to his original story that the four people in his group were not from a large community but rather he lied to Stephanie over that long-range radio for safety reasons. He then confesses to his feelings for Stephanie, which flourished during their many conversations while also singing Iron Maiden songs together. Eugene then reveals that he’s actually a virgin and he hoped that perhaps Stephanie would be the woman to rescue him from abstinence.
With tears running down his face, Mercer — the head of security — finally takes Eugene out of the interrogation room, puts a hood over his face and he’s placed on a transport back to a different train car.
There, Eugene is finally reunited with the rest of his people and he’s overjoyed that everyone is safe and sound. In fact, Ezekiel wasn’t relentlessly questioned or badgered for answers — it seems he was taken to an infirmary where the community doctor gave him some cough syrup and allowed him to get a good night’s sleep.
In the morning, he was reunited with Yumiko and Princess as well.
Eugene is elated by this news but he’s even happier after Mercer returns with an order that grants them sanctuary in the Commonwealth and they will now be taken into the community for orientation. Before leaving, however, a woman enters the car and asks which of them is Eugene.
He quietly raises his hand and she greets him by introducing herself as Stephanie — and the smile on Eugene’s face is undeniable as he’s finally come face-to-face with the voice he fell in love with over the radio.
Dead on Arrival
Back on the train car, Maggie and the other survivors are soon put directly back into peril as the walkers are making their way inside and the door on the other end is locked as well, which means they don’t have anywhere to escape. When the broken door finally gives way, Gabriel and the others start taking out the walkers one-by-one but the numbers are overwhelming.
In a desperate moment, Maggie even hands a gun over to Negan so he can kill some walkers.
Thankfully, Daryl arrives just in time to save the day as he enters from the other end of the car after making his way through the tunnels. He kills several walkers in order to get to the end of the train car as he’s reunited with his friends. Daryl then takes out the grenade from his jacket, shoves it into the mouth of a zombie and then kicks it back to fall amongst the rest of the dead.
He then tells everybody to duck and cover as the explosive takes out all of the walkers in the car.
With the walkers wiped out, the survivors are finally able to exit the other end of the car and make it out of the tunnel onto the other side of Washington D.C. Maggie then turns to Negan as a navigator to lead her to a place called Arbor Hills where Georgie stashed supplies and weapons that they can use to take out the Reapers.
Just as they arrive at Arbor Hills, an arrow takes out Roy and another weapon takes out a leg, which means the entire group is under siege. They all scatter for cover as shots continue to fly through the air aimed directly at them.
After hiding behind a car, Maggie, Daryl and the others turn to look and they see a group of people all wearing Purge style masks, marching towards them with weapons drawn. The Reapers obviously found the weapons and supplies at Arbor Hills and now they are coming to finish the job that they started at Meridian.
How will Maggie, Daryl, Negan and the others survive? We’ll have to wait until next week’s episode of “The Walking Dead” to find out!