In “The Walking Dead” recap, Maggie’s group is separated after the Reapers attack while Carol travels outside of Alexandria to gather up some missing horses…
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
Despite “The Walking Dead” entering into its final season, it still feels like the show has a few episodes to waste and the latest on Sunday night appears to be a prime example.
Now that’s not to say nothing of consequence happens — a few people die and the storyline pitting the survivors against the Reapers gets ratcheted up a notch or two but the problem is nothing really moves forward with any great speed. Considering “The Walking Dead” is living on limited time right now, you’d imagine they’d start advancing a little bit towards the overall endgame but the third episode of the season really doesn’t feel like that’s happening yet.
Last week saw the conclusion of the two-part season debut as Maggie led a group of survivors down into a treacherous train tunnel in order to advance into Washington D.C. in hopes of eventually landing at Meridian — a town that her former group used to stash weapons and supplies that was taken over by a rogue group of killers known as the Reapers. A previous encounter with a lone member of the Reapers has Maggie convinced that their numbers are low, which is why they are so keen on sneak attacks and she believes a show of force can take back Meridian in order to keep Alexandria fed until the walls can be rebuilt and the farms restarted.
Meanwhile, Carol is venting her frustrations outside the walls of Alexandria by scavenging for supplies and this week going on a mission to find the horses that escaped the safe-zone during the attack from the Whisperers. Of course, Carol’s true mission might be closer to Daryl where she’s just attempting to slink away from the people who have always counted on her most but that remains to be seen.
We all know Daryl and Carol are headed for a spinoff series after “The Walking Dead” wraps up in 2022 and it certainly feels like the groundwork for that story is already being laid right now.
With that said, let’s get to our recap for “The Walking Dead’ season 11, episode 3 titled “Hunted”…
On The Run
As last week’s episode came to a close, Maggie’s group of survivors arrived at Meridian only to be met by arrows flying through the sky as well as all other manner of sharp weapons as the Reapers were more than ready for their arrival. After a couple of red shirt survivors are offed (clearly brought along to up the body count like a good ‘Star Trek’ episode), Maggie’s group scatters and runs for cover.
When we pick up this week, Maggie’s group suffers numerous losses as everybody attempts to get to shelter to survive the onslaught. Negan gets a knife to his leg, Gabriel takes a slash to his neck and the entire group is literally running for their lives.
Of course that doesn’t mean all of the Reapers make it out alive either because a couple of them are taken out along the way as Maggie and her people attempt to survive this ambush.
Maggie flees away from Meridian and eventually makes her way to a deserved shopping mall but just when it looks like she’s gotten away, a knife comes flying at her head and she’s forced to run inside.
Once in the building, Maggie kills a walker and attempts to set up a warning system to alert her to anybody following close behind but the Reapers are nothing if not stealth. She’s attacked and forced to fight for her life but Maggie eventually gets the better of the Reaper trying to kill her and she eventually tosses him down several levels of the mall where he or she falls to their death.
Sadly during the struggle, Maggie dropped her flashlight so now she’s locked in the mall without any way of seeing where she’s going.
When the morning comes, Gabriel is nursing his wounds, which includes a knife straight through the middle of his hand that he’s forced to remove through sheer force of will. After removing the knife, he happens upon one of the Reapers, who was also injured during the melee.
The Reaper drops some holy quotes on the preacher, which makes it sound like this group is some kind of weird religious cult. When the fallen Reaper asks for Father Gabriel to pray for him, the pastor turned survivor has no place in his heart for this particular sinner and he stabs him to death instead.
Back at the mall, Maggie makes her way into a separate part of the shopping center and there she’s reunited with Alden but they are soon besieged by a pair of Reapers who have been stalking them both.
Thankfully, Negan is also nearby and he gives them a hand as they finally overwhelm the Reapers but not before Alden takes a rather nasty knife gash across his stomach. Before the last Reaper dies, he tosses a grenade that explodes but everybody makes it out alive.
After the blast, Maggie starts to get Alden back to his feet but Negan can’t help but question the logic behind her plan to keep moving forward to conquer Meridian and take the supplies needed for Alexandria. He believes anything that puts them back on the road makes the entire group sitting targets for the Reapers but Maggie reminds him that just returning home empty handed is as good as a death warrant for everybody left in the community.
So Negan partners up with Maggie to help Alden as they attempt to escape.
As they make it to the outside of the shopping center, Maggie finds that her friend Agatha is still alive but sadly her other friend Duncan has been injured too badly to continue. She’s forced to put him down and place a knife through his brain to make sure he doesn’t reanimate.
On the path back to Meridian, Maggie, Alden, Negan and Agatha are starting to be swarmed by the dead, who are all coming through the woods to get a taste of live flesh. Along the way, Negan finds what has to be a former member of the Reapers, who apparently attempted to betray the group. The turncoat was tied to a tree and burned alive with a marker over top that says ‘Judas.’
Just one more sign that the Reapers are equal parts dangerous and insane.
Before the group can get away, the walkers close in on them and everyone is forced to fight them off but despite Alden’s best attempts, his injuries are too great and he falls to the ground. Thankfully, Negan rushes over to give him support but as he’s moving away, Agatha ends up being bitten by a walker.
Maggie attempts to give her assistance but Agatha is already gone and she’s telling her leader to get away before she ends up bitten as well. Negan eventually has to pull Maggie away while helping Alden back to his feet as they all flee the woods to try and get away with their lives.
Back in Alexandria, Carol has been avoiding chores inside the walls to instead go out and look for supplies and now she’s been taking Kelly along with her on those journeys.
It all makes Magna a bit sad because Kelly has essentially been avoiding her this entire time, perhaps so they don’t get stuck talking about Connie, who never returned home after being left in a cave filled with walkers following a trap laid by Alpha and the Whisperers.
Of course, Connie is still very much alive and out there somewhere but when she’ll actually return to the show is unknown.
That said, Carol’s latest way to break out of Alexandria involves a mission to round up all of the horses that escaped when the walls to the community broke down during the war with the Whisperers. Carol believes searching for the horses is a necessary way to spend her time, especially if the people of Alexandria ever want to move anything heavier than a sack of grain.
The excuse still doesn’t sit too well with Aaron, who is organizing everybody in Alexandria in an attempt to rebuild the walls and give them some kind of stability. Still, Carol more or less brushes off his concerns and she does the same when Magna asks her about the frequent trips beyond the wall with Kelly in tow.
Magna believes that Carol is bringing Kelly along her expeditions out of guilt because it’s really her fault that Connie got locked in those caves in the first place after she fell for Alpha’s trap. She’s not exactly wrong considering the feelings of remorse that Carol has felt repeatedly since that infamous day and it doesn’t help matters much that Daryl let her have it as well for her poor decision making while thirsting for revenge against Alpha and the Whisperers.
Prior to that confrontation, Carol, Kelly and Magna eventually meet up with Rosita, who has been almost non-existent through the first few episodes this season so apparently they had to give her something to do. The four of them go on the trip to round up the horses but it’s not as easy as they’d hoped.
Instead, they miss corralling one horse and then find several more who have been eaten alive by the undead.
Just when it seems like all hope is lost, Rosita hears a sound in the distance and the entire group discovers several horses just galloping along in a pack, which means they have a chance to get them all in one fell swoop.
They eventually corner the horses at an old dairy farm, which has fences so the animals can’t just run away this time. After putting ropes around the horses and walking them back to Alexandria, Carol reveals at least a small part of her mission wasn’t about returning the animals to the community so they could help put the walls back into place or carry a load bigger than a sack of grain.
Instead, Carol puts one of the horses down in a barn and slits its throat, bleeds it out and then carves up the animal to serve as food for the entire community. It’s a rather grim reminder of the stakes at play where people are starving and a single horse can feed the entire community, even if the meat isn’t exactly the most delicious item on the menu.
Later, Magna once again pleads with Carol to stop taking Kelly out with her beyond the walls but those words fall flat. While Kelly eventually reconnects with Magna after their horse dinner, Carol eventually arrives and takes Kelly with her on the latest scavenging mission outside of Alexandria.
Are they looking for Connie or is Carol really just trying to give her some kind of false hope that her sister is still alive? That remains to be seen but Carol is nothing if not consumed by guilt over what happened to Connie so it’s a good chance that deep down she really is attempting to give Kelly hope, even if the end result will be heartbreak.
Just the Game
Maggie, Alden and Negan get back on the road after Agatha’s death but this also makes them prime targets for the Reapers out in the open. Negan suggests going back into the woods where at least they’ll have some kind of cover and even Alden agrees as he struggles to walk on a flat surface much less trying to traverse his way through the woods.
The group finally finds an old church where they can rest and hold up for a bit while figuring out the next step to where they are going.
Inside, Alden essentially tells Maggie that she has to leave him behind because he’s only slowing them down on the road and they need to get help before the Reapers find them. Maggie refuses to leave him and it doesn’t help her much that Negan is saying that it’s her decision whether or not they move forward or stay sitting in this church together just waiting on the Reapers to arrive.
Maggie lashes out at Negan about haphazardly deciding if someone should live or die and then rips him for his mission to tear the communities apart after he first arrived with the Saviors. Negan is used to taking Maggie’s verbal jabs at this point so rather than responding, he just reminds her that she needs to make a decision where Alden is concerned.
With limited time on her hands and nightfall coming, Maggie finally decides to leave Alden inside the church with the doors blocked while she leaves with Negan to go find help.
Negan and Maggie leave together while Alden is left sitting on a church pew wondering if he’ll ever leave this building alive.
Outside, Negan kills a walker and Maggie is left staring at his crowbar dripping blood, which was a similar sight to the night she had to watch Glenn get his brains bashed in by Lucille when they first encountered the Saviors and their sadistic leader. Maggie doesn’t say a word this time as she follows Negan into the woods as they hope to find a way to survive this harrowing encounter with the Reapers.
“The Walking Dead” will return with a brand new episode next Sunday night at 9 p.m. ET on AMC.