The Walking Dead Season 11 Episode 22 Review: Faith

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“Time to f–k shit up.”

Thanks for that one, Mercer.

The Walking Dead Season 11 Episode 22 was the packed episode of this soon-to-conclude drama series, and that final line for Mercer set the tone for the last two episodes.

If you watch The Walking Dead online, you know Mercer has been an enigmatic character throughout this Commonwealth arc, complete with a stoic look on his face.

That look has allowed him to excel as the leader of the Commonwealth army because he has the potential to flip the script at any given moment.

His decision not to aid Eugene was likely because he didn’t want to declare which side he was on publicly.

Pamela would have had a trick up her sleeve to wipe out the naysayers if she got wind of an uprising.

It was the worst day of my life. My trusted colleague, General Michael Mercer, was with me. He took me into the morgue where Sebastian was. All I wanted was to hold my son. Keep him safe. But he was gone, and there was nothing I could do. You took him from me. You killed my boy!

Pamela

Pamela crying on the stand with her emotional plea to get Eugene sentenced to death was quite the performance.

She’s one of the most manipulative people on TV, and it will be fun seeing that smirk wash from her face when she learns that a rebellion is well and truly in the works.

Pamela likes to think she’s one step ahead of everyone, and she left the courtroom thinking the man she blamed for her son’s death had been sentenced to death.

Earlier in The Walking Dead Season 11, some of Pamela’s views were admirable. She portrayed herself as an analytical woman who knew what was happening in her compound.

Now, she looks like a ruthless dictator, and people are starting to figure that out.

The Commonwealth is corrupt, telling viewers that a complete societal reset might not solve some of the world’s biggest problems.

When Pamela’s power is inevitably taken, it will be exciting to see how the leadership inside the 50,000-strong compound plays out.

Will one of our favorite survivors step up to the plate, or will they leave it up to the people who have had the wool pulled over their eyes for years?

The way I see it, I’ve been living on borrowed time for well past a decade now. By all rights, someone like me should’ve met my maker on the very first day things started to fall apart. And the thing is, I would’ve, were it not for the aid of friends. Friends who have not only changed me, but changed the hearts and minds of so many others. I am beyond certain that my fate will not discourage them from keeping that going, from helping others to find the courage to do what’s right. I was not always a good man. Some time ago, I fell in with a posse who thrived on… doing some downright unseemly acts on the reg. And I looked the other way. I placed value on order and safety above all other things. But I soon realized that, while I wasn’t the one swinging the bat, I nevertheless had blood on my hands. I knew what was happening. My inaction made me culpable, and I hated myself for that. So I did something. In my own little way, I changed the world. And I learned that one person can do that. And sometimes, all it takes is one person to do that.

Eugene

Yumiko’s drive to save Eugene’s life was as strong as ever, but she could tell that there was no shot of the jury not siding with Pamela.

As a result, she did her best to drag Pamela and the Miltons through the mud, and I dare say her verbal beatdown of Mercer was driven by her anguish about what was happening behind closed doors.

As far as we know, Eugene is not attached to any of the spinoffs, so there was a high possibility that the Commonwealth soldiers would execute him.

Heck, he still could because the gloves are off as we head into these final two episodes.

The same cannot be said for Negan almost being murdered alongside his wife and baby mother.

It’s hard not to think that Annie was added as an eleventh-hour plot device to bring Negan’s redemption arc full circle.

Negan has done several things to prove he’s reformed, but it doesn’t get away from the fact that his actions as the leader of the Saviors were heinous.

The line-up scene should have had more emotional stakes, but there were none because we knew Negan survived to head to New York with Maggie.

Yumiko: Max, your brother commands respect here. If we can get him on the stand, if we can get him to admit that Pamela is corrupt, in public…
Max: He won’t speak out against her. If he was going to, he would’ve done it when Princess was taken.

I know AMC is a business, but couldn’t it have filmed the spinoff secretly and officially announced it at the finale event later this month?

I mean, filming has wrapped. They could have shown a trailer and everything.

Who cares if some people figured it out beforehand? It would have added much-needed stakes for most viewers as the series is winding down.

Negan pleading to be killed instead of Annie was painful to watch because, on the one hand, his actions in the past still outweigh his actions in the present.

On the other, he has turned a corner and was willing to sacrifice himself for someone. That’s worlds away from the Negan as a Savior we grew to loathe.

Ezekiel stepping up to save Negan and Annie was a surprise because the former King has been so devoted to doing what’s right, and he believed Negan ruined many aspects of the lives of our favorite survivors.

Ezekiel knew at that moment that stepping up and striving for change could result in several deaths, but he led with his heart instead of his head, and that’s pretty commendable.

Like many other characters, Ezekiel has fallen by the wayside in recent seasons. It’s almost like the writers use them as glorified guest stars and familiarity for long-term fans.

Luke: These guys in white gear, they showed up and… Said they were from the Commonwealth. And they just took over.
Aaron: But we made a deal with them.
Jules: Well, I don’t know what kind of deal you made, but something must’ve changed because they’re tracking us right now.
Luke: Yeah, and if they find us, we’re dead. I suggest we get as far the hell away from Oceanside as humanly possible.

However, it should be the case that all of these characters are utilized to advance the plot, or it starts to feel like the material favors certain characters.

Maggie’s reunion with Hershel was needed because she struggled to think straight. After all, there were so many balls in the air.

Rosita not being reunited with Coco was harsh, but it gave Christian Serratos a career-best performance as this mother who would go to any lengths necessary to save her son.

The Walking Dead Season 11 Episode 23 has to feature Rosita as she tries to find the rest of the kidnapped children, and my theory is that they’ve been inside the Commonwealth all along.

Pamela had to make some big moves, and while she failed to understand our survivors’ tenacity, she’s playing the long game.

Aaron, Jerry, Lydia, and Elijah stumbling across Luke and Jules was sheer convenience to avoid showing viewers what happened at Oceanside after Lance’s coin-flip on The Walking Dead Season 11 Episode 16.

It was necessary to check back in with these characters, but it was frustrating to do so with Luke and Jules telling everyone what happened at the iconic location instead of showing it.

Joining a herd and leading it to the Commonwealth’s door wasn’t a bad idea, but did the group run out of walker guts to cover their faces?

Seeing a group of obvious humans among the herd was jarring as the soldiers started checking them.

It would have been the perfect moment to subvert expectations and decimate the horde.

Dropping the knife and one of the variant walkers picking it up is bound to come back to haunt the gang on the series’ penultimate episode.

This episode was what I’ve been looking for throughout this final batch of episodes. There were still some inconsistencies in the storytelling, but it seems like big things are about to go down.

What are your thoughts on Mercer’s highly quotable line? Do you think he will f–k shit up?

Did Pamela give the perfect performance? Do you think the heroes will find the kids in time?

What’s your take on the show’s recent knack for telling instead of showing what happened?

Hit the comments below.

The Walking Dead continues Sunday at 9 p.m. on AMC.

Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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