The Walking Dead season 11, episode 3 recap – “Hunted”

August 31, 2021
Jonathon Wilson 0
Weekly TV
3

Summary

“Hunted” gets a bit lost in the woods as we reconsider Maggie’s role.

View all
3

Summary

“Hunted” gets a bit lost in the woods as we reconsider Maggie’s role.

This recap of The Walking Dead season 11, episode 3, “Hunted”, contains spoilers.


After a thoughtful and intriguing two-part premiere, the eleventh and final season of The Walking Dead gets bogged down somewhat in “Hunted”. It’s not a bad episode, by any means; it has some effective action and tension, some low-key character moments that work, and a sense of impending collapse that one assumes is going to characterize the entire season. Alexandria is, after all, on its last legs, and perhaps the mysterious Commonwealth, who aren’t seen in this episode, is the only salvation for characters who have come to realize over the last decade-plus that everything they build inevitably comes tumbling down around their ears. But “Hunted” takes its time making these points and reiterates some old ones in the meantime, all the while failing to really characterize the Reapers as an interesting new menace, despite culling several of the show’s extraneous supporting characters.

The Walking Dead season 11, episode 3 recap

Most of the focus is, understandably, on Maggie and Negan, who continue to work together while being hunted by the Reapers, though in large part this is facilitated by the two of them being the only ones out there who seem remotely capable. We’re to understand that there’s no love lost between them, but it’s hard to believe that one might kill the other at a moment’s notice. As Negan tries to explain at one point, a lot of in-universe time has passed since they last saw one another. I said in my previous recap that Maggie’s vendetta feels like too little too late when it comes to avenging Negan’s actions as the Big Bad for several seasons. Most other characters – not to mention the show itself – have forgotten about that anyway. You’re only as good as your last fight, after all, and Negan’s was on Team Good Guys. He rolled Alpha’s head at Carol’s feet to prove it.

This season’s obvious characterization of Maggie as uncompromising and dangerous calcified in the second episode when she was blasé about sacrificing Gage to a grim fate in Washington’s subway tunnels. But it hits a snag in “Hunted” by laboring over the idea that Alden is compromised and is going to have to be left behind for the others to escape alive. Maggie is forced to agonize over this decision. Either she likes Alden a lot more than she did Gage, or the episode’s writers expect us to have much shorter memories than we do. Either Maggie is willing to do whatever it takes, or she isn’t. Either option can work but only if one is picked and stuck with.

It probably won’t matter anyway since Maggie has little choice but to team up with Negan. He keeps saving her repeatedly and giving her solid advice, and at this point, all her new allies are dead, hacked up by the Reapers, or caught short by walkers in ways that seem a bit too easy for supposedly hardened survivors. You can tell that the show’s just getting rid of these people so it can concentrate on the drama between the remaining key players, which is fine but could have been handled more elegantly than it is here. Does it present the Reapers as being brutal and dangerous, or Maggie’s friends as being useless? I’m leaning towards the latter.

At least the focus is expanded a little bit. Father Gabriel spends some time roaming the woods denying the presence of God and brutally executing people, which is actually a more effective heel turn than Maggie’s has been, and we actually check in on Alexandria, though things aren’t exactly going well there. The infrastructure is collapsing, everyone’s starving, and the only real hope for salvation are horses that have already bolted. Carol, still clearly not okay, spends most of “Hunted” trying to get them back with the help of Rosita, Magna, and Kelly, and this whole thread has some surprisingly nice moments. Connie’s disappearance and presumed death – and Carol’s refusal to accept it – loom large, as does Rosita’s apparently prophetic dreams of Abraham, whom she believes is giving her and the rest of the Alexandrians a warning, though of what remains to be seen. It’s all nonsense, obviously, though it could allow for Michael Cudlitz to guest star, which I suppose would be nice. But either way, it isn’t a good sign for the future of Alexandria. Its residents are either borderline unhinged, in the case of Carol, or clinging a little too tightly to ghosts and dreams, in the case of Rosita – and those are two of the most longstanding members! Whatever the Commonwealth is selling, it’s sure to look like a very enticing prospect sooner rather than later.

The Walking Dead season 11, episode 3 is available to stream now on AMC+

View all

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.