“New Haunts” establishes a new normal for the Alexandrians, but all isn’t what it seems.
This recap of The Walking Dead season 11, episode 10, “New Haunts”, contains spoilers.
After one of The Walking Dead’s best midseason premieres ever, “New Haunts” settles into a different rhythm, setting up the conflict for the final few episodes by reintroducing the Commonwealth in a slightly different light through the varied perspectives of the Alexandrians. Some time has obviously elapsed between episodes, and the drama isn’t always clear or neat as a result, but at the very least we have a decent sense of where things are going.
The Walking Dead season 11, episode 10 recap
For some, it’s business as usual. The Commonwealth operates like a pre-apocalypse society, so there are jobs to do, bills to pay, and kids – Judith, in this case – asking for an allowance. But the normality is just an illusion. When Daryl and Rosita undergo military training with Mercer, they have to clear out a house of zombies in a way that prioritizes teamwork and efficiency. Just because everyone else can forget that there are hordes of the undead just outside the walls, that doesn’t mean they aren’t there.
Of course, Daryl doesn’t play well with others, and he especially resents the presence of Sebastian, the son of Governor Pamela Milton and a supremely aggravating, pampered little brat who is sure to get several people killed before the season is out. But it’s through Sebastian that this episode really hammers home its burgeoning theme of social and financial inequality, even within a settlement that has sprung up from the end of the world. The closer the Commonwealth gets to normality, the less egalitarian it becomes.
This is, naturally, expressed through a swanky Halloween party, where the haves are doted on by the have-nots. It’s here that the cracks in the façade really begin to emerge. The soldier who Princess beat up way back in “Splinter” has been demoted to a waiter, and he eventually causes a giant ruckus about how the Commonwealth isn’t as great as it claims, holding Milton’s assistant at knife-point all the while. He’s only one individual, but he claims to speak for many others, and a potentially burgeoning resistance movement is something that Milton worries about aloud. If a revolt is on the horizon, which side are the Alexandrians going to fall on?