The Walking Dead Season 11, Episode 1 recap: Acheron: Part 1

Lauren Cohan as Maggie - The Walking Dead _ Season 11 - Photo Credit: Josh Stringer/AMC
Lauren Cohan as Maggie - The Walking Dead _ Season 11 - Photo Credit: Josh Stringer/AMC /

The Walking Dead Season 11 is back, and whether fans like it or not, we are down to the final season. This means this season has more on the line than most to deliver to fans and wrap up a monumental show.

The first episode, titled “Acheron Part 1,” opens with a rather interesting visual of Daryl standing with his back to the audience, presenting his iconic angel wing vest before the scene begins.

With food supplies practically non-existent, the group consisting of Maggie, Carol, Lydia, Kelly, Magna, Rosita, Daryl, Jerry, Alden, and Elijah is raiding an area covered with sleeping walkers to obtain military food rations. The women are lowered below and collect the food when suddenly a drop of blood from Daryl’s wounded arm falls onto a walker, and thus they begin to awaken.

The intensity couldn’t be stronger as the women send the food up as fast as they can. Several walkers are killed, but there are far too many outnumbering them.

In the end, everyone makes it out alive only to find that when they return home, the food will only last a week. At their meeting with Father Gabriel, Aaron, and several of Maggie’s surviving community members, they realize they are running out of options as Alexandria needs repairs and is filled with more people to feed than before.

Maggie suggests they all go to Meridian, where she and her friends were attacked by whom we will probably know later as The Reapers. She knows there are enough supplies; however, the people who took her home are deadly.

While Aaron doesn’t like the idea, the group decides to agree with Maggie.

The Walking Dead Season 11, Episode 1 – The suicide mission

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Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon – The Walking Dead _ Season 11 – Photo Credit: Josh Stringer/AMC /

Maggie, Daryl, Elijah, Alden, Father Gabriel, Negan, Dog, and Maggie’s group venture into the D.C. metro tunnels on a rainy night. Negan is brought along seemingly against his will as he can direct them where to go.

However, whenever he tries to voice his concerns about this mission, including how the tunnels flood often, the group refuses to listen. As they venture further into the tunnel, Negan constantly asks Maggie about her plan, unconvinced that she knows what she’s doing.

The two hadn’t spoken since Maggie arrived back home, and now they are about to come to blows. But not before the group finds dozens if not more of walkers wrapped in body bags scattered all over the ground.

Maggie is convinced these unfortunate people died when the world ended. Negan isn’t convinced and finally voices his opinion after saving one of her people from a walker. He believes, first and foremost, that she is being selfish and endangering their lives.

Second, that she dragged him down there to kill him away from the eyes of Alexandria and makes the added point that he is not needed when anyone in the group can read a map. He even uses the chance to reference Glenn, which causes Daryl to hit him.

Maggie explains that while she had thought of killing him, she won’t and that this mission is to save people from starving.

The Walking Dead Season 11, Episode 1 – Assessment

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The Walking Dead _ Season 10, Episode 20 – Photo Credit: Josh Stringer/AMC /

Eugene, Ezekiel, The Princess, and Yumiko are brought before two rather serious people and one man in armor. They are questioned for hours on end, asking detailed questions as; if they have ever been arrested and what their parents did for a living.

Every answer is recorded, and after multiple questions are repeated, Ezekiel has enough and calls out the man in armor. Ezekiel pegs him for being a power-tripping cop before the apocalypse when suddenly he has a rough coughing fit due to his thyroid cancer.

When the four of them can reunite while eating, they find themselves surrounded by others who are still in the assessment period. Ezekiel, The Princess, and Yumiko all want to leave, but Eugene is still hesitant.

It’s not until they see a man practically getting dragged away for re-assessment that Eugene agrees they have to leave. The Princess amusedly watches two guards telling the group all about them and others she had listened intently to while staying there.

She tells them how the two guards leave one after the other, which gives them their chance to escape. Eugene and Yumiko put on the armor, pretending to be leading Ezekiel and The Princess to re-assessment.

As they are about to make their getaway, a wall of images and messages catches The Princess’s eye and calls over Yumiko. She seems to find something that makes her hesitate from leaving.

The Walking Dead Season 11, Episode 1 – Negan’s decision

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Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan – The Walking Dead _ Season 11 – Photo Credit: Josh Stringer/AMC /

As the group carries on, they realize two members are gone with their supplies. As if on cue, a large herd of walkers approaches from behind.

The group gets to the end of the tunnel; however, it is blocked by a train car that they cannot get into. As some climb up to the roof, Dog runs off.

Maggie notices Daryl follow Dog through a hole behind the train car whilst the walkers get closer. She is the last one to climb up, with Negan at the top.

As walkers try to pull her down, she sees Negan and screams for his help. Negan, in deep contemplation, says nothing and leaves her to fend for herself as the episode fades to black.

The Walking Dead Season 11, Episode 1 starts the final season with a promising setup

Aside from the incredible use of camera angles, atmosphere, and overall stellar writing, this was the perfect way to open the final season! We are getting quite the build-up for both parties as Maggie’s fate is left in question, along with whether they’ll find food and if Yumiko will convince everyone to stay.

On the one hand, Negan’s character development doesn’t fit with him mentioning Glenn or leaving Maggie for dead. I’m assuming that either Maggie will use this as revenge to kill him later, channel her past self and learn to work with him, or will be saved by Negan at the cost of his own life the next time her life is threatened.

Watching him contemplate whether to help her or not was both a shocker and thrilling to watch at the same time. As for Dog and Daryl, it wouldn’t be surprising if Dog is leading him to Leah.

Maybe he caught her scent, and maybe he’s been there before.

The means by which Eugene and his group are being drilled is both surprising yet necessary. We do not know what kind of people have been there before; therefore, being overly cautious makes sense.

But will the group’s attempt to escape further delay their acceptance into the community? What happens to those that go through re-assessment?

And will all this insanity of repeated questions and down near head games be worth it in the long run?

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What did you think of The Walking Dead Season 11, Episode 1? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

The Walking Dead Season 11 Episode 2 airs on August 29, 2021.