The Walking Dead season 11, episode 19 recap: Variant

Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon, Josh McDermitt as Dr. Eugene Porter - The Walking Dead _ Season 11, Episode 19 - Photo Credit: Jace Downs/AMC
Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon, Josh McDermitt as Dr. Eugene Porter - The Walking Dead _ Season 11, Episode 19 - Photo Credit: Jace Downs/AMC /

The Walking Dead season 11 episode 19 “Variant” reveals evolving walkers, the unfortunate truth of how things work at The Commonwealth, and who will choose duty over those they love. Will Eugene get arrested for his accidental cause in the death of Sebastian Milton?

Is Lance’s time finally up? Let’s find out!

The Walking Dead Season 11 Episode 19 recap – The Search for Eugene

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Josh McDermitt as Dr. Eugene Porter, Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon – The Walking Dead _ Season 11, Episode 19 – Photo Credit: Jace Downs/AMC /

The episode begins with the ensuing chaos of the released walkers at The Commonwealth Founder’s Day Celebration. In the process, Eugene and Max become separated and several townsfolk start accusing Eugene of killing Sebastian.

Daryl is able to find and hide him for the time being at church. Governor Pamela Milton is heartbroken over the death of her son Sebastian.

With him gone, she is the only Milton left at The Commonwealth. She remains with his dead body which has yet to turn and wants Eugene to be made example of.

Therefore, any associates of Eugene are immediately questioned, including Rosita. She refuses to give Eugene up, angered that Mercer is treating her like an actual criminal.

She is not the only one, The Princess, Mercer’s girlfriend is visibly upset at how she and her friends have been treated. She pleads with Mercer to not arrest Eugene.

Even though Mercer assures her that he will have a fair trial, everyone knows he’ll be sentenced to death. Daryl, Rosita and presumably the rest of the group will not turn Eugene in.

Although he is petrified for what occurred, he’s worried about Max. Daryl wants them to leave as soon as possible but Eugene cannot without at least knowing is Max is alright.

Rosita sympathizes with him and agrees to search for her. Trouble is, Max is caught that evening, just as Rosita finds her.

She too becomes upset with her brother Mercer. In order to save herself, she must agree to several terms in a fake statement which includes an ongoing battle with depression.

Max refuses to sign it, believing that her sacrifice was for The Commonwealth’s future. Mercer’s position becomes further complicated as everyone he truly has come to care about wants to leave The Commonwealth.

They are upset that he is putting his duty before all else. He shares a rather powerful and emotional scene with The Princess, when she shares her dark upbringing.

She knows Mercer is a good man, unlike all the other men she’s known before. But even still, she knows The Commonwealth is no good and plans to leave anyway, essentially breaking up with him.

When Eugene hears that Max has been captured, he refuses to leave. Once again Daryl does not fight him on it, planning to go regardless.

Rosita begs Eugene to leave with them fearing he will die if he stays. Eugene cannot leave the woman he loves behind.

He willingly turns himself in, making sure The Commonwealth soldiers know that Max was not involved.

The Walking Dead Season 11 Episode 19 recap – Lance’s Punishment

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Laila Robins as Pamela Milton – The Walking Dead _ Season 11, Episode 19 – Photo Credit: Jace Downs/AMC /

Thankfully it doesn’t take long for Governor Milton to know that Lance was responsible for her son’s death. She visits Lance in his cell, where he’s eagerly awaiting to see her.

The two share a rather, awkward, moment where it is pretty obvious, they’ve been…intimate at one point. But Lance’s hopes that Governor Milton will spare him quickly dwindles.

He confesses to being responsible for the deaths of innocent people and walkers but claims he never intended for Sebastian to die. Taking a page from his book she uses his coin to determine his fate.

If he chooses the coin he lives, if not, he dies. He of course chooses the correct hand with the coin.

But his troubles are just beginning. Governor Milton has her walker son brought in along with recently dead bodies.

She claims that if Lance has always had her family’s best intentions, then he will continue serving them. He will serve pieces of dead bodies to her walker son.


The Walking Dead Season 11 Episode 19 recap – Journey to Oceanside

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Cassady McClincy as Lydia, Ross Marquand as Aaron – The Walking Dead _ Season 11, Episode 19 – Photo Credit: Jace Downs/AMC /

Meanwhile, Aaron, Lydia, Jerry and Elijiah are on their way to Oceanside. Jerry’s carefree attitude doesn’t mesh well with Aaron, who wants to get there and back to Alexandria as soon as possible.

They spot some walkers ahead but easily avoid them. However, the horse-drawn wagon gets stuck and upon freeing it, Jerry’s leg gets hurt.

The group thankfully finds an abandoned Renaissance Faire with walls around it. Aaron and Lydia agree to take the first watch together which gives them ample opportunity to talk.

Lydia likes Elijah but she feels she can’t move on from Henry. Aaron takes the moment to talk about Eric, his husband whom he met before the world fell and lost in the war against Negan and the Saviors.

Aaron simply advises her to take the chance with Elijah as people they love will always be at risk of dying in this world. As night falls Lydia and Aaron notice something is amiss.

Sure, enough a large horde of walkers arrive. The horde is too big to fight causing them to retreat towards a high tower.

As they reach the top, they notice the severity of the situation. But there is one small gap.

Lydia and Elijah make the jump leaving Aaron and Jerry to wait. As they do, one of the walkers that Lydia tried and failed to kill emerges up the ladder and grabs a rock.

Believing these new walkers to be Whisperers Aaron goes beast mode and brutally kills the walker. When he attempts to rip the mask off, the truth is revealed.

These are walkers not Whisperers. As dawn breaks, the four are shocked and disturbed that some of the walkers are evolving.

The Walking Dead Season 11 Episode 19 review

The episode felt like an odd mix between important and filler. There were times where it had some real intense moments and then it slowed down to a near stop.

For what it is worth I did enjoy it and even though I was confident Jerry and Aaron were not going to die, I nearly lost my mind watching the walker climb his way up and pick up a rock. I am however, conflicted about the new walkers.

I’m sure I’m not alone in that, this feels so last minute and rushed. I’d like to believe that this was part of the plan all along, but it feels too little too late.

Maybe these walkers will play a bigger part in the spinoffs and future unknown TWDU projects. But if this was something they, meaning those in charge of The Walking Dead, wanted to plan for, then there should have been little teases here and there.

The only times we’ve seen these walkers was the very beginning of the series. If they were around in other places, then they weren’t obvious enough.

Imagine how cool of a reveal this would have been during The Whisperer War. Imagine, the group who used walkers to blend in and have do their dirty work suddenly turn on them out of the blue.

It would have been more impactful because then the villains would have witnessed this, died, and our heroes would just assume the walkers got them while being none the wiser. All the same, the situation with Eugene is far from over and I’m willing to bet this is the incident that finally causes The Commonwealth to collapse.

There is no way Mercer will choose Governor Milton over his new friends, and there has yet to be a resolve over the incoming walker horde situation. Are we seeing a Game of Thrones move here?

Lastly, can we please get an explanation as to Lance and Governor Milton’s…relationship?

Next. She-Hulk: Attorney at Law Season 1 Episode 9 recap: Whose Show Is This. dark

What did you think of The Walking Dead season 11, episode 19? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

The Walking Dead season 11, episode 20 airs October 23 on AMC.