UK TV review: The Walking Dead: Season 11, Episode 20 (What’s Been Lost)
Neil Brazier | On 27, Oct 2022
Season 11, Part 3 will premiere with episodes arriving weekly on Mondays. Read our other Season 11 reviews here.
While Eugene (Josh McDermitt) is held in a prison cell awaiting trial, the rest of his friends are kidnapped except for Carol (Melissa McBride) and Daryl (Norman Reedus) because nobody is going to get one up on them. The pair embark on a quest to rescue their friends but conclude the only person who can help them now is Lance Hornsby (Josh Hamilton). Already under guard and imprisoned, Hornsby refuses to tell them where the survivors are; he’ll show them. Meanwhile, Yumiko (Elanor Matsuura) is being forced to prosecute Eugene and show her loyalty to the Commonwealth as Pamela Milton (Laila Robbins) continues to exploit her powerful position.
Yumiko’s arc here is very standard stuff. She faces a conflict and struggles with a decision, but the ultimate ending will be her doing the right thing. As such, this episode struggles to entertain but a signed scene with Connie (Lauren Ridloff) stands out and emphasises both their relationship and the mistrust running through this community. We know Pamela is evil (although she became the villain almost by stealth and very quickly) and we know that there is an uprising coming; what holds this together is wondering how far she will go to keep hold of her power. We got a glimpse of those lengths in the last episode, but that was behind closed doors, out of the public eye, something that she cannot avoid come trial.
The Hornsby jailbreak provides this episode with its action and tension, but his repetitive ramblings are starting to get stale. As he leads Carol to a dark tunnel, he talks of leadership and what happens to the future of all at the Commonwealth once Pamela is ousted – an obvious attempt to try and worm his way into consideration and survival. It seems not to matter to him who is the one holding his restraint, he will try to suck up to anyone playing the game to try and keep himself relevant. None of this rubs off on Carol who couldn’t care less what happens to the Commonwealth or to Lance.
At the dark tunnel things suddenly get tense, as the light is reduced to a single flashlight. Hornsby vanishes and leaves Carol to face a swarm of the soggy undead. In the scuffle, the flashlight is gone leaving only the flare from her gunfire telling her where the danger is coming from. It’s a fantastic scene, full of fear and ends with a walker kill that will make your skin crawl! This episode was directed by Aisha Tyler who proves she can do more than just tickle your funny bone with this dramatic and confining confrontation.
The episode ends with a major development that we won’t give away. Information is shared that provides a way for the Walking Dead universe to expand far beyond the Commonwealth and the minor communities – something that doesn’t really come into play in the comics until the epilogue. It is only natural to feel like the show is throwing these major story arcs at us thick and fast due to the need to wrap things up in four more episodes. Having been used to long drawn-out affairs, we are left feeling there might have been more story to be told from this final point – especially with events back at the Commonwealth – that will now be left unsaid.
In short, this is another solid episode that increases the danger for our survivors as it moves them all closer to their endgame. The brutality the series isn’t afraid to show keeps up with the pace, the blood and torn flesh continuing to push the special effects department who are always up to the task. One thing What’s Been Lost showcases is what could have been in the Daryl and Carol spin-off. The pair are not only badass characters, but they also work so well together, with a trust and friendship that is unbreakable. It is bitterly disappointing that we won’t get to see more of this outside this series so we must enjoy what we can. McBride has been outstanding throughout all of The Walking Dead, developing her character from a reliant to liberated. If these last episodes are all we’ll see of her, we thank her for it.