UK TV review: The Walking Dead Season 11, Episode 22 (Faith)
Neil Brazier | On 08, Nov 2022
Season 11, Part 3 will premiere with episodes arriving weekly on Mondays. Read our other Season 11 reviews here. Warning: Spoilers ahead.
Is anyone else a little confused right now? Last episode, Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and Annie (Medina Senghore) were split up and we were led to believe she was being taken far away. Negan was left plotting how to get her back but, in Faith, they are together again, even sharing a cuddle – albeit between the walls of the now Outpost 22, or Alexandria as we may know it. It feels like we are being fed the seeds of a story but when the realisation dawns that there isn’t enough time to explore that angle, things are quickly re-written without thinking about the continuity of the narrative. This episode is an improvement on the last, but the whole Commonwealth agenda really needs to be ignored to fully enjoy it.
The episode is split into three sections, one of which carries on the new variant walkers theme, as Aaron (Ross Marquand) and his group bump into an old friend. They learn the news that Oceanside is gone and the Commonwealth are hunting for them so they need a new plan. Lydia (Cassady McClincy) decides the best way to avoid detection is to walk as one with the herd but in doing so we learn there are smart walkers in the group after one of them is seen picking up a dropped knife. It is unclear as to where this group are heading, but undoubtedly we are going to see a herd at the Commonwealth before too long – and this time, the undead are much more dangerous.
Within the walls of the Commonwealth, Eugene (Josh McDermitt) is standing in his sham of a trial. Pamela Milton (Laila Robbins) has the court in her hands, so it is up to Eugene and Yumiko (Eleanor Matsuura) to try and convince the people that they are being lied to. As the trial ends, Eugene gives one impassioned speech about who he is and how one man can make a difference. It is overtly aimed at Mercer (Michael James Shaw), who, it seems, has the whole hope of the Commonwealth resting on his shoulders. The speech works, too: Mercer taking Eugene to his holding cell tells him, very certainly and in his own way, that it is time for a change. It’s certainly a fun ending and does the job of getting you amped up for what is to come – but how these people can make a difference by themselves is the big question left hanging over them.
Outside Outpost 22, Daryl (Norman Reedus), Carol (Melissa McBride), Maggie (Lauren Cohan) and Connie (Lauren Ridloff) are planning to use the sewers to infiltrate their former home and get their kids back. Daryl signing to Connie and her reaction is probably the funniest thing this show has ever attempted and it hits well. Inside, the Warden (Michael Weaver) wants to stamp out any rebellion and he wants Negan to be his snitch. Annie is worried but Negan comforts her that he “used to be” the Warden, so not only is he wise to the games going on, he’s playing 10 moves ahead. Unfortunately, this too seems to fizzle out, as instead of a bout of mind games and Negan returning to his old ways, we get something completely jarring.
On the one hand, Negan’s sacrifice to save the others is so unlike him it proves that his rehabilitation worked, that he doesn’t need to resort to bludgeoning skulls anymore. On the other, having only earlier in the episode conflicted with Ezekiel (Khary Payton) over Negan’s place to be a father where Negan, enraged, vowed to prove to Ezekiel wrong, Negan’s sacrifice is very confusing. How is he going to be a great dad if he isn’t around for his child?
Fortunately, with some fortuitous timing, the cavalry arrive, which leads to an intense interaction between the Warden and Rosita (Christian Serratos) who is desperate to know where Coco is. It is the only chance the special effects team get to shine in this episode and they do it with aplomb!
Perhaps we’ve just not been following the narrative very well or maybe the script writers are doing what needs to be done with two episodes left to go, but understanding the Commonwealth’s motives, outside of Pamela’s omnipotence, is quite confusing. If she wanted to remove the bad apples from her tree, then she should have done a better job of splitting them up and keeping them apart, or even alive. What is the purpose of the Commonwealth taking over Alexandria and Oceanside, two communities that Pamela showed no interest in before? She seems only interested in keeping the residents of the Commonwealth under her control but in doing so has made herself a lot of new enemies. It is now we might see an uprising and, if Lydia is leading her group to the Commonwealth, things are going to get a lot worse than the Founders Day Parade.