Rest in Peace s11 ep24

Daryl and Carol are sitting on a stone bench overlooking a small, quiet lake.

Photo: Jace Downs/AMC

Friends, zombies, countrymen, lend me your ears! I have come to bury The Walking Dead, not to be praised. I haven’t come to trash talk it either, to be honest. But it feels important to note that the zombified version of TWD who has been shambling around our television screens for years has had his skull crushed and his brain shattered. You know, metaphorically.

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I have very little to say about “Rest in Peace,” which is shocking, given that it was an epic-sized episode meant to close out an 11-season run of what used to be the most popular show on television. Everything has been the season probably lead to, ie, the war against the Commonwealth, is so greatly removed; it’s like the show is embarrassed with the story. Although she was shot, Judith is fine. Mercer was arrested but is immediately rescued and is fine. Even though everyone is trapped in the middle of a street in the Commonwealth with a horde of zombies, they are fine. Rosita finds her child, which is fine, but Rosita gets bitten on the way and then refuses to let anyone know to lessen the drama.

Toppling Governor Pam Milton is an even easier matter. She is full in her gated community with her semi-loyal squad of soldiers, all of them staring at the huge gate where her lower income constituents beg to be let in lest they be eaten by the zombies which has flowed into her. the town. There is enough space inside and enough time to let everyone in safely, but Pam has become so one-dimensionally evil that she is staring at them instead. That is, until all the main characters arrive, Daryl gives an emotional rousing speech (“They deserve better than this. We’re not the walking dead.”) which turns out to be exactly what the Commontroopers needed to hear to disobey Pam and not watch dozens upon dozens of their friends and neighbors being needlessly eaten alive. The people are let in, Pam is arrested, and Pam thinks real hard for letting zombie Hornsby eat her, who pops by, but Maggie saves her so she can rot in jail.

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Photo: Jace Downs/AMC

So in the end, all the Commonwealth needed was for a depressed old woman to be arrested, and she did. As action-packed series finales go, that’s not much, then The Walking Dead gussies up a very silly sequence where they draw all the zombies into the gated community, fill it with gas tanks, and arrange a Wile E. Coyote-esque record player to fire up the place when it finishes playing Living Color’s ” Cult of Personality.” The resulting explosion looks like a cutout from a PlayStation 2 game.

If I were to invest at all in The Walking DeadI imagine he would have been disappointed with how the Commonwealth story ended, especially since Rosita was the only main character who bought it (no, Luke doesn’t count, and shame on TWD for pretending he does). The finale felt bloodless, which is a strange thing to say about a show that used to revel in the misery it could heap on its characters. It might be meaningful for the show to end with Our Heroes defeating a villain in a way other than using incredible violence, but it doesn’t feel meaningful – it felt too easy.

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Photo: Jace Downs/AMC

The second half of “Rest in Peace” is a long epilogue that I can best summarize as “The Walking Dead were the friends we made along the way.” It works much better, mainly because we’ve spent more than a decade watching these characters. When The Walking Dead It started, what set it apart from other zombie-tainment is that its story continues when a zombie movie would have ended. Seeing these characters finally reach that ending – or seeing them survive to the end – is meaningful in itself, even if the endings are a little crazy. But how good was it to hear Negan tell Maggie that he knows full well what he took from her, and give her a real apology? Or for Carol and Daryl to platonically tell each other that they love each other? Or to check in on Rick and Michonne one last time, because that’s all anyone still watching the show wanted to see, anyway?

Yes, Rick and Michonne came back to The Walking Dead for such a big post-credits scene it had to be stuck before the credits. They appear separately and Rick deposits the journal, boots, and Michonne’s iPhone later discovers “What We Are Becoming,” while Michonne is shown reading it in the present/future/sometime later. Rick is inexplicably barefoot, wearing a CRM jacket (they’re bad guys The World Beyond derived, apparently), and wielding a very strange zombie-trepanning trident. Apparently he was on the run, as a helicopter tracked him, someone in it shouting “you have been located and are being instructed to surrender. Stay in place with your hands up.”

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Photo: Curtis Bonds Baker/AMC

Although I have spent enough of my life watching The Walking Dead that I will need to watch the Rick and Michonne miniseries to feel calm, I have no questions or interest in guessing what is going on with Rick. However, I’m very interested in learning where Michonne got herself some sort of samurai armor and a horse, and why she decided it was a good idea to gallop into a crowd of thousands of zombies with her sword drawn. It is pure Walking Dead nonsense, in its way, and I appreciated the hell out of it – but it also made me sad to realize that the best, most entertaining moment in the entire finale was basically a trailer for a different show.

And that’s it, I guess. I’ll have a few more thoughts later about spending an entire decade of my life repeating The Walking Dead for io9, but as for the series finale — the final episode of a show that ran for 11 seasons, 177 episodes, 12 years, and was at one time the most popular TV series on the air — I have no more reflections, various or otherwise.

The Walking Dead has died. Somehow, that feels like all that needs to be said.

Image for an article titled The Walking Dead Dead at Last

Photo: Jace Downs/AMC


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