THE WALKING DEAD Season 11
Milton’s Paradise Lost
UK Disney+ streaming now
US AMC, streaming now
Showrunner Angela Kang
Cast Norman Reedus, Melissa Mcbride, Lauren Cohan, Josh Mcdermitt
EPISODES 11.01-11.24 And so we come to the end of a long and bumpy road. The Walking Dead has been on air for 12 years and 177 episodes. That’s an astonishing achievement for any TV show, let alone one that has endured multiple showrunner changes and – let’s be honest – some creative wobbles along the way. Happily, season 11 continues the series’ Angela Kang-driven second wind, delivering some pleasingly full-blooded drama.
The survivors must reckon with the threat posed by the murderous, cult-like Reapers and a smarter, stronger variant of Walker. But their biggest challenge comes in the form of the Commonwealth and its ruthless governor, Pamela Milton (Laila Robins). The glimpses we get into the workings of this apparent paradise are believably murky (including labour camps and a corrupt justice system), with Milton making for a suitably bureaucratic final villain.
As ever with late-period Walking Dead, Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) is the most compelling character. The tension between him and Maggie (Lauren Cohan) – the wife of Glenn, whom he murdered, let’s not forget – rumbles beneath the surface of the season. It’s to the show’s credit that, while Negan is sincere in his desire to make amends, the show never forces an unlikely reconciliation. Instead, it lingers on the awkward pain both characters are feeling while being forced to live and work together.
Final episode “Rest In Peace” wraps things up largely satisfactorily. There are main character deaths, big explosions, and closure for some of the characters. For a show that has lived so long in the darkness, there’s a genuine catharsis in learning that at least some of these poor bastards get something close to a happy ending.
An alternative ending scene – set many years into the future – was shot but not used. Something for the Blu-ray!