‘The Walking Dead’ Season 8 Episode 11 Recap: Dead or Alive Or…

The Walking Dead Season 8 Episode 11 Recap
Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan in ‘The Walking Dead’ season 8 episode 11 (Photo by Gene Page/AMC)

AMC’s The Walking Dead season eight episode 11 begins with a group of Saviors listening to a message alerting them Dr. Carson (R. Keith Harris) and Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) are missing. The radio message instructs everyone to keep their eyes open. The group take off to search for the missing prisoners, unaware Daryl (Norman Reedus) is right underneath their location. He, Rosario (Christian Serratos), and Tara (Alanna Masterson) are leading a group to Hilltop. Dwight (Austin Amelio) is also in the group, and Tara nearly lets a walker get to him.

Elsewhere, Gabriel and Dr. Carson are sort of lost on their way to Hilltop. They try to figure out their location on a map, but Father Gabriel’s vision is blurring. Dr. Carson worries about him, but Gabriel thinks they just need to get to Hilltop so that Dr. Carson can care for Maggie.

After taking care of a walker, Dr. Carson exams Gabriel’s eyes. He can barely see but Gabriel insists they just need to find another car so they can continue their journey. Suddenly, Gabriel hears a bell and heads off through the woods. Dr. Carson follows and they discover a house in the woods.

Back with Daryl’s group, everyone’s exhausted so they take a 10-minute break. Tara wants to kill Dwight, but Daryl won’t let her. Rosario agrees with Daryl (for the moment) and thinks Dwight could be helpful in the near future.

At Hilltop, the community’s fortifying their walls and preparing for battle. Morgan (Lennie James) and Henry watch over the captured Saviors. Henry is creeping them out and demanding to know which one killed his brother.

Carol (Melissa McBride) sends Henry away to get food and tries to convince Morgan that Henry’s not at all fine with everything, even though he seems as though nothing affects him. She takes over guard duty so Morgan can eat.

Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and Eugene (Josh McDermitt) meet, and Negan’s angry because Dr. Carson and Father Gabriel escaped. He wants to know if Eugene had anything to do with it, but Eugene claims not to have any idea what happened. Negan promises once they’re caught, he’ll get the truth out of them – one way or another.

Eugene asks about Alexandria and Negan replies, “Do you care, Eugene?” Negan puts Eugene in charge of his own outpost, revealing he needs Eugene back in business making bullets so he can kill Rick and his people. When Eugene reminds him they were going to use Rick and his people as resources, Negan says if Rick pulls anything, then he’ll take action. Eugene finally agrees to the outpost job, if wine is provided.

Dr. Carson and Father Gabriel explore the house, and Gabriel finds a note pad. He can’t read it and Dr. Carson wants him to lie down and rest. The house belonged to a radio operator who kept a log and never got a signal in return from any of his broadcasts. Dr. Carson discovers the radio operator is now a zombie, complete with a plastic bag over his head and surrounded by bottles of pills. He doesn’t think this house is a lifesaver, something Father Gabriel claimed when they first came upon it.

Daryl and the group plan their strategy to get to Hilltop, and Dwight shows them an area that Negan won’t cover. Dwight explains Negan believed the swamp was too dangerous and won’t have his people out watching it. The group debate whether Dwight is trustworthy and he reminds them he helped them out. If Negan finds him, he’ll put his head on a spike. Dwight claims he’s there to help them beat Negan but realizes they’ll kill him in the end.

Daryl decides they will attempt to reach Hilltop through the swamp.

Dianne (Kerry Cahill) informs Maggie (Lauren Cohan) they must cut rations by a third to make it through the week. The numbers don’t include the prisoners, and Maggie’s hopeful Jesus will find something during his supply run.

Back at the house, Gabriel won’t lie down and instead is looking at pill bottles. Dr. Carson confirms these are the right antibiotics that will save Gabriel’s life. Finding this house was exactly what they needed to do, just like Father Gabriel said.

Daryl and Dwight chat while walking through the woods. They make it to the swamp and of course there are soggy walkers in the water. Dwight volunteers to help make a path for the others, but Daryl won’t give him a weapon and makes him remain on the river’s bank. Tara also stays behind, eyeballing Dwight.

Maggie heads to the prisoners’ pen because Gregory wants to talk to her, claiming he’s been on his best behavior since getting thrown in jail. Another prisoner also wants out, trying to convince her they’re not enemies. He wants out of the pen, one at a time for good behavior. Maggie says no, she doesn’t have the people to spare. Maggie then tells the prisoners she’s cutting off their rations for a few days. She says she doesn’t have a choice.

The Walking Dead Season 8 Episode 11 Recap
Christian Serratos as Rosita Espinosa and Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon in ‘The Walking Dead’ season 8 episode 11 (Photo by: Gene Page/AMC)

Rosario, Daryl, and a few others make their way through the swamp to create a path. Rosario’s attacked by a walker, but she quickly dispatches him. They hear gurgling and growling and soon the water is flooded with walkers. Daryl determines the best path to clear and they go about making their way through the walkers.

On the river’s bank, Tara spots walkers nearby and tosses Dwight a knife. She wants him to help her take them out and off the two go, heading away from the group.

The pills help the fever, but Father Gabriel’s eyesight hasn’t improved. He could have permanent eye damage and may go blind, but Father Gabriel is letting God lead the way. He then accidentally knocks over a piggy bank. It shatters and inside are car keys and a map. Dr. Carson can’t believe it and Father Gabriel has a blissful smile on his face when they determine they’re only a few miles from Hilltop.

Dwight takes out the walkers with a knife as Tara covers him with a gun. He apologizes for Denise and knows she can’t forgive him. After the last walker is dead, Dwight drops the knife and Tara prepares to shoot him. She tells him he can’t just switch sides and make it all better. She shoots, misses, and he runs. Tara catches up with him and points the gun at his head. He knew it was going to happen that she’d kill him, but he thought he could help them first. As she’s about to shoot him, the group of Saviors from the first scene of the episode approaches, looking for the missing prisoners. Tara and Dwight hide.

Dr. Carson and Father Gabriel head to the garage, with Father Gabriel lagging behind. The banging noise catches his attention and he’s barely able to make out the warning on the sign that there are traps in the woods. He yells for Dr. Carson to stop, but it’s too late. He steps in a bear trap.

Gabriel races to help him as walkers get ensnared in other nearby traps. Others make it through and Dr. Carson tries to hold them off. Father Gabriel closes his eyes and shoots one who’s about to bite the doctor. Gabriel thinks he had some help from above as the walker falls dead and Dr. Carson emerges from the attack unscathed.

Dwight gives himself up to the Saviors, but they don’t know he’s working with their enemies. He keeps them talking and they say they’re heading to the swamp. He suggests they head up to the road because there’s no way the group would have gone into the swamp. He saves Tara and the group.

Daryl screams at Tara because she took Dwight away from the group to kill him. Daryl’s upset because he thinks Dwight will turn on them, even though Tara and Rosario insist he won’t.

Father Gabriel jokes that he’s okay to drive since Dr. Carson has a bad leg injury. Just as they’re about to start the car, a group of Saviors find them. Father Gabriel whispers to Dr. Carson that God’s still leading the way, and Dr. Carson agrees. The doctor grabs a gun but he’s shot dead before he can fire. Father Gabriel sobs, tied up in the back of a truck and now heading back to Negan.

Daryl and the group arrive at Hilltop and Carol’s one of the first to greet them. Daryl is forced to break the news that Carl is dead. (We see the reactions but don’t hear what he says.) Enid is devastated, and she and Maggie hug each other.

Carol tells Henry and Morgan about Carl and that he died helping a stranger. Morgan lies to Henry and says it was Gavin who killed his brother. Henry took down Gavin, so he got revenge and can move forward.

Siddiq (Avi Nash) thanks Maggie and lets her know he has medical experience and wants to help. She directs him to the hospital set up in the trailer. After he leaves, she looks at over the newcomers Hilltop will now have to feed.

Eugene works on making more bullets, ordering food for his crew. Negan arrives with Father Gabriel. Eugene and the crew kneel in Negan’s presence, with Eugene worried about what Father Gabriel’s revealed. It turns out Father Gabriel kept his secret and blames the escape on Dr. Carson. Negan says Gabriel will now work here, sorting bullets. His eyes don’t work but his hands do.

Eugene gives Negan an update on the production of bullets. He needs more time, but Negan’s not satisfied with that answer. He needs more ammunition, now. Eugene suggests rigging catapults and launch undead legs, heads, etc., at Rick’s people. It would be “traumatic theatrics” and Negan seems to consider it. “I do believe a rose just sprang out of that pile of shit.”

Father Gabriel says he thought he found what he was meant to do. Eugene pushes a box of bullets toward him and says, “You have.”

Maggie gives orders that prisoners will be taken out in pairs to clean up and help around Hilltop. They’ll be put on quarter rations. Gregory says maybe they all out to evacuate, believing there is no choice. He thinks they can’t win. Maggie says, “Look around. How can we lose?” Someone yells to open the gate.

Negan assembles his men, wondering if they can use the undead’s blood to their advantage. He soaks Lucille in the blood and rotting flesh of a walker. Negan reminds them if they get a bite or a wound from a walker, then you join “the club.” He says, “Hilltop is gonna learn to toe the line, one way or another. Dead or alive…or some kinda sh*t in between.”

More on The Walking Dead:

Recap of The Walking Dead Season 8 Episode 1
Recap of The Walking Dead Season 8 Episode 2
Recap of The Walking Dead Season 8 Episode 3
Recap of The Walking Dead Season 8 Episode 4
Recap of The Walking Dead Season 8 Episode 5
Recap of The Walking Dead Season 8 Episode 6
Recap of The Walking Dead Season 8 Episode 7
Recap of The Walking Dead Season 8 Episode 8
Recap of The Walking Dead Season 8 Episode 9
Recap of The Walking Dead Season 8 Episode 10
Recap of The Walking Dead Season 8 Episode 12
Recap of The Walking Dead Season 8 Episode 13
Recap of The Walking Dead Season 8 Episode 14
Recap of The Walking Dead Season 8 Episode 15
Recap of The Walking Dead Season 8 Episode 16