“Your world is about to get a lot bigger,” says Jesus (Tom Payne) to Rick (Andrew Lincoln), Daryl (Norman Reedus), Maggie (Lauren Cohan), Michonne (Danai Gurira) and a few others in the Alexandria group, telling them about his community and his mission to seek out other groups in order to open up trade possibilities in episode 11 of the sixth season of AMC’s horror/drama series The Walking Dead.
Jesus offers to take the group on a day’s ride to show them the community his people have made their home. He’s surveyed their town and knows they have plenty of weapons and ammunition but are very low on food. So, hoping to work out some sort of trade, Rick agrees to the trip. The group heads out in the RV with Jesus, Rick, Daryl, Michonne, Maggie, Glenn (Steven Yeun) and Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) who seems to be struggling in this episode about who he wants to be with and maybe build some sort of life. Even though he’s still with Rosita (Christian Serratos), his mind keeps drifting to Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green).
While on the road, the group comes across a fresh crash that Jesus recognizes as some of his people. Daryl notices tracks from the wreck to a deserted building. Suspecting that this could be a trap, Rick decides to leave Maggie outside with Jesus with orders to shoot him if Rick whistles. Maggie says she will. Very quickly the group comes across walkers and Rick and Michonne chop through them and find two survivors. Daryl, Glenn, and Abraham also locate two survivors, assuring them they’re with Jesus in order to make them follow the Alexandria group out of the building. After rescuing the four comrades of Jesus, everyone gets back on board the RV and the roadtrip continues.
It just so happens that one of the people Glenn saved is a doctor who feels indebted to him. When the doctor’s told Maggie is expecting, he’s only too happy to offer his services and prenatal vitamins.
The group arrives outside the gates of Jesus’ home which he calls Hilltop. Jesus is able to convince the two men on guard duty to open the gates and let the group in, telling them that Rick and his friends are good people and helped save the others. Jesus explains to Rick that most of his group came from a nearby FEMA camp and knew to come here because the Hilltop was once a history museum that all local schools would visit.
But, Jesus is not the one in charge of his group. There’s an older gentleman that Rick and his friends must meet and deal with named Gregory (Xander Berkeley). Gregory’s turned off by Rick and his group’s dirty and smelly appearance and cuts Rick off mid-sentence to tell them to go upstairs and get cleaned up before they talk. Rick, being more than a little irritated with Gregory’s manner, whispers to Maggie that she should get cleaned up first and talk to Gregory about the possibility of working out a trade. She asks why her and Rick responds by telling her it shouldn’t be him. It seems Maggie has her work cut out for her as Gregory keeps calling her Natalie even after she corrects him, indicating that she’s not important enough to remember her name. He believes that the Alexandria group have little to offer in way of a trade and insists that some of them would be welcomed to work off the food he and his group would give them here at Hilltop. Maggie cuts him off and tells Gregory to stop flirting with her and insists that a trade would benefit both of them. Believing he still has the upper hand, Gregory waves off Maggie, once again calling her Natalie.
Rick and Daryl are getting fed up after hearing about the meeting and tell Jesus they’re not leaving empty-handed. Jesus asks them to give him a few days to talk to Gregory. This is when a few Hilltop members show up from delivering supplies to a man named Negen. Negen wasn’t happy with the size of the supplies so he killed one of the Hilltop people and kept another hostage. He sent the others back with a message and when Gregory asks about the message, one of the Hilltop delivery members stab Gregory. Rick, Daryl and Michonne fly into action and the fight is on with knives, fists and choking matches. Rick stabs a man in the throat that he’s fighting with when Michonne distracts him, and Daryl helps Abraham out with one of the members choking him. It’s Jesus who intervenes and gets everyone to stop and calm down. Gregory is taken inside and stabilized.
Jesus finally tells Rick and his friends how Negen entered the Hilltop group’s lives. Not long after they got their walls up his followers, called “The Saviors,” showed up and demanded half of everything they had. To show just how ruthless they are, they killed a 16-year-old boy from Hilltop in cold-blood and, horrified, Gregory made the deal. Daryl can’t believe that Jesus and his group would just cave in and do a deal after the murder of the boy, but Jesus says the community is not made up of fighters. This gives Rick and the Alexandria team the same idea about a new deal.
Maggie talks to Gregory, who’s recovering from his wound, and offers a new deal: Rick, Daryl, and the rest of her group will handle Negen but in return they get half of everything. Realizing that Maggie and her crew have the upper-hand Gregory agrees.
The Alexandria group get in the now loaded with supplies RV along with one of the delivery guys from Hilltop that Rick tells they need to know everything he knows about Negen’s compound. Jesus also heads off with Rick’s crew, telling Rick, “You still have my knives.” Rick tells Michonne it’s the only way to get enough supplies for everyone in Alexandria. She agrees but says, “It’s going to cost us.” Right before the group leaves Maggie and Glenn have the Hilltop doctor take a sonogram of her baby. As the group drives off, Maggie and Glenn look at the picture lovingly and pass it around for everyone to admire. Abraham, who earlier in the episode couldn’t get his head around bringing a baby into this world, now seems to be happy about the idea of a baby as they continue home.
The Walking Dead Season 6 Episode 11 Review
More of a set-up episode to the upcoming introduction to the show’s new major villain, episode 11 of season 6 of The Walking Dead introduces Rick and the gang to a new group of survivors who desperately need their help. It’s slow moving but interesting, as Rick, Michonne, Daryl and the rest of the gang discover the reality that there are other group of survivors and that there might be an opportunity to improve each one’s situation by creating an open trade.
The stand-out performance goes to Michael Cudlitz as Abraham who’s struggling with what direction he wants to take with his life and with who he wants to spend it with. The scene in which he talks to Glenn about bringing a baby into this zombie-filled world and how he just can’t fathom it and then the next to last scene where he looks at the sonogram and can’t help but smile and approve shows real growth in his character without overplaying it. It’s the first time that Abraham allows the possibility of a new life and hope to really become a reality for him.
With Rick and the Alexandria gang getting ready to go up against the new villain named Negen – who, according to Walking Dead comic book fans is an even deadlier enemy than the Governor was – let’s hope our heroes are up to the fight.