The Walking Dead, Season 11 Premiere – Archeon Part 1 Review (2021)

The Walking Dead Season 11 – Episode 1 – Archeon Part 1

Synopsis: Returning to Alexandria from a critical food mission, the group realizes it isn’t enough. Maggie proposes a new plan, potentially a suicide mission. What choice do they have? They must find more food for all their people in order to survive and efficiently rebuild Alexandria. If they don’t, Alexandria falls, taking them down with it. Once on the road, a violent storm erupts forcing them underground into a subway tunnel. As nerves fray and suspicions increase, chaos ensues. The terror is relentless as our people get a glimpse of what Maggie and her group endured prior to returning to Alexandria. Meanwhile, those captured by the strange soldiers are relocated to another undisclosed location.

Review: The Walking Dead returns for the expanded final season, consisting of a mega 24 episodes. I was lucky enough to get an early look at the first two episodes.

The season opens with our group of survivors on a supply run, the opening has some edge of your seat moments, a highlight was seeing a horde of zombies dormant – we all know they will wake and terrorize the group who have rappelled into the danger zone, making a swift exit is not an option. Once the zombies awaken we get a small action segment which we get to see a zombie head explode as it’s blasted with a bullet and we get to see Daryll make a highlight kill throwing his knives from a distance to save Carol from becoming zombie lunch. In all the opening has you hooked and cheering for the characters. Successful supply run. Job done, right?

Nope! As soon as they arrive back at Alexandria with the supplies that they risked limbs for, the group realise they haven’t enough to survive. Betas attack on Alexandria has taken it’s toll on the community and needs more than just a quick patch up. Maggie knows of a place where they can get some supplies but it’s in Washington. With supplies low and no other option, the group set out but get caught in a storm. After deciding to take an old subway track the rest of the way to Washington, things start to get interesting. There is a sea of wrapped dead bodies that may or may not be dormant or dead walkers and one wrong move could wipe the group out.

The atmosphere is tense and dark in this first episode and the tension between Maggie and Negan is a bomb waiting to explode. I can’t help but think everyone will turn on Maggie later in the season as she does make more than one reckless decisions that I think later on down the line will come back to bite her in the ass.

While the focus group is in the subways, we get to follow Ezekiel, Yukimo, Euguene & Princess, their story has them being locked in a cage and repeatedly interrogated by The Commonwealth. These four characters together are a solid unit and I can’t help but think one of these four will be the one to find out more information about Ricks whereabouts.

Overall the first episode delivered with big set pieces, exploding heads and an intriguing storyline, which left us on a cliffhanger. The zombies once again felt like a threat and it was good to have some of the classic horror/suspense elements back, which played a vital role way-back-when.