AMC’s The Walking Dead has reached its final push to the finish line. Dedicated fans have mixed feelings about the show ending, particularly with early announcements of upcoming spin-offs. Here’s what they want to see with part three of season 11!
After first gracing our screens on Oct. 31, 2010, The Walking Dead welcomes its last eight episodes as the third installment of season 11 premieres this Sunday, Oct. 2 on AMC and AMC+. As a show set in post-apocalyptic times, characters have come and gone throughout the years, with the only two original characters remaining from season one are Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Carol (Melissa McBride). The series finale is aimed to air on Nov. 20, allowing fans time to properly mourn the long-running AMC show and the memorable characters that came with it. Here’s what fans expect to see for the show’s final moments.
Season 11 Part 2’s Ending
To move forward, we must recount how season 11 part two ended. As the show’s last midseason finale, episode 16 “Acts of God” was the last chance for the show to pull a cliffhanger. The episode does a lot to set up part three, with The Commonwealth community continuing to be its clear focus. Lance Hornsby (Josh Hamilton), the deputy governor and major antagonist for season 11, is one of the latest people to underestimate the strength of the main group’s characters, particularly Maggie (Lauren Cohan). He pays her a visit at Hilltop, the only one of the group’s three communities (including Alexandria and Oceanside) to stubbornly not succumb to The Commonwealth’s leadership, bringing along an array of soldiers to bring down Maggie and her leftover group. As for Leah (Lynn Collins) — an old love interest of Daryl’s and the sole survivor of the group of villains called the Reapers — she’s hired by Lance to kill Maggie but deviates from him for her own act of revenge. Leah holds Maggie captive, resulting in a fight between the two, with Daryl coming to the rescue and killing Leah. As for the Commonwealth, secrets about leadership are on the brink of getting out, with the group’s survivors raising questions and looking to expose the town with a new article. In order for Lance to return to the Commonwealth and proceed with business as usual, he needs to assume control over the surrounding communities and eliminate anyone who witnessed his wrongs. The episode ends on a coin flip that presumably decides the fate of the people at Oceanside.
Tying Up Loose Ends
Though the final part is set up to seemingly focus on the final boss, the corruption of The Commonwealth and its effects on the group, the show’s large cast proves to be a challenge to make sure everyone gets a proper ending. AMC always has its spin-offs (discussed later), so hopefully, they don’t get ahead of themselves before the main series even finishes. When it was announced back in 2020 that season 11 would be it’s last, the cast and crew (as well as fans) were caught off guard, as this was at a time when future seasons were still on the table of discussion. A reporter for Insider got a prescreening of the season’s first two episodes, calling into question if the remaining six can lead to a well-rounded culmination of the many plot threads left hanging. Only time will tell, but it’s always a bit worrisome to see if a show on its last legs can deliver a fitting end for the story and characters to exceed fan expectations.
A Satisfying Ending for Beloved Characters
The Walking Dead doesn’t shy away from core character deaths, and surely the final season will have some more. Some lives like Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), Daryl, and Maggie’s don’t remain on the chopping block, as the announcements of their spinoffs spoiled the surprise. But how will over a decade-long story for fan favorite Carol play out in the end? Her character outlived her comic counterpart long ago, so she’s a wildcard deserving of an ending where she can live in peace, or perhaps more well suited for her character, a final blaze of glory. She would be the final gut punch kill to the audience who have spent so much time watching Carol’s on-screen evolution. As for other characters, Ezekiel (Khary Payton) may meet his demise as he battles a recently developed tumor, but on the other hand, Judith (Cailey Fleming) is surely expected to outlive the finale as Rick Grimes’ legacy and has already proven herself as a survivor at such a young age. Of course, the series finale wouldn’t be satisfying enough if the established and well-hated villains Lance, Pamela Milton (Laila Robins), and her son Sebastian (Teo Rapp-Olsson) aren’t either brought to justice or killed by the hands of the core group. While the main characters’ fates are holding out for later installments, the question remains for important side characters.
A Rick Cameo
The show last saw its staple character Rick (Andrew Lincoln) in season nine episode five “What Comes After.” He was desperate to save a bridge from a walker herd, which linked the various communities, and in doing so, he blew it up, presumably killing himself in the process. However, he lives, and a character named Anne, AKA Jadis (Pollyanna McIntosh), rescues him with a mysterious helicopter, never to be seen again. Fans feel it’s only fitting that he makes a surprise appearance for the closing of the main show, which would then prelude his spinoff in the works. Though people might be disappointed if the ask isn’t met, it would sure make for a grand reentrance for Lincoln, and something to be hopeful about for the most important character the show has had.
Commonwealth’s Connection to the CRM
The Civic Republic Military (better known as CRM) are overarching antagonists for The Walking Dead’s universe, appearing in the spin-off The Walking Dead: World Beyond. Notably, they are the group with the helicopter that took off with Rick. Chief content officer for the franchise and ex-showrunner Scott M. Gimple confirmed in Oct. 2021 that the final season will unveil the connection between The Commonwealth and the CRM. Fans have been dying to know the truth behind the secretive organization, and have predicted the ending will have something to do with the CRM or at least have a few appearances tying it in. So far, season 11 has been uncovering the social class disparity and missing people in The Commonwealth, which seems to very well relate to the people trading we know the CRM does.
The Many Planned Spin-offs
Rest assured that the show and its fandom will live on past the final credits of season 11. If the show doesn’t provide enough closure, surely the numerous spin-offs will. Fans have long-awaited the continuation of The Walking Dead’s ex-main character Rick after his departure. Plus, after Michonne (Danai Gurira) leaves to go find him in season 10 episode 13, people are dying to know what comes of the couple’s reunion. Lincoln was originally slated to do Rick movies, but the show’s final San Diego Comic-Con panel this year had a surprise appearance from Lincoln and Gurira, announcing the characters’ new series. Six episodes will air on AMC+ in 2023, and the show can be described as “an epic and insane love story.”
Additionally, a Maggie and Negan spin-off called The Walking Dead: Dead City is currently in development. Though the characters have a seeping hatred for one another that makes for an interesting dynamic at play, the end of part two saw the two build an unlikely alliance out of respect, which is sure to be expanded upon with part three. Originally called Isle of the Dead, Dead City will also get a six-episode premiere in 2023, taking their story to the horrors and dangers of New York City. The last splintering of the main cast is for Daryl’s spin-off, which was supposed to include Carol before McBride had to step away due to scheduling conflicts. The show is heading in an “opposite direction” from the main series, according to Reedus. Not many details have been announced, but one thing’s for sure: Daryl will be in France, leaving the how or why to be answered. As for other shows in The Walking Dead universe, Fear the Walking Dead is in the midst of filming its eighth season, and Tales of the Walking Dead just finished airing its first season, with no announcements made about a season two thus far.
What are you most excited about for the final installment of The Walking Dead?