The Walking Dead season 11 episode 7 recap: Is a big battle brewing?

Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon, Alex Meraz as Carver - The Walking Dead _ Season 11, Episode 6 - Photo Credit: Josh Stringer/AMC
Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon, Alex Meraz as Carver - The Walking Dead _ Season 11, Episode 6 - Photo Credit: Josh Stringer/AMC /

The Walking Dead‘s final season is divided up into three segments with eight episodes. The first six episodes of the final season pushed the envelope, but episode 7, titled “Promises Broken,” is a clear stepping stone leading up to the first mid-season finale.

As with any series, not all episodes in a season will be packed with action and thrills. And it would be very difficult to follow last week’s “On the Inside”, which will go down in the books as one of the show’s scariest episodes ever.

The Walking Dead season 11 episode 7, “Promises Broken”, is a stepping stone that sets up the mid-season finale. It’s not a bad episode, but it feels a bit slower than the other episodes and that’s out of necessity.

The Walking Dead season 11 episode 7 sets the stage for the mid-season finale

One of the challenges in season 11 has been having several stories moving along in different locations. There are the people in Alexandria, there’s Maggie’s group, there’s Eugene’s group and then there is Daryl and the Reapers. Maggie’s group is closing in on Meridian and the Reapers while Daryl is trying to keep the Reapers from massacring his friends.

In “Promises Broken” three of those stories play out and they’re all interesting in their own way, but trying to fit all three in one episode makes them feel a bit watered down.

Negan teaches Maggie the joys of wearing skin masks so that they can infiltrate the Reapers’ camp without being detected. As they work together he reveals that if he could go back and do things over again, he would have killed everyone in the lineup because that’s how you protect your people. Though she can’t wrap her brain around it, they definitely understand each other in a new way. And Negan is surprisingly adept at making Whisperer masks.

At the Commonwealth, Eugene, Princess and Stephanie are working off their debt to society by Clear in Walkers in the perimeter of the Commonwealth. Ezekiel is back after being treated at the infirmary and now he feels like a new man while Yumiko is trying to understand more about the way the Commonwealth works. She’s close to meeting with Pamela Milton, the leader, when their meeting is cancelled after Eugene punches her son, thus making things a lot more complicated.

Lastly, Daryl and Leah are sent on a mission to track down a man in the woods, and when they find him he reveals that he’s foraging for his family. They return to his hideout with orders from Pope to kill everyone, but Leah decides to let the man and his son go. His wife is on death’s doorstep and she wants to die; she’s grateful to Leah for helping to get her family out so they didn’t have to witness her death. Ultimately, though, Leah can’t shoot the woman so Daryl does.

In the end, Yumiko is left wondering what will happen to her friends now that Eugene has been carted off by the Commonwealth security team while Maggie’s group inches closer to Meridian.

Is a big battle brewing between Maggie and Pope?

With the first mid-season finale coming next week, the question of what happens between Maggie’s group and the Reapers is foremost on our minds. The people in Alexandria need food so there’s no turning back now. Thanks to Daryl’s intel, they know how many Reapers are at Meridian and how much firepower they have. But can Maggie’s group of four people make it inside?

Even if they’re all dressed as walkers, it feels unlikely that Maggie, Negan, Elijah and Gabriel can infiltrate Meridian without trouble. And if a big battle is looming, will it wrap up in episode 8 or will the Reapers continue to be a threat in the final season?

There’s a lot of action coming in the final season so there’s little doubt that many fans will question the abrupt shift to a “slower” episode that isn’t as jam-packed as the first six were. However, as storytelling goes, “Promises Broken” moves the story ahead so that we can jump right into the mid-season finale and there’s no question we needed to get there a little faster.

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All in all, it’s a solid episode of good storytelling, with some key character moments that will likely have a lot of bearing on what’s coming.

When it comes to The Walking Dead, the story is always like an onion, with layers being peeled off slowly. Something big is coming but it’s just a matter of waiting to see what it is.

The Walking Dead season 11 episode 8 premieres on Oct. 10 only on AMC