The Walking Dead S11 EXCLUSIVE spoiler-free two episode feature and interview

The Walking Dead is entirely its own animal. It is a popular comic book. And now a television series that has spawned two spin-offs (and future spin-offs), a future movie, action figures, etc. Here is your spoiler-free review along with interviews from KHARY PAYTON & CALLAN MCAULIFFE.




King Ezekiel is a very important character in the franchise. He was a father. Actor. Zookeeper. Ezekiel is many things and his journey has taken him so far. From Shiva’s untimely death (RIP cute CGI kitty), to his trademark “JEEERRRRY.”, could we see more of his pre-apocalyptic history?

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Khary Payton as Ezekiel – The Walking Dead _ Season 11 – Photo Credit: Josh Stringer/AMC

LORETTE: Will we see any of Ezekiel’s backstory of him being a Zookeeper or an actor?

KHARY PAYTON: That’s an interesting question! I would tell you to expect the unexpected. There’s so much story that we’re telling. We’ve all spent these last few months shooting all of this.


And then, of course, we have the multi-faceted Alden. A former Savior who has seen what Negan’s reign was like from the very beginning. Always having a pure heart, despite where he ended up–here Callan speaks to me about Alden’s past.

This is an EXCLUSIVE, as this is the first time he mentions more detail of his family, and what Maggie Rhee (Lauren Cohan) is slowly turning into.

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Callan McAuliffe as Alden – The Walking Dead _ Season 11 – Photo Credit: Josh Stringer/AMC

LORETTE: Alden is a pure heart and likes to build things. Is it safe to say that he grew up in a house where he had a lot of responsibility at a young age?

CALLAN MCAULIFFE: There was always an understanding between me and the showrunners.

“In the early apocalypse, he had been going around with his brother. I believe it was his younger brother.”

I imagine that the dynamic there was that Alden had to become something of a reliable–not necessarily a builder or a blacksmith, but certainly, someone that you can trust to get things done.

“To bring things together. That’s certainly been a part of his life. Given that we see him building all manner of weapons. Catapults, and that sort of thing. We can assume he’s had some kind of training in it.


LORETTE: Does it feel like Maggie is getting too cold for the other survivors? It’s warranted with Negan, and Alden has seen firsthand what he can do. But as far as a treatment to the rest…

CALLAN MCAULIFFE: He’s definitely seeing a side to Maggie that perhaps he didn’t expect. She has for so long been the fulcrum around which his stability swings. Especially in the beginning.

“I think he finds that contrast disturbing.” (Maggie’s turn from sweet farm-girl, to vengeful leader.)



We are greeted to a wasteland of a city. It’s clear that our heroes are out of supplies for the community and now have to band together with a certain someone (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) because he knows the subway (yup! trains!) and tunnel layouts.

So what better way to enter such a darkened place than with some Mission Impossible scaling on wires and dropping down into the space? That’s exactly what they do. This is the recon portion of the mission. Unfortunately, it’s crowded with the dead. Plan B?

Carol (Melissa McBride) has her eye on a walker’s machine gun, and it just might come in handy!


I do notice that while Maggie has always been a leader, she is not taking any risks. With anyone. There is still heart there, but I do see a major contrast to how she used to be. Her revenge on Negan has taken its toll on other survivors. I don’t think she has really ever been the same since hanging Gregory and it definitely shows.

Alden is proof of this, as he sees it unraveling before his eyes. It’s a kill or be killed type of world now. There are no second chances, and every action has a consequence.

Going back home after doing this recon, some of Alexandria opts out of something dangerous, while others decide to go back. There’s a tiny feature of Rosita and Gabriel. Also seen are Aaron, Kelly, Magna, and a few others.

Tensions rise within the group, and Daryl goes on a wild goose chase with Dog.


Night of the Living Subway. Pretty much every New Yorker’s daily occurrence. Want some walkers and irritation? Come to New York.

Then something shocking happens (not so shocking to me, as you already know the character), and we are reminded that a certain character really still has pieces of their former selves still inside of them.

The bad kind. I have always been a fan of Maggie, and I still am. She is courageous, maternal, lost pretty much everything in her life, and now has to deal with someone who has done a lot of bad to others.



We left off last time with Juanita “Princess” Sanchez (Paola Lázaro), King Ezekiel (Khary Payton), Yumiko ( Eleanor Matsuura), and Eugene Porter (Josh McDermitt) at the Commonwealth. Here, we once again see someone hallucinating a tiny bit, as well as some new faces (but not so new to the comic world).

One thing is for sure, Eugene can no longer lie properly. In fact, he can’t lie his way out of a paper bag. (Looking at you, Tara.)

By this time, he looks incredibly broken. Josh does a riveting job of showing us how heartbroken and emotional Eugene is. His looks of desperation and fighting back tears seal the deal. We know this man’s backstory, and all he wants right now is for his friends to be safe and to find Stephanie (who may or may not pop up in an episode this season)

And yes, there is a cliffhanger you don’t want to miss!



This was the big episode, for me. I cried for a little longer than I should have (you’ll see) and then yelled happily later on. But was my happiness premature? I feel like the situation could have a twist, as much as I adored it. Could it be a trick? Or Alice through the looking glass? We don’t know!

There is also a little interaction comic book fans will be extremely familiar with between Princess and a new cast member. Though it’s brief, it was a fist-bump moment. We also see her sweet side when it comes to watching some of the soldiers.

As we know, Princess is a people person and very observant! It also helps that she knows Spanish as it’s rare that our group can understand it, except for a few characters.

Did I mention subway walkers?

We also continue to see Daryl’s caring nature and his ability to always want to help survivors. A trait he shares with his late brother Merle (Michael Rooker), despite Merle not showing it or neglecting it half of his life because of his upbringing. Inside, he does care, whereas Daryl has always felt this way. Just behind layers of an abused little brother who was thrust into life as a man too soon.

And yes, another cliff-hanger awaits us.

I will say boldly and honestly, I have no sympathy for Negan. He is portrayed beautifully by Jeffrey Dean Morgan, and yes he has saved Judith, and Dog and killed Alpha–but his heart hasn’t always been there. I don’t believe he has fully changed, he still quips, still smirks with Maggie.

I don’t think the We Are All Negan persona is gone.

That’s it, kids! Enjoy and get ready for a wild ride!



Episode 1101: Acheron: Part I – Premieres Sunday, August 22 at 9pm ET/8c on AMC and will air one week early on AMC+ on Sunday, August 15

Returning to Alexandria from a critical food mission, the group realizes it isn’t enough and Maggie proposes a new plan. Meanwhile, those captured by the strange soldiers are relocated to another undisclosed location.


Episode 1102: Acheron: Part II – Premieres Sunday, August 29 at 9pm ET/8c on AMC and will air one week early on AMC+ on Sunday, August 22

The group discovers a member did not make it to safety. Meanwhile, Daryl is in his own intense hellish situation; and Yumiko challenges the process at the Commonwealth outpost.

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