The Walking Dead Season 11 Episode 17 Review: Lockdown

That was one of the most packed episodes of The Walking Dead yet.

The Walking Dead Season 11 Episode 17 played out like a spy thriller, with the characters in very different scenarios.

Some were battling for survival, and some were fighting politics inside an oppressed community.

“Lockdown” was one of the few times throughout The Walking Dead Season 11 that it genuinely felt like the series was ending a chapter.

It’s hard to be excited knowing that many characters survive, but this final midseason premiere upped the ante to hone in on this battle for survival.

The Last Goodbye - The Walking Dead

It was strange the episode didn’t give us the resolution to the Lance cliffhanger, and it wasn’t immediately clear if the final moments of The Walking Dead Season 11 Episode 16 were set in the future.

I’m going with Lance at the Commonwealth tossing a coin to assess the fate of everyone having not happened, but that also takes away from what could have been a stellar cliffhanger at the close of “Lockdown.”

Pamela: You’ve humiliated me. And yourself.
Sebastian: I told you I shouldn’t have come here.

Lance met his match in Daryl, Maggie, Mary, and everyone else. He’s hid behind his schtick that the Commonwealth is a safe haven for everyone.

That sounds like heaven to people on the road, but our survivors have come up against some terrible communities during their time on the show.

Pamela Takes Control - The Walking Dead

For that reason alone, they will never roll over and let someone take them out willingly.

The survivors also know that Lance would have them killed whenever they catch up with him, so there’s never going to be a point at which they ally with them.

That’s off the table now, but they will probably make a deal with Pamela.

Sebastian is a royal pain in the ass who has had everything handed to him with a silver spoon. He knows he can get away with murder, but he isn’t very good at covering up his crimes.

Yumiko Prepares - The Walking Dead

It was fun to see how much the people inside the Commonwealth turned on him and, by extension, his mother.

It’s always satisfying to see those types of characters get their comeuppance. Pamela was vocal about her ancestors going through rebellious phases, and maybe they’d make for a worthwhile Tales of the Walking Dead episode.

Pamela: Would you like one?
Yumiko: It’s a little early for me. Thank you. You tear-gassed my friends.
Pamela: If they were there, they were in defiance of lockdown.
Yumiko: And did it help? Did it actually make the troopers’ jobs easier outside the walls?
Pamela: It was about what could have happened. It was about safety. It always is.
Yumiko: And you don’t care that it makes you look guilty?
Pamela: If you have an accusation, Yumiko, make it.
Yumiko: Look. Can you really sit there and say there is no way your son did the things he was accused of?
Pamela: He’s always been something of a renegade, it’s true. But his grandfather and uncles were the same way, and they mellowed over time. Became leaders of men. Maybe he’s having his youthful rebellions later than most, but he’s not a murderer.
Yumiko: Pamela, I am trying to figure out how much you knew. It might be my job to defend you.
Pamela: How can I talk to my lawyer freely when she’s also friends with the most prominent journalist around?

Pamela has been in control of the narrative inside the Commonwealth for years, but now that people like Connie are in control of some aspects of the media, it makes things tricky.

To date, Pamela has gone with the flow because the chips have fallen in her favor, but it makes you wonder how far she’ll go now that everything has been called into question.

Carol bringing Lance’s involvement to her will surely go a long way to keep our heroes safe, at least for a short while.

Daryl Fights Back - The Walking Dead

The truth is, Lance has a way with words, and he’s tried to manipulate Pamela before. He knows she isn’t a pushover and will call him out when she sees fit, but now that she can blame him for everything, well, maybe he will take a shot at her.

Intriguingly, Carol managed to make Pamela think that they will all benefit from turning on Lance, but Lance will also be mad to know that Carol played a part in his downfall.

Carol’s back was against the wall. She’s been trying to gather information ever since her people arrived inside the compound, and it’s not a bad idea.

She knows how these communities work, so it’s always nice to see her scheming to keep everyone she loves safe.

Kelly Looks On - The Walking Dead Season 11 Episode 17

Her shock at Negan’s arrival completely changed when he told her he was married and had a kid on the way.

Their relationship has never been strong, but they’ve come together in recent years because they both understand they need to be ruthless when the going gets tough.

From the outside looking in, they should hate each other, but they both have these shades of darkness they recognize in each other.

Negan: Hey, did I, uh… Did I tell you I got married?
Carol: Mm. Why are you telling me this now?
Negan: Well, I don’t know. Because… Because she is out there, and… she is carrying our child.
Carol: It’s gonna be okay.
Negan: Thank you.
Carol: Yeah.

It’s a spectacle watching them both on-screen because Melissa McBride and Jeffrey Dean Morgan have a chemistry that bounces off each other whenever they share the screen.

Maggie, Daryl, and the rest of the people on the road trying to disarm the soldiers and ruin Lance’s plans was gnarly because everyone was dealing with something.

Kelly Watches in Horror - The Walking Dead Season 11 Episode 17

Daryl had just put down his one-time lover in the name of saving Maggie, someone he’s known for years. In the moment, it was an easy decision for him to make, but one second later and Maggie could have been dead.

Maggie thanking him and recognizing the weight of his actions was beautiful because it showed that she understood what it was like losing someone she loved.

“Lockdown” clearly wanted to tug on the heartstrings with callbacks, and that’s okay because we’re on a fast-paced ride to the finish line.

Judith narrating the beginning of the episode, followed by the extended opening montage, hit me right in the feels.

Exposing the Commonwealth - The Walking Dead Season 11 Episode 17

Magna also hit me in the feels when she told Yumiko she would be dragging her and Tomi along if the going gets too harsh inside the Commonwealth.

Magna and Yumiko’s relationship should be strained because of how differently their lives are inside this compound, but it’s clear the message from the show is that true love prevails, even when you’re pulled in different directions.

My concern, however, is that Pamela knows Magna and Tomi are Yumiko’s weaknesses, and if things continue to fall apart, Pamela can manipulate Yumiko by promising these people safety.

Initiating a lockdown was something I never expected to see on The Walking Dead, but Pamela needs to find a way to keep these people in line.

Pamela and Yumiko - The Walking Dead

I can’t even begin to imagine what must have been going through everyone’s minds when that happened because most of these people have spent most of their lives hiding from the undead and tyrants.

Maggie: Daryl, what y… What you did back there… I know that Leah meant something to you. I’m sorry.
Daryl: Glen would’ve wanted me to look after you. You don’t have to ever say sorry. Not to me.

“Lockdown” sent the narrative in a completely different direction. I’m cautiously optimistic this direction is necessary to give closure to the characters and arcs that won’t be spilling on to the spinoffs.

What are your thoughts on the drama surrounding Pamela and her family?

Which moment hit you in the feels the most?

Do you think there is a future inside the Commonwealth if the bad guys are taken down?

Hit the comments.

The Walking Dead continues Sundays on AMC and AMC+.

Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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