WARNING: The following contains spoilers for The Walking Dead Season 11, Episode 9, “No Other Way,” which aired Sunday on AMC.
The Walking Dead‘s eleventh and final season returns after a short break and jumps right back into the undead action. Season 11B, Episode 9, “No Other Way,” picks up exactly where the mid-season finale left out, reminding us why we hate Leah (Lynn Collins) so much. It wasn’t enough for her to just break Daryl’s (Norman Reedus) heart; she also had to shoot rockets at his friends. While the moment makes for some gnarly, explosive walker kills, it also elicits high stress for Maggie (Lauren Cohan), Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) and Elijah (Okea Eme-Akwari) as they desperately search for a way to escape the blasts and the Reaper compound.
Thankfully, Daryl — who fled from Leah after Pope’s death in Episode 8 — has stuck around to pull some major Batman moves and silently pick off one of the Reapers. Still, Maggie gets trapped in a hallway while running from Carver (Alex Meraz). However, Elijah and Negan quickly come to her aid. Despite seeming like a quick three vs. one scenario, Carver puts up quite the fight. Eventually, Negan gets the better of him by knocking him out with a large, metal bell, giving a whole new meaning to the expression “ringing someone’s bell.” Right before Maggie can deal the killing blow, Daryl appears and puts a stop to it, reasoning that they can use Carver as a bargaining chip with Leah, much to Elijah’s dismay.
Unfortunately, negotiations with Leah don’t go as Daryl planned. Leah’s positioned a sniper that allows her to get the upper hand, and after threatening Maggie’s life, Daryl reluctantly releases Carver. However, Carver’s obnoxiously arrogant air-kiss to the protagonists proves too much for Elijah. Still seeking revenge for his sister’s death, he limps toward Carver, weapon in hand. While Walking Dead fans anxiously anticipate a shot from Leah’s sniper, things take a turn for the better. Gabriel now mans the sniping post after taking out the Reaper, and his sassy reply to Leah via walkie-talkie even elicits a smile from Negan.
With the heroes back in control, Maggie wants to enact revenge for the death of her people and the destruction of Meridian, but Daryl — being the softie he is — upholds the agreement he originally offered: Leah and the Reapers walk free. However, Maggie shoots them in the back after Elijah’s pleas for vengeance convince her letting them go is in nobody’s best interest. Even after she runs out of bullets, she brutally kills Carver with Elijah’s weapon. Negan watching Maggie enact her bloody revenge is a chilling moment. Perhaps hinting at the popular fan theory that Maggie is, in fact, becoming the next Negan. However, Leah — receiving a non-fatal wound to the shoulder — ultimately survives and Daryl tells her to leave, no doubt setting her up to return later in the season.
While the others set off for Alexandria with the food supplies, Maggie returns to check on Alden (Callan McAuliffe), who was left behind in Season 11, Episode 3, “Hunted,” after sustaining a serious injury. After quickly becoming a fan favorite back in Season 8, Walking Dead fans feared Alden’s outcome. And, unfortunately, those fears were justified, with Maggie discovering a zombified Alden. While burying him, Negan approaches Maggie to tell her he’s going his own way as he’s not convinced she won’t try to kill him down the line. Considering Negan has already set out on his own once and failed, it seems unlikely that this time will be any different. And although Maggie’s tension with Negan is released, tension with Daryl just replaces it.
Back in a crumbling Alexandria, Rosita (Christian Serratos) and Co. deal with the walker infiltration caused by a breach in the gate. For those that may have forgotten, Judith (Cailey Fleming) and Gracie (Anabelle Holloway) managed to get themselves needlessly trapped in a rapidly flooding basement. However, Gracie’s emergency whistle (which should just attract more walkers, according to Walking Dead rules) comes in handy by alerting her dad, Aaron (Ross Marquand), to the girls’ location. When Aaron finally arrives — it’s in style. He quickly jumps through the basement window and makes quick work of the few walkers with his mace-hand, minus a heart-pounding underwater battle with one of the more stubborn undead. While he gets the girls to safety, Aaron remains trapped in the basement as a small horde of walkers come tumbling into the water. Thankfully, Lydia (Cassady McClincy) arrives just in the nick of time and saves him.
Things have settled down by the time Maggie, Daryl and Co. return to Alexandria, sans Negan and Alden. However, the reunion has a dismal overtone. Those who stayed in Alexandria realize how many people were lost on the road. Still, there is some positivity going around. Daryl and Connie (Lauren Ridloff) have their long-awaited reunion; Dog adorably chews on an apple like the goodest boi he is, and the food supplies give the group hope. However, Eugene (Josh McDermitt) and the Commonwealth’s arrival cut things short.
After a brief introduction from Eugene, Lance Hornsby (Josh Hamilton) — the Commonwealth’s deputy governor — gives the group the choice between joining them or another mysterious but allegedly “more interesting” option. Before The Walking Dead reveals what that option is, the episode jumps to six months later. Now, a defiant-looking Maggie stands guard outside Hilltop as Commonwealth soldiers approach the gate. Although she says that “it doesn’t have to be this way,” a Commonwealth soldier demands she open the gate anyway. However, the twist doesn’t stop there, with the Commonwealth soldier revealing himself to be Daryl, leaving audiences wondering just what in the heck transpired during those six months.
To reunite with the protagonists, tune into Season 11 of The Walking Dead. The series airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on AMC and is available to stream early on AMC+.
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