Review: #TheWalkingDead S11x18 A NEW DEAL #TWD


Previously: S11X17 LOCKDOWN

– S 11 x 18   A NEW DEAL –

Directed by Jeffrey F January

Written by Corey Reed and Kevin Deiboldt (teleplay)

At first I thought this episode was going to be one of those quieter ‘calm before and after the storm’ ones, like 702 The Well and 1110 New Haunts but it was so not – the pace ramped up and up all the way through.

These intros with Judith talking ~ such an inspired idea.  This week she mentioned keeping the lost alive by recalling their voices; remember when she said to Michonne that she was starting to forget Carl and Rick’s?  But here we heard a brief echo of Rick’s voice in her mind.  Loved it.  The opening scenes are in the clip below.

After the cliffhanger of last week, the day was saved by Carol and Mercer (getting to be a bit of a thing), though it was chilling to see Daryl turn on her with such a dark look about his face when he said, “What have you done?”  I thought it was going to be 10×09 Squeeze all over again – he certainly looked as angry as he did when the cave collapsed on Connie, and I was most surprised to hear him utter the F-word – not something you hear very often on TWD.  Though indeed Lance Hornsby would drive anyone to all manner of cursing.

Of course in real life they would all swear a lot more than they do, but one of the 1001 great things about TWD is that, unlike most other TV shows these days, they’re not all effing and blinding all the time.

Off to Oceanside with the good news…will they find Luke there?

Later on, when they were all talking about the deal Carol had made with Pamela (when Daryl walked off, apple in hand), dear Carol looked so upset.  Watery eyes, like she was worried this would become another rift between them.  But … doesn’t him wanting to seek revenge on Lance rather than accept a compromise echo the period when Carol’s obsession with Alpha endangered others?  Consider that, Daryl!  Stabbing Lance in the hand was a nice touch, though 🙂

Poor old Daryl, thinking he’s no good at parenting thing; of course, he is much more effective than he thinks.  He absolutely ‘gets’ Judith, and the very fact that he has been with Rick since Judith was but a twinkle in Shane’s eye must mean so much to her.  

So the waistcoat is back, signifying that he means business ~ was the way he was looking at it before he put it on another hint that he might find Rick?  The right wing disappeared after Rick was spirited away.  Similarly, The Hat is back ~ Judith’s equivalent of Michonne picking up her sword again (after she’d hung it on the wall when they first got to Alexandria)? 

That much was made of Rick’s gun is surely significant, too – dare we hope for some finding-Rick stuff before the end?


I predict that Lance’s lackeys Shira and Calhoun will come to a sticky and painful end, sooner rather than later, since locking all the murdered workers up to turn, then be unleashed on Pamela’s Founders’ Day celebration.  Shits like them rarely last long!

In this clip: Rosita and Gabriel in the church, the discovery of Judith – and the murder of the Commonwealth workers

And so to Max and Eugene’s brilliant plan – how clever, and unlike a few other rebellion-orientated plot developments of late, the way in which she coerced Sebastian into utterly condemning himself was completely convincing.  The moment when his voice rang out over the square was TWD gold ~ I was amused by how the citizens seemed most angry of all about the hand-picking of lottery ‘winners’.  

Everyone hates to think they’ve been fooled; the Commonwealth could be seen as a microcosm of a whole world, with corruption on high, the little people being told whatever the leaders want them to believe.  Sebastian: ‘The poor stay poor so that the rich can do whatever the hell they want.’

It was good to see a place being overrun with Walkers at this late stage in the game, when survivors everywhere know how to handle them now.  Quite like the old days, the total mayhem ~ as was seeing a main character succumb to a Walker bite.  Especially when he’d tried to take the coward’s way out and shove a Walker onto Max.  

A perfect death for him, and the crowd just looked on, not reacting to his screams for help.  I suspect this was not only because they’ve lived behind the CW walls for so long that they’re still terrified of them.

Daryl and Judith teaming up – ‘We do this together’ ~ was a good moment, Judith doing her stuff with Rick’s gun, calm as you like, while the adults were running around screaming in panic.  Loved the look on Judith’s friend’s face when she saw what her little buddy was capable of!

Here’s the ending scene again – great stuff!


Lots of relationship developments/questions this week…

  • Is Carol starting to regain her feelings for Ezekiel?  That phrase ‘in every relationship there is one who kisses and one who turns the cheek’ ~ in this one Carol’s always been the cheek-turner, but has Ezekiel choosing the Commonwealth rather than a return to Alexandria made her think ‘hang on a minute’?  I know everyone wants her to be with Daryl, but she was at her happiest when she was with Ezekiel.  Incidentally, didn’t she look beautiful this week?  Her hair is fabulous!

  • Lydia and Elijah – everybody say aah!  There’s something so lovely about him.  I adore his face.

  • Love love love Negan and Annie together ~ perfect.  She reminds me of Michonne ~ that quiet, calm strength, even when she’s really angry or in pain.

  • And what about Rosita and Gabriel?  It seemed at the beginning of 11B that they’d split up, but I do like them together.  And she got him the cotton candy (candy floss in the UK!)

  • I’m still wondering about the relationship between Pamela and Lance.  Something goes a bit deeper than just two people at odds in their working relationship, I think.  Is he her little brother?  Her stepbrother?  Her secret son, even?  No, maybe that’s going too far!  I also think there is some history we don’t know about yet, between Max and Sebastian.


All in all, a stunning episode.  Blasts from the past, and some indication that the tide might be turning in our people’s favour.  I’m sure Lance will have more tricks up sleeve, though, and I’m still not absolutely sure whether Pamela is just self-serving and manipulative but not a bad sort really, or an actual baddie.

Here’s the trailer for Episode 19 – looks a tad worrying, especially the Walkers who can climb walls and open doors…

Remember in 1×02 Guts, though, when they had rocks, trying to break the glass of the department store?  And they were faster, and trying to climb the fence where Rick and Glenn were nicking that van. If you watch the end of this clip (the last 30 seconds in particular), you can see that they’re much more agile than the later version.

We’ll see…