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The Walking Dead - For Blood - Review - "Recap Ready For Season 11, Part 2!"

  With The Walking Dead set to return with the second part of the three part final season, I thought we should take a quick look at where we left our favorite characters in “For Blood.” I’m also going to include a few thoughts on the finale of The Walking Dead: World Beyond that may have a bearing on how season 11 plays out. “For Blood” was written by Erik Mountain and was directed by Sharat Raju. Like all good season ‘pausing’ cliffhangers, the episode left pretty much everybody in peril – assuming they hadn’t already been killed off…

As the episode opens Maggie’s (Lauren Cohen) group has brought their herd to Pope’s (Ritchie Coster) encampment. Pope discusses what’s going on with the herd, asserting that nothing is random, including their movement. Daryl (Norman Reedus) says he’s seen the behavior before and can move them. Pope chooses Daryl’s plan over Carver’s (Alex Meraz) but sends Wells (Robert Hayes) to carry it out. Loved Reedus here as his only tell that Daryl is worried is his chewing his bottom lip. Clearly, he’d meant to use it as a way of contacting the others. 

Leah (Lynn Collins) checks on Wells, calling him the Pied Piper, and he’s clearly not taking the whole thing very seriously until he’s suddenly surrounded. Wells calls Pope to say he’s got a situation, but is too busy fighting walkers to clarify. Wells is the first casualty of the episode and as he’s consumed by the herd, we see Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) pick up his walkie talkie and shuffle off with it and Maggie. 

Back in Alexandria, everyone is sheltering in one house from the storm which is getting worse. The kids huddle together and Judith (Cailey Fleming) comforts RJ (Antony Azor). A branch comes through a window and the front door bursts open. Judith rushes to help the adults, telling the other kids to stay where they are. As we look out the window, the windmill is on fire – hit by lightening – and bits of the wall blow past down the street. 

Leah wants to go after Wells, but Pope tells her that he’s already dead – at Maggie’s hands. Leah is furious that Pope sacrificed Wells. Pope insists that he was a soldier, but she saw him as family – and it wasn’t God that sent Wells out, it was Pope. He’s not happy at her clear insubordination. He points out that she’s had a lot to say since her “boyfriend” showed up. Pope insists that Wells drew out the enemy and now they can destroy them.

The episode ratchets up the tension by cutting back and forth between crises. Aaron (Ross Marquand), Carol (Melissa McBride), Rosita (Christian Serratos), Connie (Lauren Ridloff), Magna (Nadia Hilker), and Kelly (Angel Theory) discuss what to do. The windmill fire is drawing walkers. Aaron takes a team to fight the fire, Carol takes a team to mend the wall, and Rosita will lead the team to protect the house. Connie insists she’s going – and wants to go with Carol. Carol tells her thank you in sign language – and is clearly touched. Angel joins them and Connie doesn’t try to dissuade her. Virgil (Kevin Carroll) offers to go, and they tell him to help Rosita. Judith wants to go with Carol, but she asks Judith to help the other kids feel less afraid. Gracie (Annabelle Holloway) asks Aaron not to go, and he tells her that it wouldn’t be fair to ask someone else to do something he wasn’t willing to do himself. Judith offers to stay with her. They all head out and Dianne (Kerry Cahill) shuts the door.

Once again, Pope asks Daryl to tell him more about Maggie. Daryl says he can’t, and Pope wonders why he’s keeping Daryl around. Daryl reminds him that Pope said God chose him. Pope tells Daryl about a dog he had that he rescued – that had a hard time learning to trust. He’d look at him – the same way Daryl was looking at him – and you couldn’t tell if he wanted to bite you or lick you. Daryl tells him not to worry – he’s not going to lick him. Pope just laughs and says fair enough – just don’t try to bite him. The dog did, and he strangled it. Leah steps in to say that they kept him because he’s a great tracker. Daryl tells them that he knows Maggie is a great shot and won’t want them to see her coming. Maybe check the trees. They’re interrupted by the scouting party returning.

They all go back up on the wall. Pope is impressed that she’s turned the dead on the living. The herd is getting closer, and Daryl asks how strong the gate is. Pope says it’s strong enough, but they won’t get that far… just as a mine explodes. The field they have to cross is full of them. 

Lydia (Cassady McClincy), Rosita and Dianne try to reinforce the windows. Meanwhile, Judith and Gracie share a moment. Gracie wishes she was more like Judith and not afraid. Judith assures her that she’s been scared plenty of times. She tells her you can use your fear to run faster and fight harder – it makes you stronger. Gracie gets up, and Virgil tells Judith that Michonne would be proud of her. 

Fleming is such an amazing actor and really shines in this simple scene. She asks if Virgil knows where Michonne went and he tells her he doesn’t. She tells him that she hasn’t heard from Michonne in such a long time and wishes she was there. Virgil tells Judith that Michonne is there – in Judith. And Judith smiles. Virgil tells her that she can also bet that where ever Michonne is, Judith is with her too – and this clearly comforts her.

The scene is interrupted by Gracie getting too close to a window and Judith having to rush in with her katana to chop off a walker’s arm and save her. Rosita tells Lydia to radio Carol that there must be another breach in the wall. She tells Judith to blow out the candles – but they are clearly in trouble.

As they watch walkers explode, Pope asks Leah to share what’s on her mind. She resists until he insists and then says she’s thinking about all those they’ve lost. Pope asks if she blames him. She says no. Pope spouts more God-talk and insists that every war has sacrifices. He insists that they are still worthy and that’s why they will prevail. Leah doesn’t look so sure. 

Daryl watches as Maggie and Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) sneak off from the herd. We see them duck behind a tree (he did warn Pope!) and remove their masks as they come up to the wall. Daryl distracts Powell (Eric LeBlanc), the sentry, by offering him a smoke. Daryl drops the matches and takes the opportunity to kill Powell. He throws the body over the wall and tells Maggie and Gabriel to head to a door, which he jimmies open. Back in the herd, Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and Elijah (Okea Eme-Akwari) are both hit with shrapnel. Pope pulls the others off the wall – and Leah tells Daryl ominously that they’re going to end it. 

Maggie and Gabriel crawl under the wall – I’m not clear why they didn’t go in the door Daryl opened. The two split up, and Maggie tells Gabriel that they get the food and go home.

Back in Alexandria, Rosita rushes out alone into the herd to kill the walkers and clear the house. Judith watches from the window as she disappears into the storm. Dianne opens the door to let her back in – and she tells them to stay away from the windows! It’s a terrific moment for Serratos.

On the roof, Leah and Ancheta (Dane Davenport) uncover a massive hwacha that they’re going to fire at the walkers. Daryl tells Leah that he’s sorry about Wells. Then he asks her if she believes that God chose them. Leah says she knows how it sounds but that they’re all alive because they believed in Pope so it doesn’t matter if she believes. He tells her that it matters to him. She asks if he ever wonders what it would be like if they’d never left the cabin. She tells him that it’s hard to watch people she cares about change. She seems on the verge of saying something else when Pope interrupts them on the walkie to say it’s time. Daryl tells her that he has to tell her something – and confesses that the people attacking are his people. There there for the food. They’re good people and have families. Leah is shocked and devasted that he lied to her. He tells her it was to protect his family – and surely she can understand that. Leah tells him that Carver warned her not to trust him – but she wanted to so badly. Daryl says he wasn’t sure if he could trust her either and asks her to come with him.

Pope bursts onto the roof and wants to know what they’re talking about. Leah tells him family. Pope tells Daryl that when it’s done he wants him to bring Pope the woman. 

Maggie hotwires a truck and uses it to take out the gate, letting in the herd. Pope continues to get ready to fire the weapon. Leah tells him that their people are out there. Pope insists that God will protect them. He tells Ancheta to light it up – and Leah kills Pope – and Daryl kills Ancheta. 

Maggie is almost killed by one of the soldiers, but Gabriel is in place with a sniper rifle and saves her.

Daryl tries to take Leah to safety, but she radios the others to say that Pope is dead and Daryl murdered him and is with the enemy. The others say they are on their way. Leah says that Pope forgot about what mattered – not war, but people. Daryl would do anything to protect his family, and so would she. The others rush onto the roof as Daryl flees. Leah tells Carver to get the gate closed, and then they’ll kill everything inside the walls. 

Back in Alexandria, the house is surrounded again, and Rosita has everyone retreat upstairs. Gracie has stupidly gone downstairs to look for a weapon, and Judith follows her. The two end up trapped in the flooding basement.

Leah pulls her men back, and Maggie immediately realize that there’s no good reason for it – just as the hwacha starts spewing rockets everywhere….

Great performances from Reedus and Fleming, and I wasn’t initially sold on Lynn Collins, but she delivers a terrific performance here. Will she be the big bad in the next part or is that reserved for the Commonwealth? I was not impressed with the second season of The Walking Dead: World Beyond and the finale was definitely a let down – the predictable death of Huck (Annet Mahendru) and Dennis (Maximillian Osinski), the downfall of Kublek (Julia Ormond), and even the escape of the scientists were ho hum. Iris (Aliyah Royale) could not have been more annoying and there was no consistency to the characterizations. 

Pollyanna McIntosh as Jadis is always delightful to watch – and a shout out to Mahendru for some very good performances. We were teased with Rick (Andrew Lincoln) – who never appeared. The most interesting part of the entire series was the end teaser that revealed the Walkers may have been created in a lab and that there are faster more chaotic ones in Europe – if not elsewhere. So the questions remain – will we see these more frightening 28 Days Later type walkers? Will we see the CRM? Will Rick and/or Michonne ever reappear? Personally, I doubt the answer to any of these is yes – at least in this next part of the final season. What are your predictions for this part of the show? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!


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