The Walking Dead S11E13 Time-Traveled More Than Doctor Who: Review

Directed by Loren Yaconelli and written by Jim Barnes & Erik Mountain, this week's episode of AMC's 11th & final season of The Walking Dead finds Aaron (Ross Marquand) and Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) agreeing to serve as "ambassadors" for the Commonwealth as a favor to Josh Hamilton's Hornsby to make contact with a new community. Not surprisingly, things don't go so well and the next thing we know Maggie (Lauren Cohan), Lydia (Cassady McClincy), and Elijah (Okea Eme-Akwari) are pulled into a bad situation that very quickly (and in great cliffhanger fashion) that quickly shifts gears from bad to worse. And unlike in the comics, a very familiar face returns tonight in a way that sets up things nicely for what's to come. So to check out what we thought about S11E13 "Warlords" and to learn why Jason Butler Harner's Toby Carlson might just be edging out Teo Rapp-Olsson's Sebastian as the most hated character this season, consider the "MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD!" sign on and we'll meet you on the other side of this spoiler image buffer…

The Walking Dead S11E13 Time-Traveled More Than Doctor Who: Review
Photo Credit: Josh Stringer/AMC

So with "Warlords," Yaconelli, Barnes & Mountain have put me in a tough position. As impressed as I was with the episode, I'm not quite sure I can give it a final review until next week's episode "The Rotten Core." But just so there's no confusion, that's actually a compliment because the overall story would've had its impact lessened if everything was tied up within the hour. But even with an asterisk next to the final review score until next week, there was a lot to appreciate about this chapter that had the episode moving at a break-neck pace:

The Walking Dead S11E13 Time-Traveled More Than Doctor Who: Review
Image: Screencap

Maggie vs. Lydia: I appreciated having Lydia and Maggie debating the Commonwealth and Maggie's decision to not join them in comparison to Maggie's debate with Milton (Laila Robins) last week. While Maggie had the higher ground last week when she called out not just Milton's lavish lifestyle but also her less-than-democratic decision-making process, Lydia drove home the point that Maggie never asked for the group's consensus opinion. And while Maggie made excellent points like about not trusting a community that hasn't been tested in a decade, even she can understand Lydia's desire to just have two days in a row that are the same… that have stability.

The Walking Dead S11E13 Time-Traveled More Than Doctor Who: Review
Image: AMC Networks

Gabriel & Aaron: Marquand and Gilliam have amazing chemistry together, and they're a pairing that hopefully gets more opportunities to shine in the show's now-brief future or in a spinoff. As agnostic as we may be, Gilliam's Gabriel gives the kind of sermon that would get us up on a Sunday morning. And it's during Gabriel's sermon that it becomes clear from the look on Aaron's face that Aaron is also a man of faith… faith in his friend & post-apocalyptic family member Gabriel. For his part, Gabriel officially became the voice of the "common sense" viewer with some great lines echoing exactly what we were thinking (especially about the plan to enter that building). As for Aaron, we can't help but see more and more "Rick Grimes" in him with each chapter.

The Walking Dead S11E13 Time-Traveled More Than Doctor Who: Review
Image: Screencap

Toby & Lance: Well, there goes any thoughts anyone had that Lance was just misunderstood and that the Commonwealth has good intentions. With only three episodes left in Part 2 before this fall's (we're assuming) final run, it felt like it was the right time to get some clarity. Lance is a lethal combination of someone who carries a chip on his shoulder for not being respected by those he not only looks up to but also protected with someone whose hunger for power can never be satiated. With Toby, we had a bit of an emotional bait-and-switch. On one hand, you might find yourself feeling bad for the ex-CIA officer when we see how Lance plays him big time into slipping back into his old intelligence ways to lead a stealth "clean-up" mission with Aaron & Gabriel as the Trojan horses. But then you see the ease at which he's willing to revert to torture or throwing people off of buildings to get what he wants, and you realize that Toby was just a rabid dog who let himself go dormant for a while. It was never a matter of if he would return to his CIA ways but when. Also, I wasn't sure how to read the scene that the screencap above is from. Was Toby just threatening Lance or was there some implied intimate history between them?

The Walking Dead S11E13 Time-Traveled More Than Doctor Who: Review
THE WALKING DEAD (Image: Screencap)

RANDOM THOUGHTS: Holy crap, enough with the time-jumping! So far this season, The Walking Dead has done more "time-traveling" than the last season of Doctor Who. We flash ahead six months, then we go back five months before creeping forward again. This week, there were so many weeks, days & hours jumps it felt like someone was fu**ing with me. also, as much as we're also stanning Elijah & Lydia as a couple, this wave of potential couplings we've been getting has been both great and cruel considering this is the final season. And speaking of sexy potential couples, we're all-in on learning more about Negan & Annie's (Happy! star Medina Senghore) new group, and how the mysterious attacks and smaller subgroups are adding to the tension. Maybe "fun" isn't the right word considering the seriousness of it all but… yeah, it's fun. And finally, we would be remiss if we didn't give special props to geekdom legend Michael Biehn (The Terminator, Aliens, Tombstone) who elevated Ian from being just another "crazed leader" to a character we could relate to in the brief time we got to know him as someone who has paid heavy prices while keeping his people alive. 

walking dead
THE WALKING DEAD (Photo Credit: Josh Stringer/AMC)
The Walking Dead Season 11 Episode 13 "Warlords"

The Walking Dead S11E13 Time-Traveled More Than Doctor Who: Review
Review by Ray Flook

8/10
Directed by Loren Yaconelli and written by Jim Barnes & Erik Mountain, this week's episode of AMC's 11th & final season of The Walking Dead finds Aaron (Ross Marquand) and Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) agreeing to serve as "ambassadors" for the Commonwealth as a favor to Josh Hamilton's Hornsby to make contact with a new community. Not surprisingly, things don't go so well and the next thing we know Maggie (Lauren Cohan), Lydia (Cassady McClincy), and Elijah (Okea Eme-Akwari) are pulled into a bad situation that very quickly (and in great cliffhanger fashion) that quickly shifts gears from bad to worse. And unlike in the comics, a very familiar face returns tonight in a way that sets up things nicely for what's to come.

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Ray FlookAbout Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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