The Walking Dead 1102 – Acheron Part 2
Warning: Review contains spoilers!
For some, public transit can be murder and unfortunately for Maggie, things don’t seem to be any better after the apocalypse. Acheron: Part 2 picks up a few seconds before the end of last week’s season premiere and features Maggie fighting off a hoard of walkers after being abandoned by Negan. With Maggie’s fate in doubt, the scene shifts inside the subway where the rest of the group, minus Daryl try to get their bearings. Negan lies about Maggie’s whereabouts effectively torching any of the goodwill he may have built up recently. Sometimes you’re able to put aside the past and root for Negan but then he does something to remind you of how terrible he can be. It’s not that his doubts where Maggie is concerned aren’t valid it’s how he literally threw her under the train to save himself that stings.
Further along the tunnel, Daryl’s pursuit of Dog finds him in an abandoned encampment. It is littered with corpses, remnants of the old world and signs of despair spray painted on the walls. An enormous mural covers one of the walls with grim images of society’s fall, people wearing crowns and a cryptic message “Your crown for your life” written across a segment of it. Daryl gets lost in the stories of those who once owned the belongings in the tunnel until something catches his eye. He discovers what looks like a map but his chance to delve deeper into what he’s found is cut short when Dog hears a noise and scampers down a nearby tunnel.
The revelation that Yumiko has someone in the Commonwealth looking for her has her feeling optimistic. Absent the random chaos of the outside world, the Commonwealth appears to have laws and a structure that resembles what society used to be. Utilizing her skills as a lawyer she aims to get some answers from someone in charge and after confronting one of the guards she gets her wish. Back in the interrogation room she puts her skills to good use and flips the script on those who normally do the enquiring. She demands to see her brother but ends up meeting Mercer instead.
Back in the tunnels Maggie’s reappearance on the scene coincides with Gage’s and the result is both unexpected and unsettling. Scrambling into the subway car she comes face to face with Negan. The reason for her unusual entrance is revealed and while Negan’s casual acknowledgement for abandoning Maggie has some merit it doesn’t earn him any marks with the group. Negan’s actions, predicated on self-preservation, plays out in a different manner, this time with Maggie making the unpopular decision. She has a chance to save Gage but stops any attempt at a potential rescue. Leaving Gage to be taken down by walkers in the other car is a cold, pragmatic decision and highlights that under certain circumstances there isn’t much that separates her from Negan.
Acheron: Part 2 is bleak examining the horrors of civilization in decay and its effects on those within it. Maggie’s recount of the horrors she witnessed while away from Alexandria and the abandoned makeshift settlements in the subway tunnels are enough to extinguish all hope for a better tomorrow. However, those images contrast the scenes involving the Commonwealth where there is a semblance of order and the promise of some sort of societal structure. Predominantly set in the tunnels and the subway Acheron: Part 2 is tense, claustrophobic and features some good action sequences. The Walking Dead’s ode to Old Boy’s hallway battle scene is one of Acheron’s highlights. One of the others features some resolution to Eugene’s arc and the unexpected appearance of Stephanie. With some great performances, nice character development, unexpected turns and the Reapers appearance in the final moments The Walking Dead’s final season is off to a strong start.