AMC’s The Walking Dead
11×16: “Acts of God”
Directed by Catriona McKenzie
Written by Nicole Mirante-Matthews
* For a recap & review of 11×15, click here.
* For a recap & review of 11×17, click here.
We start with Hilltop in a mess. There’s smoke and blood everywhere. And… locusts?! So, we skip back to 19 Hours and One Act of God Ago. Maggie and Hershel are headed through the gates of Hilltop. Hornsby’s with his soldiers, dividing them into teams for whatever’s he preparing next. Daryl’s with Aaron and Gabriel, playing along as members of the Commonwealth and helping soldiers search through a house.
In the woods, Maggie tells Hershel he may not like where they’re going but it’s “the right choice for now.” She tells him everything she ever does is for him and to keep them safe. And Hershel trusts his mother. They soon come upon Lydia, who leads them into the woods further.
Hornsby’s tasked a bunch of his men to be part of a crew with Leah. Looks like he wants to take mercenary revenge on Maggie. Oh, my. Hornsby charges Leah with killing Maggie, and he wants visual confirmation; sick bastard. Elsewhere, Lydia brings Maggie and the others to a trap door in the forest floor, beneath which are Negan and the others from the building. Maggie tells Negan and Annie about the coming fight. He doesn’t want to sit by, he wants to join the fight, too. Maggie wants Annie and Negan to do their part to keep Hilltop safe; if not the actual physical place, at least the people in the community. We do get a wonderful moment where Maggie says that she appreciates Negan protecting Hershel before. In a sense, that makes them good. And now, Negan will protect the child again.
And the locusts? They continue flying overhead.
Hornsby wants one more sweep through the area. The soldiers do their thing while Daryl, Aaron, and Gabriel follow along until the trio realise it’s time to start shooting to save their own lives. And a gunfight ensues. Daryl, Aaron, and Gabriel take down the soldiers but they also have to deal with zombies coming from the forest surrounding them. Doesn’t take long for these pros to get things under control. They ask the last living soldier where to find Hornsby, threatening him with a brutal zombie fate or giving up info. The soldier caves and says Hornsby should be around ten miles away. That’s when Hornsby calls on the radio and Daryl answers. Uh oh! Daryl, Aaron, and Gabriel now know that Hornsby’s going after Maggie next. At the same time, Maggie, Elijah, and Lydia are gearing up for the fight, too.
Leah and her stealth mercenaries are slipping into Hilltop undetected in the night, grappling their way up into the big house. They search in the dark for Maggie, finding only a booby-trapped explosive device. You can be sure that’s not the end of this fight. Poor Marco gets killed in the aftermath as Leah comes out of the house firing, moving through the smoke and the locusts like a Terminator. We’re back to the first scene with Lance standing on the edge of Hilltop, looking into the locust-filled sky. He calls Leah but realises she’s on her own mission, unbothered by his men dying, what she calls “collateral damage.” Things have officially gone off the rails.
Maggie splits off on her own, sending Elijah and Lydia together. She doesn’t want to put anybody else in harm’s way, knowing that Leah is out for revenge. Daryl also figures out it’s Leah in the forest. Will that make it easier for him to track her down?
Back at the Commonwealth, Max has smuggled more info out for her friends, albeit not without some trouble and having to deal with creepy Sebastian. Connie knows there’s more to all the info, but it’s coded; they need a key to crack the code, then they’ll know what’s really going on in the Commonwealth. If they can find the truth, they can start “an uprising.” The gang now has a new friend to help, too: Ezekiel.
Maggie quietly kills a walker, listening to the sounds of the forest around her. Then suddenly, she sees Leah in the distance and begins to fire. She hears Leah cry out when a bullet hits its mark. She looks for the blood trail to follow but Leah still manages to get the jump on her, knocking her out cold. Some time later Maggie wakes, tied to a chair at the end of Leah’s gun. They’re back in that old cabin. Leah not only wants to kill Maggie she wants to kill everybody the latter loves. But Maggie slips her hands free and attacks Leah. The two women get down to a nasty knife fight, beating each other brutally while trying to get the upper hand. Leah gets on top of Maggie and nearly stabs her to death when Daryl shoots Leah from the doorway, saving Maggie. Just in time for Hornsby and the soldiers to arrive. Daryl fires one shot at them before they slip out the back, and the bullet graves Hornsby’s face, pissing him off even more.
The press smear on Pamela’s begun.
Alexandria is under Commonwealth rule.
Maggie is Commonwealth Public Enemy No. 1.
Is there war in the future? Oh, you can be sure of that. Especially considering Hornsby’s leaving war crimes up to a flip of a coin.