AMC’s The Walking Dead
11×21: “Outpost 22”
Directed by Tawnia McKiernan
Written by Jim Barnes
* For a recap & review of 11×20, click here.
* For a recap & review of 11×22, click here.
More flashbacks come to us until we’re back with Maggie, who was abducted and taken by Commonwealth soldiers like most of her other friends. She’s zip-tied but able to get loose, bringing Gabriel back to consciousness. After all, they’ve been drugged with something. Maggie gets Gabriel loose from his ties and he does the same for Rosita, all while the soldier guarding them sleeps their way through the ride. Rosita and Gabriel make it out of the truck, but the soldier wakes and grabs Maggie. There’s gunfire, and then there’s a crash. Thankfully, Maggie’s okay, but now she’s stranded on the road. More soldiers are nearby, so Maggie heads into the dark woods to take cover.
Rosita comes to just as a zombified Commonwealth soldiers stumbles onto her and Gabriel laying off the roadside. They work together to finish the walker off. They’re able to listen to the soldiers over the radio and they’re not that far off. Meanwhile, Ezekiel and the others remain on a bus with bags over their heads. Everyone’s slowly coming to because they’ve apparently reached their destination: a labour camp.
A man explains there are no names at this place; he doesn’t tell them his and urges everybody not to call each other by their names. A bunch of people are taken from the bus while others are left; they’re headed elsewhere. Annie and Negan are split up, too.
“The world works when
everyone knows their place.”
Maggie’s out in the woods alone when she comes upon a little boy zombie. All she can think of is Hershel. She can’t bring herself to kill the undead child, so she sidesteps it and walks off. The same zombie kid later offers Maggie an opportunity to take out a soldier, but then it tries to chomp her. She holds the child down, not wanting to have to kill it. But eventually she does what’s necessary, sinking a railroad spike into the zombie child’s brain. At the same time, Rosita and Gabriel have no idea where to go out in the forest, so they simply start heading for any direction, hoping it’ll get them somewhere. They quickly run into a couple walkers out of the woods and Rosita dislocates her arm. She directs Gabriel how to help her put it back in place. Ouch. Rosita wants to keep on going but Gabriel says they ought to rest. Then they hear the sound of a train in the distance.
In the woods, Daryl and Carol watch the convoy of Commonwealth soldiers meet up with the train, which is carrying several vehicles, among other things. They also see Connie tied and being delivered to the soldiers. Carol and Daryl intercept a message over the radio; apparently Connie isn’t being sent to work, but rather something called “Designation Two.” Hmm, what could that be? Does it have something to do with the As we’ve seen before? Could Designation Two refer to the Bs? (That’s a theory online; not mine.) By the sounds of the soldiers, Designation Two is… something serious. Right now, Daryl and Carol are trying to figure out what’s the next best step. It isn’t long until they run into Maggie, still cradling the dead zombie kid.
A while later, Maggie, Carol, and Daryl meet up with Gabriel and Rosita again down the road. Daryl talks with an injured Commonwealth soldier, who’ll surely soon die, asking the man to do “one good thing” with his wretched life. He asks about the train and Designation Two. The soldier says nothing, though. Daryl’s ready to kill the soldier when Gabriel says he recognises the guy from church. The soldier asks if God forgives people like him and says he’s full of shame. Gabriel tells him that God sees those who try to do right. “The end of each story is very important,” he says. The soldier tells them about the labour camp where everyone’s taken, and he says he’s heard rumours of Designation Two, that people are taken “somewhere far away and they‘re never seen again.” Gabriel sits to pray with the dying man, before making sure the soldier doesn’t reanimate.
At the labour camp, Negan and everybody else are put to work. Kelly wants to make a run for it, though Ezekiel cautions her against it. Negan tries to find out about Annie and he gets hit in the face with a soldier’s baton. Several people do try to run and they’re immediately gunned down in the forest before the Commonwealth soldiers make everybody else get back to work. Escape, especially a half-planned one, is futile.
The train continues down the tracks but there’s a stuck junction switch and it has to stop a moment. One soldier kills a couple zombies on the track while the train’s driver attempts to contact Outpost 22, the labour camp. Maggie interrupts the driver, as Daryl and the others work to neutralise the soldiers with the train. Gunfire soon erupts. Our survivors exchange bullets with the soldiers. One soldier holds Connie at gunpoint but she gets free. Daryl chases the soldier but the latter takes off on one of the motorcycles the train was transporting. Perfect time for Daryl to hop back on a bike and go for a chase. He pursues the soldier through the trails in the forest and eventually uses the bike to take the guy down.
Then Daryl puts a knife through the soldier’s brain.
The train’s driver worries the warden of Outpost 22 will find out he helped the survivors and his family will suffer. He’s ready to kill himself. And then he does. So, no help from him. At the labour camp, the rest of our survivors eat the sloppy, watery gruel served to them, and they keep on keeping on. They can’t do much else at the moment. Kelly’s lost and tormented without knowing Connie is safe.
Negan sits behind Ezekiel for a sneaky chat, though the former King isn’t a big fan of the former violent gang leader. Negan agrees he probably belongs in a place like that. But he doesn’t think Ezekiel, or Annie, or his unborn child belong there. He wants them to put aside past differences so they can work together for the better of everybody. He says they need to use hope to start a rebellion, and that is Ezekiel’s wheelhouse. Ezekiel believes they “need a spark” to get to people, but it’s hard in a place where they can’t use each other’s names and they’re barely able to talk to one another. Also, it seems like Negan’s ready to give up his life in order to help the others escape. Will he make the ultimate sacrifice if necessary?
At night, the soldiers round up the labour camp workers to head out. Back at the current hideout, Rosita calls Outpost 22 claiming the train was overtaken. A voice on the other end of the radio gives directions back to the outpost, which is embedded in a suburb: a familiar one called Alexandria. Oh, wow! Maggie and the others are ready to take Alexandria and their kids, along with their friends, back with force.