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"Acheron: Part II" is the second episode of the eleventh season of AMC's The Walking Dead. It is the one-hundred and fifty-fifth episode of the series overall. It premiered on August 29, 2021. It was written by Angela Kang & Jim Barnes and directed by Kevin Dowling.[1]

Plot

Maggie's mission takes the team through a subway tunnel, challenged by lurking walkers and a recalcitrant Negan. With Eugene's group, Yumiko seeks answers about her brother and demands expedited processing into the Commonwealth.

Synopsis

Having been abandoned by Negan, Maggie loses her grip and falls off the train car. She tries to climb once more, but is grabbed and pulled down again by a walker. Maggie fends off the approaching horde with her pistol until she runs out of ammo, at which point the walkers descend upon her. Meanwhile, the rest of the group makes it inside the train car, but finds that the doors to the adjacent car are rusted shut. When Negan comes down, the group inquires about Maggie's whereabouts, to which Negan claims she was right behind him. Alden wishes to go back up and get her, but Frost dissuades him from this, as he considers it suicidal. Although clearly upset, Gabriel decides to continue the mission.

Having followed Dog, Daryl knocks a hole in the wall and squeezes through. Inside the tunnel, he finds the remnants of a survivor camp, as well as some graffiti depicting the Fall.

At the Commonwealth interrogation center, Yumiko concludes that the Commonwealth is indeed real, based on the notice board she found. Juanita comes to the same conclusion, although she gets lost in her own train of thought. With that, Yumiko determines that the best course of action is to talk to the person in charge, while being cold as ice. Juanita questions whether Yumiko is capable of this, since her brother is involved, but Yumiko assures Princess that it comes naturally to her, since she was a lawyer. Yumiko goes on, but Juanita shushes her as the same trooper that encountered them during their escape attempt walks by. Princess thinks the guard knows they tried to escape, but Yumiko is skeptical of this, as they haven't been confronted about it yet. Just then, Eugene arrives and informs them that Ezekiel is gone, with the guards having taken him somewhere, apparently. Eugene starts to panic, believing that the guards know they tried to escape, and suggests they come clean about who they really are. Yumiko firmly tells him to not talk to the Commonwealth's law enforcement, or stick to the story if he has to. When Princess asks what they should do, Yumiko gets up and demands to know where Ezekiel was taken, and then to speak to the person in charge.

Back at the subway, Daryl finds a bag with some food in it. Upon inspection, he discovers a note scribbled on a one-hundred-dollar-bill, left by a boy to his father. He also finds a picture of the boy, Tom, and his sister, Jesse. Dog discovers a walker in a sleeping bag, so Daryl puts it down. It is then that he notices a map of the subway on the wall above. Suddenly, a loud noise is heard followed by a scream. Chasing after it, Dog jumps into a pipe, forcing Daryl to crawl in after him.

Yumiko is put back in the interrogation room, with the interrogators apparently being the ones in charge. Clark says she isn't sure why Yumiko is talking to them, since she had already been assessed, but the latter asserts that she was the one assessing them instead. She goes on to deduce that their community is large and organized, with a bureaucracy the interrogators are a part of. She also believes the interrogators had similar jobs before the apocalypse, guessing that Clark was a forensic psychologist and Evans an academic researcher. With their role being to assess threats to their community, Yumiko determines that the reason the interrogators asked about their past lives is because someone above them determined that was a good position from which to judge who they were in the present. She also deduces that their currency is the US dollar, as they hounded one of her companions over a $2 bill, with the reason for this being their need to strictly control the amount in circulation. Yumiko also believes the Commonwealth uses old currency as a symbol to remind people of the days before the fall. While she understands their need to determine whether she and her companions are an asset or a liability, she asserts that the Commonwealth needs to justify its existence, too. Taunting her interrogators, Yumiko hypothesizes that manual laborers are more valuable nowadays that someone who can write endless lists of questions, when at the end of the day, they still need to rely on their gut instinct. She pegs the interrogators as people who follow rules, which she likes, as she was a lawyer once, and goes on to proclaim that they need her. Yumiko says that she has reason to believe her brother is alive in the Commonwealth and, thus, requests expedited processing for her and her group. With that, Mercer enters the room, and offers Yumiko a cup of coffee.

Outside the interrogation room, Eugene asks Juanita to stop fidgeting, as she is making him more nervous than he already is. Princess replies that she can't help it, as she needs to pee. Finally, she decides to ask for a bathroom, but Eugene protests the idea of her splitting off. Juanita assures him that, since Mercer walked into the interrogation room with a coffee, things must be going well with Yumiko. She then asks a nearby trooper for the bathroom in Spanish, and is excited that they have working toilets and even toilet paper.

While Daryl is crawling through the pipe, the rest of the group finally manage to pry the door open and move forward to the next car. Suddenly, they hear banging beneath them, specifically signaling SOS in Morse code. When they open the trap door, Maggie climbs into the subway car, revealed to have survived. Furious, she pistol-whips Negan for his betrayal, and explains to the others what had happened. Negan readily admits his culpability. Alden accuses Negan of trying to kill Maggie, but the latter corrects him, explaining that he simply opted not to save her when she was in trouble. The other Wardens threaten Negan, but he remains unrepentant, noting that Maggie openly admitted to wanting him dead. With that in mind, he doesn't see why he should have risked his life for her. He goes on to point out he has been a great asset to the group. Alden reminds him that he burned Hilltop to the ground, but Negan retorts that he also killed Alpha and that, if he hadn't, every person they know would be dead. Agatha offers to kill Negan, assuring Maggie that they can get through the city without him. Before anything can happen, they hear someone yelling for help from the back of the train car. They find Gage trapped in the last car, unable to open the door. He explains that he and Roy got lost in the tunnels. Gage, however, neglected to close the door behind him when he entered the car, allowing walkers to pour in. Negan asks for help to pry the door open and let Gage in, but Maggie opposes this, as this would also allow walkers to get inside their car as well. In spite of this, Alden tries to help Negan open the door, but is prevented from doing so by Duncan. Gage pleads with Maggie to save him, apologizing for his mistake and promising to do better. Alden also tries pleading with Maggie, but she is adamant that they don't have the ammo to clear the walkers. Gabriel supports Maggie's decision, while she regretfully informs Gage that she can't open the door for him. Bitter, Gage names her a liar, before stabbing himself in the chest to spare himself the pain of being torn apart by walkers, which he is shortly after.

Outside the interrogation room, Eugene fidgets nervously. He decides to ask the guard when Yumiko will be done. To Eugene's bewilderment, the guard informs him that no one is in the room. Puzzled, Eugene asks about Juanita instead, but the guard claims to have no idea who he is talking about, before ordering Eugene to leave.

As Frost and Duncan try to open the door to the front car, Negan nervously paces. When Gabriel asks what's wrong, Negan simply replies "bad memories," but doesn't elaborate further. Maggie, meanwhile, stares at the walker-infested car just long enough to see Gage rise and join the horde. Alden notices the group is avoiding looking at Gage, and wonders why. Gabriel coldly states that the zombified Gage is merely a shell of a man who died a coward. Alden protests that, while Gage might have been scared, he didn't deserve to die in the worst way imaginable. Maggie, however, cryptically points out there are worse ways. She recounts how, before she joined the Wardens, she spent a lot of time alone with Hershel. One day, they came across a frail old man, who asked them for help in return for food. Although Maggie knew the man was lying, but she was starving, so decided to go through with it. Once at the man's house, she held a knife to his throat and searched his pockets, where she found a chloroform rag he was planning to use on her. Once she smothered him with it, Maggie entered the house and locked Hershel in a room, after which she searched the building and killed three more members of the man's group. She, however, heard thudding coming from the attic. Thinking the group might have been keeping prisoners, Maggie decided to investigate. Once upstairs, she discovered a zombified woman with all her limbs, eyes, tongue, and even vocal cords removed, while inside her belly there was something that was trying to get out. In the attic, there were three more just like her, only still alive. Despite the horrific discovery, the very first thought that crossed Maggie's mind was that, if they're alive, there must be food in the house. After she killed them, Maggie did indeed find lots of food. She somberly tells Alden that she doesn't feel anything when she tells him that story, because seeing what's out there made her lose something. She, however, doesn't believe it's a bad thing, because it's made things a lot clearer. What they had in Alexandria, and what they had in Hilltop and Meridian, must be rare. Because if it isn't, Negan finishes, it means they were lucky, and that nobody had, has, or will have it figured out.

Nearing the end of the pipe, Daryl becomes trapped when a couple of walkers lean against the grating and slam it shut. Meanwhile, another walker is crawling after him, but Daryl manages to kill it in time. He busts out of the pipe and kills the remaining two walkers. Inside the tunnel, he finds a trail of blood and hears Dog barking. It isn't long before he comes across an injured Roy stumbling down the tunnel. Roy meekly asks for help before collapsing. After dispatching the walkers that were following Roy, Daryl comes to his side. He asked Roy if he went outside, and the latter confirms, acknowledging that it was a bad idea. He also says that he lost Gage, as well as the ammo bag he was carrying. When Daryl tries to tend to his wounds, Roy stops him, and instead hands Daryl remaining weapons, his pistol and grenade. Roy's only request is that Daryl tell his kids he didn't die a coward.

Frost and Duncan finally manage to pry open the door, but find the next one blocked. The door holding back the walkers, meanwhile, begins to give way. Duncan desperately tries to smash the door of the front car down, while the rest of the group gets ready to fight the walkers. The door to the rear car finally breaks under the horde's mass, and walkers begin to descend on the survivors. In the tunnel, Daryl hears the gunshots and rushes to the survivors' aid. Despite the group's valiant defense, the horde slowly advances. Meanwhile, having made a small hap in the door, Duncan discovers that walkers are coming from the front cart as well. Out of necessity, Maggie hands Negan her pistol, which he uses to fend off zombies from the front car. Meanwhile, Daryl sneaks up behind the walkers in the front car and begins to dispatch the walkers with Roy's pistol. Out of ammo, the survivors must resort to melee weapons. Luckily, Daryl reaches the blocked door in time and is able to open it. Once everyone's inside, he shoves a grenade into a walkers mouth and pushes it into the horde, before slamming the door shut and taking cover. In the ensuing explosion, the remaining walkers are killed.

Inside his cell, Eugene sharpens a piece of wood into a stake, and hides it in his sleeve just before the guards arrive. He is taken to an interrogation room, where Evans and Mercer await him. Eugene inquires about his companions, but Mercer simply replies that they're being processed. Mercer asks if Eugene likes feeling nervous, and goes on to state that the only time his heart is racing is when he is fighting against the dead. He offers Eugene a tissue to wipe himself off, but goes on to observe that Eugene can't lie for shit, so warns him against it. Eugene claims he wasn't going to lie, which Mercer is pleased to hear. Mercer states that he knows Eugene is holding back, and orders him to truthfully answer two questions. If he does that, Mercer claims, he'll get to see his friends again. Mercer then asks Eugene where his settlement is, and why he was at the train station. Before Eugene can answer, Mercer again warns him against lying, as he will know if he does. Eugene admits to holding something back, and claims he wanted to speak up sooner, but was afraid of what his friends might think. He says that, during their travels, he found a radio, and would speak into the void hoping for an answer. Then, one night, a woman answered. The two bonded over certain topics and eventually decided they wanted to meet. Under the guise of asking for help, he talked his friends into coming with him, because he knew they wouldn't go otherwise. In truth, however, all Eugene was thinking about was Stephanie. Thus, Eugene confesses to lying to his friends for fear of losing them, and lying to Stephanie about being from a large settlement for fear of her not being who she said she was. He also admits to having difficulties with relationships, and to being a virgin. He was hoping Stephanie was his "one true love," and is afraid that if she finds out he wasn't honest with her she might reject him.

With a bag over his head, Eugene is taken to a train car where he is overjoyed to be reunited with his friends. He asks Ezekiel where the soldiers took him, but the latter says it was to the infirmary, where they gave him a syrup for his cough. Their conversation is cut short when Mercer strides into the room. He formally admits them into the Commonwealth, and sarcastically comments that they'll be escorted by a "beat cop." Before walking away, he indignantly informs Ezekiel he went to West Point. Mercer then knocks twice on the door. When it opens, a woman steps in who introduces herself as Stephanie.

After retrieving Roy, Maggie's group finally makes it to the surface. Negan dutifully hands Maggie her gun back, while Daryl looks over the note he found. Agatha asks if they'll be heading out, but Maggie says they'll take a detour first to Arbor Hills, where there is a hidden supply depot set up by Georgie. She asks Negan if he knows where that is, and he confirms, offering to lead the way. Upon arriving to their location, the group is alarmed by the sight of bodies strung up all along the road they're on. Suddenly, the group is showered with arrows and throwing knives, killing Roy, and severely injuring Cole. As the group scrambles for cover, they see a group of Reapers advancing towards them.

Other Cast

Co-Stars

Uncredited

Deaths

  • Gage (Alive and Zombified)
  • Roy
  • 4 unnamed attackers (Confirmed Fate)
  • 4 unnamed female victims (Confirmed Fate)
  • 1 unborn child (Confirmed Fate)
  • Many unnamed victims of the Reapers (Confirmed Fate)

Trivia

  • First appearance of Vazquez.
  • First appearance of Stephanie.
  • First appearance of Deaver.
  • First appearance of Fisher.
  • First appearance of Bossie.
  • First appearance of Powell.
  • First appearance of Paul Wells.
  • First appearance of Washington.
  • First appearance of Ancheta.
  • First appearance of Boone.
  • First appearance of Austin.
  • First appearance of Nicholls.
  • First appearance of Michael Turner.
  • First (and last) appearance of Tom. (Photograph)
  • First (and last) appearance of Jesse. (Photograph)
  • Last appearance of Gage.
    • With Gage's death, none of the Hilltop teenagers that Henry befriended are still alive. In addition, none of the people who tried to kill Lydia in "Silence the Whisperers" are alive anymore either.
  • Last appearance of Roy. (Alive)
  • The title of the episode, "Acheron", refers to one of the rivers of the underworld within Greek mythology, which was known as the "river of woe".
  • This episode was available for streaming to subscribers of AMC Premiere on August 22, 2021.
  • This episode marks Callan McAuliffe's 25th appearance on the TV Series.
  • As revealed in Maggie's story, even unborn children can become walkers.
    • Maggie's story is very similar to the events of the X-Files episode "Home".
    • Lori Grimes expresses the fear of this happening with her unborn baby to Hershel in "Seed".
  • Daryl uses his morning star from the episode of the same name.
  • The walker that Dog tackles in the tunnels was played by one of Seven's trainers.
  • Eugene is confirmed to be a virgin.
  • The formation that the group uses to fight the herd in the train car is similar to what the Coalition was practicing on the Oceanside beach in "Lines We Cross".
  • Maggie crawling under the train to escape the walkers is similar to her husband Glenn crawling under the dumpster in "Heads Up".
  • The original plot summary for the episode was as follows: The group discovers a member did not make it to safety inside the subway car. Surrounded by walkers, going back out into the tunnel to search is a guaranteed death wish. All eyes are on Negan as the rule of survival shifts. It is no longer No Man Left Behind. The motto now is We Keep Going. With very little ammo and energy remaining, the group must ready themselves as the walkers have found a way inside the subway train. Meanwhile, Daryl is in his own intense hellish situation trying to find Dog and finding more than he expected; and Yumiko challenges the process at the Commonwealth outpost, which threatens her future and that of Eugene, Ezekiel, and Princess.

Comic Parallels

  • Eugene and his group being interrogated is adapted from Issue 175.
  • Eugene meeting "Stephanie" for the first time is adapted from Issue 176.

References

Episodes of The Walking Dead
Season 1 "Days Gone Bye" • "Guts" • "Tell It to the Frogs" • "Vatos" • "Wildfire" • "TS-19"
Season 2 "What Lies Ahead" • "Bloodletting" • "Save the Last One" • "Cherokee Rose" • "Chupacabra" • "Secrets" • "Pretty Much Dead Already" • "Nebraska" • "Triggerfinger" • "18 Miles Out" • "Judge, Jury, Executioner" • "Better Angels" • "Beside the Dying Fire"
Season 3 "Seed" • "Sick" • "Walk With Me" • "Killer Within" • "Say the Word" • "Hounded" • "When the Dead Come Knocking" • "Made to Suffer" • "The Suicide King" • "Home" • "I Ain't a Judas" • "Clear" • "Arrow on the Doorpost" • "Prey" • "This Sorrowful Life" • "Welcome to the Tombs"
Season 4 "30 Days Without An Accident" • "Infected" • "Isolation" • "Indifference" • "Internment" • "Live Bait" • "Dead Weight" • "Too Far Gone" • "After" • "Inmates" • "Claimed" • "Still" • "Alone" • "The Grove" • "Us" • "A"
Season 5 "No Sanctuary" • "Strangers" • "Four Walls and a Roof" • "Slabtown" • "Self Help" • "Consumed" • "Crossed" • "Coda" • "What Happened and What's Going On" • "Them" • "The Distance" • "Remember" • "Forget" • "Spend" • "Try" • "Conquer"
Season 6 "First Time Again" • "JSS" • "Thank You" • "Here's Not Here" • "Now" • "Always Accountable" • "Heads Up" • "Start to Finish" • "No Way Out" • "The Next World" • "Knots Untie" • "Not Tomorrow Yet" • "The Same Boat" • "Twice as Far" • "East" • "Last Day on Earth"
Season 7 "The Day Will Come When You Won't Be" • "The Well" • "The Cell" • "Service" • "Go Getters" • "Swear" • "Sing Me a Song" • "Hearts Still Beating" • "Rock in the Road" • "New Best Friends" • "Hostiles and Calamities" • "Say Yes" • "Bury Me Here" • "The Other Side" • "Something They Need" • "The First Day of the Rest of Your Life"
Season 8 "Mercy" • "The Damned" • "Monsters" • "Some Guy" • "The Big Scary U" • "The King, the Widow, and Rick" • "Time for After" • "How It's Gotta Be" • "Honor" • "The Lost and the Plunderers" • "Dead or Alive Or" • "The Key" • "Do Not Send Us Astray" • "Still Gotta Mean Something" • "Worth" • "Wrath"
Season 9 "A New Beginning" • "The Bridge" • "Warning Signs" • "The Obliged" • "What Comes After" • "Who Are You Now?" • "Stradivarius" • "Evolution" • "Adaptation" • "Omega" • "Bounty" • "Guardians" • "Chokepoint" • "Scars" • "The Calm Before" • "The Storm"
Season 10 "Lines We Cross" • "We Are the End of the World" • "Ghosts" • "Silence the Whisperers" • "What It Always Is" • "Bonds" • "Open Your Eyes" • "The World Before" • "Squeeze" • "Stalker" • "Morning Star" • "Walk With Us" • "What We Become" • "Look at the Flowers" • "The Tower" • "A Certain Doom" • "Home Sweet Home" • "Find Me" • "One More" • "Splinter" • "Diverged" • "Here's Negan"
Season 11 "Acheron: Part I" • "Acheron: Part II" • "Hunted" • "Rendition" • "Out of the Ashes" • "On the Inside" • "Promises Broken" • "For Blood"
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