"Hunted" is the third episode of the eleventh season of AMC's The Walking Dead. It is the one-hundred and fifty-sixth episode of the series overall. It premiered on September 5, 2021. It was written by Vivian Tse and directed by Frederick E.O. Toye.
Maggie's mission team gets separated and hunted by the Reapers. Carol, Rosita, Magna, and Kelly attempt to catch horses for Alexandria. Judith, R.J., Hershel, and Gracie cope with their parents going away.
As the Reapers unleash their attack, the group scatters into the woods. Alden, Negan, and Gabriel are injured, while Cole is killed by one of the Reapers. Duncan, on the other hand, is stabbed with several throwing knives. Maggie is briefly ensnared by a whip, but Elijah comes to her aid and frees her, only to be ensnared himself and dragged off. Alone, Maggie observes her environment. Sensing a Reaper nearby, she throws Elijah's sickle at him, but misses. This, however, gives her enough time to escape.
Standing guard on Alexandria's walls, Magna aims to shoot down one of the vultures with her bow. Before she can attempt it, she is startled by the arrival of Kelly and Carol. Before she can run off, Magna stops Kelly and asks about her missing her shift with Magna. Kelly says that something came up, but promises to do her next shift with Magna. Magna gently asks if Kelly wants to talk about "it," but Kelly brushes her off. On her way to the storage room, Carol walks by Aaron and a group of Alexandrians fixing the wall. Aaron asks if she is leaving already, noting that she was supposed to help with the wall repair. Carol claims to be preoccupied, as she plans on catching Alexandria's runaway horses. Speaking from personal experience, Aaron warns her that there is little hope for her actually catching the horses, and believes repairing the walls to be more important. Carol protests that, without the horses, they won't be able to scavenge far or move anything heavy, meaning they will starve.
Judith, Gracie, R.J., and Hershel are playing cards. Hershel asks Judith if she is ever afraid when her mom goes away, but Judith says she's used to it, jokingly mimicking their goodbye speeches. Hershel somberly notes how the adults say the same lines they used to before when they went out, but can't promise to come back safely nowadays. Judith says it's just to make them feel better, but Hershel believes it's to make themselves feel better. Still, Judith proudly proclaims that her mom always comes back, which R.J. agrees with.
Trudging on alone, Maggie approaches a shopping mall. While trying to find a way in, she is startled by a throwing knife narrowly missing her. Scrambling, she finds a different door and enters the building. After exiting the stairwell, she constructs a makeshift alarm by positioning glass bottles on the door handles. She crosses the empty shopping mall and climbs up another stairwell. She is attacked by a walker, but manages to kill it and throw it over the railing, albeit dropping her flashlight in the process. Climbing up one floor, she inspects the way she came with her lighter, while a Reaper sneaks up behind her. Before he can kill her, both are alerted by the sound of glass breaking, giving Maggie the chance to dodge the Reaper's attack and kick him through the railing and down the staircase. When she inspects it, however, Maggie doesn't see the Reaper's body, and soon enough hears the footsteps of her pursuer running up towards her.
Gabriel lies injured in the forest, his leg impaled with a knife. He silently prays, before spotting a lone Reaper limping off. With newfound determination, Gabriel pulls the knife out from his leg and sets off in pursuit of the Reaper.
On the upper floor of the shopping mall, Maggie is reunited with Alden, but before they can even catch their breath, both are attacked by a pair of Reapers. Maggie struggles against the Reaper she encountered earlier, but is eventually able to stab him in the neck with a broken bottle. Out of nowhere, Negan helps Maggie by finishing the Reaper off with his crowbar. Maggie throws a knife into the back of the remaining Reaper, but before they can kill him, the Reaper throws a flashbang, stunning both Negan and Maggie. In the brief moments it takes them to recover, they find the Reaper gone, along with the body of the Reaper they managed to kill. Rushing to Alden's aid, Maggie finds that he has been gravely injured in the attack. Maggie tries to help Alden up, but Negan is flabbergasted that Maggie wants to keep going. He asks what the plan is, to which Maggie resolutely replies the plan doesn't change; they will reunite with the others and then retrieve the food. Negan retorts that the others might be dead, and lambasts Maggie's plan. Knowing quite a bit about theatrics, he observes that the Reapers demonstrated just how insane they are, and warns that they can't be on any road they might use. Maggie snaps back at Negan and invites him to come up with a better plan that doesn't result in them starving. Negan assures Maggie he is on her side, so Maggie asks him to help her carry Alden.
In the woods, Carol, Magna, and Kelly stumble upon Rosita picking mushrooms. Rosita is keeping herself busy while Gabriel's on a mission, so gladly joins Carol and the rest in their attempt to retrieve horses. When they finally find them, they try several times to carefully to sneak up on them, but fail, as the horses get spooked before they can lasso them. Catching up with Carol, Rosita confides in her that she's been having dreams about Abraham recently. In her dreams, Abraham tries to tell Rosita something important, but just as he's about to, he gets shot in the head. Rosita used to be disturbed by this dream, but now believes it to be a message for them, although she doesn't know what Abraham is trying to say. Magna, meanwhile, tells Kelly that she read that if horses let you touch their ear, it means they trust you. Kelly asks if Magna thinks they'll catch them, but the latter isn't sure, since horses are wild creatures.
After taking a short break, Maggie determines they have 2 miles left to reach their destination. Continuing on, they hear a woman's screams while she's fighting walkers. Maggie and Alden hurry to help, much to Negan's chagrin. The woman turns out to be Agatha, defending a mortally wounded Duncan. After helping Agatha, Maggie apologizes to Duncan, but he brushes it off, as he considers them to have been lucky. With his dying breath, Duncan asks Maggie to make sure Agatha gets home. When he passes away, Maggie mournfully stabs him in the head to prevent him from reanimating.
Carol and her companions continue their search, until they discover the mutilated bodies of several horses. Kelly is distraught by the sight, while Magna comforts her. Despite this, Carol wishes to continue the search. Rosita protests that they can continue tomorrow, but Carol is adamant. Noticing her distress, Magna comforts Carol with a hug, convincing her to call of the search. On their way back, Kelly assures Carol they'll get them next time. Rosita, however, hear hoofbeats and realizes they still have a chance to catch the horses. In a clearing, they see five horses galloping. Rosita notes the horses are running towards the dairy farm, which has paddocks where they can lock them in. At the farm, they successfully trap the horses, but have yet to catch them, until Kelly insists they drop the lassos. She thinks the horses aren't running and, in fact, want to come home. Carol manages to calm a horse down enough that it allows the women to pet it.
Gabriel finally catches up to the Reaper he'd been tracking. The Reaper, Nicholls, is grievously wounded and reciting a prayer. He greets Gabriel in a friendly manner and tells him not to be afraid, but Gabriel assures him he isn't. The Reaper goes on to declare he has been blessed, and asks Gabriel to pray for him. Furious, Gabriel points out Nicholls tried to kill his friends, but the latter retorts that they tried to kill him in turn. He asks Gabriel again to pray for him, stating that even his enemies deserve that much. Disappointed at Gabriel's continued refusal, Nicholls says that the thought Gabriel was a man of God. Gabriel coldly replies that God isn't here anymore, before murdering the Reaper.
Maggie spies on a group of walkers, while Negan observes there are twice as many as before, and implores Maggie to revise her plan. Maggie tells Negan that he is free to leave if he wishes. Negan insists that he can help her, and that he has changed in the time she's been away. Maggie, however, doesn't believe him, and bitterly tells Negan to stop pretending he is one of them, even if he believes it himself. As the group continues on, Alden asks Maggie if she's okay. Maggie assures him she can handle Negan, but this isn't what Alden was talking about. He suspects that Alexandria isn't what Maggie thought she'd be coming home to, or the place she told Hershel about. Maggie says that not much surprises her anymore, but the destruction of Hilltop did. She adds that she isn't sure Hershel is surprised by a lot of things, either. Alden assures Maggie she'll rebuild it even better than it was, and that it will probably be done by the time Adam is old enough to remember. Maggie is surprised but delighted Alden is raising a child. Before Alden can tell Maggie what to do in case he dies, she cuts him off by promising to start the rebuilding process as soon as they get back. Soon, they arrive to the sight of a walker tied to a steak and charred to the bone. The sign above labels the walker as a "Judas." Suddenly, the group is surrounded by walkers. They try to fight their way out, but Agatha is bitten in the process. To ensure the others escape, Agatha sacrifices herself to the walkers. Maggie tries to intervene, but is dragged off by Negan.
Carol and her group arrive back to Alexandria with the horses in tow, much to the joy of other Alexandrians. While they tie down the rest, Carol proceeds to lead one horse away. Magna catches up with Carol, wishing to talk. Magna requests that Carol stop giving Kelly false hope. Carol is confused, but Magna knows Carol doesn't think Connie is alive, but can't accept what it means if she isn't. Carol thinks that Magna, being Connie's family, would want to know either way, but Manga replies that she just wants her family to heal. While she is sorry for what Carol is going through, Magna nonetheless asks her to stop what she's doing, as she is just making it harder for Kelly. Carol leads the horse to the stables and gets it to lie down. After calming it, she slaughters the horse for food. Later that day, Alexandrians feast on horsemeat. The children are reluctant to eat it, but Hershel assures them it isn't that bad, or better than spiders at least. Outside, Rosita takes Coco to see the horses, while Carol washes the horse blood of her hands. Magna and Kelly eat together, until Carol arrives to take Kelly an another run, much to Magna's dismay.
Walking down the road, Maggie spots a church and decides they will take a break there. Inside, Maggie can sense Negan wants to leave Alden behind, so shoots the idea right off the bat. Alden, however, implores her to do so, as he is slowing them down. Alden goes on to state that he walked away from Negan and the Saviors and joined Maggie because he trusts her to do the right thing, no matter how much it costs her. The supplies, Alden determines, are the only thing that matters, as without them their community starves, including Adam. Maggie says that Adam needs a father, but Alden retorts that he's not likely to make it out of Meridian alive being as injured as he is, and asks that she leave him like she left Gage. Maggie replies that Gage made his choice, to which Alden states that he is making his. Alden goes on to state that, if the plan fails, everything she worked for will have been for nothing, and Adam's fate is less than certain. Negan interjects, pointing out that the sun is going down and that Maggie needs to make a decision. Snapping back, Maggie supposes being reckless with another's life is easy for Negan. She firmly tells him he doesn't get to decide who lives and who dies anymore. She goes on to blame the situation on him, claiming Negan destroyed everything they've built. Negan takes the berating in stride, but still insists Maggie has to decide. With a heavy heart, Maggie decides to leave Alden after all, albeit with food and a knife to defend himself.
- Anabelle Holloway as Gracie
- Antony Azor as R.J. Grimes
- Kien Michael Spiller as Hershel Rhee
- Marcus Lewis as Duncan
- Hans Christopher as Nicholls
- Seven as Dog
- C. Thomas Howell as Roy
- Michael Shenefelt as Bossie
- Eric LeBlanc as Powell
- Jimmy McAfee as Alexandria Resident
- Elizabeth as Alexandria Resident
- Anthony Porrey as Alexandria Resident
- Mario Williams as Alexandria Resident
- Shellane Demarest as Alexandria Resident
- Marcus Tyler Estes as Alexandria Resident
- Rachel Hernandez as Alexandria Resident
- Gloria DeWeese as Alexandria Resident
- Alex Barnes as Alexandria Resident
- Ian Kincaid as Alexandria Resident
- Lane Haynes as Alexandria Resident
- Matt Foster as Alexandria Resident
- Melanie Dale as Alexandria Resident
- Sonya May as Alexandria Resident
- Stephanie McCarren as Alexandria Resident
- Greg Nicotero as Walker
- Unknown as Michael Turner
- Unknown as Socorro Espinosa
- Last appearance of Cole.
- Last appearance of Michael Turner. (Alive)
- Last appearance of Duncan. (Alive)
- Last appearance of Nicholls.
- Last appearance of Agatha. (Alive)
- The title of the episode, "Hunted", refers to the group being pursued or "hunted" by the Reapers.
- This episode was made available for streaming to subscribers of AMC Premiere on August 29, 2021.
- The events of "Forget", when Aaron and Daryl tried to get Buttons, are referenced in this episode.
- The walker who bit Agatha's arm was played by Greg Nicotero.