The Reapers wage war on their enemies as a storm rages on Alexandria in The Walking Dead Final Season Part 1 finale, "For Blood." Pope (Ritchie Coster) pledges to unleash the wrath of God on his enemy — marked woman Maggie Rhee (Lauren Cohan) — who herds her walker army in a march on Meridian. Pope's war forces Leah (Lynn Collins) to choose a side, and ex-flame Daryl (Norman Reedus) treads carefully behind the walls of the home the Reapers took from Maggie. At Alexandria, Rosita (Christian Serratos) and Aaron (Ross Marquand) fight to protect their home when a violent storm floods the community with walkers.
Meridian. Daryl and Leah join Pope and a half-dozen Reapers looking out at a walker herd headed their way. The dead move unnaturally. Pope asks Daryl if he's ever seen rotters move like that. He's seen it before, south of here -- walkers that gather up and move off. Daryl offers to lead them two miles out, but Pope sends Wells (Robert Hayes) on the one-man mission.
Wells is the Pied Piper, herding the horde in the opposite direction. More walkers emerge from the woods, coming at Wells from all directions. His knife stabs into brain after brain, but he swipes at a walker that evades his attack -- and stabs back. Another walker shanks Wells. He's swarmed and eaten alive.
Maggie and Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), wearing Whisperer masks and walking with the dead, blend into the herd.
A violent storm slams Alexandria. Aaron, Kelly (Angel Theory), Magna (Nadia Hilker), and others reinforce the windows. The kids -- Hershel (Kien Michael Spiller), Gracie (Anabelle Holloway), RJ (Antony Azor) and Judith Grimes -- huddle in the corner. Connie (Lauren Ridloff) cares for a wounded Virgil (Kevin Carroll).
A rotted out and rattling door is at risk of shaking apart from the storm. Thunder crashes as rain pounds the house. Judith comforts her little brother. "Remember what mom said about storms? They're always followed by clear skies."
"I wish she was here," says RJ. Judith agrees.prevnext
Leah tries to radio Wells to no response. Pope prevents her from going after him -- he's already dead. "They didn't kill him," he says of the rotters. "She did. My enemy. So you did come back."
"You thought that woman was out there and you sent Paul in?" charges Leah. "What, was he bait?"
"He was a soldier," says Pope. "Soldiers sometimes fall."
Leah says he was more than that. "He was family."
"Yes. Whose fate God decided."
"God didn't send him out there," Leah growls. "You did."
Pope asks if she's challenging his lead. "You have had a hell of a lot to say since your boyfriend showed up." Daryl stirs. "Anything else you want to share?"
"No, sir," she says.
"Wells may have been your brother. But he was a son to me."
They know the enemy is close -- and they're not escaping this time.
The storm blew out a panel in the Alexandria wall and the fire is drawing walkers to the area. Carol (Melissa McBride) gives them their mission: get the panel back up and the fire out. They'll need three teams: one with Aaron to fight the fire. Carol's crew to repair the wall. And Rosita's team protecting everyone inside. Connie volunteers to go with Carol. Kelly is going with her sister. Magna is going with Aaron. Virgil wants to help fight the fire, but he's too hurt. It's decided he'll stay back and help here if anything gets in.
Carol charges Judith with watching the children. Gracie wants her dad to stay, but Aaron has to go: "It wouldn't be fair of me to ask someone to do something I wouldn't do myself." Judith will watch over Gracie.prevnext
At Meridian, Powell (Eric LeBlanc) reports the rotters are gone. "But she's not," says Pope of his enemy. He asks Daryl for intel, but the stray doesn't know much.
"Why am I keeping you around?" asks Pope.
"You said God chose me," answers Daryl.
Pope recalls his dog, Tick, a starving stray he found half-dead. The rescued Tick didn't trust easy, Pope remembers, and the dog would eye his hand. "That look. Like he couldn't decide whether to lick my hand or bite it off."
Daryl scoffs. "Don't worry. I ain't gonna lick you." He sits. Pope laughs and gets close. "Fair enough. Just don't try to bite me, either. Tick did. Hurt like hell having to strangle that dog."
Leah speaks up for Daryl: "We kept him here 'cause he's an excellent tracker."
Daryl reports Pope's enemy is a great shot. That's probably how she got Wells. Daryl figures she's taking higher ground from the trees.
On the wall, Pope, Daryl, and Leah look out over the marching walker army. "Somehow she has turned the dead against the living." He's impressed.
The walkers walk forward and trigger an explosion. More blasts as the dead advance through a minefield.
"I wish I was more like you," Gracie tells Judith. "You're never afraid." Judith says she's been scared plenty, but her mom taught her to use her fear. "It makes you stronger."
Virgil looks on. "She'd be proud of you."
"Do you know where she went?"
"I don't. I'm sorry."
"I haven't heard from her in so long. I just wish she was here."
"She is," says Virgil. "I see her in the way you hold your sword. The way you're ready to run into the storm, and how you talk to those kids, helping them believe in themselves. Your mom is still with you. And you can bet wherever she is, you're with her."
Gracie practices her swordsmanship by a boarded-up window. A walker reaches through, grabbing at her until Judith's blade cuts it down. Dianne and Lydia race to board up the hole as Rosita warns of another breach in the wall.
Walkers pound and press against the doors.prevnext
The Ones We Lost
The Reapers watch bomb-blasted walkers explode into bits of body and gore. "I'm thinking of the ones we lost," Leah says, denying she blames Pope.
"'Will not offer to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing,'" he preaches. "These are all tribulations, Leah. The black horse of famine, it rides after us all. I knew this war was coming. And in every war, there is… sacrifice. That's why we were chosen in the first place, because we didn't run from the fire. Just like we don't run from our enemies. Those men that died, they didn't die in vain. It's their sacrifices that shows we are still worthy. That's why we will prevail."
Daryl looks to Leah. In his binoculars, he sees it: two of his people shambling like walkers. They break away from the herd and make their way behind Meridian's gates. Maggie and Gabriel spot a patrol on the wall above, he gets close… Daryl distracts him with a smoke.
Damn, he drops the match. The patrol goes to pick it up and Daryl stabs him in the neck, throwing his body to Maggie and Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) below. He points them in another direction and jimmies the lock on the food storage room.
Walkers march towards the northern gate. A mine explodes, sending shrapnel into Negan's arm and Elijah's leg. He stumbles, but they have to keep moving.
"My enemy never gives up," says Pope, giving Leah orders to ready the hwacha.
"What's that?" asks Daryl.
"It's how we're going to end this," Leah says before going to war.
Maggie and Gabriel sneak through a trash heap. He's headed to the top floor, second room, southwest corner of the building to wait for Maggie's signal.
"We do this, then we get the food, and we go home," Maggie tells him.prevnext
The Dog That Bites
At home, Rosita, Dianne (Kerry Cahill), and Lydia (Cassady McClincy) press against an about-to-come-down door. Rosita charges out with her weapon to buy time. Judith watches as Rosita swings her weapon, striking down encroaching porch walkers, lightning and thunder booming with every blow.
Finally, a blood-soaked and dripping wet Rosita steps back inside. "Let's stay away from the windows."
Gabriel sneaks through the building, machete in hand. From the roof, Leah uncovers the hwacha: a multiple rocket launcher loaded with dozens of rocket-powered arrows ready to unleash unholy hell on their enemies.
Ancheta (Dane Davenport) was a combat engineer, now he's their "DaVinci," says Leah. The enemy draws near. Daryl gets close and offers his sympathies for Wells -- another one of her fallen brothers.
"Pope says God chose us. You believe all that?" Daryl asks.
"I know how it sounds," Leah says. "But when we had nothing, he gave us something to hold onto. We're all alive because we believed in him."
Daryl asks: "What about now?"
"Doesn't matter whether I believe or not," Leah confesses.
"It matters to me," Daryl tells her.
"You ever think about what it'd be like if we'd never left that cabin?"
"Yeah," Daryl says, "I do."
"It's hard to watch someone you care about change… when they're hurting other people you care about too."
The hwacha is locked and loaded. Pope radios -- it's time.
Daryl confesses: "There's people down there walking with the dead. My people. They're here for the food that Pope took from them. They'll starve without it, and they're good people. They got families. They don't know what's about to happen to them."
"Please," Daryl pleads, "you can't let them die like this."
"You lied to me."
"To protect my family. I'm sure you can understand that."
"Carver told me not to trust you. But I wanted to," Leah says through tears. "So badly."
He wasn't sure he could trust her either. Pope doesn't have to know.
"You could come with me. Just please let me stop him," Daryl pleads again. "Please. You gotta help me."
Pope is here. "It is time for our enemy to face their reckoning!"
Daryl and Leah separate. "My, my," he asks, "what were you two talking about?"
"Family," answers Leah.
Says Pope, "Nothing more important. The only real thing that we got left in this world. Would you agree, Dixon?"
"Yeah." Daryl looks to Leah. "Yeah, I would."
Pope has another mission for Daryl when this is done.
"I want you to find that woman for me. Bring her to me, Dixon."
Pope turns his back. Daryl and Leah lock eyes. She knows what's about to happen.prevnext
Their Time to Die
On the ground, Maggie races towards a truck and hotwires it. She ducks for cover from a Reaper in the garage. Maggie starts the truck, floors it, and leaps free as the truck rams through the gate -- an open invitation for her walker army outside.
As walkers flood inside, Carver (Alex Meraz) reports it's the enemy. They're inside the walls. Pope orders Ancheta to aim into the courtyard and fire. Ancheta is hesitant but jumps to fulfill an angry Pope's command.
"Our people are out there," says Leah, trying to talk him down. He knows. "God will protect them!"
"And what if He doesn't?"
"Then it was their time to die," Pope snaps back. "We will win this our way."
Leah tells him he can't kill them. But he can. He can. "The Lord speaks through me! You don't question the Lord! You don't question me! Light it up."
Ancheta lights the match. Pope trembles with his righteous fury. Daryl unsheathes his knives and Pope pounces back, ready to strangle another stray. Leah stabs Pope in his throat. Daryl cuts down Ancheta with a flick of his blade, moving on the match and cutting it to kill the fire.
Maggie runs as walkers invade Meridian. Deaver (Jacob Young) attacks and goes for the killing blow -- he's gunned down by Gabriel. From his perch, he fires at what's left of the Reapers.
Pope gushes blood. Leah pins him with her boot and plunges her blade into his neck, finishing him off. Daryl tries to leave with Leah, looking over to Ancheta -- another one of her fallen brothers.
Leah swats his hand away and radios her people: "Pope is dead. Dixon murdered him. He's with the enemy."
She stares down Daryl. He eyes her back. "Why would you do that?"
"He forgot about what mattered," Leah answers. "Not war. People. My people. You'd do anything to protect your family. So would I."
Carver and Boone (Zac Zedalis) reach the roof. Daryl escapes just in time. Leah orders them to close the gates. "Then we're going to kill everything inside these walls."prevnext
At Alexandria, Rosita, Lydia, and Dianne press against a door that's not going to hold for long. There's too many walkers. If they can get everyone upstairs, they can hold the dead off long enough downstairs. Judith escorts the wounded Virgil to safety before breaking away to find Gracie. She's in a flooding basement rising with water, down there to find a weapon like Judith and Rosita's. Upstairs, Lydia tells Rosita to go get Coco and she's left alone to hold against the door.
Judith and Gracie get back upstairs to see walkers flooding the flooded house. They lock themselves away in the basement, facing death by drowning or death by walker.
Maggie, Negan, and Daryl fight their way out of Meridian. Leah radios the Reapers to fall back. "You've got to be shitting me," a cocky Negan says. "They're retreating!"
"But why?" asks Maggie.
The answer: on the roof, a vengeful Leah looks down on her enemy. The hwacha is lit, crackling with sparks as Maggie and Negan stand to watch what's about to happen. The hwacha fires, sending rocket-powered arrows onto the battlefield.0comments
End of The Walking Dead Season 11A.
The Walking Dead returns to AMC with eight new episodes on February 20, 2022. Follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter for all things TWD and stay tuned to ComicBook for coverage all season long.prev