The Reapers Revealed in The Walking Dead Cliffhanger Ending

The Walking Dead reveals the Reapers and detours Maggie's mission to Meridian in another cliffhanger to end "Acheron: Part 2." Spoiler warning for Season 11 Episode 2. They're back. The unseen enemy group behind the attack that nearly kills Maggie (Lauren Cohan) and Daryl (Norman Reedus) in Season 10 makes an unexpected return in "Acheron: Part 2," ending with a first look at the Halloween-masked marauders who have taken over Meridian. Taking back the community, the well-stocked home where Maggie lived with the Wardens until the Reapers claimed it as their own, is the only way Alexandria survives. But first, our group has to survive the Reapers.

Season 10 Episode 17, "Home Sweet Home," reveals Maggie and friends Cole (James Devoti) and Elijah (Okea Eme-Akwari) escaped an attack on their home that impelled Maggie to return to Alexandria with her son Hershel (Kien Michael Spiller). When they come across the charred corpses of their friends Billy and Jen, the Wardens realize their silent stalkers trailed them to Virginia.

Before they have time to fear the Reapers, a sniper (Mike Whinnet), camouflaged in a ghillie suit, guns down Maya (Brianna Butler), Ainsley (Haley Leary), and Gus (David Atkinson). This mystery attacker almost kills Maggie and Daryl before he's outmanned and outgunned, saying nothing when Maggie interrogates him about the attack on their home and her murdered friends. The silent killer keeps quiet until just before blowing himself up with a grenade, telling Maggie: "Pope marked you."

The Walking Dead Reapers Acheron Part 2
(Photo: AMC Studios)

Pope (series newcomer Ritchie Coster) is the as-yet-unrevealed leader of the Reapers, who are on the hunt in the final moments of "Acheron: Part 2." After emerging from subway tunnels beneath D.C., Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) guides the way to a hidden supply depot where Maggie's friend and benefactor Georgie (Jayne Atkinson) stashed ammo, food, and weapons. Arbor Hills is the last detour before Meridian, where Maggie's group will confront the Reapers and take what's theirs: enough food and supplies to save Alexandria from starvation.

"They come at night, and by the time you see them, you're already dead," Maggie warned of the Reapers, who live up to their name when the sight of dozens of strung-up bodies stops the group in their tracks. Without warning, Roy (C. Thomas Howell) drops (dead?) with a scream as bladed weapons and other projectiles open fire from out of the darkness.

Unlike other survivors who learned how to be dangerous post-apocalypse, the Reapers were already an elite killing squad whose skills have only sharpened after a decade-plus of the zombie apocalypse.

"They were skilled coming into the apocalypse. So every single one of them is like an incredibly brutal, organized warrior … These are the pinnacle of human killers. It's just a very formidable type of enemy to go up against," showrunner Angela Kang teased of the new villain group. "They don't rely on numbers and volume of people to fight against in order to kind of survive, so they're a tight-knit group, and they're just really formidable in a way that our characters don't often come across."

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Find out what happens next in "Hunted," now streaming early ahead of a September 5 premiere on AMC.

Follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter for all things TWD. The Walking Dead Season 11 airs Sundays at 9/8c on AMC.