Warning: This article contains spoilers for The Walking Dead finale.
After twelve years in the zombie apocalypse, The Walking Dead season 11 finally brought the long-running AMC series to an end, but the finale strangely felt more like a beginning than an ending. The last episodes of The Walking Dead’s final season were a celebration of the history of the series, including many throwbacks to previous seasons that reminded viewers just why they fell in love with the show. While the series finale, “Rest in Peace,” wrapped up several loose ends, there are still many mysteries left to unravel, and with a number of spinoffs on the way, it seems that The Walking Dead isn’t actually coming to an end.
The Walking Dead season 11 finale featured the core group of survivors banding together in an attempt to oust tyrannical Governor Pamela Milton from her position at the top of the Commonwealth. Suffering losses along the way, most notably Luke and Rosita, the communities came together and fought for freedom, with a time jump revealing that peace had finally been found between the Commonwealth, Alexandria, and the Hilltop Colony. Despite this having the potential of a satisfying ending, the fact that there are three major upcoming spinoffs meant that a lot of setup needed to be done, and many questions were left unanswered.
The Commonwealth Arc’s Ending Was Predictable
Season 11 introduced the Commonwealth to the franchise, a huge community made up of 50,000 citizens, led by the corrupt Milton family. While the first two parts of The Walking Dead season 11 built up the tension inside the Commonwealth, the final episodes saw Pamela finally snap after the death of her son, casting blame on Eugene and alienating many of the main survivors. Many were unsure about how the Commonwealth storyline would be wrapped up in a few episodes, and while it did feel rushed towards the end, with many plot lines dropped with no resolution, the ending that was given was very predictable.
Pamela Milton being overthrown had to happen in order for the core group of survivors to finally find peace. Pamela’s desire to sacrifice her own people in order to spare herself had precedents when looking back at The Walking Dead season 11, as this is the same behavior that Sebastian exhibited when he’d been sending people into a walker-infested house, and acted as the culmination of class divide storylines that had been shown throughout the season. Even the events after the time jump, with Eugene taking over as the new Commonwealth Governor, could have been predicted, since similar plots have happened before, particularly with Rick’s group entering Alexandria for the first time.
The Walking Dead Season 11 Left Many Mysteries Unsolved
Despite tying up many loose ends, The Walking Dead’s series finale still left many questions unanswered, some of which could be revisited during the upcoming spinoffs. For starters, though they were seen to a greater extent during The Walking Dead finale, the variant walkers weren’t really touched on at all, even after being built up to be a greater threat during The Walking Dead’s final episodes. The fact that they were made to seem practically inconsequential perhaps suggests that they’ll feature more prominently in the spinoffs, potentially in the Daryl Dixon series, as this will take place in France where the virus and its variant are implied to have originated from.
The tumultuous relationship between Maggie and Negan received a beautiful ending during The Walking Dead’s series finale, so there are now questions about how the pair find themselves back in each other’s company during their spinoff, The Walking Dead: Dead City. There were also many Commonwealth plot lines that didn’t get completed, such as the identities of their many potential alliances and the sinister “Designation 2” that is never actually revealed. With the upcoming Walking Dead spinoffs spreading the main characters across the world, it’s unlikely that any mysteries surrounding the Commonwealth will be uncovered, especially since it seems as though the CRM will be the focus of these series.
The Walking Dead Series Finale’s Spinoff Setup Was The Best Part
Even though The Walking Dead season 11 tried to bring the series to a satisfying end, it actually worked better at introducing storylines that will continue into TWD’s upcoming spinoffs. It could be argued that the spinoff setup featured in the series finale, “Rest in Peace,” was the most thought about aspect, as key scenes were included that helped to ignite excitement for the new shows. Maggie and Negan got their most touching scenes yet, which saw the reformed villain apologize for murdering Glenn, and Maggie stating she can’t forgive him, but wants to try and move on, which creates the opportunity for further development during Negan and Maggie’s spinoff, Dead City.
After finding out about Rick’s possible survival, Michonne’s quest to search for him, and the truth about the variant walkers, Maggie sends Daryl on a mission to find out more about the world. Watching Daryl ride off into the distance was perhaps the perfect ending for The Walking Dead and the perfect way to tease his upcoming spinoff, Daryl Dixon, which will see the beloved hero battling walkers in France. The most surprising setup, however, came with the reappearance of both Rick and Michonne, setting the stage for their series which is set to uncover where Rick has been since his departure in The Walking Dead season 9.
Rick Grimes Is Still The Walking Dead’s Heart
Since The Walking Dead season 9, episode 5, “What Comes After,” Rick Grimes had been thought dead by the other survivors, though Daryl had spent years searching for him and Michonne and Judith eventually learned the truth. It seems that, even after his apparent death, Rick was still the heart and soul of the group, with them basing a lot of their subsequent decisions on the question, “what would Rick do?” Audiences were hoping to see Rick’s return during The Walking Dead season 11 finale, and were not disappointed as the final scenes featured Rick and Michonne writing letters over separate campfires, not yet reunited.
Seeing Andrew Lincoln reprise his much-loved role was, to many, the best part of The Walking Dead’s finale, particularly after the show had been its most divisive after the character’s season 9 departure. For years, Rick was the glue that held the survivors together and held the audience’s attention, so it was fantastic to see him finally return as Rick Grimes during the final moments of “Rest in Peace,” perfectly setting the stage for his return alongside Danai Gurira as Michonne during their upcoming spinoff. With the future looking bright for the franchise, The Walking Dead series finale left the door wide open for these stories to continue.
Next: The Walking Dead Season 11 Being The End Is A Lie