The Walking Dead Recap: Target Training
Beautifully shot episode shows our group in more dire straits than ever
BY: JACOB POLITTE
The Walking Dead: “Hunted”
Season 11, Episode 3
Date aired: 5/9/2021
“Hunted” really showed that the show’s decision to shoot with digital cameras instead of their traditional film really paid off. The cinematography on “The Walking Dead” is as good as it has ever been, and the writing of the show isn’t too bad either.
Sometimes “Hunted” reminded me of the classic Season 6 sleep episode, “JSS”. Not necessarily in terms of pace, as JSS went all out on the violence about nine minutes later and never gave up. This episode is definitely slower on some points, and it’s probably for the best.
But where “Hunted” reminds me of “JSS” is about the antagonists exposed, as well as the level of violence. The Reapers are as quick as any villain ever seen in the series, and seemingly have no other motivation than to wreak havoc and kill as many people as possible. Wolves did it in “JSS” too, but Reapers look more organized. And somehow they’re a lot scarier, probably because they’re a lot harder to beat.
Almost all of the characters are injured by The Reapers, and almost all of Maggie’s former travel companions don’t make it out alive, without Elijah, who somehow disappears.
From the first second of the episode, the Reapers only demolish our group. Cole, the Jesus clone from the show, has his throat slit in 30 seconds and he’s screwed. Father Gabriel is also slaughtered, but he survives. Daryl runs after Dog, never to be seen again for the rest of the hour (don’t worry, next week makes up for that). Even Negan is affected.
Maggie is left alone and wanders through an abandoned mall. After dodging another attack from a Reaper, she encounters another in a dark stairwell and barely sees him coming. She throws him off a balcony, only to hear him run up the steps, then she is attacked again in an old, long-vacant department store. In a move she probably won’t like, Negan and Alden end up being the ones to save her, though Alden is seriously injured in the process. Eventually, the decision is made, by Maggie and at Alden’s insistence, to leave him in a church, and Maggie and Negan set off on their own to keep moving forward.
Maggie and Negan being forced to work together alone isn’t the scenario I envisioned when he blew her husband’s brains out, but it’s delightfully ironic. I expect a conversation like Rick and Negan in comic book issue 164 in the very near future.
Elsewhere, Father Gabriel seems to be the only one of the group to permanently kill a Reaper. He finds one lying on a log and puts it out of its misery. Father Gabriel is such a good character and Seth Gilliam does the role justice. I really can’t imagine another person in the role.
And back in Alexandria, Carol and a few others come out and collect some horses that have run away. However, Carol kills one so the community can have food. This is truly one of the saddest scenes on this show, and it’s very clear that Carol is feeling the weight of her choices from last season and how they affected others. I mean, everything they built is in shambles now.
Maggie insists that the situation everyone is in right now is Negan’s fault, and that’s not entirely true… Carol is the one who freed Negan in the first place. Melissa McBride is doing a terrific job right now in portraying this role, and it should come as no surprise to anyone.
Next week Daryl will have a great script and we’ll learn more about The Reapers and how they work.
– Alden is definitely hanging on that cross.
– It’s weird but I think I’m always on Negan’s side when it comes to a lot of what he says. He might be a jerk, but he has some good points.
– I really hope they pay Lauren Cohan a lot of money.
– I never really liked anyone from Maggie’s group, so I’m not sad that they all died. Especially Cole, the guy who got his throat slit. Cole was just a debbie downer.
– For anyone who might be wondering… Jadis appeared in a new trailer for Season 2 of The Walking Dead: World Beyond. While I haven’t reviewed the rest of this first season the way I intended to, I will say that it has gone fairly well in a crescendo, and the new season, which kicks off on October 3. , looks really good. The addition of Jadis is an intriguing development, and I’m excited to see how much she has changed during her absence.