Zombies on a train!
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Love or hate the news that we're getting an American remake of South Korean zombies-on-a-train horror hit Train to Busan, we actually already got one... kind of.

The second episode of The Walking Dead's final season, "Acheron, Part 2," sees Maggie's Meridian-bound group fighting their way through a crashed subway train. Tensions are already high because Negan's gonna Negan, but also Maggie's gonna Maggie. Then add walkers clamoring on the outside and more chomping for some grub on the inside. Drama ensues.

Negan tries to play it off like he doesn't know what happened to Maggie. "She was right behind me!" he says. So, the group vows to trudge onward. The doors between subway cars are mostly rusted shut and take considerable strength to open. By the second or third car, Negan's plan backfires. Maggie had climbed underneath the train to escape the walkers and now knocks an SOS Morse code message to the others. They let her in through a hatch in the floor, and she promptly pistol whips Negan for leaving her behind to die.

Everyone's about to clobber Negan, but he argues that he didn't actively try to kill Maggie; he just didn't stick his neck out to help someone who had voiced a desire to murder him. I mean, he's not wrong. The group is just waiting for Maggie's signal to kill this man, but then Maggie finds herself in a difficult situation that changes the temperature of the room.

Gage, one of the younger members of the group who had previously deserted them last episode with their stash of ammo and food, bangs on the door from the next car over. He screams at them to let him in as walkers slowly approach from the rear of the car. Alden moves to open the door, but Maggie signals one of her men to stop him. She says they don't have the ammo to clear the walkers. If they open that door, they could all die. Gage calls Maggie a liar and they all are forced to watch as he stabs himself to death before the walkers rip him apart.

This isn't the same Maggie that left Hilltop years ago. She's seen some horrors, even beyond this new threat of the Reapers, and she's had to make some difficult decisions. She shares a story with the group about how she and her son came across this old man on the road asking for help bringing a cart of clothes for his daughters back home. Maggie knew he was lying but she was starving. She jumped him and knocked him out with the chloroform rag he planned to use on her. Searching the house, she then found two deformed "wouldn't call them men" who she had to kill. In the attic, there were the bodies of three women, two still alive, one already a walker. Their arms and legs had been cut off, their eyes gouged, their tongues and vocal cords ripped out. And they were pregnant, no doubt with more of whatever deformed monstrosities she had just witnessed earlier.

Seeing that made Maggie lose something, she explains. She sees things much clearer now, knowing what kinds of threats are out there in the world. It's not dissimilar to Negan. We saw his flashback origin episode in the expanded back half of season 10. Could Maggie get to a point where, dare we say it, she understands Negan?

Lauren Cohan as Maggie in The Walking Dead Season 11
Lauren Cohan's Maggie in 'The Walking Dead'
| Credit: Josh Stringer/AMC

They soon are forced to squash their beef for the time being and work together to survive. The group continues through the subway until they reach an impasse. A toppled-over train seat is blocking the door to the next car, just as the walkers, which now include Gage's animated corpse, break through the door behind them. The group has no choice but to clear them out with what little ammo they have, prompting the question, was Gage's death for nothing?

Duncan aggressively tries busting down the blocked door while the others do their best to fend off the dead, but then more walkers threaten to come in through Duncan's end. Maggie and Negan share a moment as she hands him a gun to go help.

It's Daryl who ultimately saves the day. He and Dog had been on their own little adventure. He found the remains of a survivor camp in the subway system. A briefcase filled with money was left ajar on the floor, attached by handcuff to the man who once owned it. It seems he was murdered over something that now has no value in this world. Daryl finds a letter written by a kid to his family on a 100 dollar bill. This scene is near a mural depicting a wealthy family watching over as the poor fight with each other over crowns, highlighting the economic disparity of those who survived the viral outbreak. It's made more poignant by the second arc of this episode, which is Yumiko talking her way into receiving admittance into The Commonwealth for her group.

Daryl and Dog had some run-ins with walkers, but he also found Roy, another of the gents who fled. He had gone to the surface but was severely wounded by walkers. He gives Daryl his last remaining gun and grenade. Daryl then finds his way to the subway and kills off some of the dead. He's able to open the blocked door and let everyone through before shoving the grenade into a walker's mouth and letting the bomb do the rest.

They gather Roy and make their way to the surface. Maggie says they need to make a detour at Arbor Hills, which is one of the hidden stashes she and Georgie set up around the area in case they ran into any trouble. On the road, they come across dead bodies strung up in the trees by their feet. Then, they're attacked. Roy gets an arrow to the eye and a blade lands in Cole's thigh. They take cover as we're left with a lasting image of the Reapers about to swarm them.

In happier news, things are going much better for the Commonwealth crew. Eugene is freaking out because he believes the soldiers learned of their escape attempt and now have plans to kill them. One by one, his friends are taken away, leaving Eugene even more of an anxious mess, but it's really because Yumiko, Princess, and Ezekiel have all been cleared. Princess even makes mention of the sexy man in the orange armor, a hint to Princess and Mercer shacking up in the comics.

Eugene is brought into a room where he's interrogated one last time. He weaves together a tale for them that's part truth, part fiction, harkening back to his early days of lying to Rosita and Abraham. It's a story about meeting Stephanie over the radio and how he's still a virgin (which it seems is true). It works and Eugene joins the others to receive their official welcome into the Commonwealth. Then, who should walk in but Stephanie? Hopefully, she wasn't listening in when Eugene was confessing how he hoped to lose his V card to her.

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The Walking Dead

AMC's zombie thriller, based on the classic comic book serial created by Robert Kirkman.

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  • 11
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