The Walking Dead – New Haunts review S11 E10

The real reason why Rick’s crew could never settle into a new community was they never learned to just play by the rules.

Also, who had Carol down as breaking the rules by Day 30?

Of course, the thing is most of these communities might seem idyllic and terrific, but there’s always something bubbling underneath the surface just waiting for Carol, Daryl and company to uncover. 

It’s Day 30 in the Commonwealth and the Alexandria crew is fitting in just fine. No telling if they had to go through the arduous screening process Eugene, Yumiko, Ezekiel and Princess endured.

the walking dead new haunts review - carol

As nice as Hilltop and Alexandria were, they never had it so good to have a haunted maze, a petting zoo and a semi-more sanitary method of bobbing for apples. There’s even a kids Halloween costume contest with the winner getting lottery tickets. No doubt for schools. 

The Alexandria crew is working in their specialties — Carol’s baking, Ezekiel is working with animals, Connie is reporting while Daryl and Rosita are in basic training to be stormtroopers. Sounds about right. Stormtrooper training requires going through the Commonwealth equivalent of boot camp, so Daryl (Judith and RJ) and Rosita are in crappy quarters until their promotion to armor-clad, target missing members of the Commonwealth. 

Mercer puts Daryl and Rosita through the paces in a training drill. Rosita gets style points for using a prosthetic leg to kill a walker while Daryl seemingly gets on Mercer’s bad side. Daryl’s prize for finishing second to Rosita and her partner is babysitting duty for Gov. Pamela Milton’s (Laila Robins) prick son, Sebastian (Teo Rapp-Olsson).

Is it a rule that every time a community is run by a woman, she’s got to have a sniveling bastard son we can’t wait to see get killed? Deanna had that same problem at Alexandria and that ended poorly for everyone. Mercer gives Daryl a pep talk and as always, Daryl just needs someone to believe in him for him to fall in line. 

the walking dead new haunts review - pamela milton celebrating

Ever since Terminus, Carol’s not one to happily accept being a part of a community without checking out the underbelly for dirt. Her investigation and suspicion have to wait a bit as she’s worried about Ezekiel’s health. Naturally, she steals a set of hospital keys to check out his medical file. Good thing the doctor that happens to walk in is Yumiko’s brother, Tomi. While I’m disappointed Tomi can’t practice his passion of making delectable cakes, hopefully he can save Ezekiel.

Well, he could if only Ezekiel was higher up on the surgery wait list. Fortunately, Carol has no qualms about finding a way to cut the line. She tracks down some expensive wine for Commonwealth hype man Lance Horsby, who is willing to help Carol provided she does a few more favors. Once you’re on the hook Carol, he’ll never let you off. 

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Time for the masquerade ball! At least Pamela understands the value of maintaining class structures. All the Commonwealth’s…er, commoners miss out on this bash while the upper class celebrates complete with their own paparazzi. Membership has its privileges. Mercer hates these events and invites Princess to be his Plus One. 

Connie is clearly apprehensive of the optics of this extravagant affair for no good reason. Same, Connie. Same. Unless Connie and Kelly are low-key working on a TMZ style rag, it’s hard to see how the Commonwealth is going to let a real expose get to the masses. 

the walking dead new haunts review - connie

Tyler, the storm trooper, that Princess knocked out has been bussed down to busboy duty. Tough crowd. He’s not thrilled about it and takes a knife to the painting of Pamela’s pappy and threatens to kill her assistant. And all he wanted was a lousy letter or a call, but Pamela ruined it now. 

Realizing a losing situation, Tyler runs off to the one spot no one can find him — the haunted maze. Starting to see why Tyler lost his gig…

Daryl tracks Tyler down and talks him out of suicide for the sake of his sister and her family. Daryl does seem to take not that Tyler’s one mistake cost him everything including a means to take care of his family. With Judith and RJ in his care, Daryl can’t afford to screw around. 

And to play along to get along, he lets Sebastian take the credit for bringing him in. It doesn’t even seem like Pamela buys that for a second. Tyler still isn’t especially apologetic as he yells “Resist the commonwealth,” “Equality!” and warns there’s thousands that think like him. 

the walking dead new haunts review - pamela milton

Pamela doesn’t like the sound of that and to make sure this stays quiet; all the gala guests get a nice payday along with a signed NDA to forget all about Tyler and the nasty knife incident. Hopefully the artist got compensated with a bigger payday because she was the real victim here. 

Carol has a quiet night with Ezekiel and it seems like she’s interested in rekindling things again. Well, this doesn’t feel like a rebound now at least. 

Three days later and Daryl and Rosita have their armor and most importantly, better rooms. But Rosita makes a discovery on a patrol of a resident’s secret Resistance room stacked with prints to make signs and shirts. Has Rosita and Daryl found themselves on the wrong side of this escalating conflict?

 

New Haunts was another very compelling episode teasing the cracks underneath the Commonwealth’s surface. Knowing our crack excavation team, those cracks are about to widen very quickly. 

Rating: 9 out of 10

Photo Credit: AMC

Pick up The Walking Dead Vol: 31 – The Rotten Core trade paperback for the comic take on The Commonwealth on Amazon.

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