The Walking Dead: Season 11 Episode 18 “New Deal” Makes Major Change From Comics

The Walking Dead Season 11 Episode 18 was a huge turning point episode in the final stretch of episodes. If you’re familiar with the comic book series on which this series is based on, you already know that. With only 6 episodes remaining and several spin-offs looming, all bets are off with what the end game looks like now. Let’s not beat around the bush—major spoilers ahead so if you haven’t seen The Walking Dead Season 11 Episode 18you’ve been warned.

Class Warfare

Angela Kang and company have not been shy when it comes to incorporating social issues into her tenure as showrunner for TWD. Throughout all 3 parts of the final season, the differences between rich and poor and how the rules don’t apply to those with money and power have been on full display at the Commonwealth. Now with tensions high, we are seeing the working class revolt against the ruling class.

It’s been nice to see Eugene take on this sizable role here in the home stretch of the series. Along with his girlfriend Max, they’ve been the most consistent source of rebellion towards the Milton’s and their power. The annual Founders Day celebration was the intended backdrop for Pamela Milton to cast Lance Hornsby as the villain and her son Sebastian as a beloved public figure. Eugene and Max capitalized on their opportunity, secretly recording Sebastian discussing how the game was rigged, the rich control everything and the poor could never better themselves & then played that recording when Sebastian was supposed to be giving the speech to make him as beloved as his deceased grandfather.

What happened next was pure brilliance. Sebastian, ever the hot head, lost his cool and ran into the crowd to try and attack Max. Hornsby’s hitmen had been killing off the custodians and now as zombies, were released into the crowd. The crowd wanted blood—particularly Sebastian’s blood, and when a zombie did catch him, everyone stood and ignored his pleas for help. Then they watched him die. The working class watched someone from the ruling class meet a brutal ending and we got a huge departure from the comic book.

Sebastian in The Walking Dead Season 11 Episode 18
Teo Rapp-Olsson as Sebastian – The Walking Dead: Season 11, Episode 18 – Photo Credit: Jace Downs/AMC

In the comic series, in the second to last issue, Sebastian murders Rick Grimes. Rick had been advocating for change in the Commonwealth the way Eugene and others are here in the show. Sebastian didn’t want to see these changes happen and walks into Rick’s room and shoots him multiple times, leaving Rick to die alone and turn into a zombie that eventually has to be put down by his son Carl. In The Walking Dead Season 11 Episode 18we see Sebastian die without doing anything nearly as major as killing off a main character. Which begs the question of how does this series end?

Hornsby seems positioned to be the more prominent person in the narrative moving forward, the threat to both our characters and Pamela Milton. While the comic ended with a peaceful civilization where zombies existed but were a rare threat, it doesn’t seem like our story here in the series will get nearly that far. We’ve got spin-offs to come and story to tell. Despite currently being in jail here in The Walking Dead Season 11 Episode 18the safe bet is that the remaining episodes focus on the power struggle between Hornsby, Pamela Milton, and our characters fighting for change.

Born to Run

The Walking Dead Season 11 Episode 18opens with Carol explaining the deal she made with Pamela: our characters help assist Pamela with her Hornsby problem (keeping him alive instead of letting Daryl kill him so she can make him the public villain instead of her son) and in exchange, Milton will supply everything needed to rebuild Alexandria and Hilltop. Which on paper sounds like a great trade.

The issue here is that some of our characters are simply tired of running. Ezekiel, who is dying of cancer, explains to Carol that despite the problems here, he’s found ways to be helpful in his dying days. Judith, who wants to set down her weapon and find peace, explains to Daryl that she is tired of fighting. Like an old western, here in The Walking Dead Season 11 Episode 18, we see Judith set her weapon down, tired of being a gunslinger, only to have to pick it up again to help save the day. The tragedy of it all is that she’s a child. A child who has grown up in a world where she has to be a gunslinger and all she wants is to be a kid.

Daryl and Judith in The Walking Dead Season 11 Episode 18

By the end of the episode, we see the fractured thinking. There are some who want to rebuild their old home. There are others who wish to acknowledge the deeply rooted flaws of the Commonwealth but put up the fight here and try to fix them. They have the beginnings of a civilization here—why start from scratch on their own again?

For characters like Daryl and Carol, there’s a “born to run” mentality at play here. Running to survive, to be on their own with their chosen group of people, is all they know anymore. This is their life. Others don’t have that mindset and are more open to different ideas. There’s Negan, who is motivated by his wife’s problematic pregnancy and the fact that the Commonwealth has doctors and medical equipment, even if Annie herself wants to leave.

With 6 episodes remaining, there isn’t a lot of time left for the back and forth. Decisions will have to be made. To stay or go? To fight here or fight on the road, on their own?  While the allure of being under their own rule has to be strong, will the older generation listen to the needs of the younger generation who can have an actual childhood here? These are the questions at hand here.

The Walking Dead Season 11 Episode 18 changed the landscape with the death of Sebastian. Despite Rick being gone, Sebastian won’t be around to shockingly kill another major character. But that doesn’t mean Hornsby won’t in his quest for power. All eyes are on him moving forward. Until next week, my friends.

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Written by Andrew Grevas

25YL Media Founder

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