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TV Review: The Walking Dead 6.11 “Knots Untie”
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The Walking Dead, Season 6, Episode 11 Review

The Walking Dead
Episode 6.11 “Knots Untie”
Directed by Michael E. Satrazemis
Written by Matthew Negrete, Channing Powell
Starring Andrew Lincoln, Danai Gurira, Melissa McBride, Lauren Cohen, Steven Yeun, Norman Reedus, Chandler Riggs, Michael Cudlitz, Lennie James
Air date: Sunday, February 28, 2016, 9pm

Warning – SPOILERS for The Walking Dead Season 6…

On The Walking Dead last week, it became clear that the residents at the Alexandria Safe Zone were in dire need of food, and a way to produce more food. Rick and Daryl went out on a supply run, and instead of coming back with the grain they so desperately need for survival, they return with a man named Jesus, who, at that point, they didn’t know whether they could trust him.

By the end of the episode, fear and survival were put on hold so that Rick and Michonne can spend the night together, much to the delight of Walking Dead fans the world over! But, the morning after, instead of being able to bask in the afterglow of their love, they awake to Jesus standing at the foot of their bed wanting to talk.

In this week’s installment, Episode 6.11 “Knots Untie,” it’s time for Jesus to do some explaining. Who is he? Where is he from? And what does he want?

The new episode did not start with Rick and Michonne, which was extremely frustrating, so I want to jump right into their storyline here first. We see they wake up together — squeal! Jesus goes out into the hall, giving them the courtesy of getting their close on before they talk. Out in the hall, Carl spots Jesus and asks what he’s going in the house. Jesus says he’s waiting for Carl’s “parents” to get dress. Oh yeah!!! That sounded really right. Later on, when Rick gets to talk to Carl along, he says he planned to tell him about him and Michonne, but that it only happened last night, so there was no time to say anything before Jesus showed up. “This is different,” Rick tells his son, to emphasize that this was not a one-night-stand. There’s something there. Carl, who last episode alluded to Michonne now being his family, seems to be fine with this new situation. And we see that later on when Rick and Michonne and a few others head out in the RV with Jesus to his community, which is located about a day away. As Rick drives the RV, he holds Michonne’s hand and they smile at each other. It’s a done deal, they are together now.

Unlike Rick, Abraham is having commitment issues. While Abraham was out on the road for a few episodes, he and Sasha seemed to have a “thing” going on. Meanwhile, back at home is Rosita, who Abraham has been with for a while. But upon his return home, Sasha took herself out of the equation, and out of their security rotation together. You can tell that she doesn’t want to get in the middle of an existing relationship. After Sasha tells Abraham that she won’t be working with him anymore, and that she’ll see him “around,” she faces him a peace sign, and he flashes it back. This peace sign flash begins to haunt Abraham, though, as he keeps thinking about it, even while he’s in bed with Rosita. Rosita, on the other hand, has been awaiting Abraham’s return, and after some hot and heavy sex, she presents him with a necklace she made. It’s obvious the necklace is a symbol of commitment. As the episode goes along, Abraham not only continues to daydream about Sasha, he also has separate conversations with Daryl and Glenn about having attachments. He balks at the idea that Glenn and Maggie would actually purposely get pregnant — he asks Glenn whether he meant to make pancakes when he mixed up the Bisquick — and asks Daryl if he’s every thought about settling down. “You think this shit is settled?,” Daryl asks in response.

The majority of the episode, though, deals with Rick’s group in the RV — Glenn, Maggie, Michonne, Abraham, and Daryl — taking Jesus back to his community, which is called Hilltop. At Hilltop, they see that there’s no ammunition and not much in the way of security, but there’s food, crops, and livestock there. They meet Gregory, the leader of Hilltop, who comes off a bit slimy at first. They sent Maggie in to made a trade deal with Gregory, and it doesn’t work out. But a commotion outside sends everyone running out to see what happened. Some people from Hilltop have returned to the community and are in a panic, yelling about how some of their group was killed and something about Negan. There’s that name again! A man named either Nathan or Ethan (I feel like they kept changing his name!) is saying that Negan’s group has his brother Craig and that they killed Tim and Marsha. He says that Negan says their offering to him was not enough. “I’m sorry,” Ethan says, as he stabs Gregory in the gut. It turns out Negan tasked Ethan with stabbing Gregory to send a message; if Ethan doesn’t deliver, then Craig will be killed. Rick, of course, doesn’t just stand by, and he jumps in to save Gregory, and the others join in. Ethan eventually gets a knife to Rick’s neck, but when Michonne comes up behind him telling him to “drop it,” Rick takes the opportunity to stab Ethan in the neck, killing him. One of the women come running and punch Rick in the face, and Michonne knocks her down. Nearby, one of the men is choking the life out of Abraham, who once again not fully in the moment — he’s thinking of something Sasha said to him. Eventually, Abraham is saved by Daryl (who breaks the guys arm!), but oh look what’s missing – the necklace Rosita gave me. When Daryl asks if he’s ok, Abraham laughs and says he’s better than Ok. When he gets up, we see the necklace on the ground, left behind.

Now it’s time for Jesus to finally give Rick the whole story. Hilltop is able to sustain itself with the crops and livestock they have, but they have no ammunition, and they haven’t needed it because they have a deal with another group — the Saviors, led by Negan. He reveals that one day, Negan’s men showed up at Hilltop and immediately killed one of their people — a 16-year-old boy named Rory, who they beat to death right in front of everyone to show that they meant business (Jesus says it was so they’d know Negan means business “right of the bat” — foreshadowing!!!). Meanwhile, Gregory initially made it seem to Maggie that Hilltop had survived this long because they are “just good at it,” but it turns out that they have to give Negan’s group half of all their food in exchange for their safety; meaning, Negan won’t attack Hilltop. But now, Negan is more of a threat, because he’s not satisfied anyone with half, he wants more. This is where Rick’s ears perk up.

Alexandria might not have much, but it has a lot of fighters in its group. Rick and company can kick major ass. So, in exchange for the half of everything that Negan was getting, Rick agrees to attack Negan’s group and get rid of them once and for all, and bring Craig back to Hilltop. “Confrontation’s something we never had any trouble with,” Rick tells Jesus. We’ve seen what Rick and his crew can do — they’ve been through a lot and they always persevere, although not everyone survives. When he says they’ll go out and kill Negan, we believe him. But, as they are packing of half of everything — yes, Maggie negotiated getting it in advance! — Michonne tells Rick, “It’s gonna be a fight.” Rick replies, “We’ll win, we have to” and she nods in affirmation, “We’ll win.” Any other time, I would take this affirmation at face value, because this group has been through a lot together and they’ve survived because they are extremely strong and resilient. But this time, I felt it was more foreshadowing: Michonne will not survive. It’s clear that someone in the main cast will have to die at the hands (and bat) of Negan, and now that Michonne is Rick’s love interest, well…

A relationship between Hilltops and the Alexandrians would be mutually beneficial, but tackling Negan is going to be a horror for sure. But, it’s good timing for Rick’s group because the Hilltoppers didn’t think they had anything to barter with. And now they have it.

As Rick’s group takes off with half the goods to their Safe Zone, Maggie and Glenn pass around the ultrasound picture of their baby (one of the people at Hilltop happens to be an obstetrician in possession of an ultrasound machine, and since he owed Glenn and Maggie big time for saving his life earlier, he did the ultrasound for pregnant Maggie). Michonne looks down at the picture with big smiles, but there’s a hint of sadness behind it (she’s likely thinking of the child she once had); Daryl also looks and gives a tiny smile, showing us a little of his soft side (and we know he has one); and then there’s Abraham, who’s been a bit off the rails this whole episode. While he had trouble believing anyone would want to have a baby in this post-apocalyptic world, and made it a point to say that he “doubles up” his protection, when he sees the ultrasound picture, it appears that he understands now. Abraham and Glenn then smile and nod to each other, as the RV rolls along.

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