TV REVIEW: The Walking Dead Season 6, Episode 11 – Knots Untie | FanboysInc

TV REVIEW: The Walking Dead Season 6, Episode 11 – Knots Untie

By Megan Wilde

TV REVIEW: The Walking Dead Season 6, Episode 11 - Knots Untie

I went back and forth on this episode, and I finally have to admit that I am lukewarm on “Knots Untied”. On one hand, some things are moved forward, but on the other, it mostly feels like a setup episode in which the wheels are basically just spinning. Some of the relationship plot points this week feel like filler – the triangle with Abraham, Rosita and Sasha being the primary example.

There were some moments that made me laugh: The Bisquick quote by Abraham, actually, a lot of Abraham’s one-liners were funny – and Glenn’s “Yeah … wait, what?” reaction to it — and the awkward surprise of the group on the stairs at Rick’s house when he and Michonne walk out of the same bedroom half-naked. But my favorite part is after the small group of Hilltoppers come back from Negan’s, when Ethan stabs Gregory as a message from Negan, and Rick and the rest go Full Warrior. Rick stabs Ethan in the neck and blood pours out, all over Rick. Rick stands up with bloodied face, looks around, unfazed, and says, “What?” I laughed out loud. Of COURSE Rick ends up all bloody when they go to a new community! It’s GOT to be a joke for the audience by now, I feel like we’ve seen this many times. Oh, Rick.

TV REVIEW: The Walking Dead Season 6, Episode 11 - Knots Untie

The bigger-picture focus continues to be on thinking about the future and planning, instead of merely surviving. There is a lot of attention given to Maggie and Glenn’s baby, which obviously is a symbol for hope and the future; communities working together to trade and make life better for everyone; and Rick urging Maggie to continue in the path Deanna was grooming her for, to take on a leadership role, saying she’s going to need to talk to other communities.

And Maggie is a good choice for that role. She doesn’t take crap from people, and she gets things done. It’s nice to see a new role for Maggie, because right now I feel like they don’t really know what to do with her character. In recent episodes, she’s been running around looking for Glenn and not doing much else, and we all know she can do way more than that.

TV REVIEW: The Walking Dead Season 6, Episode 11 - Knots Untie

Maggie gets her chance at the Hilltop. After he surprises Rick and Michonne in bed, Jesus sits down with Rick and Co. and tells them the world is larger than they know. He talks of communities working together, and says he knows this group are good people because Rick and Daryl had every reason to leave him out there when he was knocked out last week but didn’t. So Rick, Michonne, Maggie, Glenn, Daryl and Abraham (why not Carol? Why would you not take Carol on a run like this?) go with Jesus to the Hilltop to scope things out.

 

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On the way, the group comes across a recent car accident, and Jesus says it’s his people, so they go to look for them, everyone assuming it could be a trap, of course. Among the people they find is a doctor, who happened to specialize in obstetrics before the collapse, so at the end, Maggie and Glenn get to see their baby on an ultrasound. It’s very sweet and gives us hope — although on this show, it might not last. We will see how this plays out, but don’t take away their happiness, show!

At the Hilltop, we are introduced to a few characters, most notably Gregory, the leader, who is a jerk. He’s played by Xander Berkeley, whose face you most likely recognize, as he’s a fairly prolific character actor, and the smarmy role here makes me think he’s played this type of character before. Rick urges Maggie to go talk to him, and Gregory is pretty condescending to her when she does. You get the sense that Jesus is the real leader of the place, though, since Gregory listens to him, and — let’s be real — he is much sharper and more on top of things than Gregory. So that bodes well, because Gregory does not seem like a competent leader, but Jesus? Absolutely.

TV REVIEW: The Walking Dead Season 6, Episode 11 - Knots Untie

The Hilltop, by the way, is built around an old mansion that was a living history museum before the collapse. It’s really an ideal setup — the mansion has a cupola on top with windows all around, which gives them a view for miles. And let me take a moment to say kudos to the crew who built this place from the ground up! The mansion was built for the show, but you would never know it. What an incredible set they’ve built; it’s quite an accomplishment, inside and out.

Outside, there are a lot of FEMA trailers, the group has chickens and some cows, and it looks like they are growing food as well. It seems like a comfortable community, although Jesus says they have no fighters or weapons, so they could use some things from Alexandria. And Alexandria could use some of Hilltop’s supplies and food, so establishing trade is mutually beneficial. Civilization seems to be moving forward now; we seem to have moved into a new phase.

 

After the aforementioned melee when Ethan stabs Gregory, our group learns more about Negan and his group, the Saviors: He takes half of what the Hilltop has at regular intervals, in exchange for the Saviors not attacking them; Negan killed a 16-year-old right off the bat to prove his strength and get them in line. And now he has one of the Hilltoppers, Craig – Ethan’s brother, that’s why he stabbed Gregory earlier – until they give him what he says he’s owed. Rick and his group decide they should take him out; they’ve learned their lesson about letting people like that get away, and they know how to deal with them. Maggie makes a deal with Gregory to take out Negan and his people and get their man Craig back, in exchange for half of their food and supplies. Rick gathers some people from the Hilltop who know about Negan (they’ve been making runs and know his place), and they all head back to Alexandria. So the stage is set for a confrontation with Negan, which hopefully will come next week. Finally, Negan! One can hope, anyway.

FBI SCORE: 7 out of 10. “Knots Untie” feels largely like a setup episode, though we do get to see the Hilltop and meet some new characters. Hopefully the big payoff will come next week and we will finally get to meet Negan. I do like the focus on the larger picture of building a society, and it was good to see our group have the upper hand for once. The hope provided by Maggie and Glenn’s baby is nice, and makes for some sweet moments in a show that sometimes has too few. But more of the episode feels like filler than not, so points off for that.

Megan Wilde

I'm an editor, wife and mom of two. I love to read and watch good TV and good (OK, and bad) movies. I like pop culture, sci-fi, zombies, comics, Neil Gaiman, Miyazaki movies, Star Wars, '80s nostalgia and all things geeky.

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