'The Walking Dead' Season 11, Episode 10: Here's a reminder of what the survivors are fighting for

In the calm before the storm, this episode gives us a solid reminder of everything that the survivors have at stake


                            'The Walking Dead' Season 11, Episode 10: Here's a reminder of what the survivors are fighting for
Michael Rooker as Earl (AMC)
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Spoiler alert for Season 11 Episode 10 'Morning Star'

'The Walking Dead' is largely a bleak show, but you don't get to 11 seasons of a series by just focusing on the bleakness. In this episode, moments before the Whisperer War, the survivors prepare themselves for what might be their final days. It's not the first time they are facing death, but with everything they have built on Hilltop and Alexandria, they are fighting for a lot more than just their lives this time around.

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Early seasons of 'The Walking Dead' had a lot of running and a lot of traveling. The survivors hadn't really ever had time to establish roots, but that's no longer the case. Not only have they settled down but have also been building towards something. Surviving is no longer about getting through the day, the week or even the next month alive — it's about building a civilization back up from scratch.

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The ultimate victory against the walkers is not just getting them all shot or stabbed in the head. It's in rebuilding a world that the walker threat took away from them, and in Hilltop and Alexandria, they have done just that. They have managed to make the walker threat nearly irrelevant but the Whisperers are fighting for their own dystopian version of the world. One where barbarism is embraced as a way of life and all thoughts of civilization and the future abandoned. The Whisperers' barbarism has made them dangerous opponents, but what they lack are the little things.

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Fighting for the future is a noble goal, but the survivors have more than that. They are fighting for their family, their friendships and for the people they love. Carol Peletier (Melissa McBride) is fighting for forgiveness — if not immediately, then for a day when she can earn it and give it to herself. Some, like Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) and Ezekiel (Khary Payton) are just fighting for that slim chance that one of them can get the children to a safe place. Others, like Eugene Porter (Josh McDermitt) have hope enough to be fighting for the chance of a relatively blind date in a post-apocalyptic world.

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There is a lot at stake as the Whisperers and their walker horde attack Hilltop. The survivors might not win but everything they are fighting for gives them an edge that the Whisperers just don't have.

The next episode of 'The Walking Dead' airs on March 15, on AMC.