TV Review: The Walking Dead, 11×20, “What’s Been Lost”

Aaron Neuwirth reviews The Walking Dead season 11, episode 20, "What's Been Lost," in which Carol and Daryl search for their friends.

The Commonwealth commandos are not the best at handling walkers up close, but they are apparently supreme stealth ninjas when it comes to disappearing people. “What’s Been Lost” is a sprawling and surprisingly focused episode of The Walking Dead that only works so well because it feels like an hour focused on keeping the wheels spinning. Yes, there’s good stuff here and a few major developments, but we’ll only see the ramifications once we tune in next week. As it stands, it’s hard to complain about an episode that heavily features Daryl and Carol taking down bad guys together, let alone a lot more lawyering than I’m used to seeing on this show. That alone keeps this from feeling too middle-of-the-road.

Kicking things off is a bit of a sleight of hand as Ezekiel visits Carol and the two have a pleasant conversation, only for our former Kingdom leader to disappear. We then know what’s up – the people who captured Rosita last week are coming for all of our heroes, Carol included. Fortunately, this group doesn’t know who they are messing with as Carol escapes and heads out, looking for the others. The only person she comes across – Daryl.

Now, this is a bit of a stretch. We find Daryl somehow being outmanned by some random Commonwealth guy, and it’s only thanks to Carol that he gets out of his situation. Sure, Daryl seems to have been attacked by multiples, and there’s only one guy left alive, but Daryl struggling this much is one of those grains of salt I have to take. Regardless, the goal becomes clear – Daryl and Carol are now on a mission to find the rest of their people, who have been taken by Pamela Milton.

On the other side is Yumiko, who chatted with her brother Tomi before finding Connie hiding away, having escaped from being taken. The fact that Connie hasn’t already been arrested for obviously being the journalist that wrote the incriminating articles is another story, but here we are – Kelly has been taken, and Connie needs to stay hidden. It will be up to Yumiko to find out where everyone is. However, she also has to deal with what Pamela wants from her.

With Eugene now in custody, the idea is to have a trial (basically a kangaroo court), where Yumiko will prove the loyalty of her and her people by prosecuting one of her own. It’s a twisted move, and the show gets plenty of credit from me for finding satisfying ways to have our leads throw things back in the face of corrupt authority.

Honestly, this is not a great week for Pamela. She has already lost her son, and her people’s confidence bestowed on her is waning. On top of that, she discovers the body of her dead zombie son and will have to be dealing with the turnaround from her favorite lawyer. Given how this episode ends, if The Walking Dead wanted to finish off its run with a main villain, we’ve certainly gotten the origin story of how a placeholder leader (until her son would take over) has risen to become the main threat facing Carol, Daryl, Yumiko, and the gang.

walking dead what's been lost

But bringing it back to what Carol and Daryl are up to, their solution to their current situation becomes clear – they need Hornsby. It’s not the first reach I would make, but he should have the most know-how about where all of their people are. This also goes about as well as expected. Hornsby is acting creepy, Daryl is still furious at this guy, and Carol tries to be a voice of reason. The prison break is easy enough, but it separates Daryl from the others, leading to Carol and Hornsby once again trying to figure each other out.

There’s a way this could have gone that I would not have preferred. However, instead of seeing Hornsby find some way to get the upper hand, this all comes down to some simple conclusions. Carol and Daryl find out some useful information, and Hornsby runs out of hands to play and gets killed. Many may have expected Hornsby to continue rising and becoming an even bigger threat. This show goes the other way and gives the guy a pretty undignified send-off as he lies on the ground, bleeding out from an arrow to the neck, with no one around to see him go.

Daryl and Carol are no closer to finding their friends and loved ones, but we’ll see where they go from here. I’m also sure to be plenty entertained by the case of Eugene Porter v The People of the Commonwealth. In the meantime, Ezekiel and the rest are on a drugged-up bus trip to somewhere. We’ll see where that somewhere ends up being. “What’s Been Lost” moves a lot of pieces all over the board. With only so many episodes left, I expect a lot more payoff coming soon.

walking dead what's been lost

Dead Bits:

  • Zombie Kill of the Week: The old sewer walker gets its skin torn off and a shotgun to the face, thanks to Carol.
  • “They even took Dog!” – Now Daryl will not stop until his people are rescued!
  • Hornsby is in complete crazy mode, having been stuck in a cell with zombie Sebastian. Yeah, that tracks.
  • I really can’t wait to see how this trail goes down.
  • Thanks for reading, and feel free to hear what me and a few other fans of the show have to say about the series on The Walking Dead TV Podcast.

The Walking Dead is now airing on AMC and streaming on AMC+.

Written by
Aaron Neuwirth is a movie fanatic and Rotten Tomatometer-approved film critic from Orange County, California. He’s a member of the African American Film Critics Association, the Hollywood Critics Association, the Online Film Critics Society, and the Black Film Critics Circle. As an outgoing person who is always thrilled to discuss movies, he’s also a podcaster who has put far too many hours into published audio content associated with film and television. His work has been published at Variety, We Live Entertainment, Why So Blu, The Young Folks, Firstshowing.net, Screen Rant, and Hi-Def Ninja.

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