Dead City’ Just Set Up the Most Terrifying Cliffhanger

If you thought that The Walking Dead: Dead City was slowing down, its latest episode, “Everybody Wins a Prize” ramped things back up, raising the stakes and leaving us on a far too foreboding cliffhanger. With only two episodes left of The Walking Dead’s latest spin-off, tensions couldn’t be higher as Lauren Cohan’s Maggie and Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s Negan continue to traverse an apocalyptic Manhattan in the search for Maggie’s son, Hershel (Logan Kim). Negan’s former ally, Željko Ivanek’s The Croat, knows exactly where the young boy is, and things are about to get really bloody if Negan and Maggie want the answer. Episode 4 puts Maggie and Negan in their most vulnerable positions in the series yet.

RELATED: The Walking Dead: Dead City’: Jeffrey Dean Morgan & Lauren Cohan on Negan’s Blood-Soaked Spectacle and Maggie’s Trauma

Maggie Narrowly Survives Episode 4 of ‘Dead City’

Image via AMC

With their rescue attempt in full swing, Maggie and her new Manhattan allies enter the layer of her son’s captor, The Croat. Meanwhile, Negan attempts to draw out his frightening old ally, allowing Maggie and their team to sneak in. A flawless plan, right? Wrong. Maggie quickly catches on that something isn’t right, but it’s too late, with the team having walked right into The Croat’s trap. Explosives blow open the building’s doors and in classic The Walking Dead fashion, an army of walkers come storming through.

With their backs against the wall, or in this case, a UFC-style ring, Maggie leads the gang (the ones who weren’t torn apart by walkers) through the fight of their lives, resulting in one of The Walking Dead’s best executed set pieces to date. Director Kevin Dowling uses a number of fantastic filmmaking techniques to create such a gripping sequence. From dramatic crane shots to a sudden change to handheld camera movements, Dowling pushes the tension as far as it can go. Adding to the drama, the sequence utilizes “cross-cutting,” an editing technique where the episode cuts back and forth between Maggie’s battle and Negan’s confrontation with The Croat. After using crash pads from the ring as a form of riot shield to escape the immediate onslaught of walkers, the survivors find themselves still with nowhere to go and a herd of undead hot on their tail. As Maggie decides the crew’s escape route, it becomes a case of “out of the frying pan and into the fire.”

Maggie’s Descent Into the Sewers Could Reveal a New Walker

Image via AMC

Maggie knows there’s only one way out of the stadium (which is now completely overrun with walkers) and that’s down into the darkness of New York’s sewers. As Maggie descends into the dark depths, Dowling leaves us with one final, terrifying shot. Cohan completely disappears into the darkness, but the camera refuses to cut away, hauntingly zooming in on the black abyss while the sound of groaning walkers echoes around.

The cliffhanger leaves us wondering what could be lurking in the depths of New York’s dilapidated sewers and a quick look at the promo for next week teases exactly that. Taking a page out of The Last of Us’ book, we could be about to see a new type of walker, perhaps the consequence of them being left alone in the dark for far too long. It’s hard to tell from the short trailer, but it gives us a glimpse at a walker with countless extra arms. The Last of Us Part 2 videogame introduced the Rat King, a term used for when a number of rats get tangled together (or in Episode 5 of The Last of Us’ case, infected) and we might just be about to see The Walking Dead’s version of that. Whatever the case, that forbidding final shot tells us everything we need to know… it’s going to be horrific.

Negan’s Troubles Get Worse in Episode 4

Image via AMC

Finding himself in an equally-tricky situation for Negan, it’s also a case of out of the frying pan, into the fire. Facing off against The Croat, the biggest threat in The Walking Dead universe who is so twisted that even Negan thought that he had to be put down, the sequence once again draws from elements of The Last of Us, beginning as a stealth mission for Negan as he hides behind cars while The Croat’s haunting calls echo throughout the car park. Once face-to-face, Negan rescues Perlie Armstrong (Gaius Charles) from the twisted torturer who attempts to throw Perlie from a high catwalk to the concrete below, even shooting him in the leg with a grappling hook as Negan begins to help him.

Negan’s troubles get worse, when after a narrow escape, Perlie, whom Negan saved literally moments earlier, holds a gun to his rescuer’s head. Out of The Croat’s nest, into the marshal’s firing range. The two have had a brief yet troubling past, with Perlie being a marshal for the New Babylon Federation, tasked with hunting down Negan for murder. Even after being saved from The Croat’s crutches, Perlie is determined to hold Negan accountable, informing him that the punishment for murder is death. After narrowly escaping the wrath of The Croat, Negan still finds himself facing off against death. Give the reformed baddie a break!

So, Is Maggie’s Son Still Alive?

Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and Maggie (Lauren Cohan) on 'The Walking Dead: Dead City'
Image via AMC

With their rescue attempt completely in tatters, Maggie is still no closer to rescuing her son, and it’s clear that the uncertainty of his whereabouts is taking a toll on her. In a scene that reminded us just how good of an actor Lauren Cohan is (not that we needed reminding), Maggie and Negan search through The Croat’s torture chambers, coming face to face with a young victim who has a terrifying resemblance to Hershel. Maggie watches in horror, the fear of losing her son and the one tie to her dead husband Glenn (Steven Yeun) overwhelming her. Thankfully, Negan raises the victim’s head, revealing it to be another poor soul turned into a walker. For now, we can all breathe a sigh of relief, because nobody wants to see Maggie go through that kind of grief again. Hershel is still out there, but where?

The Walking Dead: Dead City is shaping up to a dramatic conclusion over its final two episodes. Will Negan and Perlie go on a journey similar to his one with Maggie? What awaits the survivors down in the sewers? Will Maggie finally be reunited with her son? Things are tense, and the stakes have never been higher with this latest cliffhanger adding to the drama of it all. Episode 5 can’t come soon enough!

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