"The Walking Dead is now in its eleventh season," says Dustin Rowles. "Eleven seasons. The audience isn’t nearly what it once was, but practically no one who is still watching in its eleventh season has any plans to quit. We are 161 episodes into it. What would be the point of quitting now? With only 16 more episodes remaining? We may not enjoy The Walking Dead anymore (especially after these last 8 episodes), but we didn’t come this far to quit this close to the end. You know what you do not need when you have a committed but frustrated audience? A goddamn cliffhanger. Honestly, what is the point?! There’s a calculation that goes into cliffhangers, one that balances the need to lure an audience back after a long break and the frustration a cliffhanger inevitably involves. The winter finale — the last episode until February — did not need to lure an audience back. Again, we’re committed, whether we like it or not. The only thing a cliffhanger at this point in The Walking Dead does is leave us frustrated. Pissed off is more like it. The only thing the first eight episodes of this season had going for it was the hope of some payoff in the winter finale, a sincere wish that the ass-dragging Reapers storyline would close out so that the series could turn toward the more interesting Commonwealth storyline."