The Walking Dead season 11 episode 6 review: A very haunted house

Lauren Ridloff as Connie, Kevin Carroll as Virgil - The Walking Dead _ Season 11, Episode 6 - Photo Credit: Josh Stringer/AMC
Lauren Ridloff as Connie, Kevin Carroll as Virgil - The Walking Dead _ Season 11, Episode 6 - Photo Credit: Josh Stringer/AMC /

The Walking Dead season 11 episode 6 is one of the scariest episodes of the entire franchise. Lauren Ridloff delivers an incredible performance that’s inspiring and memorable, and her work in the episode will go down as one of the best performances on the entire series.

Here’s the thing: The Walking Dead is a show about zombies, but after roughly a decade in the zombie apocalypse there are still things out there that catch the survivors off guard. Case in point: Feral humans.

The Walking Dead season 11 episode 6 introduces a new threat

When you know that there are walkers lurking in the forest and in strange, unexpected places, they don’t deliver the same kind of fright they did in earlier seasons. Sure, they still pop up from time to time and grab an ankle or emerge from a pile of decaying trees, but for the most part the survivors have grown pretty used to them.

“On the Inside” introduced feral humans who lived in a very creepy house that was used like a maze to trap their prey for easy consumption. Not only do they live in this house, but they also manage to herd unsuspecting victims into the house. In this case, Connie (Ridloff) and Virgil (Kevin Carroll) thought they were safe once they were inside, but it just so happens that they were in more peril than they could imagine.

Not only did the feral humans who ran around on all fours provide many moments of sheer terror, several key moments of the episode were shot in silence, relying solely on Connie’s visual perspective. Lauren Ridloff delivers a masterful performance in this episode, expressing sheer terror in an utterly soundless and wordless way.

As a deaf woman, Connie can’t hear the feral people moving around her so she’s relying upon other clues – delivered through sight and touch – to figure out what’s happening. When she sees that Virgil is in danger, she can’t warn him because she can’t speak, and it doesn’t help to bang on the walls because the ferals were doing the same thing so he thinks that her warnings are the ferals coming for him.

Greg Nicotero directed this episode, relying heavily upon Dutch camera angles and jarring camera movement to capture how Connie perceived the situation. Without sound, there are no clues to warn viewers when a feral is about to pop out of a wall. When she’s running through the house, she can’t hear them chasing her but viewers can see them coming for her.

The triumph of the episode comes in Connie’s solution to the problem. She covers herself in guts and opens the door so that the house is filled with walkers. The walkers chase the ferals and eventually catch up to them, tearing the cannibalistic ferals apart while Connie and Virgil escape.

There were other important stories evolving in the episode. Kelly (Angel Theory) was out searching for her sister after learning from the captured Whisperer that her sister had escaped the cave. Daryl (Norman Reedus) had to prove himself to the Reapers, which put Maggie’s (Lauren Cohan) group in grave danger.

Without question, though, the star of this episode was Lauren Ridloff and her groundbreaking performance that puts a spotlight on the hard of hearing community. In the season 10 premiere, Connie told her sister that being deaf was her superpower in the season 10 premiere and in episode 1106 she shows us just how powerful she is. She survived the cave-in, she survived being on the road after making her way out of the cave, and now she not only got out of the creepy house alive but she also managed to save Virgil after he was injured.

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“On the Inside” is The Walking Dead at its finest. It’s chilling and terrifying, keeping you on the edge of your seat, but it also features the survivors doing extraordinary things in the most challenging of circumstances. After ten seasons, it’s hard to imagine that some of the best writing of the series is coming right now in season 11. But it’s absolutely true, and “On the Inside” will forever be remembered as one of the most terrifying episodes of the entire series.