AMC’s The Walking Dead
11×14: “The Rotten Core”
Directed by Marcus Stokes
Written by Erik Mountain & Jim Barnes
* For a recap & review of 11×13, click here.
* For a recap & review of 11×15, click here.
Toby’s tossed all sorts of folks off the top of the building, so he calls Hornsby to let him know the location’s now secure. Toby doesn’t exactly tell Hornsby everything, though the latter offers up some quasi-racist sentiments which probably show it doesn’t much matter to him anyway. Meanwhile, inside the building, Aaron, Maggie, Elijah, and Lydia are trying to make it to the rest of their friends.
Back at the Commonwealth, Daryl and Carol chat briefly before he heads off with his soldier buddies. He and Rosita are Commonwealth cops, essentially; donuts and all. He’s not making friends with everybody, as he and Sebastian Milton remain at odds. Probably not a good thing.
Back at the other community, Maggie and her pals run into Negan and his new wife Annie. It’s tense at first. They’ve all got to calm down a slight bit; Negan gets everybody somewhat comfortable with his usual, wonderfully crass conversation skills. Negan and Annie lead the others back through a passageway to the others, including Gabriel. Annie can’t leave that place without finding the rest of her community who are hiding throughout the building. That means they’ve got to search.
Daryl and Rosita get to a hill, where Sebastian explains the soldiers are going to go down to a house below and rob the home’s contents. The place belonged to a very rich friend of Sebastian’s, and there’s a panic room with all kinds of treasures inside. This is all necessary because Sebastian’s being cut off from mommy’s money. Daryl and Rosita won’t do it. Immediately, Sebastian threatens their families, so Daryl returns the favour, putting a knife at the spoiled baby’s throat. But eventually, Daryl and Rosita must give in to the rich kid’s wants.
The pair smear themselves in zombie guts, then head down the hill to the house. Inside, the place is dark and creepy. There’s fresh blood on the carpet, too. They hear a noise soon and there’s someone in the panic room. The woman inside, April, tells Daryl and Rosita she was forced to go down there because she was in debt and told this was a way to get out of it. It’s not the first time Sebastian has sent people down to get the money, and April got trapped in that place, along with others, resulting in tragedy.
At the building, Maggie and Annie go together while Negan remains behind to look after his newfound community. They get time to talk briefly. Annie reveals she’s pregnant with Negan’s child; she’s “twelve weeks” along. At the same time, Negan discovers young Hershel came along for the ride without mom knowing. Maggie’s terrified, but Negan insists he’ll look after the boy. It’s not easy for her, to have her son in “the hands of the man who killed his father.” Brutally awkward. Yet Annie knows all the things Negan’s done. “None of us has clean hands,” she says. She also believes Negan has not forgotten about all the horrible things he’s done.
Negan’s busy having a tough chat with Hershel, though without fully explaining things, and he believes he’s no longer “a bad man.” Then Hershel realises Negan is the one who killed his father. He pulls a gun. Negan tries to talk the boy down, largely because if a gun goes off it’ll alert Toby and the soldiers to their position. For now, Hershel gives up the gun.
At the house, Daryl works on getting the generator going when he’s ambushed by a couple walkers. He fights in the flickering light, getting hold of a baseball bat to finish off the zombies and then finish turning the power on again. With power restored, Rosita unlocks the panic room and April’s thrilled to be free. The power goes on the fritz and Rosita tries to fix it but the alarm goes off. Shit. Rosita manages to short circuit the system but walkers are foaming at the mouth outside. Daryl gets the safe open to haul out some money, but then they have to stay inside the room a moment longer to get more guts on themselves to make it back out.
Suddenly there are gunshots outside. Someone knocks at the door: it’s Mercer, along with Carol, who’s thankfully always looking out for Daryl. Mercer hears of Sebastian forcing everyone to go in there. After that, they all “gut up” and head out into the horde. On the way out, April gets hooked on a zombie and winds up making noise, just to be pulled into a trio of zombies and eaten, while the rest have to use their limited ammo and blades to finish off the walkers.
Toby and his Commonwealth soldiers continue sweeping the building, looking for anyone left to kill or get info from, as Maggie and Annie sneak through the corridors forming a plan. The soldiers come to a room, inside which there’s a secret passageway through the closet, where Negan and all the others are hiding in the other room. Toby nearly comes upon the passageway when, elsewhere, there’s gunfire. He and a soldier get to the roof where they hold Aaron and Gabriel at gunpoint. He’s distracted long enough for Elijah to get the jump on the other soldier, then they have Toby helpless. The other soldiers likewise find themselves in trouble. Aaron gives Toby no remorse, shooting him in the legs. The former CIA man falls off the building but doesn’t die, screaming as the folks he threw to their deaths just a while ago, now zombified, eat him alive.
Mercer isn’t happy with Sebastian’s personal soldier team. He shoots them dead. But he says they have to pay Sebastian, or else things will get much uglier. Could be a lot worse. Although Rosita and Daryl still have to be around Sebastian, who’s absolutely insufferable in his bourgeois bliss. The rich kid doesn’t even ask any questions about why his soldier pals didn’t make it back home.
Hornsby can’t get Toby on the radio, for obvious reasons. After that he’s visited in his office by Carol. She explains what Sebastian is doing to “desperate people.” Hornsby knows about it, obviously, happy that the money’s finally been recovered. He talks a lot like a democratic politician when he’s just a ruthless capitalist in a brand new world. At least now Carol fully comprehends the man with whom she’s dealing.
So, who actually stole the weapons from the Commonwealth convoy?
Jump back a couple weeks.
The convoy were all but splattered across the road. One soldier was left crawling away from a pile of bodies until Leah cut their throat open. Oh, goddamn. Leah’s just going to kill everybody she can find.