AMC’s The Walking Dead
Directed by Greg Nicotero
Written by Julia Ruchman
* For a recap & review of 11×16, click here.
* For a recap & review of 11×18, click here.
We get a montage, beginning with Rick Grimes waking up in that hospital, and we see lots of “found families” that have been formed along the way, as well as those who “gave in to the darkness,” of which there are many. Then we come to Daryl clearing a room of walkers along with Maggie. Outside, they see Hornsby and his Commonwealth soldiers executing people, searching for them everywhere. Daryl and Maggie are soon joined by Gabriel, Negan, and Annie. They debate what to do next. Daryl suggests Negan goes into the belly of the beast, since people at the Commonwealth don’t know Negan already.
Commonwealth soldiers are clearing zombies in the street when one of them gets dogpiled. Then Negan attacks the other soldier, using his Whisperers mask as cover. He hops in the soldiers’ vehicle and heads out while Daryl grabs himself an assault rifle and a walkie so he’ll be able to keep track of the other soldiers.
Hornsby and the remaining Commonwealth soldiers are stuck in the streets. He tries to call back to Calhoun, urging they initiate “contingency protocol” on Daryl, but the message can’t get through because the signal is too erratic. And soon there are bullets flying, as Daryl attacks them from nearby. Daryl keeps on mowing soldiers down while Hornsby and the soldiers attempt to pin down his location. He nearly runs Hornsby down flying out of there in a vehicle. At the same time, Negan’s being hunted by soldiers, weaving through dilapidated streets on a high-speed chase. He gets an assist when Daryl comes flying down a side street, smashing into the soldiers chasing him. And off goes Negan. How times have changed. There was a time not too long ago that Daryl would’ve never even dreamed of doing anything to help Negan, and now he’s depending on the man.
Things at the Commonwealth are unravelling for the upper class and Pamela Milton. People are shouting in the streets, protesting with signs. “We want justice,” they shout. Mercer runs into Rosita, wondering why she’s out of uniform. He says he needs her. Meanwhile, Pamela’s talking over the loudspeaker to try communing with the people, though nobody outside is listening. Max and Yumiko are by Pamela’s side, but they’re doing everything within their meagre power to undermine her.
Mercer goes to see someone who’s asked to speak with him, and there’s Negan. They talk about April first. Negan then mentions running into Hornsby, and that he was sent by Daryl. He says they have people inside the Commonwealth to protect. Mercer isn’t immediately willing to let Negan in, but then Negan questions why he’s following all the supposed rules when everybody else is busy breaking them. A fair point.
At home, Carol looks after Judith and Gracie. She notices potential trouble on the streets, though. So it’s time to “play the quiet game.” They hide away as Calhoun and Shira arrive suddenly to search the place; of course, finding nobody. But Calhoun’s pretty interested in the photo on the fridge, of Daryl, RJ, and Judith. He takes it with him. After a while, Calhoun and Shira leave. Down on the street, Negan runs into Jerry, who takes him to Carol. He explains what happened with Hornsby, everything with Maggie and Daryl. Carol’s got some plans, too.
Pamela is confronted about her son, but she insists he did nothing wrong. People are angry. Yumiko steps in and does her best to assuage the worries of a grieving family, which works long enough for soldiers to clear the place out. She’s helping Pamela, just enough to not seem too suspicious. Pamela has enough on her hands to worry about with the Commonwealth in near revolt, chanting “Down with the Miltons” and spray painting anti-Milton graffiti all over the city.
Oh, and a zombie horde is headed for the Commonwealth.
Now there’s a lockdown because of “a swarm” of zombies on their way. The military is going to intercept the walkers, but for now the city has to shut down. Jerry’s with the kids when he sees Calhoun nearby, so they have to be sneaky now. They get a bit of help from the crowd to make their escape. They hide away just long enough to stay out of Calhoun’s sight. At the same time, Carol and Negan have sneaked into the City Planning office. They search through all kinds of records, making a bit of small talk as they go. Negan mentions getting married and Annie being pregnant.
Back out on the road, Daryl and Maggie hide from a big group of soldiers. She says sorry for what he had to do. He says that Glenn would’ve wanted him to protect her, so she never has to say sorry. Afterwards, they meet up with Annie, Aaron, and Gabriel again. Now they have to find a way to get a jump on the Commonwealth soldiers. So they head into the sewer. Again. They decide to try luring the soldiers down there, too.
Carol and Negan have blueprints and now they’re searching for a spot where they should be a door. They pry open a hidden passage to a sealed door, behind which they discover a sleeping Sebastian, who’s obviously been hiding out there, “pissing in jars” and what not. Carol tells Sebastian they’re taking him back to Pamela. The young man has lots of mommy issues. But Negan urges to take whatever “life raft” Carol is tossing to Sebastian because he knows how good she is at solving problems.
Outside, people are in the streets with the grieving family still standing there. The military are present, trying to push people inside because of the lockdown. Negan and Carol are spotted with Sebastian and someone alerts the soldiers; Negan gets pistol whipped in the process. Worse still, the zombies have closed in on the Commonwealth, and the soldiers decide to use force to clear the streets of citizens, tear gassing the crowds.
In the light of day, Mercer and the Commonwealth soldiers, along with Rosita suited up again, go to deal with the horde of zombies. He and Rosita talk a bit. She says she doesn’t mind helping in the field, but she doesn’t want to help with things back in the Commonwealth, she refuses to be a part of how the soldiers handle things at home. Mercer, under it all, is sensible, and he tells Rosita he’ll help her if she ever decides to leave the Commonwealth. While they deal with the horde, one soldier gets pulled apart and eaten by zombies, as Mercer tries to help but can’t do anything for the man. They just have to keep on working to disperse the walkers.
Yumiko confronts Pamela about the tear gas. Naturally, the politician doesn’t give a shit about anybody but herself and the people who protect her. They talk about Sebastian, and Pamela doesn’t want to admit anything bad about her own son. That’s when Carol arrives with Sebastian. He’s greeted with a hug and a slap in the face from his mother. He claims he’s just a target for people’s scorn, that he did nothing wrong. Carol introduces herself and offers to help, if Pamela will help her and her friends in return.
Down in the sewers, Daryl and friends try to get the drop on the soldiers and Hornsby, but it doesn’t exactly work. Daryl does have Hornsby with a knife to the man’s throat. But there are also a ton of Commonwealth soldiers along for the ride. A stalemate for the moment; a dangerous one.