AMC’s The Walking Dead
11×18: “A New Deal”
Directed by Jeffrey F. January
Written by Kevin Deiboldt & Corey Reed
* For a recap & review of 11×17, click here.
* For a recap & review of 11×19, click here.
More flashbacks until we return to Daryl with his knife at Hornsby’s throat and the soldiers standing off with guns against the others in Daryl’s group. Then, Mercer arrives, alongside Pamela Milton and Carol. They tell Daryl to stand down but he isn’t ready to do that. Pamela says they need Hornsby alive, and Mercer says: “Not like this.” But Daryl’s angry, he even drops an f-bomb, and he wonders what Carol’s done, though she says she made a deal to help them. He does let Hornsby go, but first he drives his knife directly through the man’s hand. Daryl Dixon: an absolute lad! And it’s not like the wound is going to kill Lance, so it’s a win-win, really.
Carol later explains the deal to her friends: their debt will be wiped out with the Commonwealth and they’ll be “free and clear,” along with enough materials to continue their rebuilding. They just have to give Hornsby over and let him face up to his crimes. Everybody wants to talk it over. Maggie thinks it’s worth it if they get to go back to their homes. Daryl agrees, albeit somewhat reluctantly. Annie and Negan need to talk to the rest of their group because of all that’s happened between them and Hornsby.
While Pamela gloats to Hornsby he says that if he’s put out to pasture, then “certain alliances” and “stabilising factors” for the Commonwealth will become a problem. You never know what this shady guy is up to, so it could be very true, and we’ve seen how he’s dealt with people in the wasteland. For now, Pamela’s trotting Hornsby out in front of everybody for the photo op. People still think Sebastian has escaped justice. There are celebrations coming up to keep peoples’ minds off things.
People are getting ready to head back to Alexandria and Hilltop. Not everybody, though. Ezekiel thinks his place now is in the Commonwealth with the people he’s met. He feels this was where he was given “a second chance” at life, so he wants to help “the people of another kingdom before it falls apart.” Unfortunately, Carol knows too much about that place to be comfortable staying there any longer than necessary. Even Negan worries about leaving the Commonwealth because he wants to make sure Annie’s taken care of during her pregnancy. She doesn’t want to abandon the people from their group. She says they don’t need the Commonwealth, especially after all the people from their group who’ve died because of it.
Meanwhile, Sebastian is preparing a speech his mother wants him to make, so that everything will be right as rain. Pamela wants her son to follow her rules and to make things better with the people of the Commonwealth. She pushes Sebastian to take things more seriously.
Judith is gone missing. She doesn’t want to leave the Commonwealth, so she’s off hiding somewhere. Daryl and Carol have to go searching for the girl everywhere. They talk about parenthood and all the difficult choices a parent, surrogate or otherwise, has to make. Carol assures Daryl he’ll figure things out eventually. Daryl catches up with Judith when she’s found at the church. He’s not mad at her. He talks about a place where he used to hide when he didn’t want to go home to his abusive father. They talk things out and Judith just wonders if she’ll get to say goodbye to her friends.
Everything the Miltons are doing isn’t sitting well with Max. She doesn’t want to sit by and let things continue to get worse. So, she’s doing whatever’s necessary. She goes to see Hornsby, along with Eugene. Hornsby’s surprised to get a visit from Eugene, along with a candy apple as a treat. Eugene asks if Hornsby has any potentially damaging info on the Miltons. The jailed man actually advises it’d be better to make nice with Pamela rather than fight her. Max and Eugene get nothing. Hornsby only says they’ll have to “burn the whole thing down” to get anything done.
Calhoun and Shira murder a bunch of Commonwealth janitors, but they leave the corpses out and a gate unlocked. So you can guess how that’ll go! Is Hornsby still running things from behind bars? Oh, my.
Sebastian is pissed off with his speech. After Max pours Sebastian a drink, he starts ranting about how people in the Commonwealth are weak, among other things. He says the Commonwealth is “built on buying bullshit” and the mirage of the American Dream still existing. He goes on about the game being rigged, right down to the lottery winners in the Commonwealth. Max is busy recording it all for a convenient time later.
Founders Day continues at the Commonwealth. There are festivities for all, including a bit of good old fashioned wrasslin, American style! Later on, Sebastian is called upon to make his speech. He starts off well, reading exactly as he was told, then he goes off the cuff, apologising to people and trying to talk a good game. After a while, Eugene switches on Max’s recording, and everybody in the Commonwealth hears Sebastian’s true thoughts about them. Things being breaking down fast.
And then, the janitor zombies reanimate and start causing bloody havoc in the streets of the Commonwealth. Daryl gets separated from Judith in all the madness but they find each other and they head off together to help the people of the Commonwealth, as he hands over a gun for her. She certainly didn’t forget hot to shoot, either. In the midst of the crowd, Sebastian tracks Sam down and her tosses her to a zombie, though Eugene manages to toss the zombie back at the spoiled rich boy and nobody does anything to help Sebastian, who winds up getting chomped. The only one who stops the zombie, after it chomps into Sebastian, is Judith.
And then everything goes silent, as Sebastian’s voice keeps playing over the loudspeaker about the disparity between rich and poor in the Commonwealth.