Last week’s episode of The Walking Dead concluded with Eugene turning himself in to Mercer, who’s at his breaking point with the Commonwealth‘s corruption. Meanwhile, Governor Pamela Milton has completely lost it, as evidenced by the fact that she’s keeping her zombified son Seabastion alive and forcing Lance Hornsby to feed him pieces of his dead operative, Roman Calhoun. Meanwhile, Rosita was just about to leave with Coco and Gabriel for Alexandria when a couple of guys burst into her apartment and abducted her.
Oh, and apparently zombies are evolving so they can open doors and climb walls.
This week, Governor Milton continues to tighten her grip on the Commonwealth while Daryl and Carol make a desperate play to help their friends.
As always, the recap portion of this review will contain plenty of spoilers. The sequence of events has also been streamlined for the sake of clarity.
The Enemy of My Enemy
This week’s Judith Voice Over discusses how important it is to form bonds with other people, which allows us to retain our humanity. Her words are accompanied by flashbacks showing Daryl and Carol’s friendship over the years.
We then cut to the Commonwealth, where Carol is loading up on baked goods for the trip home. Ezekiel stops by to say one more farewell and provide her with some medical supplies. When Carol turns to get him some muffins, however, he disappears. Moments later, the bakery is infiltrated by two Commonwealth operatives dressed in black (despite it being daytime).
Carol fights them off, flees the bakery, and covertly makes her way to Daryl’s house, where he’s in the process of fighting off a pair of operatives. One is dead while the other has him pinned to the ground (albeit with a knife in his shoulder). Carol manages to rescue her friend with an assist from the reanimated operative.
*Side Note: Anyone notice how inconsistent the zombie reanimation time is?
After putting both adversaries down for good, Daryl informs Carol that Commonwealth agents have taken the children. Carol responds that they’ve actually taken everyone. As if that weren’t awful enough, Daryl reveals that the people who attacked him also took Dog.
*Side Note: If anything happens to Dog, we riot.
The pair decide that their best move is to find Hornsby and see what he might be willing/capable of doing to help them. They head to the jail, take out a couple of inept guards, and find Hornsby’s cell along with Zombie Sebastian and the decimated remains of Roman Calhoun. The shellshocked Hornsby is covered in Roman’s blood and repeatedly mumbling “There’s always a path” while turning over his father’s lucky coin.
Daryl puts down Zombie Sebastian (uh oh) and demands Hornsby tell him where their friends are. He’s about to go full Jack Bauer on the former lieutenant governor when Carol decides to try a different tact: Gently informing him that he’ll be killed if he doesn’t help.
Hornsby finally snaps out of it and says he can show Carol and Daryl where their friends are. He also pledges to reveal a way out of the city. Unfortunately, Hornsby has a radio transmitter attached to his leg, which will set off an alarm once he leaves his cell. He also claims to have something he needs to do before they leave, although we don’t get to see it right then.
As the trio makes a break for the exit, the jail is swarmed by Commonwealth troops. Daryl insists that Carol leave with Hornsby while he provides cover fire for their escape.
Running with the Devil
Governor Milton assures a group of Commonwealth power players that the terrorist threat posed by the Coalition immigrants is being dealt with. The meeting is interrupted when Yumiko storms in and demands to know what’s been done with her friends. When a security guard attempts to stop her, she slugs him in the face.
Milton calmly diffuses the situation and tells her guests that their meeting was ending soon, anyway. After they depart, the governor smugly informs Yumiko that her friends have been removed from the Commonwealth. Milton also tells Yumiko that she’ll be the prosecuting attorney at Eugene’s trial.
When Yumiko tries to refuse, Milton counters that she’ll never see her friends again if she doesn’t cooperate. She also threatens her brother (Tomi), thus putting Yumiko in an impossible position.
Yumiko goes to the Commonwealth Hospital to warn Tomi about what’s happened. While he’s equally disgusted by the Governor’s actions, he tells his sister that the best thing she can do is give Milton what she wants for the sake and survival of everyone else — even if that means sacrificing Eugene.
On her way out of the hospital, Yumiko spots Connie, who motions her into a nearby room. Once they’re alone, Connie explains that she managed to escape by stabbing her assailant, but was unable to help Kelly before the operatives took her. Shen came to the hospital because she knew the man who attacked her would need medical attention.
Sure enough, the dude is sitting in the next room, which Yumiko can spy on through an air vent. Connie says she plans to follow the man and find her sister, but Yumiko declares it to be too risky and says she’ll trail him, instead.
After he’s discharged from the hospital, Yumiko follows the operative into the city. She briefly loses him in the crowd only for the man to appear right in front of her. She attempts to play things off and walk away, but it’s clear he knows she was tailing him.
Yumiko then goes to visit Eugene in jail, who assures her that he understands if she has to go after him in court. That said, he also warns her of the very real possibility that Governor Milton could go back on her agreement to let their friends go. In the end, they just have to have faith that an opportunity for a better outcome will eventually present itself.
Meanwhile, Milton goes over the details for an upcoming press conference with her new assistant (Kathleen), who she mistakenly refers to as Max. They’re interrupted by a call about the incident at the jail. When the governor arrives, she finds Zombie Sebastian’s remains in a much worse state than Daryl left them. Hornsby’s coin is also resting in the middle of his caved-in head.
As you might imagine, Governor Milton doesn’t take this very well.
Meanwhile, Hornsby leads Carol outside the city walls. Along the way, he assures her that it was the right decision to leave Daryl behind since he was only slowing her down. He also lavishes her with praise for exhibiting a rare breed of intelligence and toughness.
Carol tells Hornsby she’s tired of his mind games. She then pulls a gun on him and demands that he verbally reveal where her friends are being held. Hornsby initially tries to talk his way out of things before daring her to kill him, thus ruining any chance she’ll have at finding them.
Before the situation can boil over, the pair are forced to hide when a Commonwealth patrol rides by in a jeep and two motorcycles. Hornsby tells Carol he knows how they can lose them. Carol is understandably skeptical, but decides to follow him, anyway.
As night falls, Hornsby leads her to a dilapidated building that the Commonwealth abandoned years ago. As they head inside, he laments how things went down for him before asking Carol what she expects to happen if they manage to take down Governor Milton. As he sees it, her removal from power would create a vacuum, which in turn would cause a period of unrest and bloodshed.
Carol points out that it’s all a moot point if she can’t find her people. After assuring her that they will, Hornsby follows up by asking if it’s fair to the Colation children to deny them the type of life the adults once enjoyed before society fell.
The one-sided conversation is halted when Hornsby is attacked in the dark by a walker. Carol takes it down only to find herself surrounded by even more zombies. She takes out her gun and mows most of them down, but is nearly killed by an extra slimy one, all while Hornsby watches. When she finally kills it, he apologizes and claims to have gotten turned around in the dark.
As more zombies begin lumbering in their direction, the pair takes off out of the building and into the woods, where they’re found by a squad of soldiers. Before they can call it in, Daryl shows up and mows them down with a machine gun.
Pressing Your Luck
Before her press conference is about to begin, Milton spots Yumiko and notes how glad she is to see her. The governor also reveals that she knows Yumiko attempted to tail one of the Commonwealth operatives and that Connie has been captured. The governor then does a hard pivot and states how important Yumiko’s words will be for the good of the Commonwealth. When Yumiko replies that it’s just “bulls*** theater,” Milton says it doesn’t matter as long as she gets her lines right.
The press conference begins with an announcement about the decision to prosecute Eugene. When it’s Yumiko’s turn to speak, she starts by praising the Commonwealth and admitting that Eugene was her friend. She then asks her brother to stand up so he can be publicly recognized for all the good he’s done as a surgeon in the community (and hopefully ensure Milton can’t do anything to him).
Following that awkward interlude, Yumiko goes off script and announces her intention to defend Eugene and the unjust accusations made against him. This receives a surprisingly enthusiastic response from at least half the crowd along with the added benefit of pissing Milton off.
Meanwhile, Hornsby leads Daryl and Carol to the perimeter of a supply depot. He tells them that once the guards are taken out, he’ll be able to lead them along the supply train route to where their friends out. When Carol expresses surprise that the Commonwealth has a working train, Hornsby wistfully recalls the community’s mission to expand. He then suggests that they get moving before the sun comes up.
Daryl agrees, but says they’ll be doing it without him.
Hornsby immediately tries to point out how indispensable he is, but is smacked down after Carol points out that they only need to follow the train to know where their friends are being kept. Hornsby then tries to claim that he and Carol had agreed on trying to make a better future for the children after Milton was removed. Carol counters her listening to his incessant babbling never meant she agreed with him.
Hornsby continues pleading his case. Daryl and Carol say that they won’t kill him, but he will be allowed to run off and try to survive — which is far more than he deserves. Lance babbles a bit more in his defense, but finally shuts up after a signature Daryl stalk-and-stare. He then walks toward a nearby jeep (which they took from the squad Daryl killed) and grabs a conveniently placed gun from the back.
Before he can fire it, Carol shoots an arrow straight through his neck.
As the disgraced lieutenant governor bleeds out and dies, Carol and Daryl get in the jeep and ride off to save their friends.
*Side Note: Zombie Lance Hornsby is going to be the best-dressed walker on the east coast for at least a few years.
Elsewhere, a bus rumbles down the highway accompanied by soldiers in jeeps and motorcycles. Inside the bus, the captured Coalition members fill the seats with their hands tied with bags over their heads. A soldier walks down the aisle and injects some of them with what is hopefully just a sedative. We can’t tell who’s who except for the last person, which is revealed to be Ezekiel via some nifty camera/FX work.
After the soldier sticks him in the neck, Ezekiel slumps down in his seat.
Welp, that’s yet another major Commonwealth character whose fate won’t be the same as it is in the comics. I really like the way they ended Comic Lance Hornsby‘s story, but the television version definitely got what he deserved.
Hornsby’s death was a undoubtedly big moment, but it also felt a tad premature. I might be in the minority on this, but it would’ve been a lot of fun to have Milton there so we could see her reaction when he died — or maybe even be a part of it. At the very least I wish we could’ve seen the governor watch Zombie Sebastian get put down.
On a similar note, Yumiko’s not-so-surprisingly decision to publicly declare support for Eugene was good, but not as big or shocking as the show’s writers appeared to think it was. That said, the way she deftly added a layer of protection for her brother was a boss move.
As great as Eleanor Matsuura was in this episode, though, it’s getting harder and harder to believe Milton would let Yumiko walk around freely. Considering the type of power the governor has, it’s not like she needs a good lawyer — especially one who has no problem knocking out a guard, telling her how wrong she is, or completely going against her orders.
The episode also should have ended with Lance’s death. The scene on the bus was just weird. We were already worried about the captured Coalition members. Showing them on a bus and being sedated just lets us know they’re likely all still alive.
There was also a lot that happened offscreen. We didn’t need to see every Coalition member who was kidnapped, but one or two of the children would’ve driven home the concern a bit more. And speaking of Daryl, it’s a little hard to believe he got out of that prison unscathed. We know he could do it, but having him succeed out of our view AND show up just in time to save Carol/Hornsby is a bit much.
Those minor complaints aside, the tension throughout the hour never let up, providing another solid entry in The Walking Dead’s final batch of episodes. Considering everything that went down this time, next week’s episode should be the most explosive one yet.
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