Original air date: September 12, 2021
Aaron, Carol, Lydia, and Jerry go to the Hilltop ruins for blacksmith tools and nearby game; Eugene’s group goes through orientation at the Commonwealth; Maggie and Negan trudge through the woods; Judith and the kids clash with teenagers.
* * *
[Crickets chirping, animals howling]
How much farther, Daddy?
Well, we, uh, took a wrong turn at the fork a ways back. But, uh, we’re heading the right way now. We’re almost home.
I’ll be glad when we get there.
Yeah, me, too.
It’s gonna be okay. Just stay close.
[Walkers growling, whistling continues]
Gracie? Gracie? Gracie!
Gracie! Gracie! Gracie!
[Toilet lid creaks]
[Walker growling in distance]
Dudes… Dudes? Dudes! Breach! They’re inside the wall!
Man #2: Grab your weapons!
There’s a breach!
Hey, Gracie, uh, I need you to head downstairs into the basement and don’t let anyone in, okay? Just like we practiced, alright? And you stay there, okay? You have your whistle?
Okay, go now.
Get ’em back!
Woman: Use the beams!
Fill the hole!
Fill the hole!
[Upbeat music plays]
Hello! I’m Lance Hornsby. Welcome to the Commonwealth.
If you’re watching this video, you’ve made it through the rigorous screening process of the Commonwealth community and have been approved to join us.
Under the leadership of Governor Pamela Milton, we are over 50,000 strong, with every person specially assigned and curated to the job best suited to their skill set to keep this community thriving.
This orientation will give you a taste… [Distorted]
…of what we have in store for you.
[Normal voice] The future starts here.
[Cheers and applause]
That’s “The Commonwealth Way.”
Pamela Milton? Wow.
“Eugene Porter. Work Detail — high-school teaching pool. Boarding Detail — Bungalow 13, Sector 1…”
Yes! Okay. This is a good sign.
Pardon my gazing of a gift horse in the gullet, but what in the heck are these details meant to convey?
Job assignments and housing.
Permanent residency here was not our intent.
If you have a problem with it, take it up with the case supervisor.
Princess: Wait. What jobs did you guys get?
Doesn’t matter. We’re not here to work. We’re here to get help.
Uh, totally. I-I was just curious ’cause they gave me “retail clerk.” Made me wonder if they have a mall here, ’cause that’d be frickin’ amazing. I used to love working in the mall.
They put me in animal control. I imagine all of these are based on jobs from before the fall.
Yeah, mine isn’t really an assignment.
Looks like an invitation.
Someone wants to meet and talk about, and I quote, “Opportunities within our great community.”
Ooh! Yumiko’s fancy! Must be the accent.
Eugene: We need to plot a course correction ASAP before these entanglements usurp our Plan A. I think a multi-pronged strategy would be in order.
I’ll see what this case supervisor can do.
Um, I’m gonna go with Ezekiel. I wanna see more of this place. And I’m feeling lucky.
I’m supposed to meet up with Stephanie. I’ll get the lay of the land and the proverbial skinny.
Maybe whoever gave you that can help.
Your case supervisor can answer all your questions.
Yeah, I don’t seem to have one of those. Just this letter from the Office of State Affairs.
Yes, ma’am. How can I help?
Well, during processing, I was inquiring about a family member living here, but I haven’t heard anything since.
I’d be happy to help you with that.
[Walkers growling, hammers pounding]
The wall’s gonna be more fragile since they broke through. People are getting anxious.
There’s dead on the north side. We’re banging the wall to spread them out. It’s working. For now, but they’ll be back.
Yeah, we need a long-term fix.
Any update on tools?
Still haven’t replaced what the skins destroyed.
And we’re back to square one on food. What’s left of the horse has been salted and jerkied.
Stuff’s nasty, but it’s going fast.
What about Hilltop? Maybe some of the blacksmithing tools survived the fire.
A few of us can make a run, maybe see if there’s some game nearby while we’re at it.
And if there’s nothing left? If we can’t make Alexandria safe, we need to start thinking about other options.
Alexandria’s our home. I’m not ready to abandon ship. Not yet. We gotta fight to save it first.
[Sighs] We should get moving. The others could already be at the outpost.
Or it could just be us. [Sighs]
You know the only way this works is if we trust each other.
Why would I ever trust you?
I don’t know, Maggie. ‘Cause you want to stay alive, same as me.
If I stay alive, it’ll be in spite of you, not because of you.
Jesus. You know, if — if that’s how you feel, I don’t understand why you haven’t put me down yet.
I ask myself that question every day.
Practically been picked clean.
Might be more than the dead.
Those are our people.
Let’s just get this done.
[Walkers growling, spears plunging]
Carol: We need to keep moving.
Yeah. Yeah. Eyes open.
Judith: Ready? Start!
Center yourself. Weight on your back foot.
Aim for the head, then stab!
Young man: Look. This is crazy.
Hey! You shouldn’t be doing that!
Judith: Get away from there.
Calm down. We’re just having fun.
It’s dangerous. If you don’t stop, I’m gonna tell Rosita.
Shut up! You talk too much. No wonder your mom abandoned you.
What did you say?
You’re such a baby. She must’ve gotten tired of all her whining.
Say it again. I dare you.
Stay away from me, you psycho.
What are you looking at?
Doesn’t look like anybody’s been here, so…
So we wait.
Yeah. How long?
How long would you want someone to wait for you?
I just think the longer we stay here, the more likely it is that these lunatics catch us. Look, how about we take this food back, alright? I know it’s not a lot, but at least it’s something.
It’s nothing. We need to feed a whole community.
Maggie, you need to know when to cut your losses.
Those losses… are my people.
I know. I do. But you still have people. You still have Hershel.
Do you think I don’t know that? It’s the reason we’re doing this.
But “we” can’t. See, that’s my point. Alright, look, I-I know I don’t get a vote here, and that’s fine, but here’s mine anyway. We give it ’til sundown. And if the others don’t show by then, they’re not gonna.
♪ She’s a three-speed girl ♪
Man: Um, I’ll be right with you.
♪ Well, lawdy, lawdy ♪
♪ She’s a three-speed girl ♪
Hi. How you doing? Just got a fresh batch of doughnuts out of the oven.
I-I’m actually looking for someone.
Man: Cake’s frosted and ready, boss. Should I run it over to —
Jerry: Not much, but better than nothing.
Everything we have, gone.
Not everything. A lot of us are still standing. Remember that.
There’s more. We need to take care of it before we keep searching.
The way they’re moving… They’re being herded.
Stop! Don’t kill him! I know him.
What the hell is he doing here?
Let’s find out.
Extra sprinkles, please.
Of course. Oh.
I have the order ready for Ms. Milton.
Just a moment. Here you go. I included samples of our newest flavor, Praline Dream.
Eugene: Excuse me. That wouldn’t happen to be Rocky Road there, would it?
Thank you for your patience.
Yeah, no problem. And keep the change.
[Cash register dings]
Here you go. It’s not black raspberry, but see what you think.
If you don’t mind me saying, this place has all kinds of creature comforts I never knew how much I missed. I’m an interesting creature, so this is a fine day for me.
Well, it’s a very fine day for me, too. I’m glad you’re here.
Where are you? You drifted.
A lot of people back where I’m from could use a place like this.
While I’d be content to keep strong with you indefinitely, I wouldn’t be the man I am if I didn’t do what I came here for. I, uh…
We can’t stay. We need to help our friends. Given the significant amount of red tape around every nook and cranny here, I was wondering if I could get some advice on how to cut through.
I wish I had some, but everything really moves slowly around here. Want to sit?
The town radio is in there. I bet you’d feel better if you could talk to your people back home. But you’re afraid to ask.
I’m afraid to involve you in something that’s not your responsibility.
I want to help.
Are you sure?
I work in the Comms Department. I could get access to the equipment, but to get official clearance, it would take a couple weeks, so…
So back to square one.
We found the deputy supervisor. Says it’ll be five weeks to see her boss.
Might as well be years.
[Radio chatter in distance]
By any chance, is there an unofficial version of your offer?
Boy: Mom said we have to stay here.
Who did this? Who broke our handprints?
Judith: Was it you?
You gonna pull another knife on me? I said I didn’t do it. Come on.
I can help you put it back together, Judith.
We all will.
I remember when you made those. You were so small.
Carl wanted you to have a memory together.
[Voice breaking] Now it’s broken, and he’s gone.
I miss them all, too.
Does it get easier?
I’d be lying if I said it did.
I’m worried I’ll start to forget about them.
You know, I never really knew my dad. And my mom died when… I was a little older than you are now. I still miss her all the time. For a long time, it was just the two of us. And we moved a lot, from job to job. But she always managed to keep us going. I didn’t know it then, but… she was teaching me to survive on my own. So I’d be okay if she ever wasn’t there. And Carl and your dad did the same thing for you. So you’d always be able to get though the tough times. Pieces of wood are nice.
But you don’t need that to remember how much they loved you.
Besides, I’m really good at fixing things.
And don’t give us any of that Alpha/Beta garbage, either.
Keith. That’s my name.
What are you doing here, Keith?
I’m not hurting anyone.
Just answer the question.
A-After Alpha fell, the herd scattered. Those who weren’t killed or burned are gone. I’m all that’s left.
You haven’t seen anyone else?
Then why do you keep the walkers?
Protection, comfort. Old habit.
What do you think?
I think I haven’t met a Whisperer who wasn’t a liar.
What about Mary? You believed her. How do you know he’s lying?
What makes you so certain he isn’t?
How well do you know him?
He wasn’t part of my mother’s inner circle. He was afraid of her.
Well, that proves he’s got eyes, not much else.
Keith: Lydia. I snuck food to you during the long winters when Alpha wasn’t looking. You remember? Tell them.
I’m not sure.
Guess she doesn’t know you that well after all.
It doesn’t matter. My mother’s dead. He’s not hurting anyone.
No, he’s hiding something.
You think it’s a trap?
Wouldn’t put it past him.
Aaron’s right. We need to make sure he’s not a threat.
Let’s get him into the cellar until we decide what to do with him.
Dude… Aaron: What is it?
He’s not alone. Let’s see what else he lied about.
[Wood creaking, items clattering]
How many more?
How many more of you are out there?
This is it, I swear!
You expect me to believe that?
After you just lied to my face?
Aaron, look at them. They’re scared. They’re just trying to be people again.
Or they’re a threat, hiding in plain sight before their people come back and ambush us.
We weren’t all monsters.
Keith: Please. Please.
This is Nabila’s.
No. They were in Alexandria. They burnt down our home.
What do you wanna do?
You’re — You’re a swordswoman and an archer?
Yeah, I’m pretty good with a slingshot, too, in a pinch.
Wow. Not bad for a barrister.
Wow. You’ve changed, Miko.
So have you.
How did you even find this place?
I fled Chicago when things first started going bad. After I left you that voicemail, I got in a car and headed east.
Ran out of gas about 20 miles north of here but got lucky enough to link up with some good people.
We all wound up here pretty early on when the Miltons made this place a safe haven.
It started with a few secure blocks, but the community’s been expanding a little at a time ever since.
I, uh — I almost forget what’s going on outside these walls.
And you’ve just been here this whole time, just making cakes?
I like baking. It makes me happy.
Tomi, you were a surgeon.
Please, not now.
But you could save people.
Still trying to run people’s lives, Miko?
I’m not trying to start anything.
I just want what’s best for you.
When was the last time you saw me happy, Miko?
I like my life the way it is.
It’s the one gift I got out of the world falling apart.
Please, don’t ruin this for me.
Of course I wouldn’t.
Look, just tell me one thing.
Is this place really as good as it seems?
So if I wanted to get help for people, I could do that here?
Anything’s possible, as long as you follow the rules.
Want some cake?
Fancy meeting you here, Mercer.
Ooh! Oh, they clearly got a gym in this joint.
Your chiseling is perfecto.
Uh, excuse me. Got business inside.
Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait!
I… I wanted to thank you.
For making sure this got back to me.
Just returning your property, “Princess.”
Was there something else?
You have really beautiful eyelashes.
Aaron: Tell me where the others went.
Where are they?
How many more?
Lydia, help me! Please!
Where are they?!
[Crying] Alpha was right about you people.
You pretend you’re better than the dead.
But dead is honest.
Your friends are better off.
See, the clock’s ticking now.
Do you feel better off?
Or I can help you.
I can cut off your hand before the infection spreads and you turn.
Would you like that?
We don’t have much time.
Please…Where are they?
I don’t know! I swear!
You have to believe me…
Are the Whisperers still a threat?
No! Stop lying!
Aaron, enough!No, I need answers!
No, you want something else.
I don’t have to be here to watch it.
Just tell the truth, man.
What do you want me to say?!
There were more of us!
But they — they’re gone!
I don’t know!
What the hell are you doing?!
Stopping you from doing something else you’re gonna regret.
I’m doing what I have to to keep everyone I love safe.
You of all people should understand that.
Not like this.
We are standing on the ashes of what the Whisperers destroyed.
Gracie is going hungry because of them!
The world is full of people who are beyond saving, and I am not gonna wait for them to show up at our doorstep.
What happened to Henry…
and how I felt after…
it controlled me.
I let it take me down a very dark path.
People that I care about were hurt.
Now everything that I do, I carry that.
This is a path you don’t want to go down.
Now you let him go.
Let him go.
I can cut your hand off or you can do it yourself.
Choice is yours.
Told you I’d find it.
Alexandria, this is Eugene. Come back.
Eugene! Eugene, are you okay?
Oh, it’s dang good to hear your voice.
You too. I got Judith here.
Hi. Are you all safe?
Hello! Hey, Judith.
Yes, we’re all safe. We’re doing okay.
Uh, how are things there?
Well, the war’s over.
Uh, Alpha and Beta are dead.
But… Alexandria’s trashed, and we’re running out of food.
I’m sorry. I didn’t get —
[Voice breaking up]
Eugene, are you still there?
Eugene, where are you?
Is he gone?
Something’s haywire. Lost the feed.
Stephanie: Uh, try a higher frequency.
Hands up! Move away from the radio.
No harm’s been done, I can assure you.
You’re under arrest…
…for the unauthorized use of government property.
What are you doing?
Not with those supplies you aren’t.
I’m taking them back to Alexandria.
This mission isn’t finished.
It is for me.
Oh, my God. You made it.
Are you okay?
Been better. Been worse.
We found each other in the woods.
Made sure no one followed us back here.
Good. Sit down.
We…didn’t know if you’d survived.
But if you did, knew you’d be here.
What about the others?
Duncan, Agatha, Cole, they’re — they’re dead.
He’s holed up in a church somewhere.
Daryl and Frost, I don’t know.
So then… we wait.
I’ve ruined everything.
Where is the young woman that was with me at the train station?
You are hereby notified that you’re being charged with wanton trespassing, reckless endangerment, and illegal communication with a foreign entity — all violations of Article 4, Section 2 of the Commonwealth criminal code.
You’ve been granted a hearing before a judge within the hour.
If found guilty, you will be dropped off in a zone far outside our walls and banished from ever returning.
We did what we did for good reason.
If you’d just let us explain —
Tell it to the judge, although it won’t matter, especially since you’ve been here less than a day and already broken several laws.
We wanna talk to our lawyer.
You have an attorney?
Damn right we do. A fancy one, too.
So if this place likes rules so much, you have to let us have one. It’s our right.
Rights are for citizens.
You’re asylum seekers.
Privileges come when you’ve earned them.
Please, just… let me talk to Stephanie. She can vouch for us.
She’s being processed and charged separately, as a citizen.
That’s some bullshit.
Hornsby: I’ll take it from here, John.
Let them go.
Mr. Hornsby, I can’t. They’re awaiting trial.
Do not move them.
I’m going to find Mercer.
Wait. Was that…
Cheesy video guy!
Hornsby is someone that you guys can trust.
Don’t thank me so fast.
He might be able to stop you from being banished, but it won’t be scot-free.
You’ll have to pay for what you’ve done.
One way or another.
Lydia: I’m sorry about all this.
After all his people have lost.
If Alpha were still here, she would’ve done worse.
For you — mushrooms.
For you and the others.
Thank you — for this and for what you said.
We weren’t all like her.
Some of us just wanted to survive.
Don’t ever look back.
You don’t think we’ve changed, do you?
It’s not for me to say.
I can prove it.
How? We saw one of your people.
The girl who came out of the cave where Alpha kept the horde.
What did you say?
After the collapse.
There were many, then there were two, and then she was all alone.
Was she all right?
She looked hurt but alive.
Where did you last see her?
In the woods.
By the screaming cave.
What do you think?
I’m thinking it’s probably a good thing you didn’t kill him.
Do you know where that is he’s talking about?
Yeah, yeah, it’s near Alexandria.
We gotta go…now.Carol, Carol.
No. Connie’s out there alive.
I know. It’s getting late.
It’ll be dark before we get back.
Start at first light, yeah?