A Look at The Walking Dead #187- “The Road Back”

The road back to where, though?

So Dwight’s death last issue, combined with the anger building under the surface, is building towards more turmoil in the Commonwealth. While we do somewhat resolve it this issue, we take a bit of time to revisit other characters and see how other communities will soon chart a course for the Commonwealth. Let’s jump right into it.

The Walking Dead #187- Pamela thanks Rick for saving her life

Pamela tries to get in front of the situation when she addresses the citizen and tells them that she’s aware of the growing unrest. She recognizes there tension is high and admits that Dwight had a darkness in him that could have been used against them. When she refers to Dwight as a disturbed individual…sure, she’s not entirely wrong, but it feels like a way to paint him as an outright villain.

Was Dwight unhinged? Sure. But at the same time, Rick did agree with some of what he had to say. He couldn’t have been too far gone if he could get people like Rick and Mercer to sometimes agree with him.

Governor Milton tells the people that Rick and his people are still welcome. She even goes as far as calling Rick her savior, which you know had to touch a nerve, given Rick’s past relationships with Saviors like Dwight. But we don’t really dwell on it. Rick addresses the crowd and tells them that they need to work together and find a peaceful solution to the unrest.

As you can tell by the image above, Mercer is none too pleased with that. After all, he believes that Rick is the leader that the Commonwealth needs. So for Rick to turn and supposedly embrace Governor Milton’s philosophy rubs Mercer the wrong way. We’ll get back to Mercer in a minute.

The Walking Dead #187- Magna tells Siddiq to head to the Hilltop

Over at Alexandria, Magna’s anxiousness about the Commonwealth continues to build as she sends Siddiq to head to the Commonwealth. Posthaste. Even though I still don’t get how Magna of all people is left in charge, I’m glad she’s getting a bit more to do, even if it’s just giving orders to the others. And this sets in motion what will no doubt be a grand journey once Siddiq makes a quick stop at the Hilltop to speak with Maggie.

The Walking Dead #187- Princess tells Mercer about her abusive upbringing

Mercer and Princess’ relationship has been an interesting one, but it seems to be at its conclusion with Princess breaking things off. While she’s a pretty upbeat character, she reveals here that she had a sad upbringing. Her father left when she was young and her mother ended up remarrying to some asshole. But Princess acted up a lot and would end up getting locked in the closet as a result.

More than that, she suffered beatings at the hands of her new stepfather and stepbrother. Mom? She didn’t care. See, Princess has seen a lot of evil in her life and chooses not to let in any darkness. In effect, her cheerfulness is a mask that she wears, but she’s determined to be nothing like her mother. So I guess she’s avoiding any chance at unhappiness by breaking this off while she has the chance.

Strange for Princess to bring this up now, but it’s nice that she does at least give Mercer an explanation. The timing is weird, but Mercer did deserve some sort of explanation, so it’s good of her to at least say why she’s ending things. Plus, it’s a way for Robert Kirkman to shed some light on Princess’ backstory.

The Walking Dead #187- Carl discusses his friendship with Sophia, says he and Lydia are monsters

We briefly revisit Sophia’s ongoing friendship with Josh at the Hilltop, with her explaining that she barely remembers her real mother. And that’s fair- Carol’s been dead for a long time in the comic, so it’s understandable that the only real mother Sophia can remember is Maggie. Plus, Carol was from a more difficult time with the survivors, so it makes sense that she might want to block out those memories.

But hey, as she and Josh agree, if you don’t talk about your memories, what else is there to talk about?

What’s this got to do with Carl and Lydia? Well, for one, Carl is happy that Sophia is hopefully finding love. But he has to explain to Sophia that his feelings with Sophia are just that of a friendship. And it’s great that he mentions this because…well, it’s true. He and Sophia have been in this conflict together since the beginning. To Carl, what he has with Sophia is a friendship and nothing more. They grew up together.

Lydia, though, sees a darkness in Carl that few people can accept. They’ve both done terrible things, but accept one another in spite of their flaws. It’s why, as far as Carl is concerned, they’re both monsters. And that one word is what causes Lydia to run off in tears…because she apparently thinks Carl sees her as a monster.

We’ll get back to this in a moment, but hey, at least Carl didn’t tell Lydia to “calm down.”

The Walking Dead #187- Laura talks with Mercer about his Commonwealth frustration

We briefly return to the Commonwealth so Laura can stir the pot a bit. With Dwight gone, she’ll no doubt need someone else to talk to about a potential insurrection. Between that and Mercer’s frustration at Rick’s words- as seen when he goes through a pack of roamers like nothing- it’s easy for Laura to convince Mercer to put his frustration to good use. More on this in a bit.

The Walking Dead #187- Rick and Michonne discuss Dwight's death

Rick and Michonne seem to squash their beef. While Michonne says that Rick can’t pin Dwight’s death on her, she still didn’t need to invite Pamela to the meeting. She does still deserve part of the blame for this, but that’s just me. Anyway, Rick does apologize and he acknowledges that anytime he goes to a new place a conflict arises. Understatement of the century right there, Rick.

Still, a man is dead. No matter how much Rick and Michonne argue want to play the blame game, Dwight is still dead. Again, he was on the edge, but it would not have taken much for Rick to reel him back in. Right now, Rick feels the weight of the Commonwealth and he doesn’t want to screw up what the people have. If they can make it work, then maybe, just maybe, things will go back to normal.

Good, though it’s unfortunate that Dwight had to die for Rick and Michonne to seemingly come to an agreement on this.

The Walking Dead #187- Aaron, Jesus, and Dante tell Maggie that they will go with Siddiq to the Commonwealth

Siddiq arrives at the Hilltop and informs Maggie of Magna’s plan. To no one’s surprise, Maggie agrees that it’s time to pay the Commonwealth a visit. Aaron, Jesus, and Dante will be accompanying Siddiq on this visit. The plan is just to survey the territory. If everything appears to be fine, then just say they’re checking in. But if not, then head back in a hurry.

The Walking Dead #187- Carl talks with Lydia before he leaves the Hilltop

Carl will also be going to the Hilltop, so hopefully this will be a good opportunity for him to meet up with his father again. It will be interesting to see how other characters react to the Commonwealth. But before leaving, Carl and Lydia make up, with him clarifying his prior words. She insisted that he remove the bandage from his eye. And since then, Carl’s become more confident at not wearing it to cover up his injury.

She gave him the confidence to be himself. And again, with everything that they’ve done to survive, people see them as monsters, but the two of them accept each other’s ugliness. This time Lydia comes around and embraces Carl’s words and Carl himself before leaving. Good that the two could come to one accord before Carl’s departure.

The Walking Dead #187- Mercer talks with other Commonwealth guards

So what does Mercer do after his talk with Laura? He goes to the Commonwealth guards and acknowledges that they’re all unhappy with the way things are going. Do they like risking their lives for Governor Milton while everyone looks down on them? And if they’re fed up with their way of life, why don’t they do something about it? They have the manpower. Why not rise up?

They need better leaders and it wouldn’t take long. Dwight’s arrest proved that there are many people in the Commonwealth unhappy with the way things are going, so the guards would no doubt have the people on their side. Sounds simple, right?

The Walking Dead #187- Lance overhears Mercer riling up the Commonwealth guards

Oh, but there’s Lance with two guards at his side. And Mr. Hornsby heard everything. What happens now? Obviously the guards can’t just let Lance walk away with this information. And Mercer can’t walk away with a slap on the wrist, so what happens here? It’s possible that the guards could just convince Lance to keep his mouth shut. Maybe everyone gets the drop on Lance and kills him?

Either way, it will be interesting to see how many people Mercer manages to convince to join him in this uprising. We’ll hopefully find out in the next issue. See you then.

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