The episode begins with Maggie, Elijah, Gabriel, and Negan fleeing from the house and entering the woods. Maggie wants to keep going, but Negan is adamant about going back to Alexandria. Daryl already made it known that the Reapers have the numbers. Maggie tells Negan that if he wants to leave, then he can since they have no need for him.
Negan knows that’s bullshit, so he wants Maggie’s word on one thing: he does this for her, and they’re even. He doesn’t have to keep looking over his shoulder. Maggie is adamant that they will never be even, but then she’ll be minus one fighter who she knows that she needs. Maggie’s surprised that Negan would even take a promise from her, but he will. Assuming Maggie, like Negan, is true to her word.
The two shake on it and Maggie then puts down an approaching walker. The walker, it turns out, is Elijah’s sister’s best friend. Before Elijah can kill some more walkers, Maggie stops him and wonders aloud if they can find even more walkers.
Over by some abandoned homes near the Commonwealth, Eugene and the woman identified as Stephanie take out some walkers. She’s a bit rusty, but Eugene figures that it’s been awhile since she’s had to do this. The military does this for the Commonwealth. Eugene then asks the woman identified as Stephanie if Lance Hornsby can truly help his current predicament.
Plus, will this labor truly lead to their freedom? She says that if Lance believes so, then it will.
Ezekiel and Princess are also taking out walkers, though Ezekiel’s worsening condition has him struggling. As Eugene and the woman identified as Stephanie approach, Princess asks the Commonwealth resident how long they have to keep doing this, noting that Ezekiel needs to see a doctor. Ezekiel refuses any medical attention, but the woman identified as Stephanie promises to help Ezekiel get a hospital visit.
Not too far away, Mercer and another guard lead a well-dressed couple down the road, though one of the two complains about the stench from the nasties, as he calls them.
A well-dressed Yumiko speaks with another Commonwealth employee about how impressed Governor Milton is with her. There should be no trouble for Yumiko to find a position. Yumiko is happy to work to pay for the aid to her community, but she doesn’t plan to be a permanent Commonwealth resident. That might change, however, after she meets Governor Milton.
Yumiko would rather see her friends, but they’re clearing buildings to work off the debt owed when they broke the law. Once that debt is paid, per Lance Hornsby’s instruction, they will be free to go. So while they’re clearing walkers from buildings for future development, Yumiko provides legal services for Governor Milton and her cabinet. Not a bad deal, if you’re Yumiko.
However, Yumiko can’t speak with Governor Milton right now. Since Hornsby isn’t this man’s supervisor, she’d like to see Governor Milton now.
What is it with Yumiko and asking for supervisors in the Commonwealth?
Anyway, while Daryl and another Reaper light up, Gabriel delivers a eulogy for Elijah’s sister’s best friend who we just learned about in this very episode. Maggie is confident that Elijah’s sister is still out there and that they’ll make the Reapers pay. But the one, Elijah wants for himself.
Maggie warns Gabriel that there are scouts everywhere. If he gets a chance to kill one of them, then he will. She tells Negan that she’s not cutting up anyone that she knows. Right now, she needs to find four strangers. Negan, though, counters that they only need three because he kept his Whisperer mask out of sentimentality.
The Reapers regroup as a few inform Pope that, despite a few sweeps, there were no signs of tracks. Pope is livid. Their brothers are dead and no one seems to give a damn, but Leah speaks up for the others, saying they acted on her orders. Rather than trying to make the other Reapers like her, Pope tells Leah to try keeping them alive. He then instructs her to take Daryl and find their enemies. Dog is instructed to stay behind.
As the two explore the woods, Daryl believes that Leah’s men are grateful for what she did. He would be, at least. They have a good place, and Daryl believes there’s a good story that goes with it. Leah at first doesn’t go into detail- saying they needed a place and then found one. Daryl’s surprised: the Reapers have the walls and food, so why keep hunting?
It’s to make sure that they don’t come back. To Leah, Daryl doesn’t understand. It’s easy for him, being on his own and just having to worry about himself. Leah? She’s got a whole community to protect. Pope’s got a puzzle to solve, and he’s riled up. Leah then wonders aloud how these people can be so hard to find.
Daryl asks if Pope will become a calmer man once his enemies are killed, but Leah says that Pope believed in her when no one else would. Daryl, though, doubts that Leah needed anyone to make her strong.
Why don’t you just ask her out to dinner already, Daryl?
Now wearing a Whisperer mask, Maggie lurches around the woods as Negan instructs her on how to imitate the walker…walk. He cuts free one of the tied-up walkers, which approaches, but does not attack Maggie.
But when she stumbles on a rock and has to readjust her mask, the walker turns around and makes its way towards her, only for Elijah to drag it back to the tree. Negan offers to work on the mask for Maggie, while also telling her that she did good.
Gabriel does surveillance of the Reapers’ when he spots one heading out with a Bible in his hand. The Reaper- the same one we saw praying over a body in “Rendition- heads to a cemetery and starts to pray, but then stops when it appears that he’s not alone. He pulls out a blade and asks the Lord for direction. Soon enough, he thanks God for his guidance and leaves.
Back at the Commonwealth, Tomi offers to show Yumiko his dorm room. Yes, he lives in a dorm room. Yumiko still doesn’t understand why Tomi wouldn’t want the life that comes with being a doctor, but Tomi, in a hushed voice, tells Yumiko that he doesn’t want to go back to before. He has no need for a speedy life where he could burn himself out from overworking.
But Yumiko doesn’t stop, so Tomi sits her down and spells it out straight: no one can know that he used to be a doctor. He wants Yumiko to promise that this stays a secret, as he likes things the way they are. Yumiko agrees and then informs Tomi about her upcoming meeting with Pamela Milton. Tomi’s happy for her. Someone in his position would never get that privilege. Why? Because you have to know your place.
As if on cue, several Commonwealth guards take Tomi away. Such is life in the Commonwealth.
Maggie’s getting better at leading around walkers. She’s got a small group of them roped in. Again, Negan congratulates Maggie on improving. Elijah asks Maggie if Negan’s changed, but to Maggie, they can’t know that yet. At the very least, he’s helpful. As for her promises, Maggie just hopes that she can keep it.
Yumiko finds Lance and asks where Tomi is, but Lance is more upset that Yumiko almost screwed everything up. He was taking care of things, yet Yumiko made an appointment with Pamela Milton anyway. Lance promises that Tomi will be home tonight, since that’s how much time he needs. It’s a big ask for Yumiko’s friends to go free when they also need help.
Lance can deliver that, but Yumiko figures there must be something in it for him. It’s all about having a friend in high places. Someday, Lance might need a favor, and Yumiko may be favorably inclined. So Yumiko agrees to sit tight for a few hours.
Back to The Wandering Adventures of Leah and Daryl. When Daryl spots some buildings, Leah isn’t enthused since patrol has already tracked every nearby building for miles. These trails should be cold. But when Daryl spots some picked mushrooms, it appears that someone has indeed been through here.
They do indeed find a man hiding in the bushes, but the man claims to not be staying in the nearby houses. He also doesn’t understand what Leah means when she asks how he avoided the patrols. Right now, he just wants to help his hurt wife. Okay, so Daryl tells the man to show them, or he’ll just shoot him first and find his family later.
Tough, but fair.
The man leads them on, but Leah radios to Pope for instructions. His order? Kill the man.
As Negan and Maggie sit down to eat, Negan empathizes with Maggie. It sucks to see your friends as walkers. That would be enough, but Maggie’s about to do some crazy shit by breaking into a community that she built and, eventually, lost. Maggie reminds Negan that their communities were lost in different ways, but Negan knows what it’s like to be on the losing side of a massacre.
I wouldn’t call the events of “Wrath” specifically a massacre, but I don’t write for this show. However, there were no children or families at the satellite station. Okay, so Negan asks where Aaron got Gracie. Damn. Nice one, writers.
Maggie is adamant. Negan can’t debate battle plans with her, but he knows that when his home was invaded and he lost people, he had to explain to his followers why he, as a leader, failed them. He couldn’t heal some wounds. Yes, Negan killed people who had families…in front of their families, but the world is different now. There’s fewer people to fight for, fight with, and fewer things to fight over.
So would Negan do things differently? Yeah. If he could do it all over again, he’d have killed every single one of them. Terrible to say out loud, but that’s the way it is. They have to protect their people. Hell, that’s why they’re doing this thing right now. As for why Negan would say such a thing to Maggie, he contends that if they want to keep this good day going, then they have to be honest.
Eugene, Princess, and the woman identified as Stephanie are still on walker duty when a rejuvenated Ezekiel joins them. He even brought lollipops. How nice. He thanks Lance Hornsby for his help and is now eager for another assignment. Okay, so he instructs Eugene and the woman identified as Stephanie to clean along the north fence line. As for Princess and Ezekiel? They’re to come with Lance.
Eugene and the woman identified as Stephanie find the well-dressed couple from before. Their making out session is interrupted by a few walkers, so Eugene and the woman identified as Stephanie take them out. The man is more annoyed that his date was interrupted.
I think I know who this little shit is…
After all, he’s got private security to take out walkers. He’s not used to talking to a plebeian. As Eugene argues with this asshole, the woman identified as Stephanie is the only one who notices the walker approaching the asshole’s gal pal. She kills it, getting blood all over the young woman’s clothes.
This angers the man, so Eugene does what anyone would do, which is punch the asshole in the nose. Fuckin’ A, Eugene! Lance and Mercer arrive, and the little shithead chews out Mercer. The two are more focused not on the shithead’s attitude, but that Eugene hit him. Lance even asks if Eugene knows who that is, as if that’s supposed to mean something.
Maybe Yumiko’s having better luck. She arrives for her meeting with Pamela Milton, and the employee thanks Yumiko for being on time. Apparently Governor Milton keeps a very busy schedule. As Yumiko has a seat and flips through a book on Italian villas, the employee asks how Yumiko and her group have adjusted to the Commonwealth.
Yumiko hasn’t seen her friends in a few days, but before she can say how they’re doing, the phone rings. Turns out that Governor Milton will have to reschedule since someone just attacked her son.
Ha! So that little shit is Sebastian!
Instead of getting a medal pinned on him, Eugene is put in a holding cell. Lance enters and admonishes Eugene, telling him that he would’ve been a hero if he saved the Governor’s son. What do you think he did, Lance? If Eugene wants out, the price is now higher: Lance needs the name of Eugene’s town and how to get there. Eugene won’t divulge that, so this cell is, for now, his home.
So Eugene’s friends can keep killing walkers, while his friends back home can figure things out on their own. If Eugene gives up this information, he asks what guarantee Lance has for his community’s safety. But Lance tells Eugene to consider all the chances he’s been given. That’s not exactly an answer. Just as Lance is ready to leave, Eugene stops him.
Masked up, Maggie and the others lead on some walkers while also bringing in more walkers that had been locked in a building.
Daryl and Leah follow the man back to where he’s staying, and he does indeed have a young boy and badly injured woman in hiding with him. Leah tells the man to leave with his son and don’t look back. As they do, the woman thanks God for answering her prayers. Her husband and son were never going to leave while she was injured, and it was dangerous for them to stay.
She’s ready to die. A tearful Leah can’t bring herself to put the woman down, so Daryl fires a single arrow into her. As for what Leah will tell Pope? Daryl killed them. It’ll be good for him.
After covering the woman’s body, Daryl prepares to tell Leah something, but Leah then receives a transmission on the radio. Of course. They’re needed back as soon as possible.
As Maggie and Elijah lead the walkers, the two spot a familiar face. I’m guessing this is meant to be Elijah’s sister- reanimated- because Elijah is suddenly overcome with emotion. Maggie takes Elijah’s hands into hers and the two lead on the growing walker herd as the episode comes to a close.
Hey, remember when Elijah had a sister that we gave a damn about? Me neither.
Again, the idea of Negan and Maggie begrudgingly coming to an understanding isn’t unexpected. Maggie will hate Negan forever, but she knows that she needs his help. The great thing about Negan is that he cuts through the bullshit. He says what’s on his mind because hey, he’s got nothing to lose at this point.
Like Rick, Negan knows what it’s like to be a leader. Like past antagonists such as the Governor or Gareth, he led his people into making decisions that came back to bite him in the ass. Not completely out of spite, but to protect the people close to him. It’s hard to sympathize with Negan, given what we know, but we don’t consider that not everyone who lived at the Sanctuary was a fighter.
Also, not everyone who served under Negan had a desire to kill. Some of them were just men, women, and children living their lives. When Rick killed that one Savior in “The Damned,” he realized too late that he also killed a father with a child- a child who now lives in Alexandria. Like Rick and company, the Saviors were survivors. At their core, they just wanted to live their lives.
Rick didn’t spare Gareth’s life because he understood the threat that the Hunters posed. Had Rick let him live, who knows what Gareth would’ve done to anyone else he encountered? Negan learned the hard way what happened when he let his enemies live. So of course, if given the opportunity to do it all over again, he’d kill everyone in addition to Glenn and Abraham.
He’d save himself a world of hurt and trouble. Like he told Maggie, it helps that they’re honest to one another. Maggie already hates him, so does it really surprise her that Negan would kill everyone, if given another chance? Maggie has every reason to hate Negan, but she can’t deny that he’s proven his worth over the years. It makes sense for her to distrust him, but it’s progression that she’s open to his teachings.
I appreciate that the show takes this moment to humanize Negan and the Saviors like this. Sure, there’s something to be said about humanizing people who go around stealing from other communities. But that’s overlooking, again, that these people are just looking to survive. More than that, we’ve spent enough time with the Saviors to get that they aren’t all bad people.
In the end, Negan teaching Maggie to move and act like a walker paid off. Sure, you’ve got the trick of covering yourself in walker guts, but Negan spent enough time among the Whisperers to understand how they moved and operated. So if Maggie’s plan is to corral a walker horde and unleash them upon the Reapers, then she’s on the right path so far.
As far as Elijah seeing who I’m guessing is his sister…don’t care. Sorry, but like everyone else that came with Maggie, I have no connection to these people. It’s unfortunate for Elijah, yes. But we only just learned about his sister in this episode. It’s a loss for him, but us as the viewers know next to nothing about him.
This wasn’t going to have the impact of, say, Daryl finding Merle as a walker, or a reanimated Sophia coming out of the barn. Nor do I think that was the intent. But the emotional impact just isn’t there. More so since this is what ends the episode. It’s deflating. Or rather, there’s no reason for me to feel sad about this loss when we don’t know this character. Hell, she’s not even given a name.
I did like the moments with Leah and Daryl. He doesn’t want to blow his cover, but he also still has feelings for Leah. He can get her to open up in a way that won’t expose him just trying to get information from her. At the same time, he learns about Pope and the Reapers. Like Negan and other previously mentioned antagonists, Pope keeps his people alive by any means.
Leah hasn’t spelled out everything that Pope’s done for her, and I like that since it keeps parts of their relationship a mystery. Clearly she’s got enough influence and leadership among the Reapers to stand up to him. But she still acknowledges that he is her leader. Then again, she sees the growing darkness within Pope. He did leave her to die with Daryl, and without hesitation, he ordered her to kill the man that she and Daryl found.
This is where Leah breaks her promise by not following through. At the same time, she gives Daryl an opportunity to get into Pope’s good graces by saying that he killed the family. You can only hope that the father and son don’t come back, but the Reapers don’t know what they look like, so maybe that won’t be a problem.
As hardened as Leah wants to be, we’ve seen her softer side and it came back here when she refused to put the dying woman out of her misery. I wonder, though, if she’ll hesitate in front of Pope, or maintain that tough exterior.
The season earlier hinted at trouble between the haves and have-nots. That’s slowly coming to the surface at the Commonwealth. Tomi talks about how people in his position wouldn’t get to meet Governor Milton because he has to know his place. Like the Saviors, there’s a clear hierarchy system with some better off than their comrades. As opposed to sharing the wealth and not looking down on one another.
Then you’ve got assholes like…well, this asshole who is upset not that he and his girlfriend almost got killed, but that his girlfriend got blood all over her clothes from a walker. The way that the woman identified as Stephanie immediately apologizes, you’d think this asshole was some feudal lord and she’s just a peasant. No need to apologize to people who couldn’t see walkers five feet away from them.
The divide is even evident among the survivors we do know. Eugene, Ezekiel, and Yumiko are killing walkers and getting bloodied, while well-dressed Yumiko gets a meeting set up with Pamela Milton. At least until Eugene punched Sebastian in the nose, anyway, but we’ll learn more about that asshole later and his mother later.
Speaking of Eugene, I’m sure that, like most situations, he’ll find a way out of his imprisonment. I doubt he’d give up Alexandria’s location. The man might be a coward at times, but when push comes to shove, he can work his way out of a problem. This is the same Eugene who sabotaged the Saviors’ weapons while deep undercover, after all. He’ll be out of that cell in no time. Promise.
So how long until Maggie’s walker herd plan pays off? Plus, how will Governor Milton react upon learning that this newcomer struck her asshole of a son? We shall see.