A Look at The Walking Dead- Season 11, Episode 15: “Trust”

Let’s just stay calm here!

Trust- Lance asks Aaron and Gabriel to explain what happened- AMC, The Walking Dead

The episode begins with a crime scene investigation as Commonwealth soldiers examine the bodies of Carlson and the apartment residents he killed. On the roof, Lance informs Aaron, Gabriel, and Daryl that this situation puts them in a tough spot. He’s baffled that these residents somehow killed armed, trained soldiers, but spared Aaron and Gabriel.

Hey, plot armor will do that for you. But more than that, the killers escaped, Lance was called, and here we are. Of course Lance doesn’t buy this. He asks for Daryl’s opinion, and with the amount of time he’s known them, Daryl believes that Aaron and Gabriel could handle themselves. Still, it doesn’t make sense to Lance for a bunch of crazed strangers to let Aaron and Gabriel live.

Hey, plot armor will do that for you. But more than that, the killers escaped, Lance was called, and here we are. Of course Lance doesn’t buy this. He asks for Daryl’s opinion, and with the amount of time he’s known them, Daryl believes that Aaron and Gabriel could handle themselves. Still, it doesn’t make sense to Lance for a bunch of crazed strangers to let Aaron and Gabriel live.

Trust- Mercer and Princess after sex- AMC, The Walking Dead

How about sexy time? At 5:45 am, Mercer awakens with Princess at his side. Pulling no punches, she tells him that she’s enjoyed all the sex they’ve had- and she’s had lots of practice- but she doesn’t like these early morning hours he maintains as a Commonwealth soldier. She wonders if he even needs sleep, since she always catches him staring at the ceiling. The reason? Mercer must be part-robot.

I knew it.

She wants to know the reason, even though she did just figure out that Mercer is part-robot. Mercer claims that he’s basking in the afterglow, but Princess sees it as him stewing. She’s open to hearing him out, as she’s very good at listening. She neglects to say that she’s also very good at talking. A lot. Princess presses a bit, but once Mercer maintains that he’s fine, she takes the hint and backs off.

Trust- Rosita tells Connie and Kelly about Sebastian's assignment- AMC, The Walking Dead

Kelly and Connie meet up with Eugene and Rosita. What’s with these early morning meetings all of a sudden? Anyway, Rosita tells the two about the shit that she and Daryl went through to get that money for Sebastian. That one woman, April, is still on Rosita’s mind. There are good people in the Commonwealth, and they need to know the truth.

In response, Connie and Kelly reveal the list of names that someone sent to them. One of the names listed is April Martens, but Rosita knows there are more names on the list than Sebastian sent in that house. It could be related, but there’s something else going on here. But if the Miltons are involved, they’ll keep it under wraps for sure. They would need inside access to figure it out. For that, Eugene has a solution.

Trust- Carol takes RJ and Judith to school- AMC, The Walking Dead

Carol, meanwhile, drops RJ and Judith off at school when Ezekiel joins her. His tumor has been removed and he’s in good spirits, but still on the long road to complete recovery. He thanks Carol for her help, as he can’t imagine the lengths she went through to make it happen. More than that, he’s taken her words to heart and has been doing more with the time he’s been given.

Trust- Carol tells Ezekiel that she has a second job- AMC, The Walking Dead

However, Carol’s swamped, not just at the bakery, but her other job. She just has some things to take care of, but stops short of telling Ezekiel what it is. In her mind, it’s better that he doesn’t know. She just wants him to trust her, which he does- more than anyone. There’s still a lot of gray area in the Commonwealth, despite the initial thought that it would make life easier.

Trust- Daryl, Aaron, and Gabriel take out walkers- AMC, The Walking Dead

On the road, Lance and the Commonwealth soldiers encounter a small cluster of walkers. He asks Aaron and Gabriel to handle them since hey, they can handle themselves, right? With Daryl’s help, the three cut down the walkers with no trouble at all. For that, Lance is overjoyed.

In no time at all, they arrive at Hilltop.

Trust- Ezekiel asks Tomi for help with a friend- AMC, The Walking Dead

After hiding his booze and pills, Tomi receives an unexpected visit from Ezekiel, who has a request. He’s got a sick friend and can’t afford the treatment, but won’t put her family into debt. She needs an appendectomy, and it has to be taken care of outside the system.

Ezekiel’s already got the equipment and operating area, but needs a few extra supplies and Tomi’s assistance. Ezekiel understands the risk, but he wouldn’t ask if it wasn’t the best option.

Trust- Eugene asks Max to find and steal some secret files- AMC, The Walking Dead

Eugene meets up with Max and explains that he needs her to look for and steal secret files. Max isn’t on board. Things have finally been going well for Lance, and the Alexandria rebuild is going great, so why jeopardize that? Eugene brings up the Miltons and how his friends didn’t have a choice when it came to Sebastian’s mission for them.

People have died, and Eugene points out that Max’s brother can corroborate that. This gets Max’s attention. Then someone randomly drops by with the intent to clean the room where Max and Eugene are meeting. That cannot be an accident.

Trust- Commonwealth soldiers arrive at Hilltop- AMC, The Walking Dead

At Hilltop, Lance informs Maggie that there are killers on the loose and he’d like to search Hilltop just to rule them out. Maggie refuses to grant him entry, and them possibly forcing their way in could lead to deaths, so Daryl offers to talk to Maggie.

Trust- Daryl tells Maggie to open the gates at Hilltop- AMC, The Walking Dead

He demands that she open up, telling her that yeah, it has to be this way. The soldiers won’t leave until they have a look. He wants Maggie to trust him, not Lance. Eventually, Elijah opens the gates and the soldiers enter.

Trust- Max and Mercer talk about the Commonwealth's problems- AMC, The Walking Dead

Max finds Mercer working out in the gym and demands to know why he didn’t tell her about Sebastian’s insane mission. His response is that it’s none of her business. Plus, none of this shit is new. They knew already that the Commonwealth, nice as it seems, had a dirty side to it. Mercer blames himself, saying people died because he failed them, so this is his burden to carry.

Mercer cautions his sister to let this go, saying that he already took care of it. He’s got 50,000 people to protect, and he can’t spend his time obsessing over a little shit like Sebastian. If he does something to Sebastian, that insubordination won’t slide. Hell, Mercer could end up disappearing. Then who keeps the place running? If the Commonwealth falls, more people will die than one in the house.

He reminds Max that Pamela is her boss, too, and she’s got her ear, so she can take it up with her. True as that is, Mercer has the people on his side. They listen to him. In Max’s mind, Mercer can be more than just a soldier.

Trust- Tomi and Ezekiel pack up medical supplies- AMC, The Walking Dead

Ezekiel and Tomi load up on as many supplies as they can while avoiding detection. Ezekiel notes how Tomi looks to be enjoying the thrill. Though Tomi has broken a number of rules before, the Commonwealth has a way of lulling you. Why upset the balance of things if you’re doing well?

The two make a break for it and run right into a Commonwealth soldier.

Trust- Lance inspects a truck at Hilltop- AMC, The Walking Dead

Back at Hilltop, Lance uncovers a truck and asks Maggie if it’s new. The engine doesn’t run, but Lance reveals there were tire tracks near the complex. Plus, there aren’t a lot of cars running these days. He pulls up the hood and notes that the engine looks pretty clean for a truck that just sits and collects dust. He then sees why the truck isn’t running: the starter relay isn’t connected. Why, of course!

He connects the relay and hops in to start the car, but to his surprise, nothing happens. Maggie then tells Lance that he’s got until sundown until they can leave.

Trust- Carol springs Ezekiel and Tomi- AMC, The Walking Dead

While cuffed, Tomi and Ezekiel are greeted not by a Commonwealth soldier, but Carol. Turns out Ezekiel may have mentioned her name, given her new job. They aren’t fucked, though. Carol handled it.

Trust- Ezekiel brings Tomi and Carol to a clinic- AMC, The Walking Dead

Ezekiel leads Carol and Tomi to a veterinary treatment area, which yeah, there are animals here, but there are also people being treated. Ezekiel’s been busy to repay his debt.

Trust- Mercer tells Princess what's been on his mind- AMC, The Walking Dead

Mercer and Princess meet up, with Mercer explaining that this relationship-thing with them is new territory for him. Princess assures Mercer that she can handle heavy stuff. Okay. Bet. Mercer reveals that he killed two of his own men and he covered it up. He never thought he’d be that guy, as he was raised to never cross certain lines. Until now. What keeps him up at night is that he might do it again.

He spent his life keeping things together for everyone else, as it’s the one thing he’s good at doing. It worked thus far, but maybe the Commonwealth needs something new. Mercer even considers that he’s part of the problem. Princess suggests that they go in for a few minutes to figure it out together. That’s a weird way of saying that you want to fuck right now, Princess.

Trust- Lance reveals that he has Hershel's hat- AMC, The Walking Dead

Over at Hilltop, Hershel sits next to the graves at Hilltop, which I have to assume he’s done before. As he leaves, Lance exits the mansion pantry. He introduces himself to Hershel and asks if he or his mother have taken any trips lately, which Hershel denies. Lance tells Hershel that the last thing he wants is for something to happen to Maggie. Probably the wrong thing to say when you’re trying to be reassuring.

Either way, Lance needs Hershel’s help at finding the truth. That way, Lance can fix things. He’s a fixer, you know? But Lance can’t keep people safe if they keep secrets. Hershel goes off to get his mom, but Lance stops him, calling him a good kid and saying that good kids deserve presents. One such present is Hershel’s hat, which Lance reveals he found where the bad things happened.

Trust- Hilltop and Commonwealth standoff- AMC, The Walking Dead

Elijah rushes in and grabs Lance, which creates a standoff between the Hilltop and Commonwealth soldiers. Daryl trains his gun on Lance, warning him that unless he wants to die for nothing, the soldiers should drop their guns before something really fucking bad happens. That’s not me adding an F-bomb in there, either. Daryl actually says the word “fuck” uncensored. Well done, AMC.

Side-note, it shouldn’t have taken this long for the flagship show to let an audible, uncensored F-bomb go by when Fear the Walking Dead has had characters say “fuck” for years. Plus, if any character deserved to get the first “fuck” on this show, it should’ve been Rick or Negan.

Anyway, Lance orders the soldiers to lower their weapons. It’s time to head out. He apologizes to Maggie, as he hoped they could be friends. Well, that may never happen now.

Trust- Daryl tells Aaron and Gabriel that they aren't going back to Commonwealth- AMC, The Walking Dead

That evening, Daryl tells Aaron and Gabriel that they aren’t going back to Commonwealth, even though the soldiers will still be looking for the killers. However, finding the guns could buy them some time. Not far from here, one of the soldiers informs Lance that they found something.

Trust- Carol and Ezekiel talk about light and darkness- AMC, The Walking Dead

Over at the makeshift clinic, Carol admires the work that Ezekiel put in, but he’s just happy to have a fresh start and it was important that Carol know how much he appreciated that. Carol, meanwhile, is thinking about the world, the dark years, and how after everything, Ezekiel is a light in the darkness. But this light came from a spark that Carol helped him find.

Some carry more darkness than others because they’re strong enough to hold the weight, but they make the light. Carol reminds Ezekiel that they never ever getting back together.

Trust- Tomi operates on Ezekiel's friend- AMC, The Walking Dead

The two rush into one of the operating tents. That friend Ezekiel talked about? Her appendix burst and there’s no time to get her to a hospital. Tomi has to complete this operation now or it’ll be too late. He instructs Ezekiel to take over bagging, while Theo is to get more antibiotics from the hospital.

Now I’m not a doctor, Jim, so I can’t really explain the procedure that Tomi does on Ezekiel’s friend, but it looks very grueling. Soon enough, the patient is stitched up, and they’ll know more about her condition in the next 24 hours. Still, it looks good.

Trust- Eugene promises to be by Max's side- AMC, The Walking Dead

Max visits Eugene and informs him that the information he gave puts her in an uncomfortable position. She had hoped things would go back to some semblance of normal, but if what he’s saying is true, then things are really bad at the Commonwealth. She doubts that she’s built for this, but believes she might not have a choice. There’s no choice because there’s no back to normal.

Because of what they know, things have to change. Max can’t wait for someone else to step up and lead a change. Where’s Rick Grimes when you need him? Eugene promises Max that whatever comes her way, she won’t face it alone. Come hell or highwater, he’ll be by her side. Against all odds, they found one another. He’s never been more certain of anything in his life.

After the two kiss, Max asks what they need to steal. Not the question you expect someone to ask after a kiss.

Trust- Commonwealth soldiers approach Leah's tent- AMC, The Walking Dead

So what’s Leah doing with those weapons that she stole? We join her in the woods as she works on the firearms. She heads into her tent for the night just as Commonwealth soldiers approach. But Leah isn’t stupid. As the soldiers inspect the tent, they find it empty. Leah has fled through the other end. From the darkness, she fires at some of the soldiers.

Trust- Lance introduces himself to Leah and offers her a job- AMC, The Walking Dead

Lance yells for the soldiers to hold their fire, saying that she hasn’t been an easy person to track. Since she’s caused him a ton of trouble, the leas she can do is hear him out before she kills them. Gun in hand, Leah emerges from the dark and tells Lance to talk fast. Indeed, he does. Lance introduces himself and tells Leah that he’s here to offer her a job as the episode comes to a close.

Well, that’s service. She doesn’t even have to submit a cover letter.

Trust is hard to earn and even harder to maintain in the world of The Walking Dead. With the shit that these people have seen, how close they’ve come to death, and how often they’ve been betrayed, it’s understandable why they would be so distrusting of strangers. More so when new motives come to light.

Trust- Lance and Maggie are not friends- AMC, The Walking Dead

Kind of like the Governor- the first one, I mean- Lance has a welcoming presence at first. You believe him when he says at first that he’s doing this to better the world and solve problems. But as time goes on, we see his tactics and the more sinister side. He’s ready to make the world a better place, but willing to use force and make expendable anyone who isn’t a willing player.

After all, he was so nonchalant last time about whether Daryl and Rosita retrieved the money for Sebastian. Now, when he’s got Maggie pointing a gun at him in a tense standoff, he backs down and only regrets that they couldn’t be friends. Lance seems like the sort of person who can’t allow there to be any form of opposition to him. Behind that smile is a very dangerous, yet cunning man.

Trust- Lance tries to start the truck at Hilltop- AMC, The Walking Dead

I give Lance this much credit: he was right. Pressing Aaron and Gabriel for answers, sending them to handle walkers, and then searching Hilltop for answers didn’t make him better friends with Aaron, Gabriel, Daryl, or Maggie, but he was correct the entire time. It was strange that the complex dwellers would kill soldiers, but spare Aaron and Gabriel. Hershel’s hat was proof that he and Maggie were at the complex.

Trust- Lance gives Hershel back his hat- AMC, The Walking Dead

Hell, even going as far as checking the truck was a smart move on his part. He was so certain that he was right…and he was. I think Lance overplayed his hand by giving Hershel his hat, though. That could’ve been his trump card to show as he was exiting. That and maybe he thought he could learn the truth through Hershel because hey, kids are young, impressionable, and stupid. But not all kids were raised by Maggie.

Trust- Maggie watches as Lance departs- AMC, The Walking Dead

So even though Lance escalated the situation, he was still smart to check every nook and cranny. It’s through Aaron and Gabriel making a convincing sounding story, the truck not stopping, and the standoff that led to Lance backing off. Maggie already doesn’t like the guy or the Commonwealth, but she sees more than ever what he’s capable of with the Commonwealth army at his disposal.

Trust- Leah points a gun at Lance- AMC, The Walking Dead

What I wonder is how Leah factors into this. After all, she stole Commonwealth property and killed several of its soldiers. If anything, Lance should want her dead. If he sics Leah on Maggie, that’ll solidify and distrust that Maggie has in the Commonwealth. Sure, Leah might want revenge, but she still cares for Daryl, who spared her life. I wonder if she’ll play a sort of double agent role.

At the same time, even though Leah is back and part of the story, I can’t imagine the Reapers storyline stretches any further past the next episode. But hey, Leah did return after all this time, so who knows?

Trust- Ezekiel works with Tomi- AMC, The Walking Dead

With his second shot at life, Ezekiel has a chance to make things better for other people. The discovery of a second, unknown clinic at the Commonwealth comes a bit out of nowhere, but makes sense. Considering the class warfare, there’s probably a lot of people who can’t afford to pay for hospital coverage, assuming they don’t stay on the waiting list forever. So a clinic for the less fortunate isn’t too unlikely.

Trust- Tomi saves Ezekiel's friend- AMC, The Walking Dead

But this feels like something that Ezekiel would do because of how much he likes to help people. It also worked for Tomi who, after losing one patient, managed to save the life of someone he barely knew. Ezekiel trusted him to pull through, even though he had failed to save another life, and in the end, at least for now, he succeeded.

Trust- Max wants to help Mercer- AMC, The Walking Dead

I did enjoy Eugene seeking Max’s help and, in turn, her talking with Mercer about the Commonwealth’s problems. They know the Commonwealth has a rotten side and they’ve been aware of the shady activity. But with the newcomers encountering them and not just taking that laying down, Mercer and Max can either turn a blind eye or finally do something about it.

Trust- Mercer trains while talking to Max- AMC, The Walking Dead

It’s clear that Mercer doesn’t view the Commonwealth with the rose-tinted glasses that others do. Hell, he killed two of his own soldiers and crossing that line stuck with him. All of this frustration will continue to bubble up until it explodes. This was one example, but he needs an outlet to vent. Luckily, he has Princess. I still think this relationship is as odd as it was in the comics, but I’m glad she’s found happiness with Mercer.

The finale of the second third of the final season is upon us, and the sunnyside image of the Commonwealth is unraveling. Lance enlisting Leah could lead to some big conflicts on both sides, while Eugene enlisting Max to steal some files could bring the Commonwealth’s actions to light. There’s a lot of tension and the Commonwealth bubble could be on the verge of bursting. We’ll see how it all unfolds next time.

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