The Commonwealth goes into lockdown after getting hit with the walker variant.
The episode begins with padding- I mean flashbacks that go all the way back to the beginning. Someone narrates life after the world fell and how people survived by connecting with each other. Others, however, gave into the darkness. That was a long time ago. Seasons ago, even.
Well, that was a waste of a few seconds. Anyway, Daryl and Maggie take out walkers in a building while Lance arrives outside with a squad of Commonwealth soldiers. He orders the soldiers to fan out and search everywhere.
Daryl and Maggie plan to take them out, one-by-one, and almost succeed in killing Aaron and Gabriel, who arrive with Negan and Annie. Maggie is relieved to learn that Hershel is with Elijah and the others. Gabriel suggests getting their people out of Commonwealth first, but Aaron believes that Lance has already been in communication with others.
Then Daryl has an epiphany: no one in the Commonwealth has seen Negan’s face before. Annie wants to go as well, but Negan needs at least one of them to be safe. Besides, he is fucked either way. Again, not my addition, but another uncensored F-bomb. I’ll give you a light, golf clap, AMC.
Again, it shouldn’t have taken this long for the flagship show to say the word “fuck” uncensored when Fear the Walking Dead has done so for years.
So, what’s the plan?
The plan is to take out two red shirt Commonwealth soldiers that encounter a small group of walkers. One is overwhelmed by the dead, while another is stabbed by Negan, who is wearing a Whisperer mask. Nice to see these things still come in handy. He slides the soldier’s gun and radio over to Daryl and rides off in the soldiers’ truck.
That Commonwealth soldier armor isn’t as durable as previously advertised.
Lance and some soldiers later arrive to inspect the scene. Lance wants a communications signal sent to the Commonwealth, even though the signal might not be that strong. Without waiting to verify that the person on the other side is a Commonwealth resident, Lance orders a contingency protocol on Daryl Dixon.
He tells a soldier that if the missing car arrives at Commonwealth, they need their people ready on the walls. Also, shoot to kill.
Speaking of, Daryl fires from a distance and kills a few soldiers, as well as nailing Lance in the shoulder. When Lance advances, he finds no Daryl, because Mr. Dixon has hopped into another vehicle. He speeds towards them, and since they all have the aim of Stormtroopers, none of their bullets land.
At the same time, Negan leads another convoy on a chase. A few things. One, the Commonwealth soldiers must know all this noise will attract walkers, right? Two, what good was all of that training if they can’t hit one guy or think to shoot out the tires? Three, did they ever consider that they’re being led into a trap?
Over at Commonwealth, a crowd has gathered outside the station to protest Governor Milton. Their chant- “We want justice! Deliver Sebastian now!”- doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue. Inside, Yumiko sees Connie in the crowd.
Governor Milton delivers a fireside chat, telling the residents that the report is nothing but lies meant to sow fear and anger on people who have suffered enough. But Pamela knows her son couldn’t have done the things he’s accused of doing. No. Sebastian’s a good kid.
Outside, Kelly signs to Connie, asking if this is what they wanted. Connie responds that this is what change looks like. People are still missing out there. Ezekiel warns Connie and Kelly that they need to be ready to lend a hand if this shit goes sideways. Magna concurs, saying it’s a matter of time before this gets worse. Rosita says that nothing gets decided until everyone’s back.
Mercer arrives and tells soldiers to secure the station. He questions why Rosita is out of uniform, but she tells him that she took a personal. Not to mention that this isn’t their problem. Before Mercer can respond, he’s called to processing- apparently he’ll really want to see this. As he heads off, he tells Rosita to suit up.
Inside, Governor Milton promises to bring the real culprits to justice. Max brings Milton a list of written questions by citizens. Max thinks Sebastian is in hiding, as he’s more afraid of his mother than the people.
You’d think that Pamela would wait for the crowd to die down before trying to address them.
At processing, Mercer meets Negan. The Savior leader says a friend told him to ask for Mercer when he went looking for April. Mercer asks if Negan knows what happened to her, but Negan thinks that him being asked that means it can’t be good. As for why Negan’s really here?
He ran into some trouble “with a shirt-and-tie wearing shit” and the clamshell assholes he runs with. Mercer tells the nearby soldier to get Negan some water.
When the soldier leaves, Negan informs Mercer that Daryl sent him. He explains that Lance has been cutting them up out there and they’re dealing with it, but they have people in the Commonwealth to protect. Mercer counters that this is his job, yet here is Negan anyway. He can’t just let Negan in since there are rules, but Negan asks why Mercer is playing the rules if no one else is?
Carol is stuck playing babysitter to the kids. She looks over some photographs that Kelly apparently took when Judith informs her that her blueberry pancakes are burning. Terrific. The photos are to learn more about the Commonwealth and keep an eye on things. Judith asks when Aaron and Daryl are coming back.
I guess Carol and company missed the commotion because it finally arrives outside their doorstep. The marchers march past, but Carol spots two people, Shira and Calhoun, heading in the opposite direction. Carol tells the kids that they’ve gotta move, which also gets them out of eating Carol’s awful breakfast. Now, it’s time to play the Quiet Game.
Shira and Calhoun enter and begin searching the now-empty home. Dixon’s name was the only one that came through for Calhoun to hear, but he then spot a photo of RJ, Judith, and Daryl on the refrigerator. The two decide to check the school.
Now inside the Commonwealth, Negan runs into Jerry and informs him that he’s here to save his ass. He then asks where Carol is.
Meanwhile, a Commonwealth soldier trying to send a transmission gets ambushed by Carol and Annie. The end. I don’t care enough to attach an image.
Jerry and Negan arrive at Carol’s location, with Negan filling Maggie in on how Lance tried to scare Maggie by intimidating Hershel. The thought is that he’ll use the kids to draw out their people. That would explain why they came for Daryl. But if Lance sent two people, that could mean he’s doing this under the radar. So it might be possible to get ahead of him.
Luckily, Jerry still has access to an attic space where he’s been stocking supplies. The plan is to keep the kids there while getting word to the others. They need to be ready to move. Negan, seeing how well guarded the Commonwealth is, knows you can’t just stroll out, so Carol tells him that they’re going to get some insurance.
Flood insurance, I’m guessing.
So the mob has entered the station just as Pamela is about to exit. She tells the crowd that she’ll get to the bottom of what happened and who was responsible. The mob wants Sebastian’s head, but Yumiko appeals to them. Making it this far and then losing someone like this is unthinkable. She promises that the people will be updated on every step of the investigation.
The mob disperses, but maintains that Pamela has blood on her hands. Pamela asks if Yumiko’s journalist friend, Connie, might know who wrote the piece. Yumiko says she would be surprised if Connie did. Pamela maintains her suspicion, but heads off anyway.
Oh, never mind about the crowd. They just moved back outside. Flanked by guards, Pamela heads into a vehicle and radios to someone to do B14 now. Also, does the station only have one exit? Surely there’s a backdoor that Pamela could’ve gone out of, right?
Yumiko tells Magna that yeah, Pamela suspects, without any proof, that Connie wrote the piece. But they both know that Connie won’t run from a fight. Yumiko reminds Magna that she knows more than anyone that they’ve made it through a lot by knowing when it’s good to go. If shit hits the fan, Yumiko wants a strong exit for the others, but not her.
She won’t leave her brother, but Magna puts her foot down. If they leave, they all leave. Until then, they keep their eyes peeled and wait for the other shoe to drop.
Just then, over the PA system, someone announces that lockdown procedures have been initiated. Everyone is to head to their residence and remain inside until further notice.
Well, looks like covid finally hit the Commonwealth!
We cut to a walker herd to remind you that this show is called The Walking Dead. As you’d expect, the herd is approaching the Commonwealth.
The mob finally quiets down when a worker named Henderson informs them that a swarm has been detected five miles out. As such, Governor Milton has instituted a lockdown. After curfew, anyone found on the streets will be arrested.
Everyone heads home, including Jerry and the kids, but Jerry notices that Calhoun and Shira are following them from a distance. Jerry and the kids hightail it while some residents provide a temporary barrier between them and their pursuers.
Carol and Negan enter a room filled with filing cabinets, with the plan being to find any blueprints and schematics for Union Station. Also, the person Carol is looking for was in the building before people called for his head, so he may have stayed. If he stayed, and everyone’s looking for him, he must have a great hiding spot.
Because this is a slow scene and opportunity for small talk, Negan tells Carol that he got married. Negan’s telling her now because his wife is out there and carrying their child. My guess is Carol’s more annoyed that she wasn’t invited to the wedding.
Outside the walls, Maggie and Daryl take cover from a passing group of Commonwealth soldiers. Maggie thanks Daryl for what he did, as she knows that Leah meant a lot to him. She’s sorry. Daryl tells Maggie that Glenn would’ve wanted him to look after her, so Maggie never has to say “sorry” again.
Again, The Walking Dead, can we move on from Glenn?
Anyway, Gabriel, Aaron, and Annie soon join them. Lance has dug in up ahead with half of his men, so there’s no way to get close. The others flanked them from behind, so Aaron suggests heading east before they get pinned in. Annie knows a way to get behind the soldiers without being spotted.
While Jerry and the kids evade Calhoun, Rosita armors up to help with the herd. She’s going with Mercer because of course she is. The soldiers arm up and head out.
In the sewers, Annie tells the others that if they keep going, they can come up right behind the soldiers. Resourceful Daryl thinks it’s possible to get the soldiers to come down to them instead. So Gabriel fires a few shots into the air.
Now armed with blueprints, Carol and Maggie explore the station. They find a door hidden behind a plant. As luck would have it, this is where a very tired or hungover Sebastian is hiding. He refuses to leave until this hoopla blows over. Besides, the Commonwealth is Pamela’s kid, while Sebastian says he’s just a prop.
Negan appeals to Sebastian’s common sense. Not to mention that Carol is a magician and Negan has seen her pull bunnies out of her ass with his own eyes. If Carol is throwing Sebastian a lifeline, he should take it.
Carol pulling bunnies out of her ass must have been a deleted scene.
Night falls as Commonwealth residents pay tribute to their loved ones. Henderson arrives with soldiers and tells the people to stop. The swarm has passed the first two checkpoints, so the people need to go home. A couple that has been in every one of these mob scenes tells the soldiers that their daughter can’t come home. They aren’t leaving until Sebastian is brought before them.
As Henderson radios that he has a situation, Negan and Carol bring Sebastian through another exit. Ah, see, there is one. They don’t check to see if the coast is clear, or even give Sebastian a mask to wear, which of course is why some random guy nearby recognizes Sebastian. He yells out to the crowd and though Negan tries to calm him down, he’s put on his ass by both the guy and a Commonwealth soldier.
For reasons I can’t understand, the crowd doesn’t immediately turn their attention towards Sebastian, who is whisked away by Carol. Instead, they quiet down when they hear the sounds of the dead.
So Henderson orders the soldiers to clear the mob, which they do by dispersing tear gas.
No one ever said The Walking Dead was subtle.
The soldiers outside the walls deal with the herd. Rosita wonders how the walkers got past the outer perimeter, though Mercer believes someone wasn’t doing their job. Of course. Mercer tells Rosita that he appreciates her having his back the other week, as that shouldn’t have happened. Shit is upside down around here, and in this job, Mercer needs people he can trust, like Rosita.
Rosita can help Mercer with walkers, but inside the Commonwealth, her daughter and family come first. That much Mercer can respect. If the time comes and Rosita needs help getting out, Mercer will have her back. Mercer then receives a transmission that a vehicle has been overturned.
Man, the Commonwealth soldiers must’ve had just a day of basic training. As Rosita opens fire with the turret, one of the two soldiers runs to Mercer’s truck. The other takes his sweet time in doing so, so when he gets overwhelmed, it’s no surprise that he gets ripped in half when he finally tries to run to Mercer. As the walkers feast, the herd is soon split in two when the vehicles head in different directions.
Yumiko joins Pamela, who defends the use of tear gas by reminding Yumiko that her friends were in violation of lockdown. It was and always is about safety. She tells Yumiko to spit out her accusation if she has one. Yumiko asks if Pamela truly believes there’s no way Sebastian has done the things he’s accused of doing.
Pamela knows that Sebastian has always been a renegade. As were his grandfather and uncles, but they mellowed out and became leaders.
She doesn’t believe that Sebastian is a murder. Yumiko is trying to figure out how much Pamela knew, as it might be her job to defend her. But Pamela can’t talk freely with her lawyer who also happens to be friends with the most prominent journalist around.
Man, the news industry in the Commonwealth must’ve been a real slog before Connie arrived. Anyway, Carol brings Sebastian home. Pamela embraces her son before smacking him, saying he humiliated the both of them. Sebastian tells Pamela that the story is a lie and he’s just an easy target for blame, but Pamela will need more than that if she’s to save his ass.
Carol pipes up and says there’s a way for them to help each other. She introduces herself as someone who works for Lance Hornsby, because apparently Carol and Pamela haven’t crossed paths yet? Lance is hunting Carol’s friends under Pamela’s flag. Pamela knows nothing about this and doesn’t see how this benefits her. Carol says that if Sebastian didn’t do the things he’s accused of, someone did. Right?
We end on a bit of a double ambush. The Commonwealth soldiers head into the sewers and are ambushed by Aaron and Annie, but they’re intercepted by Lance and more soldiers. Daryl surprises Lance from behind and takes him at knifepoint, demanding the soldiers drop their weapons. But even more Commonwealth soldiers emerge and vastly outnumber them. While Lance may have a knife at his throat, he still smiles.
We’re one episode into the final eight and tensions have already exploded.
Whether intentional or by accident, it’s impossible to not see the real life parallels in “Lockdown.” The idea of residents being forced into their homes and not being allowed to socialize because of what officials said still rings true in this covid-era we’re in right now. The only difference is people aren’t walking around with masks, so maybe Governor Milton didn’t put as many restrictions.
Still, there’s been growing tension in this community towards the Miltons. Connie’s article pushed the people into action and Pamela sees firsthand how much people distrust her rule. Even in her own ranks, now that she has Yumiko questioning whether she knew about Sebastian. Like Lance, I get the feeling that Pamela likes to have the most control of a situation.
When that control is ripped from her or she’s dealing with people who refuse to bow down, it complicates the situation. Her name is tarnished, the people want her son’s head on a spike, and now she’s seen as a tyrant because soldiers used tear gas to disperse people trying to pay tribute to their loved ones. Pamela would say it’s in the name of security to protect the people from walkers.
That much may be true, but that will just incite people to more anger. Since, in Pamela’s mind, she’s done nothing wrong, she has nothing to gain by stepping aside or caving to the mob. What she does need, however, is a scapegoat. If she’s to keep Sebastian alive, someone would have to take the blame for his actions. We’ve already seen the friction between Pamela and Lance, so why not just throw him under the bus?
We don’t find out what happened to Oceanside, but Lance is still on the warpath. He’s so used to people bending to his will, but the survivors have been through hell and much worse. Despite wanting to be one step ahead, Lance is now playing catch-up when dealing with the main characters.
I don’t think he’s in as helpless of a situation as it seems. He’s already planted his flag at the other communities, and like the main characters, he always seems to have a backup plan. So even though he’s got a knife at his throat and Pamela is ready to make him the Commonwealth’s scapegoat, for now I think Lance has a Plan B.
As do the survivors, and I like how Negan factors into this. The others will never truly trust Negan after what he’s done, but at this point he has proven his worth. Not to mention he has someone to fight for. But as Daryl points out, no one in Commonwealth has seen him, and that’s the advantage that allows Negan to smooth talk Mercer, who the others know that they can trust.
I do like the friendship that Mercer and Rosita have. Even though Rosita will put her family first, she does acknowledge her role in helping Mercer deal with the walker threat. Mercer can respect that. He sees Rosita’s value as a fighter and friend, even if, when push comes to shove, she’ll stand by her friends first since they’re her home, not the Commonwealth.
The Walking Dead returns for its final eight episodes with calamity aplenty at the Commonwealth with the walls closing in on all sides. The mob wants Sebastian’s head, walkers are approaching, Shira and Calhoun are still searching for the others, and while Lance might be at a disadvantage, he’s not out yet.
Welcome back for the final run of The Walking Dead.