by Transmute Jun
Warning: this review contains multiple spoilers for The Walking Dead Season 11, Episode 15.
The title of this episode is Trust, and it could not be more apt. No one trusts the Commonwealth government, or its representative, Lance. Yet the trust between the former Alexandrians (Maggie, Aaron, Daryl, Gabriel) is strong, and is what allowed them to hold it together this episode. Ezekiel took a leap of faith and trusted Tomi with his secret, as did Eugene with Max, and Mercer with Princess. The only person not revealing secrets was Carol, as she hid her activities with Lance from Ezekiel, even after he knew that something was wrong and reached out to her.
Ezekiel has always been a leader, and wanted to do good. Having been ‘born again’, he has found a new way to help people of the Commonwealth, by opening his secret ‘free clinic’. Interestingly, Ezekiel’s desire was to share this operation with Carol, yet I saw no sign of Jerry anywhere in the operation. Perhaps Ezekiel wanted to spare Jerry the knowledge, as Jerry’s children might be at risk if Jerry were caught in wrongdoing. We have already seen that Sebastian is willing to go after children to get what he wants; it’s not out of the realm of possibility that Lance (or Governor Milton) would do so as well.
Fear for their children is likely also what dictated Aaron’s and Gabriel’s actions. They lied to Lance about Annie’s group, yet they understand that the consequences of that may fall upon Alexandria, rather than just themselves. They were clearly terrified when they arrived at Hilltop, yet they played along, as they had to do. Maggie was frightened, but more defiant, yet she trusted in Daryl enough to let in Lance’s group for a search.
Lance knew that Aaron and Gabriel had sided with the Riverview people. While he is power-hungry and lacking in morals, Lance is not stupid. He is simply looking for an excuse to walk in and forcibly take Hilltop (since Maggie won’t voluntarily give it up). Had he found Annie’s group, he would have had that excuse. Since things did not play out as he wanted, he has decided to take a more direct route. My guess is that he will try to hire Leah to assassinate Maggie. While this aligns with Leah’s current goals, she won’t have any respect for Lance, so even if she agrees to that proposal, she would still be a threat to him.
In the Commonwealth, Eugene and Rosita are working to expose what Sebastian did to innocent people, but they know that they need proof. Interestingly, the list of names that was slipped under Connie’s door was far longer than April’s group (which was only a dozen people). I’m wondering if it might be a list of ‘traitors’, whom Lance secretly wanted gone. Such people would certainly be ‘disposable’ to him.
When Connie received the list, I thought that it might be Mercer who had given it to her. Yet in this episode, it seems that Mercer is only just coming around to possibly betraying the Commonwealth. He is wracked with guilt for killing the two soldiers who were working with Sebastian, and it takes Max to get Mercer to see that perhaps he could be a leader in a different way. His demeanor this episode is inconsistent with someone who would have passed information to Connie earlier. There might be another person working with the rebels of whom we are not yet aware.
In a prior episode, we saw that Tomi was not happy with his life as a doctor, drinking heavily and suffering from shaking hands. In this episode, he was drinking, yet this time it was because he had lost a patient. Yet when Ezekiel convinces Tomi to help out at the free clinic, Tomi comes alive, using his skills to save Theresa’s life. My guess is that he will become a regular participant in Ezekiel’s project, as helping others will motivate him once more.
Next week’s episode is the midseason finale, which will lead into the final 8 episodes of the entire series. My guess is that we will see the start of a revolution against the Commonwealth, both at Hilltop/Alexandria, and at its heart.
For those who play the AMC Walking Dead mobile games, this week’s Walking Dead: No Man’s Land season mission features Aaron, Gabriel and Daryl clearing walkers at Lance’s request.
Do you watch The Walking Dead? Join the conversation on the FoCC forums!