This episode starts off with a nightmare. Aaron (Ross Marquand) and Gracie (Anabelle Holloway) are lost in the woods. They are met by past TWD villains, the Scavengers, the Saviors and the Whisperers. They surround Aaron and when he starts to fight, Gracie disappears. The villains rush on Aaron and start stabbing him.
Aaron wakes up abruptly. He and Gracie are safe. She didn’t even budge from her slumber. Jerry (Cooper Andrews) is also awake. He makes his way outside to use the bathroom when he sees walkers in the streets. He yells for everyone to wake up. They have a breach.
The walkers knocked down a wall. The entire community works together to raise the wall before too many walkers can get it. A group of leaders discuss how to keep the wall up. Jerry mentions that Hilltop might have some blacksmith tools laying around. It’s risky and Alexandria is running out of food fast. So they have to do something.
Maggie (Lauren Cohan) and Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) make their way to the next safehouse, killing every walker along the way. Negan says if they are going to succeed they need to trust each other. Maggie will never trust him. He questions her plan of action because let’s face it … none of her other plans have worked out. Negan wants to return to Alexandria. Maggie wants to wait for all of the others. Negan proposes that they stay until sundown. If no one shows up, they leave.
Eugene and company go through orientation for the Commonwealth. They watch a cheesy VHS video about the Commonwealth hosted by Lance Hornsby (Josh Hamilton). It’s one of those videos that shows you everything you want to see in a community; laughing kids, happy adults, ice cream … the place seems too good to be true. Each of the group gets a work assignment and living quarters. Eugene is assigned to teach. Princess (Paola Lazaro) gets her two dollar bill back and is assigned to be a cashier. Ezekiel (Khary Peyton) is going to animal control. Yumiko (Eleanor Matsuura) gets a special invitation to discuss governmental affairs.That will come in handy.
Judith (Cailey Fleming) is training the other kids in sword fighting. Some of the teenagers are messing with a teen walker at the fence. Judith tells them to fight. One of the boys, Vincent (Pilot Bunch) pushes Judith down and calls her a baby. He says it’s no wonder her mom left her behind. Judith jumps up and puts her sword to Vincent’s throat, daring him to say it again. Gracie talks Judith down and Judith walks away crying.
Aaron, Jerry, Carol (Melissa McBride), and Lydia (Cassady McClincy) go to Hilltop and find very little. It’s obvious that someone has been there. Lydia notices that the walkers inside the walls are herding. They rush the group of walkers, killing all of them but one. The one is actually a Whisperer. Aaron aggressively questions the Whisperer about what happened to the rest of the Whisperers. At first the Whisperer says he’s alone, but they soon find four or five more people.
The remaining Whispers are terrified of Aaron and his group. Jerry finds one of Nabila’s scarves. These Whisperers were in Alexandria and they burned Jerry and Nabila’s home. The Whisperers attack Aaron and run away, except the first Whisperer.
Aaron ties up the Whisperer, throws the rope over a railing and has Jerry hold that rope. Aaron captures a walker and lets it get really close to the Whisperer, while Aaron asks questions. The Whisperer says he doesn’t know anything, but Aaron doesn’t believe him. Lydia tries to make him stop, but Aaron gets more aggressive. Aaron lets the walker bite the Whisperer. The Whisperer only has a limited amount of time to tell Aaron the truth. Carol kills the walker and tells Aaron to stop. He’s going down a dark path that he can’t come back from. Aaron cuts the ropes on the Whisperer’s hand and offers to cut off the hand that was bitten.
Yumiko finds her brother, Tomi (Ian Anthony Dale). Tomi is a surgeon, but he’s working in a bakery. He says he’s the happiest he’s ever been, all things considering. Yumiko asks if the Commonwealth is as good as it seems. Tomi says it’s better.
Eugene and Stephanie (Chelle Ramos) are getting ice cream when a mysterious woman (Margot Bingham) walks by. Eugene notices that she has Rocky Road and asks her about it. The woman doesn’t answer him, she just nods. (This is strange but relevant… promise). Eugene says he’s not staying. He needs to get help for his people, but he’s not sure how to do that. Stephanie offers to let him use the long range radio. Apparently she works for the communication department.
Judith goes home and finds her and Carl’s handprints on the floor. Someone broke the boards. She blames Vincent, but he says he didn’t do it. Vincent and his friends leave the house. Gracie, Herschel (Kien Michael Spiller) and RJ (Antony Azor) offer to help Judith fix the boards. She goes outside and sits on the porch.
Rosita (Christian Serratos) finds Judith and they talk about Carl and Rick (Andrew Lincoln). Judith feels like she’s all alone. They all left her and she’s afraid she’s going to forget them. Rosita tells Judith that her mom died when she was young. Before she died, she made sure Rosita knew how to take care of herself. And that’s what Carl and Rick did for Judith. Rosita helps Judith repair the boards.
Stephanie sneaks Eugene into the department and Princess sits outside to keep watch. Mercer (Michael James Shaw) walks up and Princess distracts him with compliments. She compliments his muscles first but he’s not stopping. She then thanks him for giving back her two dollar bill. He thinks it’s no big deal. He tries to go in again and Princess stops him to tell him that he has wonderful eyelashes.
While they work on the boards, Eugene calls on the radio. He asks how everything is going. Rosita tells him that things are bad, but he cuts out and the radio goes dead. Eugene doesn’t know what happened. Mercer busts in and arrests all of them.
Negan starts to leave with whatever food they have. Maggie attacks him to stop him. The fight stops when Elijah (Okea Eme-Akwari) shows up with Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam). Maggie informs them that everyone else is dead, Alden (Callan McAuliffe) is hurt, boarded up in a church, but she’s not sure about Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Frost (Glenn Stanton). Gabriel says they wait. Maggie agrees.
OUT OF THE ASHES
Since Eugene, Ezekiel and Princess are not citizens of the Commonwealth, they face banishment. They will get a chance to plead their case in front of a judge. Princess asks for a lawyer. Eugene asks about Stephanie. Stephanie walks in with Lance Hornsby. Lance tells the prosecutor to let Eugene and his friends go, but they are awaiting trial. Land instructs him not to move them and leaves to find mercer. Stephanie says Lance can help them, but they will have to pay for their crime.
Aaron and his people prepare to leave. They give the Whisperer a little bit of food. In return, he tells them he saw one of their people. He saw Connie (Lauren Ridloff) and she’s alive. Carol wants start searching immediate, but Aaron convinces her to wait until first light.
The Walking Dead airs Sundays on AMC. You can also watch new episodes early on AMC+.