If there’s one thing we know about The Walking Dead, things have to get worse before they get better. In “Promises Broken,” Eugene (Josh McDermitt) runs into some new trouble at the Commonwealth. Maggie (Lauren Cohan) comes up with a plan, with Negan’s (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) help to defeat the Reapers.
After Daryl’s (Norman Reedus) warning last week, Maggie, Negan, Elijah (Okea Eme-Akwari), and Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) reevaluate their situation. Negan heard Daryl say go home. Maggie heard intel to defeat the Reapers. Negan threatens to leave but he knows Maggie can’t defeat them without his help. One thing is certain, Maggie is not going home without that food. She reluctantly agrees to a truce with Negan in exchange for his help.
A group of walkers emerge from the woods. Maggie and Elijah know these people. Elijah is worried about his sister’s safety. Maggie promises they will find the girl and stop the Reapers from hurting more of their people.
Eugene, Ezekiel (Khary Peyton), Princess (Paola Lazaro) and Stephanie (Chelle Ramos) are sentenced to clean up duty. They are sent to nearby buildings to clean out the walkers. Eugene still has concerns about trusting Lance Hornsby (Josh Hamilton), but Stephanie is certain he will help them.
Ezekiel gets sick while working. Princess asks Stephanie to see about taking Ezekiel to see a doctor. Ezekiel protests because he doesn’t want to acquire more debt to these people. While they chat, Mercer (Michael James Shaw) walks by with a young couple. The young man is complaining about the smell.
Yumiko (Eleanor Matsuura) is given an opportunity to advise the Commonwealth governor, Pamela Milton. She’s more worried about her friends and asks to see them. When the powers that be won’t agree, she asks to talk to Panela immediately.
Daryl walks around Meridian, getting a feel for the place. He finds where the food is stored just as the patrol team arrives. They didn’t find any sign of Maggie and her group, making Daryl feel better.
Gabriel eulogizes Maggie’s friends after they bury them. Afterwards, Maggie sends Gabriel on a mission. She warns him about the scouts and tells him to kill one if he gets the chance. While he’s gone, Negan and Maggie have a task of their own. She says she won’t carve up anyone she knows, so they need to find four strangers. Negan corrects her saying they only need three. He says he kept his mask for sentimental reasons.
Pope (Ritchie Coster) gets angry when the patrol says they didn’t find anyone in the woods. He doesn’t understand how they can find them if there are supposed to be a lot of them. He sends Leah (Lynn Collins) and Daryl out to take another look.
Daryl asks Leah how they took Meridian. All she says is they needed a place and found one. He can figure out the rest for himself. Leah says they hunt those who get away so they don’t come back. She’s worried that those people are hard to find. Next, Daryl questions Leah’s loyalty to Pope. She says he’s like a father to her and he makes her strong. Daryl says she was pretty strong when he knew her before.
Negan instructs Maggie how to move like a walker, like he learned when he walked with the Whisperers. She stumbles, revealing herself to the walkers she’s with. Negan saves her and that just makes her mad. She says the mask is too big. Negan offers to adjust the mask and says she did a good job.
Gabriel is doing recon on Meridian. He sees one of the Reapers and watches him closely. The Reaper carries a rosary and talks to God. The man hears something in the woods and stops to face Gabriel. He can’t see Gabriel, so he talks to God instead thanking him for guiding his way. Gabriel lets the Reaper walk away.
Yumiko meets up with Tomi (Ian Anthony Dale) and questions why he’s not the town doctor. Tomi says he’s happier not being a doctor and doesn’t want to go back. He makes Yumiko promise not to tell anyone about his former profession. Yumiko promises, but still doesn’t understand.
Yumiko mentions that she is meeting with Pamela Milton. Tomi is impressed. He says someone like him would never get that opportunity. Yumiko asks why not and Tomi says he has to know his place. The Commonwealth Military approaches Tomi and takes him into custody without any explanation. Yumiko throws a fit, but Tomi says it’s okay.
Maggie gets another walker practice with a small group of walkers. The mask fits better and she is okay among the dead. She stops and talks to Elijah. He asks if Negan has changed, but she can’t really tell. She says Negan is being helpful, but she wonders what’s in it for him. Elijah asks if she intends to keep her promise and Maggie hopes she can.
Yumiko tracks down Lance to find out where Tomi is, but he’s more concerned about her meeting with Pamela. He says she will ruin everything. She gets angry and Lance promises her brother will be returned to her later that night. He says he can help her and her friends but it comes at a price. She asks him what he wants but he doesn’t answer. Lance says one day he may need a friend in high places.
GOOD GUY, BAD GUY
Daryl and Leah find a house and wonder if the enemy is in there. Instead they find a random guy in the woods. He says he’s searching for food for his wife. She’s badly injured. Daryl asks to see the wife and the man agrees to take him. Leah contacts Pope for instructions. Pope orders her to kill the guy and his family.
Negan and Maggie have a productive chat about her situation. Negan says he understands where she’s coming from because he woke up one day to find out some of his people were killed overnight. Maggie says that was different because there were no children at the outpost. Negan counters by asking where Aaron (Ross Marquand) got Gracie (Anabelle Holloway). Negan says his home was invaded and his people were killed. Those people had family and friends who were grieving. And there was nothing Negan could do to help them. He couldn’t explain to them why he failed them.
Maggie counters by saying Negan killed people with families, in front of their families. Negan says that’s true, but things are different now. There’s less people to fight for, fight with and less things to fight over. If given the chance to do things differently, Negan would’ve killed them all instead. Maggie gets upset, but Negan says if this is going to work, they have to be honest with each other.
TROUBLE IN PARADISE
Ezekiel returns from seeing a doctor and brings lollipops with him for his friends. Everyone is in good spirits so Lance asks if they are ready for their next job. He splits up the foursome, sending Eugene and Stephanie to the next building.
Gabriel returns to Maggie saying it’s still there. She asks if he ran into anyone and he says no.
Eugene spots the young couple from earlier, kissing under an open pavilion. He also sees walkers approaching them. He and Stephanie run to stop the walkers, killing all of them. Afterward, the young man (Teo Rapp-Olsson) gets angry because his date was disturbed. Eugene is put off because he just saved their lives.
While they discuss the reality of the situation, another walker approaches the date. Stephanie kills the walker and splatters blood all over the girl. The young man is livid, yelling at Stephanie and calling her a b***h. Eugene gets angry and punches the young man.
When Mercer and Lance arrive, the young man says Eugene and Stephanie attacked them. He blames Mercer for the whole situation. Lance asks if that’s true and Eugene admits he did punch him. Lance gets upset and asks Eugene if he knows who that kid is.
Yumiko arrives early for her meeting with Pamela. Minutes later, Pamela’s assistant, Stephanie (Margot Bingham) informs Yumiko that the meeting is postponed. Someone attacked the Governor’s son.
Lance visits Eugene in jail and offers to help him, for a price. That price is the name and location of Eugene’s former community. At first Eugene won’t answer. Lance then explains that this is Eugene’s life now. His friends will continue to kill walkers and his community will just have to figure things out for themselves. Eugene asks for a guarantee that his people will be safe, but Lance doesn’t say anything. He gets up to leave Eugene to figure things out. Eugene stops him before Lance walks out the door.
THE WALKING DEAD
Maggie, Negan and Elijah walk with the dead to a building close to Meridian. They leave the group to open a door and more walkers join their group. There ‘s enough walkers to create a herd.
The stranger takes Daryl and Leah to where his family is. His wife has a huge gash in her stomach. Leah tells the man to take his son and leave. After they leave, the woman thanks Daryl and Leah and says she’s ready to die. Leah raises her gun to shoot the woman, but starts crying and can’t do it. So Daryl kills her.
Daryl asks Leah what she plans to tell Pope. She will tell him that Daryl killed the strangers. It will help him. Daryl covers up the dead lady. Pope calls Leah saying they need her back immediately.
Elijah looks at the walkers around him and sees his sister among them. He starts crying, but is able to continue walking. Maggie walks next to Elijah and grabs his hand.
The Walking Dead airs Sundays on AMC. You can also watch new episodes early on AMC+.