No matter how great things seems to be, there’s is always danger lurking on The Walking Dead. In “Warlords,” Aaron (Ross Marquand) and Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) find themselves in a dangerous situation with the Commonwealth. Maggie (Lauren Cohan) may have found proof that her suspicions were correct. 

The viewers know that the Commonwealth is not what it seems to be. Lance Hornsby (Josh Hamilton) is up to something … probably many somethings. He’s ambitious and cunning. The more we learn about Lance, the more we learn he will do anything to keep his powerful position and even more to gain a better status. All the while, pretending to be an honest person. He’s so shady…

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Things at the Hilltop are the best at the moment. Maggie is determined to keep going without help from the Commonwealth. But others are starting to break. Last week Diane (Kerry Cahill) left the Hilltop. And this week, Lydia (Cassady McClincy) does the same. But not before one last mystery to solve.

A young man on a horse ride up to the Hilltop, but it’s not what you think. He’s been shot and falls off his horse before making it to the gate. Elijah (Okea Eme-Akwari), Marco (Gustavo Gomez), and Lydia try to help him, but the boy dies before he can complete his message. He gives Lydia a map and says she has to go. 


Maggie receives a suspicious message on The Walking Dead.

Lauren Cohan as Maggie Rhee – The Walking Dead _ Season 11, Episode 13 – Photo Credit: Josh Stringer/AMC

Lydia takes the map to Maggie, but skeptical as ever, Maggie thinks it’s a trap. She says there’s not enough people at the Hilltop to keep it safe while they go investigate. Lydia and Elijah disagree and prepare to leave. Maggie eventually gives in to go with them, leaving Marco to hold down the fort. 

Along the way, Lydia asks Maggie why she won’t allow the Commonwealth to help them. From her perspective, Lydia has been getting by her entire life and she’s tired of it. Maggie tells her a story of how her dad held out selling their farm during a drought. Lydia gets why Maggie won’t give in, but it’s not only Maggie’s decision. However, Maggie has a point when she says they don’t know the people at the Commonwealth and don’t know what it will cost them if they take the help. Especially since the residents of the Commonwealth don’t really have to fight for what they have. 

Speaking of the Commonwealth, Maggie almost runs into a trio of soldiers turned walkers. After killing the walkers, she points out that the soldiers’ throats were cut. Then Aaron comes running up to them. Get ready folks, the mystery of the Commonwealth is about to get darker. 


Aaron asks Father Gabriel to join a group of Commonwealth people to visit a nearby community. It’s a small community and the Commonwealth would like to link up with them; however, it’s a religious community. Lance thinks things will go better if Father Gabriel is with them. Gabriel isn’t so sure, but Aaron says he’s been working closely with the Commonwealth intake personnel to improve their methods of vetting people. They don’t know much about the community, so Gabriel reluctantly agrees to go.

The leader of the Commonwealth group is named Carlson (Jason Butler Harner). He’s loud, obnoxious, and reckless so naturally Gabriel doesn’t like him. There’s also the young man from the opening.  His name is Jesse (Connor Hammond). Aaron doesn’t think the community looks very friendly. He and Gabriel begin to question if Carlson really knows what he’s doing. They both try to back out, but Carlson asks them to trust him. Gabriel removes his collar and Carlson asks him to put it back on. But Gabriel puts it away regardless. 


Once inside, the four men are searched for weapons and sent down a hallway to a specific room. They find a man named Ian (Michael Biehn) waiting for them. Ian listens for about two minutes before he starts questioning their motives. Aaron pitches what the Commonwealth is and shows Ian pictures of the community. Ian wants to know where the community is located, but Carlson won’t tell him. Then Ian asks how dumb it would be to let them go, with the knowledge of where he lives. 

Ian pulls a gun on Carlson, calling him the head wolf. He asks where the raiding party is. Aaron tries to talk him down, but Ian doesn’t trust them. Gabriel asks what he has that they would want. They brought food, water and weapons. They even gave Ian’s people supplies. And they brought soldiers who will come in and kill Ian’s people if the four of them don’t return. Aaron asks Ian to let them go and they will never return. When an agrees, Carlson grabs the gun and kills the guards. Aaron and Gabriel are shocked. Carlson says he’s doing his job and tells them to watch over Ian. Carlson leaves the room to take care of any hostiles. 


Lance Hornsby is up to some shady business on The Walking Dead

Josh Hamilton as Lance Hornsby – The Walking Dead _ Season 11, Episode 13 – Photo Credit: Josh Stringer/AMC

Lance asked Carlson to meet with him. He tells him that a convoy of supplies, and “something else” was raided and stolen. All of the soldiers were in their 20s and are now dead. Lance is certain that Ian’s community are the ones who raided their convoy. He asks Carlson to do what he used to do.

Turns out that Carlson is a former CIA assassin. His life is different now. He’s sober, zen, and enjoys saving people’s lives. Lance threatens to take all of that away from him if he doesn’t help. Carlson only agrees because of the dead kids. He also puts his finger in Lance’s glass and tastes the alcohol.

Lance tells him to take Aaron and Gabriel to the community to convince the leader to let his guard down. Then Carlson will do his job. If Aaron and Gabriel don’t like it, they have no choice but to fall in line. 


Carlson asks Ian for the cargo and guns back, but Ian doesn’t know what he is talking about. Carlson says three sets of tracks led to their door. Ian admits that they found the caravan. Carlson hits Ian for lying to him and Gabriel hits Carlson. Carlson tells the guards to cuff Gabriel. Ian starts to say if he found the weapons, he would have used them, but Carlson kills him before he can finish. 

Aaron watches in shock as Carlson taunts Ian’s dead body and kicks him around. Carlson can feel Aaron’s judgmental looks. Aaron reminds him that they are supposed to be helping people. Carlson says they are helping people by snuffing out the threats to make the world safe.

Aaron sees the dark side of the Commonwealth on The Walking Dead

Jason Butler Harner as Carlson, Ross Marquand as Aaron – The Walking Dead _ Season 11, Episode 13 – Photo Credit: Josh Stringer/AMC

They hear a horse take off and everyone runs outside to see Jesse taking off with the horse. They leave Gabriel inside with one guard by the hallway. Carlson orders a soldier to shoot Jesse, hitting him in the shoulder. Aaron hits the shooter with his metal hand and Carlson pulls a gun on Aaron. The gun is empty so they both prepare to fight. More soldiers appear, shooting at Aaron, so he runs away. Someone calls for Carlson inside, only to find that Gabriel is gone too. Carlson asks for his armor. 

Back to the present hour, Aaron finishes telling Maggie, Lydia and Elijah about what happened. Maggie questions what they want with the guns and if Carlson was lying about them. She pulls out the map and asks Aaron for the best way inside. He asks where she got the map. Maggie says he gave it to the kid who rode into the Hilltop, but Aaron says he didn’t. 


Jesse ran away and found two horses nearby. Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) walks up behind him to ask how many are with the kid and what weapons they have. Jesse answers him, but he’s scared. A woman, Annie (Medina Senghore) joins them, saying she saw the leader fight with a priest and a man with a spiked ball for an arm. Negan says that’s Gabriel and Aaron. Jesse says none of them knew about the attack.

Negan unties a horse, gives Jesse the map, and sends him to Maggie. He tells him not to talk to anyone but Maggie and to tell her that Aaron and Gabriel are in trouble. Negan and Annie sneak in just as Jesse is riding away. Annie kills the soldier and Negan unties Gabriel. They run away before more soldiers enter the building. 


Carlson puts on his armor, pours some alcohol on his fingers and tastes it. He gets on a bullhorn to let the community know that they are now enemies of the Commonwealth. Carlson wants their weapons back. Gabriel asks Annie where the weapons are, but she insists that they don’t have them. Gabriel says Carlson won’t leave until he gets his guns, or everyone is dead first. 

Carlson starts throwing people off of the roof. The rest of the community hides but they can hear the screams of those who died. Carlson tells his soldiers to search every room and kill anyone who won’t talk. Annie tells everyone that they have to stick together if they want to survive. They won’t give up or beg for forgiveness. And they know the building better than the soldiers. 

About the same time, Maggie, Aaron. Lydia and Elijah take out one soldier as someone on the radio calls for his report. Maggie turns off the radio and they quietly go to the stairwell. Aaron closes the door behind him.

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The Walking Dead airs Sundays on AMC. You can watch new episodes early on AMC+.



Noetta Harjo
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