"Bounty" is the eleventh episode of the ninth season of AMC's The Walking Dead. It is the one-hundred and twenty-sixth episode of the series overall. It premiered on February 24, 2019. It was written by Matt Negrete and directed by Meera Menon.
In a flashback, Ezekiel, Carol, and Jerry are in a clearing in the woods. Jerry tells Ezekiel and Carol that Nabila is pregnant, and a jubilant Ezekiel congratulates him. Suddenly, Jesus and Tara ride up to them. Tara tells them that she has left Alexandria and hands Ezekiel the community charter before leaving. He then promises Carol that someday the community leaders will all sign it together.
In the present, Ezekiel looks longingly at the charter in the Kingdom. Dianne catches him up on plans to head out to hunt deer. Outside, everyone is setting up things for the fair. Carol catches up to Ezekiel and decides to accompany him.
At Hilltop, Enid treats Earl for an injury and suggests he retire, but he refuses. Tammy thanks Enid for helping and assures her Alden will turn up. Marco then runs up to tell them that the people who killed Jesus are there.
Outside, Alpha and the Whisperers wait for them to bring Lydia to her. Daryl asks them to leave and Alpha signals for more Whisperers to show up. Magna asks Alpha if they killed their people. Alpha says no and promises if they don't bring her Lydia there will be conflict. Meanwhile, Connie hides in the cornfield nearby and nearly gets spotted by a Whisperer until they walk away. Daryl then decides to walk outside to talk to Alpha face-to-face.
In the woods, Ezekiel suggests Carol take another caravan back to the Kingdom while he goes with another group. Carol senses something's up so Ezekiel explains he and his people planned a minor side mission to grab something for the fair. Carol agrees to tag along and they go to an abandoned movie theater.
At Hilltop, Daryl walks outside and Alpha instructs one of her people to bring someone. Daryl informs Alpha he's ready to fight her people to ensure she doesn't get Lydia back, until he spots one of the Whisperers with a baby. Alpha explains they're animals and "animals have babies." Suddenly, a couple of Whisperers bring forth bound and gagged Alden and Luke. Alpha offers to trade both of them for her daughter.
At the movie theater, Ezekiel reveals to Carol that he wants to get a projector bulb, but she's understandably upset they're risking so much for something so trivial. Ezekiel explains how important it could be for families and she relents. Jerry then uses a boombox to draw the walkers away from the theater.
Back at Hilltop, a herd arrives and Alpha instructs her people to draw them away. Luke spots Connie in the cornfields and communicates to her with sign language behind his back for her to keep quiet. Inside, Daryl informs Enid he's going to make the trade when Magna says Lydia and Henry are missing. He tells everyone to split up and find them. He gives their scent to Dog and sends him off.
Outside, the Whisperer's baby starts crying, which attracts the walkers. Alpha shrugs at the mother, indicating she should leave the baby to die. The mother takes the sling off of her shoulder and lays the baby on the ground. Alden and Luke try to scream for them not to but Alpha explains that it's natural selection. Inside, Daryl discovers Henry and Lydia are missing from the cells. Addy says she knows where they went. She and Enid head out to find them while Daryl stalls.
Outside, the guards bang the fence to attract the walkers away from the baby but it doesn't work. Luke frantically signs Connie to grab the baby so she runs out of the cornfield, sling-shots a walker, and grabs it. The Whisperers around her unsheathe blades as Connie escapes back into the cornfield. Daryl runs in and kills the walkers around her while Kelly, Tammy, and Earl step in to rescue her.
Back in the theater, Carol helps Ezekiel remove a movie poster frame to use for their charter. Carol suggests that if the fair doesn't bring everyone together, they should stay at Hilltop. Meanwhile, Jerry gingerly retrieves the projector bulb as Dianne accompanies him. After packing the bulb in padding, suddenly, walkers attack, causing him to drop the bulb into the walker-infested theater below.
In the woods, Henry and Lydia hide out in a cabin when Enid and Addy show up. Henry refuses to give Lydia up, but Enid explains Alden and Luke's life are in jeopardy. Enid tells him about watching her parents die and how Carl told her she has to live for more than survival. Henry's torn, so Lydia offers to give herself up to save their friends. She kisses Henry and leaves.
Back at the theater, Jerry tells Ezekiel about the bulb and he considers leaving, but Carol steps in and sets up a plan to retrieve it. They take out walkers, grab the bulb and finally head out. As they ride away, a strange symbol is seen on the back of a road sign.
At Hilltop, Daryl hands Lydia over to Alpha in exchange for Alden and Luke, who are embraced by Enid and Magna's group. Lydia says "I'm sorry mom", which earns her a hard slap across the face. Alpha then orders Lydia to address her as "Alpha" like everyone else. She then smiles at Daryl as they leave.
Later, Henry tells Daryl that what they did isn't right, but Daryl reminds him they had to and they just have to live with it. At night, in the Kingdom, Ezekiel and Carol place the charter in the frame and kiss as Jerry turns on the movie projector.
In Hilltop, Magna's group drinks, Enid and Alden sleep together, Tammy and Earl take care of the new baby, rescued from the Whisperers, and Henry leaves his bed. Outside, Addy hands Daryl a note from Henry, where he says he left to find Lydia. Nearby, Connie sits on a table and stops Daryl, writing him a note, claiming that she wants to tag along. He reluctantly agrees and they set off.
- Angel Theory as Kelly
- Gustavo Gomez as Marco
- Kelley Mack as Adeline
- Jason Graham as William
- Ethan Patterson as Rasmus
- Emily Lane as Frances
- Several elks (Off-Screen)
- First appearance of Frances.
- First appearance of Adam Sutton.
- First appearance of Ezra.
- First appearance of Aliyah.
- First appearance of Mariam.
- First (and last) appearance of William. (Unknown)
- Last appearance of Paul Rovia. (Flashback)
- This episode marks Tom Payne and Cooper Andrews' 25th appearance on the TV Series.
- The title of the episode, "Bounty", is a reference to Carol and Ezekiel's mission to retrieve a movie bulb and Alpha's attempt to retrieve Lydia.
- The song featured in this episode is "It's All Right Now" by Eddie Harris. Jerry lip-syncs to the song when it plays.
- The song featured at the end of the episode is "All My Dreaming" by Emma Russack.
- The time period that the flashback happens in is unclear. However, the communities have clearly gone their own ways for the most part for a lengthy period of time and it is before Maggie leaves. Also, while Carol's hair is not as long as it is currently, her hair is still significantly longer than she had it before Rick disappeared.
- The time shown on Ezekiel's watch in the opening scene is 9:11, which is also the number for this episode, that being Season 9 Episode 11.
- The Kingdom appears to be unaware of Jesus' death. While talking with Ezekiel, Carol suggests asking Jesus to take them in if things get too bad in the Kingdom.
- It's hinted in this episode that Earl may suffer from arthritis.
- Dan Fogler was made fun of by fellow castmates for the Whisperer mask given to him for the episode as it did not fit his face properly.
- This is the first episode this season where there isn't a single human death whether that be alive, zombified, before reanimation, confirmed fate, or off-screen.
- This is also the first episode since "The Key" where there are no human deaths.
- Alpha saying she's showing her face because she means no harm is adapted from Issue 138.
- Alpha claiming that there will be no conflict as long as Lydia is returned to her is adapted from Issue 138.
- Daryl talking to Alpha at the gates is adapted from a similar scene in Issue 138, where Maggie talks to her instead.
- Alpha proposing a trade for Lydia is adapted from Issue 138.
- Alden and Luke being used as hostages is adapted from a similar scene in Issue 138, where Dante and Ken are the hostages instead.
- Henry trying to convince Daryl not to give Lydia back is adapted from a similar scene in Issue 138, where Carl tries to convince Maggie instead.
- Lydia telling Henry she misses her people is adapted from a similar scene in Issue 138, where she tells this to Carl instead.
- Lydia kissing Henry before leaving is adapted from a similar scene in Issue 138, where Lydia kisses Carl instead.
- Alpha slapping Lydia and telling her to address her as Alpha and not mom is adapted from a similar scene in Issue 138, where Alpha only talks to her instead.
- Henry going in search of Lydia is adapted from a similar scene in Issue 138, where Carl goes instead.
- Adeline giving Henry's letter to Daryl is adapted from a similar scene in Issue 138, where it is Sophia that discovers that Carl's missing and tells the others about it instead.
- This episode reveals that Jerry and Nabila have three children together.
- The unsigned charter Michonne had been working on during the first half of the season is shown for the first time. It was written to be signed by Alexandria, the Hilltop, the Kingdom, Oceanside, and even the Sanctuary.
- The Whisperers' signature "whispering" is seen during the confrontation at the Hilltop when the herd arrives. Alpha and another Whisperer use it to communicate about the herd, noting that all of the loud talking drew it in the first place. Alpha later tells Alden that to live amongst the dead, they must remain quiet.
- Enid tells Henry about the death of her parents, her old "just survive somehow" (JSS) motto and mentions Carl and his impact on her life.
- Henry mentions that at some point things went bad at Alexandria and Daryl did something to help resolve it that he doesn't want to talk about.
- Alpha tells Daryl that the Whisperers are animals and compares their behavior to that of animals in the wild. Neither Alpha nor a baby's mother appear to care that the baby could potentially die when the baby won't quiet down. Instead, both are more than willing to abandon the baby to the walkers.