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"Home Sweet Home" is the seventeenth episode and third-part premiere of the tenth season of AMC's The Walking Dead. It is the one-hundred and forty-eighth episode of the series overall. It premiered on February 28, 2021. It was written by Corey Reed & Kevin Deiboldt and directed by David Boyd.
Maggie has returned, to the dismay of Negan. The trials she endured since leaving has made her harder in order for her and her son to survive. When her past catches up to her, Daryl and Maggie unexpectedly fight an unseen and unknown threat.
Out in the woods, Maggie and Judith are clearing out walkers together. After putting down a zombified Whisperer, Maggie asks Judith about Michonne and what she told R.J. Judith says that she showed the night sky to R.J. and told him that his mother was looking at the very same stars. The pair join Lydia and the others on the road. When the others pull the cart away, Maggie is suddenly confronted with the sight of Negan, helping the other survivors as a free man. He awkwardly greets her, and assures her that he didn't escape. After staring at him for a bit, Maggie walks away without saying a word.
Near the Hilltop, Daryl, and Carol are joined by Maggie, along with two other members of her group, whom she introduces as Elijah and Cole. Maggie explains that she and Hershel have been living with the group until the destruction of their village, so she thought she'd resettle everyone at Hilltop. Carol and Daryl give each other an uneasy look, much to Maggie's confusion. Things are cleared up once the pair show Maggie that Hilltop has been destroyed. While she is looking over the burnt out husk that was once her home, Carol tells Maggie that Negan was with the Whisperers the night that it burned down. Maggie realizes it was Carol who let him out, but the latter defends her actions, asserting that Alpha needed to die, and Negan was their best chance at making that happen, and that he is the reason they didn't lose everything. Cole asks if they're supposed to just live alongside Negan in Alexandria despite the fact that he burned down the Hilltop and killed Maggie's husband, to which Daryl replies that they're still figuring things out. Maggie thanks Carol for telling her, before storming off. As the others follow her, Daryl tells Carol that she didn't have to reveal anything, but Carol think she owed Maggie the truth. Daryl says that he will help Maggie retrieve the rest of her group in an attempt to smooth things over, but Carol doesn't believe Maggie will ever come around on Negan. When Daryl asks if Carol has, she simply shrugs and says it was nice to see Maggie again.
As Daryl trails behind Maggie, Kelly catches up and volunteers to help with the mission, as she also wants to look for Connie. The group walks for most of the day, until Cole informs Maggie that there is only half an hour of daylight left. Maggie wants to keep going, but Cole convinces her to call it a day and find some shelter. Maggie decides to clear out walkers from nearby a parking lot, which Daryl and Kelly are uneasy about but go along with. Things go well at first, until Maggie notices a group of walkers coming out of a container and attempts to close the door, injuring herself in the process. Luckily, she manages to close the door with Daryl and Elijah's help. Later that night, as Maggie tends to her wound, Daryl comes to talk to her. He says that he is glad she is okay, as he got scared something might have happened to her when she stopped replying to the letters. He then asks about Maggie's life after she left. Maggie recounts how she and Georgie would help other communities, but it would fail. When Daryl inquires about Georgie's status, Maggie says that they found a community near Knoxville several years ago and helped them. While Maggie decided to stay with the group along with Hershel, Georgie and the twins went searching for a city out west. Not long after, the community in Knoxville where Maggie stayed in fell, forcing her and other surviving members of the group to run. Maggie reveals she hasn't seen Georgie since. When Daryl asks what happened to her group, referring to her most recent home, Maggie declines discussing it for now, but says that it felt good to say some of it out loud. She adds that she also almost came home afterwards, but she and her group instead traveled to a place near the ocean that Maggie's grandmother owned, and where she and Glenn talked about going to one day. She asserts how much Hershel loved it there, and how one night they stayed up late and Maggie told him stories about his family. When Hershel asked how his father died, Maggie told him that a bad man killed him, to which Hershel wanted to know if the bad man got what he deserved. Maggie reveals that she left because she didn't want Negan to occupy her thoughts any more, and didn't want to bring Hershel back to that either. The next morning, she says, they met a whole other community, and joined forces. Daryl assures Maggie that she can come home, and that things aren't decided with Negan. He also wishes to defend Carol, but Maggie understands her actions. With that, Daryl takes his leave, and tells Maggie he will be next door if she needs him.
In the morning, the group wakes up and prepares to leave, when they're interrupted by a walker. As Elijah dispatches it, Cole wonders where Kelly is, since she's supposed to be on watch. Kelly, meanwhile, is checking out an abandoned truck and notices a jacket on the roof. She attempts to climb up and reach it, but her foot is suddenly grabbed, startling her. The culprit is revealed to be Maggie, who chastises Kelly for abandoning her post. Daryl explains that Kelly's sister is missing. Elijah quickly climbs up the truck tosses the jacket to Kelly, with Maggie revealing that Elijah also lost his sister. Kelly inspects the belongings but doesn't find anything, much to her disappointment. As they're traveling, Maggie asks Daryl if Connie is still alive, but Daryl doesn't know. Although he hopes she is, he isn't too confident, and thinks maybe it's for the best if Kelly doesn't know either. Maggie thinks the opposite, as her father used to say a wound can't heal until it hits air. Daryl jokes that isn't true medically speaking. Just as they're about to arrive to the rendezvous, they see a smoke cloud rising in the distance. Horrified, Maggie runs ahead, closely followed by the others.
Maggie desperately searches for Hershel in the burned-out building, but doesn't find anything apart form the corpses of two of her group members. Cole is sure that this is the work of the Reapers, a group that attacked and destroyed their former home and apparently followed them to Virginia. Maggie is determined to find the rest of the group and her son. Daryl finds some footprints, including Hershel's, and determines that the group fled north. He also assures Maggie they will find the group responsible. After a while, the trail splits, so the group decides to split up as well, with Daryl and Maggie heading in one direction and Elijah, Cole and Kelly in the other. Cole hears some noises, so instructs Elijah and Kelly to take cover. When they decide to move again, Elijah remains still. Upon noticing this, Kelly asks Elijah if he's okay, and requests that he remove his mask. He does so, and is visibly scared. She comforts him and tells him that he is not alone. Elsewhere, Daryl and Maggie are following their trail. As Daryl heads off in one direction, an unknown figure stalks him. Daryl grabs a young woman, Maya, and briefly holds her hostage, but releases her and apologizes when Maggie identifies her as a member of her group. The trio are joined by Gus and Ainsley, two other members of Maggie's group. Maya explains that the place they were staying in was set on fire, and that Jen and Billy didn't make it out, while Matty was killed by something in the woods. She didn't see who did it, but Gus is certain the Reapers are responsible. Maggie asks about Hershel, to which Ainsley says that he was found by Kim, but she hasn't seen either one since. The conversation is cut short when Gus is abruptly shot in the throat with a silenced weapon.
The group runs for cover as the unknown assailant takes pot shots at them. As Daryl and Maggie sneak through the woods, they hear another shot and a woman groan. Ainsley has been shot in the stomach. Unfortunately Daryl and Maggie can't help her, as they both agree that it's a trap. Maya, however, takes the bait, and is promptly shot in the chest. Before she dies, Maya points to a direction, which Maggie takes as a sign that she saw Hershel. Continuing to take cover from the shots, Maggie and Daryl determine that there is only one shooter, and that he has to reload after three shots. Maggie decides to flank him, and instructs Daryl to keep his attention. As Maggie sneaks up on the sniper nest, she only finds the shooter's rifle. As she searches, a camouflaged figure lunges at her with a knife, but she dodges and stabs him in the chest. Despite this, the man shrugs off the injury, pushes her to the ground, and pulls the knife from his chest. He tries to kill Maggie by throwing the knife, but she ducks out of the way in time. As the man advances towards her, Maggie backs up into a trap and is strung up on a tree. Before the man can kill her, Daryl shoots him in the side with his crossbow, before charging the attacker. The man once again shrugs off the injury and effortlessly tosses Daryl into a tree, knocking him out. Fortunately, this buys Maggie enough time to free herself. Just as she is about to face the aggressor once more, the man is shot in the chest with an arrow, and quickly surrounded by Kelly, Elijah, Cole, and the remaining members of Maggie's group. Maggie furiously questions the man about his identity and his group, but he says nothing. Maggie threatens to kill him, as she knows he is alone, and inquires about his motive for attacking the group. The man calmly tosses his weapon to the ground and simply says "Pope marked you", before pulling a pin from a grenade and blowing himself up as the others dive for cover. Afterwards, Maggie and Daryl search the woods for Hershel. Maggie whistles for him when something falls on her head. She looks up to find Hershel sitting in a tree.
Later that night, the group rests. Maggie sits with Kelly, as Hershel sleeps in her lap. Elijah arrives and gives Kelly an apple. Maggie thanks her for helping Elijah, as he has been through a lot. She asks Kelly who's older, to which Kelly replies that Connie is. She also reveals that her parents never planned to have her, and were too tired to raise her when she was born, but Connie always kept an eye on her, despite having a life of her own. Kelly also determines that Maggie was the older sister, as she seems like she has been in charge of people her whole life, just like her sister. Maggie hopes that she will get to meet Connie some day, and Kelly assures her that she will. As Kelly takes her leave, Daryl comes in to talk. He tells Maggie that it's been quiet. He also assures her that the Reaper knew he was a dead man and was just messing with her. Maggie says that she will come back with them to Alexandria, even if she has to deal with Negan. A few days later, the group arrives to Alexandria, only to find it under repair after being trashed in the Whisperer attack. As Maggie and Hershel walk in, Negan and other Alexandrians watch them from a distance.
- Okea Eme-Akwari as Elijah
- Brianna Butler as Maya
- Kien Michael Spiller as Hershel Rhee
- Mandi Christine Kerr as Barbara
- David Atkinson as Gus
- Haley Leary as Ainsley
- Mike Whinnet as Montanio
- Anthony Porrey as Alexandria Resident
- Kevin Cheek as Alexandria Resident
- Michael Cosmas Ananicz as Alexandria Resident
- Gloria DeWeese as Kim
- Prop as Jen
- Prop as Billy
- Josephine (Alive, Confirmed Fate)
- Matty (Confirmed Fate)
- 1 unnamed Whisperer (Zombified)
- First appearance of Cole.
- First appearance of Kim.
- First appearance of the Reapers.
- First (and last) appearance of Maya.
- First (and last) appearance of Gus.
- First (and last) appearance of Ainsley.
- First (and last) appearance of Montanio.
- First (and last) appearance of Jen. (Corpse)
- First (and last) appearance of Billy. (Corpse)
- The title of the episode, "Home Sweet Home", refers to Cole's comment on Alexandria when he, Maggie, and the rest of their group arrive there.
- This episode was made available for streaming to subscribers of AMC Premiere on February 21, 2021.
- As of this episode, Ryan Hurst (Beta) has been removed from the opening credits.
- This is the first episode to be shot with digital cameras, rather than film.
- Mike Whinnet, who portrayed Montanio, also portrayed an unnamed Savior in Season 7. His character was not seen killed off in the All Out War up until the end of Season 8, suggesting his character may have survived and over time joined the Reapers. This is, however, unlikely given that most of the Reapers have extensive military training and knew each other before the apocalypse.
- Maggie reveals that she lost contact with Georgie a couple of years ago and doesn't know if she's alive or not.
- At the end of the episode, it can be seen that "SILENCE THE WHISPERS" graffiti in Alexandria have been altered to "WHISPERS INTO SCREAMS", which is a reference to the volume of the same name.
- Maggie moves back to Alexandria full time for the first time since "Last Day on Earth".
- Maggie finding out Negan is free and talking to the other characters about it is adapted from Issue 168 and Issue 169.