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Before both groups start fighting, Rick yells for them to stop and once again asks them to talk. Miraculously, neither group fires a shot, much to Pamela's frustration. Rick explains to her that her army is being reasonable, and implores her to follow that policy once more, unless she wants to fight on her own. Rick goes on to deliver a speech to those present. He is certain neither group wants to fight, as they've been through too much already. Rick proclaims his love with the Commonwealth and pledges that he would fight and kill for the community and, indeed, already has. He understands why they've come into conflict, but sees the fear, anger, and hatred in the citizens. Rick proclaims that that is not who they are, before lifting his naked stump in the air and claiming that this is who they are. He cites his severed hand as an example of how the world has scarred them, and explains how these scars serve as a reminder of everything they've sacrificed to get to where they are now. He admits that he used to think that the only way to survive was to embrace an inner savageness, but he now sees that he was wrong. Rick thinks that they are on the way to getting things back to how they were, and believes the future is bright. He goes on to say "WE ARE NOT THE WALKING DEAD". Rick believes that the new world is a gift, a chance to make things better than they were before. He thus thinks that bringing back old, flawed systems is a mistake. He says that they should all have higher respect for one another, because of what they've all lived through. But he notes that this is not the case, since the Commonwealth clings to the old systems, where a few enjoy a position of power over the many, and asks why that is. He denounces Governor Milton, telling her that he was wrong to support her, since he thought he could keep the peace by doing so. He had hoped that she would eventually see the error in her ways, but now sees her for what she truly is; someone who craves power, so much so that she would lead her own people into slaughtering each other. He then addresses the people of the Commonwealth directly, asking them if Pamela is the kind of leader they want, which they vocally deny. Rick thus implores the people to take charge of their lives and build a better Commonwealth. When Rick is finished, Mercer arrests Pamela, much to everyone's shock. Mercer tells Pamela that he is taking her into custody for her own safety. Furious, Sebastian protests that they can't arrest his mother and that they need them to keep the Commonwealth running, but Pamela tells him to be quiet, unless he wants to end up in a cell next to her.
As everyone cleans the streets. Mercer commends Rick, noting how even the upper classes are helping with the cleanup. Aaron asks Sebastian for help, but he angrily storms right by him, with Jesus dubbing Sebastian an "asshole".
Rick goes to visit Pamela in jail. She asks him if he came to gloat, but he denies this, and instead apologizes, claiming that things got a little out of hand during his speech and that he didn't intend for her to be arrested, though he acknowledges that the people were too worked up and that she was safer behind bars. Pamela sarcastically asks who was it that worked them up in the first place. Rick stoically tells her that she led an army to slaughter her own people, and asks if she is really in a position to criticize him. Pamela acknowledges that she got carried away, and explains that she genuinely believes the Commonwealth needs her to be in control in order to succeed. Despite telling her she's wrong in her beliefs, Rick believes she is genuine when it comes to them, and reveals that he made his share of mistakes as well. He then releases her, much to her surprise. Rick tells her that he's in a generous mood, and thought she might be more comfortable to sleep in her own bed. Pamela asks if they're going to relocate her from her home, but Rick doesn't see the need for this. Pamela points out that some residents have much nicer home than others, and questions how they are going to determine who deserves to sleep in them. Rick admits that he doesn't know, but says they'll figure it out in the future. Mercer then arrives and tells Pamela that a couple of guards will escort her to her home. As she leaves, Mercer asks Rick if he is sure about letting her go, but Rick is confident she poses no threat, since no one in the Commonwealth actually wants her in charge. Rick, in turn, asks Mercer if he thinks Pamela will be safe, but Mercer tells him the people are so happy he doubts that anything will happen to her, but has posted guards outside her house just in case.
Rick then goes to visit Michonne in her office. She tells him that morale is at an all-time high, and that candidates are lining up for the first ever election in the Commonwealth, though she implies that Rick is the clear front-runner, since he inspired them. Rick claims that Michonne laid out all the groundwork, but denies running for governor of the Commonwealth, citing that his place is in Alexandria, where they have enough of their own problems. Michonne points out that he solved all of those, too, and tells him that they will always need him to inspire them.
As they're walking home at night, Carl asks his father if he's going to run for governor, but Rick once again denies this. Carl jokingly tells him that he can call the title something different, but Rick replies that the title isn't the issue. He explains that if he simply takes over the Commonwealth, Pamela will turn out to be right, and the people would eventually realize that and turn on him. He, instead, believes that the Commonwealth needs to grow from within. Carl wonders how Rick is able to see the future like that, but Rick informs him that it's just a feeling. Carl regretfully says that his feeling is sometimes wrong, but Rick assures his son that his feeling is wrong all the time. He explains that the world needs people who are willing to stand up and do the right thing, so badly, in fact, that it's willing to forgive an occasional mistake. He tells Carl that he can't let the losses discourage him, because the people around them will always need the wins. Carl smiles and tells Rick that he is proud that he is his father, and Rick, in turn, tells Carl he is proud that he is his son. With that, they wish each other goodnight, since they've arrived at Carl's hotel.
In the middle of the night, Rick is woken in his bed and confronted by Sebastian, who is armed with a silenced pistol. Finding himself held at gunpoint, Rick tries to convince Sebastian that he doesn't want to do this, but Sebastian replies that what he really doesn't want is for his and his mother's hard work go down the drain and the Commonwealth falling apart because of it, and goes on to claim that Rick ruined everything by disrupting the natural order of things. Rick instructs him to put the gun down, but Sebastian yells that, unlike everyone else, Rick can't tell him what to. Sebastian reveals that he heard about Rick long before he saw him, and that his people almost view him as a god, with the people of the Commonwealth starting to see him in this light as well. He resentfully points out that all it took was one speech from Rick for his family to be ousted from power. He rhetorically asks if he is supposed to pretend that he's like everyone else just because Rick told him to. Despite Rick's best efforts to talk him down, Sebastian shoots him in the chest. Clutching his wound in pain and bleeding heavily, Rick asks Sebastian "What did you do?".
- Rick Grimes
- Carl Grimes
- Maggie Greene
- Eugene Porter
- Paul Monroe
- Hershel Greene
- Juanita Sanchez
- Lance Hornsby
- Maxwell Hawkins
- Pamela Milton
- Sebastian Milton
- The Militia
- Commonwealth residents
- Commonwealth soldiers
- Greenville soldiers
- Stephanie (Cover)
- Jerome (Cover)
- This issue marks the 100th issue since the first appearance of Paul "Jesus" Monroe.
- This issue features the second-most named characters (11) and the third-most living characters (23) on its cover.
- This issue marks the fourth time Rick Grimes has been shot. He was first shot by Reggie before the apocalypse, then by the Woodbury army during the first assault on the prison, and then by Dwight during the Savior assault on the Hilltop.
- This issue has 25 pages, making it one of the several extended issues in the series, such as Issue 100, Issue 127, Issue 150, Issue 163, and Issue 167.
- Rick's speech parallels the one he made in Issue 24, instead revolving around how people have found a way to come back and rebuild civilization, claiming "WE ARE NOT THE WALKING DEAD!"
- The last panel of this issue parallels the cover of Issue 45, with Rick on his knees, clutching his gunshot wound and gritting his teeth while blood comes out of his mouth.