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"Out of the Ashes" is the fifth episode of the eleventh season of AMC's The Walking Dead. It is the one-hundred and fifty-eighth episode of the series overall. It premiered on September 19, 2021. It was written by LaToya Morgan and directed by Greg Nicotero.[1]

Plot

Aaron, Carol, Lydia, and Jerry go to the Hilltop ruins for blacksmith tools and nearby game. Eugene's group goes through orientation at the Commonwealth. Maggie and Negan trudge through the woods. Judith and the kids clash with teenagers.

Synopsis

Aaron has a nightmare in which he and Gracie get lost in the woods. A Whisperer, Savior, and other enemies from Aaron's past surround him and stab him. Aaron wakes up with a start, safe in bed.

That morning while using the bathroom, Jerry looks out the window and sees a walker roaming inside Alexandria's walls. He alerts everyone.

Aaron hears a commotion outside and tells Gracie to hide in the basement.

Walkers stream into Alexandria through a breach in the wall, created by a fallen panel. A crew hoists the panel back up as others slaughter the walkers.

In a Commonwealth orientation video, a man named Lance Hornsby welcomes viewers to the Commonwealth and describes the benefits of living in their community. He explains that the Commonwealth has a population of 50,000 and is led by Governor Pamela Milton.

A Commonwealth clerk turns off the video, and hands out work and housing assignments to Eugene, Yumiko, Ezekiel, and Princess. Eugene says they weren't planning to stay in the Commonwealth, but the clerk tells them to take it up with their case supervisor. Yumiko reads her letter and sees that it's a VIP invitation to discuss opportunities at the Commonwealth. Yumiko presents her letter to the clerk and asks to see her brother.

Walkers swarm the walls of Alexandria. Rosita, Aaron, Carol, and Jerry decide to go to Hilltop to scavenge for blacksmith tools they can use to reinforce the walls.

Maggie and Negan slay walkers in the woods as they make their way towards the supply depot. They spar over the merits of Maggie's plan.

Aaron's group arrives at Hilltop and finds it overrun with walkers. They recognize the walkers as former Hilltoppers. Jerry and Aaron become emotional as they kill the walkers.

Judith tells a gang of boys to stop taunting a walker through a hole in the wall. Vincent shoves her and says that Michonne abandoned her. Judith holds a knife to his throat. Gracie intervenes.

Maggie and Negan arrive at the supply depot and find it empty. Negan suggests they bring some of the food back to Alexandria, but Maggie says they need a lot more food to feed the community. Negan insists they head back if no one shows up by sundown.

Yumiko stops by a bakery where her brother, Tomi, works. Tomi is shocked to see her alive.

Aaron's group scavenges for supplies at Hilltop. They notice walkers moving in a herding pattern and realize that one of them is a Whisperer. Aaron spots the Whisperer and shoves him to the ground, then yanks off his mask. Lydia recognizes the Whisperer and tells Aaron not to kill him.

Eugene and Stephanie get ice cream at an ice cream truck. A clerk puts in a special order for Governor Milton.

Eugene asks Stephanie for advice on how to leave the Commonwealth. She offers to help him radio his people but says it could take a couple of weeks to get him access. Ezekiel and Princess inform Eugene that they won't be able to speak to the case supervisor for five weeks. Eugene asks Stephanie if she can get him unofficial access to the radio. Mercer suspiciously watches them from afar.

Judith arrives home and finds a keepsake she made with Carl broken on the ground. She asks Vincent if he broke it, but he denies it.

Rosita finds Judith sitting on the porch with the broken keepsake. Judith tears up and says everyone is gone. Rosita comforts Judith.

Aaron interrogates the Whisperer, whose name is Keith. Keith insists that he's the only Whisperer left at Hilltop. Lydia defends Keith, but Aaron doesn't believe him.

Jerry and Aaron drag Keith to the root cellar and find other Whisperers hiding. Keith insists that they are the last ones. Jerry spots Nabila's scarf and realizes that these Whisperers helped burn down Alexandria. Keith grabs a knife and slashes Aaron, allowing the other Whisperers to escape.

Stephanie brings Eugene, Ezekiel, and Princess to the train station, which now serves as headquarters for various Commonwealth agencies. She sneaks Eugene up to the radio room.

Yumiko catches up with Tomi. Tomi explains that he found the Commonwealth very early on, and that he's happy working as a baker instead of a surgeon. Yumiko asks if there's any possibility of bringing her people to the Commonwealth. Tomi says anything is possible if you follow the rules.

Princess sees Mercer approach the train station and flirts with him as a distraction. Mercer briefly engages with her but turns stoic the more she talks.

Aaron and Jerry suspend Keith from the rafters of a stable and demand to know how many more Whisperers there are. Keith begs Lydia for help. Aaron pushes a walker on Keith's hand then offers to amputate it and prevent infection if Keith tells them where his people are. Carol kills the walker and warns Aaron against the dangers of becoming consumed with rage.  

Eugene radios Rosita in Alexandria and tells her that they're safe. Rosita updates Eugene on the fate of the Whisperers but says that Alexandria is in ruins. They lose contact.

Mercer busts in on Eugene and Stephanie and arrests them. Ezekiel and Princess stand in the hallway, also under arrest.

Negan decides to leave the supply depot and bring some of the food back to Alexandria. Maggie says their mission isn't finished. They fight but are interrupted by the arrival of Gabriel and Elijah. Gabriel suggests they wait for Daryl and Frost. Maggie smiles in agreement.

A supervisor informs Eugene, Ezekiel, and Princess that they've been charged with several crimes and will be banished if found guilty. Stephanie and Hornsby enter the room. Hornsby orders the supervisor to release Eugene's group. Stephanie tells them that Hornsby can protect them from banishment but that they'll still have to pay for their crimes.

Keith recuperates from the amputation and thanks Carol. He reveals that he saw one of their people emerge alive from the cave where Alpha kept her horde. They realize he's talking about Connie. Aaron suggests they search for her first thing in the morning. They leave Hilltop.

Other Cast

Co-Stars

Uncredited

Deaths

Trivia

  • First appearance of Lance Hornsby.
  • First appearance of Elaine.
  • First appearance of Vincent.
  • First appearance of Charles.
  • First appearance of Tomichi Okumura.
  • First appearance of Keith.
  • First appearance of Stephanie Vega. (Physically)
  • First appearance of Kasey.
  • First appearance of John.
  • First appearance of the Commonwealth.
  • Last appearance of Mays. (Dream)
  • Last appearance of Troy. (Zombified)
  • Last appearance of the Wolves. (Dream)
  • The title of the episode, "Out of the Ashes", refers to the Whisperers living in the burnt out remains of the Hilltop Colony. It may also refer to Alexandria trying to rebuild itself.
  • This episode was made available for streaming to subscribers of AMC Premiere on September 12, 2021.
  • Starting with this episode, Josh Hamilton (Lance Hornsby) and Margot Bingham (Stephanie Vega) are credited as series regulars. They are listed under "Also Starring".
  • Yumiko's last name is revealed to be Okumura.
  • It's revealed that at least some of the Whisperers survived with a small group settling in the ruins of the Hilltop. However, their leader Keith insists that they mean no further harm and are only trying to survive like everybody else.
  • Keith reveals Connie's survival to Aaron, Carol, Jerry, and Lydia and provides them with a location where the Whisperers last saw her which Lydia states is close to Alexandria.

Comic Parallels

  • Eugene being assigned the profession of "High School Science Teacher" is a reference to his pre-apocalypse profession in the Comic Series, which he reveals in Issue 67.
  • Yumiko being reunited with her brother is adapted from Issue 176, where Michonne is reunited with her daughter Elodie instead.
    • The name of the bakery Tomi works at, Elodie's Treats, is a nod to the Comic Series.
  • The group finding surviving Whisperers after Beta's death is adapted from Issue 173.
  • Tomi telling Yumiko about how he survived the apocalypse is adapted from Issue 177, where Elodie tells her backstory to Michonne instead.
  • The group exploring the Commonwealth is adapted from Issue 179.

References

Episodes of The Walking Dead
Season 1 "Days Gone Bye" • "Guts" • "Tell It to the Frogs" • "Vatos" • "Wildfire" • "TS-19"
Season 2 "What Lies Ahead" • "Bloodletting" • "Save the Last One" • "Cherokee Rose" • "Chupacabra" • "Secrets" • "Pretty Much Dead Already" • "Nebraska" • "Triggerfinger" • "18 Miles Out" • "Judge, Jury, Executioner" • "Better Angels" • "Beside the Dying Fire"
Season 3 "Seed" • "Sick" • "Walk With Me" • "Killer Within" • "Say the Word" • "Hounded" • "When the Dead Come Knocking" • "Made to Suffer" • "The Suicide King" • "Home" • "I Ain't a Judas" • "Clear" • "Arrow on the Doorpost" • "Prey" • "This Sorrowful Life" • "Welcome to the Tombs"
Season 4 "30 Days Without An Accident" • "Infected" • "Isolation" • "Indifference" • "Internment" • "Live Bait" • "Dead Weight" • "Too Far Gone" • "After" • "Inmates" • "Claimed" • "Still" • "Alone" • "The Grove" • "Us" • "A"
Season 5 "No Sanctuary" • "Strangers" • "Four Walls and a Roof" • "Slabtown" • "Self Help" • "Consumed" • "Crossed" • "Coda" • "What Happened and What's Going On" • "Them" • "The Distance" • "Remember" • "Forget" • "Spend" • "Try" • "Conquer"
Season 6 "First Time Again" • "JSS" • "Thank You" • "Here's Not Here" • "Now" • "Always Accountable" • "Heads Up" • "Start to Finish" • "No Way Out" • "The Next World" • "Knots Untie" • "Not Tomorrow Yet" • "The Same Boat" • "Twice as Far" • "East" • "Last Day on Earth"
Season 7 "The Day Will Come When You Won't Be" • "The Well" • "The Cell" • "Service" • "Go Getters" • "Swear" • "Sing Me a Song" • "Hearts Still Beating" • "Rock in the Road" • "New Best Friends" • "Hostiles and Calamities" • "Say Yes" • "Bury Me Here" • "The Other Side" • "Something They Need" • "The First Day of the Rest of Your Life"
Season 8 "Mercy" • "The Damned" • "Monsters" • "Some Guy" • "The Big Scary U" • "The King, the Widow, and Rick" • "Time for After" • "How It's Gotta Be" • "Honor" • "The Lost and the Plunderers" • "Dead or Alive Or" • "The Key" • "Do Not Send Us Astray" • "Still Gotta Mean Something" • "Worth" • "Wrath"
Season 9 "A New Beginning" • "The Bridge" • "Warning Signs" • "The Obliged" • "What Comes After" • "Who Are You Now?" • "Stradivarius" • "Evolution" • "Adaptation" • "Omega" • "Bounty" • "Guardians" • "Chokepoint" • "Scars" • "The Calm Before" • "The Storm"
Season 10 "Lines We Cross" • "We Are the End of the World" • "Ghosts" • "Silence the Whisperers" • "What It Always Is" • "Bonds" • "Open Your Eyes" • "The World Before" • "Squeeze" • "Stalker" • "Morning Star" • "Walk With Us" • "What We Become" • "Look at the Flowers" • "The Tower" • "A Certain Doom" • "Home Sweet Home" • "Find Me" • "One More" • "Splinter" • "Diverged" • "Here's Negan"
Season 11 "Acheron: Part I" • "Acheron: Part II" • "Hunted" • "Rendition" • "Out of the Ashes" • "On the Inside" • "Promises Broken" • "For Blood"
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