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Walking Dead Wiki
Walking Dead Wiki

"People Are a Resource" is the third episode of the first season of AMC's The Walking Dead: Dead City. It is the third episode of the series overall. It premiered on July 2, 2023. It was written by Keith Staskiewicz and directed by Kevin Dowling.


Dark instincts reveal themselves as Maggie and Negan form a strategy; Armstrong is tested; Ginny embarks on a daring journey.


In a flashback, Ginny, armed with a golf club, makes her way through the woods, only to be surprised by a zombified man who is impaled upon a broken tree branch, appearing to have only recently died and turned. As Ginny backs away from the walker, Negan stabs it in the head, putting it down. Negan furiously tells Ginny that she needs to talk because he has no way of knowing if Ginny needs help if she doesn't yell for him. "All I have been doing for months is trying to find a safe place for you. And you have been sticking to me like goddamn Crazy Glue. I turn my back for half a second and that's when you decide to skedadle?!" Noticing Ginny's look at the walker, Negan recalls that the man had tried to kill them the night before and he guesses that they aren't the only ones that the man had pissed off. Taking the man's bag, Negan asks Ginny what she's doing out here, and Ginny shows him that she had lost her dino. Negan agrees to retrace their footsteps and find it.

In the present, Ginny arrives at the shore of the Hudson River where she finds two corpses, one missing a head, surrounded by ransacked equipment, suggesting that they had been murdered for their supplies. Ginny begins paddling her way across the river to Manhattan in the large yellow cooler that's amongst the equipment.

Crouching behind a car with Maggie and Negan, Amaia bangs two sets of antlers together, trying to draw in a nearby deer. As the deer approaches, Tommaso kills it with his modified Nail Gun.

In a store, Negan bangs on a bell, but it doesn't draw in any walkers. Negan notices Luther applying beeswax to himself, but he refuses to let Negan have any and works on stripping the deer of useable meat. Amaia goes over a map of the city with Maggie and Tommaso with the two tribespeople revealing that most of the streets are too dangerous due to walkers and the Croat's traps. Negan asks how long they've been at this, and Amaia explains that they're native New Yorkers, just kids when the Trials began. "The first few weeks were the... the worst. I mean, it spread so fast. Through the subways, the buildings. Bodies coming up from the ground, falling from the sky. We kept waiting for the Army to show up. Shit, anybody. And when they finally got here, we were dumb enough to think that they'd come to save us. And we watched them blow up the bridges, the tunnels, leaving us in this death trap."

Tommaso adds that they were getting it together little by little until the Croat showed up, asking people to join him, offering protection and creature comforts. The Croat wants to keep them "safe" in his paranoid kill or be killed version of it with Maggie and Negan exchanging looks as they recognize this as a twisted version of what Negan and the Saviors did. However, the tribe were never going to agree to that deal, so the Croat now kills them, steals from them and kidnaps and tortures them so that he can learn how to kill and steal some more. Only one of the tribespeople ever got out alive, but that was just luck. A disturbed Maggie goes to check the alley, and Negan reassures an apologetic Amaia that Maggie's tougher than she looks, "and she looks tough as shit." Maggie takes a moment to collect herself privately before heading outside.

Elsewhere, Ginny reaches Manhattan and heads into the ruined city.

From a window overlooking Madison Square Garden which is surrounded by a massive herd, Tommaso informs Maggie and Negan that, "if you wanna get to the Croat, you just gotta get through that. He's been bringing fleshies in from all over the city." A vehicle drives by playing music and drawing more walkers behind it towards the arena, the same thing that Maggie, Negan and Jano had encountered on their first night in Manhattan. Luther says that there's no way inside of the arena and Amaia shoots down Maggie's idea of the sewers as the Army had shoved in all of the walkers that they killed until they got killed themselves and turned into walkers at which point the sewers were sealed up nice and tight.

Negan recalls that one of the tribespeople had broken out of "Alcatraz," meaning that there's a way back in. Tommaso is revealed to be the one who had managed to escape and Amaia suggests that they show Maggie and Negan, but Luther refuses the idea as it has already been refused. Amaia brings up their recent losses, but Tommaso backs Luther up as there's even less of them than when they had first voted on it and Tommaso's not sure that he can go back there again. "I am, um, getting an old feeling of deja vu. 12, 15 years ago there was a... a fella down south. Showed up outta nowhere, a lot like this guy. Everybody flocked to him because he knew what they needed, what they wanted. Protection. Sanctuary. So, he built a badass fortress. Formed an army out of psychopaths. And he forced people to join. And if they didn't, the hammer came down. Now, soon enough, the people they got fed up with him. So, they got together. And they decided it was time to take that hammer back." Amaia and Tommaso listen with interest, as does Maggie who recognizes the story as that of Negan himself, the Saviors, and his defeat by Alexandria, the Hilltop, the Kingdom and Oceanside. Tommaso asks what happened and Maggie and Negan reveal that the revolt worked. After a moment, Tommaso agrees to talk to the others, much to Amaia's delight and Luther's displeasure. As the group watches, three vehicles, including a blood-splattered ambulance, drive into the arena.

Inside, a captive Perlie Armstrong is removed from the back of the ambulance. The Croat welcomes Perlie who is led past where some of the Burazi are loading a body into a fluid filled tank. Handcuffed to a railing in the Croat's office, Perlie watches as some of the Croat's people practice near a large ring in the center of the arena.

In the tribe's new base at an abandoned restaurant, Tommaso draws a map and explains that sometimes the door to the arena would open and the Croat would offer him food or medicine in exchange for telling him about the tribe, specifically how many of them were left and where they were hiding. Tommaso knew that the second he talked, he'd be killed so while the door kept opening, "let's just say there was no more food or medicine," and Negan notices scars on Tommaso's back. When Tommaso was a kid, his grandfather talked about working on the crew that rebuilt Penn Station and that while people assumed that the old station was gone, Tommaso's grandfather knew the spots where they had left the framework hiding behind the walls. One night, when the Burazi cleaned out Tommaso's cell of all of the blood they spilt in there, a walker got in. Tommaso ran as fast as he could, found the framework and followed the New York City Subway System out.

However, while the cells are close, Negan knows that after Tommaso's escape, the Croat would've moved his prisoners as it's what Negan would've done. Maggie admits that Negan and the Croat know each other and they go way back, and Negan knows how the Croat thinks. While they were friends, Negan took a shot at him and blew the Croat's ear off. "He can bait him. Lure him out of the arena. Then we get him to tell me where my son is, and we kill him," declares Maggie. Amaia agrees that the rest of them will get a jump on the Burazi so that the Croat can't follow Maggie, but Luther questions how Negan is going to bait the Croat after blowing his ear off. Negan points out that the Croat will likely want revenge on him for doing it and Maggie insists that it will work, but Luther is doubtful, going so far as to harshly tell Maggie that her son is already dead and he thinks that she knows that. Negan interrupts the argument and a distressed Maggie walks away.

In Perlie’s lavish cell, a Buraz delivers two plates of dinner, a bottle of wine and turns on a record player before standing off to the side. The Croat enters the room and joyfully greets Perlie, turning on a heat lamp and the lights. The Croat invites Perlie to dine with him, reassuring the marshal that "it isn't magic, I promise. Only science. That was my profession. Alternative energy. So naturally, when I first arrived here, I couldn't help asking myself what is the most abundant natural resource on this island? Death. The sewers are full of it. The bodies break down and produce methane and because the intermolecular forces are weak, the gas can be pressurized into a liquid fuel at regular temperature. Amazing, isn't it? What we have built here is a sanctuary. And all are welcome." The Croat pushes a handcuff key across the table towards Perlie, and asks why he is here and who he brought with him. The Croat can't offer Perlie refuge until he no longer poses a threat because, above all in this world, we must stay safe.

The Croat suddenly discovers that the meat on his dish is rotten with larva inside of it and shoves himself away from the table. The Croat is concerned because rotten meat can host all kinds of bacteria and, without the treatment that humanity once had, it can be deadly. The Croat demands to know why the Buraz would serve him rotten meat before interrupting his explanation and forcing him to swallow the handcuff key. The Croat furiously shoves the Buraz's head and neck several times into the railing, breaking the man's neck, killing him, before shoving him over the edge to the arena floor below and leaving.

At the tribe's base, Maggie looks through a box of old photos of her family, Otis and Patricia, a picture of herself and her mother when Maggie was a baby, an old watch, and a drawing of Glenn. Negan approaches and offers her a Yankees hat that he had found for Hershel, remembering that Hershel had used to wear one a lot like it. Noticing how upset she is, Negan reassures Maggie that Luther is wrong, and her plan is going to work, offering to talk about it or listen if Maggie needs someone to talk to. "When the Croat showed up at our gates... I told Hershel... to get in the root cellar. I tried to make him hide. By then, I could've said left and he'd go right just to spite me. And he went and grabbed a shovel and a brick like that was gonna do anything. And I told him he was stupid. And he told me to get off his damn back for once. That is the last thing that we said to each other. And I screwed up so many ways before then, fumbling through doing it by ourselves. There weren't a lot of people that meant anything to me in this world, but there were enough. And whatever's left of all of them is inside this box," a tearful Maggie admits.

In turn, Negan emotionally reveals to a sympathetic Maggie that "a few years ago, Joshua, Annie and I, we were living in this little cabin outside of New Babylon. One day, Annie decided to go into town to do some trading. When she wasn't home at nightfall, I uh... I knew something had gone wrong. I went looking for her, I found her. And she had been uh... she had been... she'd been robbed, and beaten and, uh... She begged me not to do something stupid, but hell, you know me. I found 'em. All five of 'em, in some shit drinking hole. Honestly, I don't think I even wanted to kill 'em. After that, we were on the run, and it was very hard for Annie. So, I put 'em on a wagon train to Missouri and I said I'd be right behind 'em. I stayed. I think about them every single day. I hope to God they are okay, and maybe I have no right in hoping that. I don't know, Maggie. I mean, what else do we have besides hope?" Joking that she thought that Negan knew how to shut up, Maggie takes his gift of the hat for Hershel.

Ginny runs through the walker-infested streets of Manhattan, having close calls with two different walkers. In the process, Ginny drops her dinosaur toy and a trapped walker reaches towards it.

In a flashback, an annoyed Negan tells Ginny that they can't keep searching for the dinosaur toy which they have been doing all day. Negan has to find a better place for the young girl, and she has to speak. Negan wants Ginny to respond to him when he calls out for her and to let Negan know when she's in trouble. Ginny just shakes her head when Negan asks if she's listening to him, angering Negan who tells the young girl that while back in the day she could see a doctor who could help her get through all of the horrible shit that Ginny has been through, but that's no longer the case so Ginny has to skip all of the coping part and get straight to the staying alive part. Realizing that he's been too harsh after seeing Ginny crying, Negan admits that the problem is that they don't have any leads, or maybe they're all around them and Negan and Ginny just can't see them.

In the present, Rizza puts down the walker and picks up Ginny's toy before moving on. Ginny quickly begins following the woman.

The tribe sits down to dinner, enacting a ritual of laying down various items including Esther's necklace, items belonging to lost loved ones, and humming in remembrance. After a moment, Maggie holds the drawing of Glenn and joins in the ritual.

At the arena, a cheering crowd chants "doma smo" or "we are home" in Croatian and the Croat announces that they are celebrating the Buraz that Negan killed because death is no end, but rather it is their fuel "because people are a resource." Cheering, some of the crowd take hits off of the methane coming from the corpse and the Croat forces Perlie to take one too before shoving him into the ring.

A disorientated Perlie is chained to a post in the ring and the zombified Buraz that the Croat had killed earlier, his head tilted at an angle from his broken neck, is shoved in with him. Dodging the walker a few times, Perlie manages to grab him from behind, wrap his handcuff chains around the walker's throat and, pinning the walker against the post, dig the chain into his neck hard enough to decapitate the man. The disappointed crowd throws bottles into the ring and Perlie grabs a broken one and uses it to cut open the walker's stomach and retrieve the handcuff key, freeing himself. Two more walkers are shoved into the ring with Perlie who searches for a way out. Unable to find one, Perlie removes his right boot, after hesitating over his left boot, and he uses it to bash in the walkers' faces, impressing the Croat.

At the restaurant, Tommaso approaches Maggie and admits that he's scared. Tommaso doesn't know how Maggie manages to keep it together, especially with a kid. "Amaia, she says having a kid in the city wouldn't be safe. I don't know, I just... yeah, she's probably right, you know?" Maggie admits that Amaia's right that it isn't safe, but you have to make it safe somehow and you do whatever it takes. Amaia brings in Rizza who Tommaso happily greets. As the woman pulls out her finds, Maggie is shocked to spot Ginny's dinosaur toy amongst them, only telling the woman that she knows a little girl who likes those kinds of toys, and the woman gives it to Maggie.

In Perlie's cell, the Croat congratulates Perlie on the best show that this place has ever seen in years and offers the marshal a towel to clean himself up. While the Croat claims not to enjoy such barbarism, it had to be done. "When the world became unstable, my family and I found shelter in a post office. We were starving, so I went to look for food. When I got back, I smelled it immediately. My family... my wife Mia, and my daughters Nika and Hana, and my son, Filip, had become a meal for another starving family. And I was too distraught to even think of killing myself. By the time that would've occurred to me, I had already found a man who had become my new family, and teach me how to protect the things that matter, which makes me wonder what it is that you are protecting in that boot." One of the Buraz holds a blade to Perlie's neck while another removes his boot. Inside, the Croat find the envelope with Joel's address on it and reads Joel's letter to his emotional brother begging for Perlie's help after everyone had changed their phone numbers on him. Perlie tearfully begs the Croat to stop, admitting that it's just him as Perlie's two partners are dead. Perlie reveals that they had come to Manhattan to bring a wanted man named Negan home. The Croat is shocked to learn that Negan is in Manhattan.

In the restaurant kitchen, Negan goes through the various pots and pans and utensils before picking up a cheese grater. Luther approaches Negan who explains that he was looking for any weapons that he could pick up for the next day. Negan knows that Luther doesn't like him, but Luther just needs to know that they're on the same side and this plan is going to work. However, Luther tells Negan that he and Maggie are leaving here tonight and pulls out Negan's Wanted poster, having found it amongst Negan's stuff where Negan had kept it after getting the poster from Maggie at the motel. As Negan has people depending on him, he refuses Luther's demand to leave. Stating that people are depending on him as well, Luther also refuses to back down. The two get into a fight with Luther nearly crushing Negan with a bear hug before Negan runs the cheese grater across his forehead. Releasing Negan, Luther stumbles backwards, trips, and accidentally impales the back of his head on a pipe. Kneeling down, Negan pushes Luther's head the rest of the way down onto the pipe, killing him.

In a flashback, Negan realizes that the toy was stolen by the man who had attacked them, and he finds it in the man's bag and returns it to Ginny, wrapping a bandage around a hole in the toy. Negan teaches Ginny a whistle that his wife Lucille had used when she was sick and couldn't get out of bed which would bring Negan running no matter what he was doing or where he was. After Ginny is able to do the whistle, Negan promises that if she does it when he's not around, Negan will come. "Talk is cheap anyway, kid. Believe me, I oughta know. It doesn't matter what people say. It only matters what they do." Negan and Ginny hug each other.

In the present, secretly observed by Ginny, Maggie prepares to burn the dinosaur toy in an old trash barrel while Negan walks away from Luther's body. However, staring at her burning match, Maggie hesitates to actually go through with it and holds the match indecisively.

Other Cast[]





  • First appearance of Rizza.
  • Only appearance (in Dead City continuity) of Hershel Greene. (Photograph)
  • Only appearance (in Dead City continuity) of Annette Greene. (Photograph)
  • Only appearance (in Dead City continuity) of Shawn Greene. (Photograph)
  • Only appearance (in Dead City continuity) of Beth Greene. (Photograph)
  • Only appearance (in Dead City continuity) of Otis. (Photograph)
  • Only appearance (in Dead City continuity) of Patricia. (Photograph)
  • Only appearance (in Dead City continuity) of Josephine Greene. (Photograph)
  • Last appearance of Luther.
  • The title of the episode, "People Are a Resource", refers to Negan's reason to not kill all of his enemies when he was the leader of the Saviors. It was also said by Jadis in "The Last Light" while explaining why she traded Rick Grimes for a new life in the CRM. In this case, it refers to the Croat using the bodies of the dead to convert into methane gas to power their vehicles and generators.
  • This episode was made available for streaming to subscribers of AMC Premiere on June 29, 2023.
  • Negan is revealed to have had a son with Annie named Joshua.
  • Negan reveals that the murders that he's wanted for are ones that he had committed in revenge for the men robbing and beating Annie a few years before. In order to protect his family, Negan sent them on a wagon train to Missouri, lying that he'd follow them and then staying behind.

Episode Highlights[]