"Promises Broken" is the seventh episode of the eleventh season of AMC's The Walking Dead. It is the one-hundred and sixtieth episode of the series overall. It premiered on October 3, 2021, the same night as "Konsekans", the season premiere of the second season of The Walking Dead: World Beyond. It was written by Julia Ruchman and directed by Sharat Raju.
Maggie and Elijah learn a new survival tactic from Negan. Eugene's group clears walkers to pay their fines. Yumiko interviews for an upper-class job. Daryl learns more about Leah and the Reapers. Gabriel encounters a man of God.
Maggie, Negan, Gabriel, and Elijah make their way towards Meridian. Maggie suggests Negan go back to Alexandria after Negan expresses skepticism about their odds of defeating the Reapers. Negan realizes she can't afford to lose any fighters, so he strikes a deal to help Maggie if she agrees not to kill him. They spot a walker who was the best friend of Elijah's sister. Maggie vows revenge and hatches a plan.
Eugene and Stephanie clear walkers in an abandoned building as part of their punishment for breaking the law. Eugene asks Stephanie if Hornsby is trustworthy. Stephanie assures Eugene that Hornsby can help them.
Ezekiel and Princess clear a nearby building of walkers. Ezekiel coughs and doubles over in pain. Stephanie seeks Hornsby for medical help. They see Mercer escorting a young well-groomed couple across the grounds.
A Commonwealth officer tells Yumiko that they should have no trouble finding a position for her, given her credentials. Yumiko makes it clear that she's not planning to stay and demands to see her friends. The officer says her friends will be released once they're finished completing their sentence. Yumiko demands to meet with Governor Milton.
Gabriel delivers a eulogy as Maggie, Negan, and Elijah stand over the grave of Elijah's friend. Maggie sends Gabriel on a mission, and tells him to kill any Reapers he finds alone. Maggie orders Negan to find four walkers to make skin masks.
The search patrol tells Pope that they found no sign of Maggie's group. Pope screams at the Reapers for failing to find their enemy, which Daryl has led him to believe is dozens strong. Leah admonishes Pope for yelling at his soldiers. Pope tells Leah to do another sweep with Daryl.
Daryl and Leah search the outskirts of Meridian. Daryl commends Leah for standing up for her crew. Leah defends Pope's behavior and says he is like a father to her.
Maggie wears a walker's face as a mask and moves slowly through the woods. Negan gives her pointers on how to move like a walker, then releases a walker that's tethered to a tree. The walker goes to Maggie but quickly loses interest. Maggie trips on a rock, attracting the walker's attention. Elijah quickly ties it back up. Negan commends Maggie's progress.
Gabriel surveils Meridian through binoculars, gathering intel for Maggie. He sees the Reaper minister, Mancea, wander off alone.
Gabriel watches Mancea walk through a cemetery, tending to the graves. Mancea senses someone's presence and grabs his knife. Gabriel readies his sword, but Mancea leaves without incident.
Yumiko meets Tomi at the train station and marvels that he chose not to be a doctor. Tomi tells Yumiko he's happy with his life, and makes Yumiko promise to keep his true profession a secret. Yumiko mentions that she has a meeting with Governor Milton. Soldiers come out of nowhere and haul Tomi away.
Wearing a walker mask, Maggie moves with a small group of walkers and successfully corrals them in a pen. Negan congratulates her. Elijah asks Maggie if Negan has changed. She says it's hard to know if he's genuinely being helpful or if he's acting out of self-interest.
Yumiko confronts Hornsby and demands to know where Tomi is. Hornsby assures her that Tomi will be home that night and that he will soon free her friends. He admits he's helping her with the hope she might return the favor one day.
Negan empathizes with Maggie over losing a community to a massacre. Negan discusses why he took action against Rick's group. He felt a failure in protecting his people, who were wanting answers on why he couldn't have protected them. Maggie asks if he would have done things differently. Negan says he would have killed every single person in her group if he knew it would have protected his people. Maggie recoils at his answer, but Negan says they must do whatever they can to protect their people. He adds that the only way their plan will work is if they're honest with each other.
Ezekiel rejoins Eugene and Princess feeling rejuvenated from his medical treatment. Hornsby assigns Eugene and Stephanie to a new location, then tells Ezekiel and Princess to come with him.
Gabriel regroups with Maggie and says what he was looking for is still at Meridian. He does not disclose his close encounter with the priest.
Eugene and Stephanie see walkers approaching the well-groomed man and woman they saw earlier with Mercer; they're busy making out in a gazebo. Eugene and Stephanie kill the walkers. The man, Sebastian, yells at them for interrupting his date, and says he has private security to protect them from walkers. Stephanie kills another walker. Sebastian screams at her for splattering walker blood on his girlfriend. Eugene confronts him and then punches him. Hornsby and Mercer race over as troopers surround Eugene.
Yumiko arrives at Governor Milton's office for her meeting. Max, the receptionist, gives her a warm welcome. She takes a phone call and informs Yumiko she needs to reschedule the meeting because Governor Milton's son, Sebastian, was attacked.
Hornsby visits Eugene in a cell and explains that the only way Eugene can get out of jail and help his friends is to reveal the name and location of his community. He starts to leave. Eugene tells him to wait.
Maggie, Negan, and Elijah wear walker masks and lead a herd toward a building. They open the doors to the building and release a massive herd of walkers. The walkers join the other herd on the road.
The stranger takes Daryl and Leah to a building where his son and wounded wife are hiding. Leah tells the man to flee with his son and never return. Once they're gone, the wife begs them to kill her. Leah aims her rifle, but cannot do it. Daryl shoots the woman with his crossbow then tries to tell Leah the truth about his friends. They're interrupted by a radio call summoning them back to Meridian.
Maggie, Negan, and Elijah lead the horde toward Meridian. Elijah sees his dead sister among the walkers. His lips quiver with emotion. Maggie quietly holds his hand.
- Eric LeBlanc as Marcus Powell
- Ethan McDowell as Ira Washington
- Robert Hayes as Paul Wells (Does Not Appear)
- Lex Lauletta as Austin
- Dane Davenport as Ancheta
- Courtney Dietz as Kayla
- Jason Turner as Marcus Colvin
- Liz McGeever as Young Mother
- Brisco de Poalo as Nine-Year-Old Boy
- Seven as Dog
- Jason Fernandes as Livits
- Terrance James as Zell
- D.J. Stavropoulos as Kasey
- Brad Ellis as Commonwealth Resident
- Unknown as Teresa
- Unknown as Josephine
- First appearance of Kayla.
- First appearance of Sebastian Milton.
- First appearance of Marcus Colvin.
- First (and last) appearance of Teresa. (Zombified)
- The title of the episode, "Promises Broken", refers to the promises made between Negan & Maggie (forcing her to leave him be once their mission is complete), and Tomi & Yumiko (keeping it a secret that he was a doctor prior to the apocalypse), and how they are questioned by the latter.
- This episode was made available for streaming to subscribers of AMC Premiere on September 26, 2021.
- The season premiere of Season 2 of The Walking Dead: World Beyond is played directly after this episode.
- In this episode, Josh Hamilton (Lance Hornsby) is again billed before Margot Bingham (Max Mercer) under "Also Starring".
- Sebastian's date with Kayla is adapted from Issue 177.
- Sebastian's altercation with Eugene is adapted from Issue 178, where he has an altercation with Princess instead.