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"Rogue Element" is the eleventh episode of the eleventh season of AMC's The Walking Dead. It is the one-hundred and sixty-fourth episode of the series overall. It premiered on March 6, 2022. It was written by David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick and directed by Michael Cudlitz.[1]

Plot

Eugene looks for Stephanie after she mysteriously goes missing. Connie investigates a story on Trooper Davis. Carol helps Hornsby with a labor dispute at a drug farm.

Synopsis

Eugene wakes up in bed with Stephanie. He officially gives her a key to his apartment and says that he loves her. Stephanie says she loves him, too.

Eugene leaves Stephanie's apartment building and sees her waving from the balcony.

Eugene tells Princess that he professed his love to Stephanie and that she reciprocated. He worries about the next step, but Princess tells him to relax.

Eugene waits at the ice cream truck for a date with Stephanie, but she never shows up.

Eugene buzzes Stephanie's apartment and gets no answer. A man exits the building. Eugene slips inside before the door closes.

Eugene knocks on Stephanie's door. No one answers. Inside, Stephanie quietly packs her bags in a hurry.

Connie argues with her newspaper editor about the story they're running about Tyler, the man who threatened Pamela at the masquerade. She insists they tell the truth instead of paraphrasing Pamela's press release, but her editor warns Connie to toe the line.

Eugene investigates Stephanie's disappearance and heads to the Communications Department in Union Station. He learns from the radio room monitor that Stephanie called in sick at work.

Connie and Kelly try to speak with Tyler at the hospital where he's being held, but a soldier is guarding Tyler's room. Mercer closes the door in their faces.

Rosita and Livits stop by Stephanie's apartment for a wellness check. When no one answers, they let themselves in with keys.

Rosita informs Eugene that Stephanie isn't at her apartment. She offers to help Eugene fill out a missing person report at the station.

Hornsby and Carol ride a wagon outside the Commonwealth walls. Hornsby explains that he's hoping to enlist her help.

Hornsby and Carol arrive at a farm that supplies Commonwealth hospitals with opium. A man named Moto informs Hornsby that the farmers are holding the opium harvest hostage in exchange for higher prices.

Connie and Kelly show up for a military ride along for a newspaper story. They are directed into a wagon by the logistics officer while Mercer hops into a military truck.

Princess visits Eugene at home and finds his wall papered with clues about Stephanie's disappearance. Eugene explains that he almost gave up on his investigation, until a chance encounter renewed his hope.

In a flashback, Eugene runs into the man who had left Stephanie's building the night he was looking for her. He asks the man if he remembers anything about that evening. The man gruffly explains he had simply gone to the building to fix a clogged sink and doesn't remember seeing Stephanie.

Eugene tells Princess he followed the man, whose name is Roman Calhoun. He declares that Roman is not a plumber.

In a flashback, Eugene stakes out a warehouse, disguised as a plumber's shop, that Roman frequents at night. Eugene tells Princess that the same four people enter and exit the warehouse at odd hours, and occasionally a fifth person who is likely the mastermind of the group that took Stephanie. He says one of the people, the man dubbed as the "Beanie Hat Man", moved all of Stephanie's belongings out of her apartment. He vows to expose the group.

Hornsby and Moto talk business while fishing. Carol observes one of the opium farmers watching closely.

Two Commonwealth soldiers flee from walkers in the woods, one of them injured. The injured soldier manages to hide inside an abandoned pickup truck while a walker tackles the other soldier. Mercer splits the walker's head open, saving both of his soldiers.

Mercer catches up with Connie and Kelly, and asks if Connie got everything she needed for her ride along story. Connie goes off script and demands to know what Tyler has been charged with. She also asks if Tyler is being punished for the fact that his hostage at the masquerade, Max, was Mercer's sister. Mercer warns her not to dig any further.

Eugene and Stephanie stake out Roman's apartment building. They break into Roman's apartment while Roman is out for a jog.

Carol tells Hornsby that she spoke with one of the farmers and learned that Moto has been pocketing the money that Hornsby gives them for raises. She says he has also been beating the farmers to ensure their silence. Hornsby orders soldiers to arrest Moto.

Eugene and Princess search Roman's apartment and find a suitcase stocked with knives and guns. They hide when they see Roman coming back.

Eugene and Princess try to sneak out but are caught by a neighbor who called police after seeing them break into the building. Both intruders are arrested and sent to jail.

Mercer discovers that Tyler has been transferred and tells the nurse that Tyler wasn't authorized to be moved without his permission. She replies that apparently someone had authorization to do so. He punches a wall in anger before walking away.

Hornsby visits Eugene and Princess in jail and assures them that Roman is a plumber who had been sent to Stephanie's building to fix a sink. He says Roman agreed not to press charges, but that they must promise to leave him alone.

Eugene tells Princess that the conspiracy runs deeper than he thought. Princess begs him to give up his investigation and insists that Stephanie simply broke up with him.

At home, Kelly tries to cheer up Connie, who is unhappy about having to write a puff piece about Mercer. Connie finds a note that someone slipped under the door. It's a list of names, including Tyler's name.

Eugene sneaks into the secret warehouse and hears voices upstairs. To his surprise, he runs into Stephanie. Hornsby appears and tells Stephanie he'll handle it. Eugene cries as he realizes Stephanie used him to get information about his community. Hornsby apologizes for the deception, but points out that Eugene's group is now thriving at the Commonwealth.

Eugene burns the evidence from his investigation in a bonfire. A woman walks up behind him and says she needs to talk. She uses nicknames that only he and Stephanie had used with each other over the radio. Eugene turns around: The woman is Max. She reveals that she is the real Stephanie.

Other Cast

Co-Stars

Uncredited

Deaths

  • None

Trivia

  • First appearance of Roman Calhoun.
  • First appearance of Jan.
  • First appearance of Moto.
  • The title of the episode, "Rogue Element", refers to Eugene believing a rogue element of the Commonwealth government to be behind Stephanie's disappearance.
  • This episode was made available for streaming to subscribers of AMC Premiere on February 27, 2022.
  • This episode marks Josh McDermitt's 75th appearance on the TV Series.
  • This is the last episode of the TV Series written by David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick.[2]
  • The original plot summary for the episode was as follows: Eugene becomes unhinged when he is blindsided and unable to fit the pieces together. Fully invested, Hornsby will be there to help Eugene should he land in trouble. Connie steps on toes pursuing a Milton story, which is not the Commonwealth way. Here, there are always consequences to your actions. Will Eugene and Connie recognize and respect the clues and rules in their individual searches for the truth? Meanwhile, Carol finds herself outside the Commonwealth walls, again.[1]

Comic Parallels

TBA

Episode Highlights

References

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