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"The Lucky Ones" is the twelfth episode of the eleventh season of AMC's The Walking Dead. It is the one-hundred and sixty-fifth episode of the series overall. It premiered on March 13, 2022. It was written by Vivian Tse and directed by Tawnia McKiernan.[1]

Plot

Aaron and Maggie meet Governor Pamela Milton as she tours Alexandria, Oceanside, and Hilltop. Ezekiel finds himself lucky during a routine checkup. Eugene processes Max's story.

Synopsis

Max explains to Eugene that she met him on a radio that she built with spare parts. She says Mercer, who is her brother, discovered her illicit communications and warned her that Hornsby was investigating a communications breach.

Max tells Eugene that she didn't meet him at the rendezvous point because Hornsby might have discovered her. She says she kept quiet when she saw Eugene with "Stephanie" because they seemed happy together.

In a flashback, Max checks in to see if Pamela needs anything. Hornsby visits Pamela with exciting news.

Back in the present day, Max tells Eugene that Hornsby had been buzzing about Alexandria to Pamela but that she is unsure what they're planning. Still processing Stephanie's betrayal, Eugene bursts into tears and runs off.

Hornsby and Pamela travel to Alexandria. While en route, Pamela shares her concern that incorporating new communities would stretch Commonwealth resources too thin. Hornsby argues that Alexandria, Hilltop, and Oceanside are perfect for his vision.

Aaron and a welcoming committee greet Pamela's convoy as it arrives in Alexandria.

Aaron gives Pamela a brief history of Alexandria. Mercer asks how they keep Alexandria safe. Daryl says they fought many battles to protect it.

Pamela recalls crossing paths with Deanna, Alexandria's founder, in earlier days. Daryl says Deanna always rebuilt Alexandria every time it fell. To Hornsby's chagrin, a walker breaches the wall. Daryl kills it. Pamela says she's seen enough.

During a routine hospital visit, Ezekiel is surprised to learn his surgery has been moved to the top of the list.

Pamela relaxes on the beach at Oceanside. Hornsby tells her that Rachel is ready to see her.

Rachel takes Pamela and Hornsby on a tour of Oceanside. She explains that Maggie has chosen not to ally with the Commonwealth – and that Oceanside will only partner up with the Commonwealth if Maggie agrees to do so.

On their way to Hilltop, Hornsby admonishes Aaron for failing to keep walkers out of Alexandria and for not knowing about Maggie's decision. Hornsby warns that if Maggie opts out, he will no longer help Alexandria. Their convoy stops. Maggie is killing walkers on the road ahead.

Pamela, Daryl, and Commonwealth troopers help Maggie kill the walkers. Pamela introduces herself.

Maggie asks Daryl why he trusts the Commonwealth. Daryl says he doesn't necessarily trust them but admits it's nice to have resources to rebuild Alexandria. Aaron makes a case for the Commonwealth and asks if Maggie will join them. Hornsby proposes an impromptu hunt.

In the woods, Pamela suggests she and Maggie hunt together.

As they hunt, Pamela admits to Maggie that she was initially skeptical of visiting Alexandria, Hilltop, and Oceanside. However, she acknowledges that numerous city states fighting each other for resources is not beneficial for anyone. She offers to protect Hilltop.

Carol visits Ezekiel at home and pretends to be surprised when Ezekiel tells her the news about his surgery. Ezekiel realizes Carol was responsible for moving up his surgery and accuses her of cheating the system. Carol asks if he's supposed to die just because the system is broken.

Maggie accuses Pamela of running an autocracy. Pamela argues that Maggie is the sole leader at Hilltop, but Maggie insists that Hilltop is run more fairly than the Commonwealth. She points out that Pamela has a nicer car and house than everyone else.

Rosita joins Eugene, who is sitting alone on a bench. She consoles him when he tells her that Stephanie broke up with him.

Maggie returns to Hilltop with Pamela's convoy. Commonwealth troopers deliver supplies to the community.

Hershel helps Daryl unload supplies. Mercer notes that Daryl is starting to appreciate the Commonwealth but warns that it isn't perfect.

Carol and Jerry visit Ezekiel before his surgery at the hospital. An attendant wheels Ezekiel away for the operation.

Hornsby asks Maggie if she's made a decision about partnering with the Commonwealth. Maggie asks what he gets out of the deal. Hornsby describes his vision of a thriving network of communities that citizens can travel between. Maggie hears an alarm. Hilltop citizens race outside to ward off a walker attack.

Walkers breach the Hilltop perimeter. Maggie, Elijah, Lydia, and other Hilltop residents fight the walkers. Mercer joins them with his troopers, who swiftly gun down all the walkers.

Afterwards, Dianne tells Maggie that they need the Commonwealth's help. Maggie watches as Mercer lines up his troopers.

Mercer reminds Daryl that he's always being watched. Daryl falls in line with the troopers.

Maggie walks up to Pamela and formally declines the Commonwealth's offer. When Pamela asks why, Maggie says everything always costs something. Hornsby frowns.

Eugene visits Max and apologizes for running away when she revealed her true identity to him. Max asks how he could possibly have been fooled into thinking that the other woman was "Stephanie." Eugene says he wanted it to be real because he's been rejected so many times. They start talking about Eugene's novel. They laugh and reconnect as Max makes suggestions.

Dianne tells Maggie that she and some other Hilltop residents are going to live at the Commonwealth. Maggie warns her against trusting the Commonwealth, but Dianne says she can't live this way anymore.

Hornsby begs Pamela to try and salvage his plan. Pamela correctly guesses that Hornsby wants to eventually govern the communities. She agrees to let him continue his campaign to enlist the communities but warns that there will be consequences if his Commonwealth duties are compromised.

Hornsby enters the woods and shoots his gun into the air. One by one, he shoots walkers attracted to the sound. Aaron joins him and asks what Pamela thinks about Alexandria. Hornsby says that Pamela is on board and that they will bring in even more people. He vows to remake the world.

Other Cast

Co-Stars

Uncredited

Deaths

  • None

Trivia

  • First appearance of Theo.
  • Last appearance of Deanna Monroe. (Photograph)
  • Last appearance of Reg Monroe. (Photograph)
  • The title of the episode, "The Lucky Ones", refers to Maggie and Pamela's conversation about how lucky they and the people around them have been during the apocalypse.
  • This episode was made available for streaming to subscribers of AMC Premiere on March 6, 2022.
  • This episode was originally titled "All or Nothing", but was later changed for unknown reasons.
    • This title refers to Lance's statement to Aaron about needing all the communities to be in agreement in order for Pamela to grant her assistance.
  • This episode marks the return of Rachel Ward and Oceanside, who haven't been seen on the show since "A Certain Doom".
  • The framed photo of Deanna and Reg Monroe is a promotional still from "Spend" that was made black and white.[4]
  • Max reveals that her communications with Eugene were over a radio that she had built out of scrap and that Mercer and Lance Hornsby had found out about her communications with him which is why she wasn't at the Southern Train Yard to greet him as it was too dangerous. "Stephanie" was just an alias based off of Max's mother's name.
  • The flashbacks involving Eugene and Max take place during the events of the episodes "Bonds", "Morning Star", "Out of the Ashes" and "Promises Broken" with several events from those episodes seen from Max's point of view. The first flashback featuring Max working on her radio presumably takes place around the time of "The Storm" as that was the first time that Max was heard reaching out over the radio.
  • The original plot summary for the episode was as follows: Eugene comes face-to-face with the real person behind the "Stephanie" identity on the radio, but how can he be certain it's truly her? Will it be too much for him to process? With his heart and soul shattered, who will he turn to? Who will he be able to trust? Meanwhile, Hornsby presents his plans for Alexandria to Governor Pamela Milton; Maggie gets a glimpse into life at the Commonwealth; and Ezekiel gets unsettling news.[1]

Comic Parallels

  • Pamela's tour of the communities is adapted from Issue 180, Issue 181 and Issue 182.
  • Pamela's conversation with Maggie is adapted from Issue 180, where Pamela talks to Rick instead.

Episode Highlights

  • Alexandria and the Hilltop are shown undergoing a rebuild from the damage inflicted upon them by the Whisperers.
    • Alexandria is undergoing repairs with the Commonwealth's help as Lance had offered in "No Other Way" and is in visibly better shape. However, the damage is still bad enough to let a walker in through a breach in the wall while Pamela visits.
    • Maggie has begun to rebuild the Hilltop, although she is having less success than Alexandria due to her refusal of the Commonwealth's help. Due to the hardships and seeming hopelessness of the project, several of the residents leave for the Commonwealth, including Dianne.

References

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