The Walking Dead: Book Fifteen is the fifteenth hardcover collection book of Image Comics' The Walking Dead that includes issues 169-180, otherwise Volume 29: Lines We Cross and Volume 30: New World Order.
Carl is mourning by Andrea's grave when Lydia approaches him. He tells her about Ben and how he had to be the one to kill him. He reveals that he told Andrea about it himself and despite this, she still said she loved him. It was from then that he started calling her mom.
Rick walks through the burial ground and finds Maggie, and they go inside to talk. Maggie expresses her anger that Negan is out of his cell, but Rick admits that when he thinks about how many husbands and wives he has killed, he wonders what makes him any different to Negan. He reassures her that although he is unable to kill him or lock him up again, he will be on his way soon. Maggie remains skeptical.
Eugene explains to Stephanie what has been happening in Alexandria, and is shocked when he learns she spoke to Siddiq. At that moment, he and Rick arrive at the house and demand to know about the radio. Despite her reluctance, Eugene vouches for Rick and tells Stephanie he can be trusted and the two have a conversation. Rick suggests they should form a route to her community, and she asks for a day to discuss the idea with her people.
Rick plans to gather a small team to send to Ohio, and he agrees when Eugene insists he should be on the team. He asks Dwight if he has seen Jesus, and Dwight snaps back he has been too busy which Rick will get all the credit for. Rick says they will talk later.
Carl notices the Hilltop residents packing up and insists despite what has happened, he will be going back with them to help rebuild. Maggie asks about his father and Carl says he doesn’t need him there. Maggie asks what he needs, and he says he needs to live his own life somewhere away from Alexandria.
Rick tells Jesus he wants him to be part of the team that is travelling to Ohio. Jesus declines and tells him he has something worth staying for but will go if desperately needed. Rick suggests Aaron go instead, to which Jesus reveals they are in a relationship and he won’t want to go either. Rick says he is happy for them.
That night, Rick approaches Dwight on his porch and says he needs him to go to Ohio. Dwight bluntly declines and instead states that Rick’s time is done and he should run things. He said his decisions have consequences but he is confident that because he is the one doing it, it is the right thing to do even if that means killing the woman he loved. Rick protests that Sherry attacked him and he defended himself, but Dwight argues he only has his word to go on. He says that he escalated a confrontation with the Saviors at a time when they could not afford one, and then let Negan – a man they cannot trust – defuse that situation. Dwight insists he is being reasonable having this conversation behind closed doors, but Rick tells him the conversation is over and that he is going to be watching him. He tells him to keep one thing in mind – he has a rage boiling inside of him that is hard to control, and at this point what is one more grave?
Michonne asks Rick about the trip to Ohio, but he tells her he needs her elsewhere. She says the Kingdom will be busy and now is a bad time for her to swoop in and shake things up. Rick says he needs her in Alexandria, but Michonne insists she is going on the trip and she will take Magna, Yumiko and Siddiq. She tells him to take care of himself as Carl approaches and tells him he's going back to the Hilltop. They hug and Rick tells him he's proud that he wants to live his life.
Dwight is watching Negan as he packs up some supplies. He says he is planning to go back to the neighborhood where he buried Lucille and leaves Alexandria without a goodbye. Maggie and the Hilltop residents are close behind, and she asks Dwight to take care of Rick. The team also leave for Ohio, and Maggie asks Dante to follow Negan as she won't lose track of that monster.
While the scavenge team start their journey to Ohio to meet Stephanie, Rick tells Jesus about the Dwight situation. Jesus promises to keep his eye on him. Annie asks Rick to check on Mikey, who had recently lost his mother.
Negan kills a couple walkers, cussing at them, as Dante watches him from the woods.
Dwight and Laura talk about Rick. Laura tells him he never should have threatened Rick, but Dwight suggests he should have gone all the way. Dwight thinks Rick and Negan are no different, and Laura asks him does he really believe in that.
The scavenge team encounters a Kingdom guard, and ask how is it beyond the borders. He tells Michonne that he has no clue, in which Yumiko responds "exciting".
Maggie and her group encounter William, who had been gathering supplies for an expansion of the Kingdom. Maggie thinks its too much to accept these gifts, but William insists that the Hilltop needs the resources more.
Negan returns to Lucille's grave, and tells her he has no other place to go. As he cries, Dante continues watching him.
At night, Eugene goes to urinate, while Siddiq keeps on watch. While he returns, he sees Magna and Yumiko kissing. Eugene starts to stare at them, until Siddiq screams. Eugene and the others reach him and kill the walkers around him. Eugene orders the group to move, since it's not safe in their current camp.
Jesus talks to Aaron, and thinks they should move to Hilltop, before saying that he thinks he is in love with him.
The group travelling to Ohio arrives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, which at this point seems like a ghost town. They settle down for the night around the camp fire, and while the females of the group are talking, Siddiq confesses to Eugene that Rosita loved him. Eugene stares in anger.
At this, Siddiq tells Eugene that he is sorry about Rosita, saying that he was trying to protect him by not revealing that he had gotten her pregnant; he also revealed that she was planning on leaving Eugene to be with him. After a moment, Eugene thanks Siddiq for telling him and the two share a laugh when Eugene states that she was wonderful, but had a 'questionable taste in men.'
The next morning, Yumiko wishes to be able to scavenge for supplies from the buildings, but Michonne reminds her that they are on a timetable; she says they will have time on the way back.
As they continue walking, Michonne yells out if anyone is there. Eventually, a young woman emerges, asking what they're doing. After she introduces herself as Juanita Sanchez, 'The Princess of Pittsburgh,' she mentions that they are the first people she's seen in over a year. Juanita asks if she can come with them, but Michonne says no due to them not knowing what she's capable of and vice-versa. Juanita offers to bring them to her shelter nearby.
After arriving, Juanita tells Michonne to keep the gun while she goes in to get some supplies inside the building, while also telling her that she's got to work on her sense of humor. Yumiko says that they should let her tag along, commenting that at least the trip would be 'entertaining'. Michonne is about to ride away when Juanita comes out with a backpack and a large spear she found within the city. When asked if she can give back her gun, Michonne declines; Juanita shrugs it off, stating she has others.
In Alexandria, Rick Grimes encounters Annie at the front gates bringing in a couple of horses. They talk about how Rick is worrying too much about the party taking such a long trip outside the walls and she leaves, telling Rick that Mikey is looking for him. Rick finds him working in the community's garden and helps teach him how to plant some seeds. At night, Aaron and Jesus decide to move from Alexandria back to the Hilltop colony; they find Rick sleeping at Andrea's grave and tell him their intentions.
In the Hilltop, Carl marvels about how much progress has been made in rebuilding the colony, stating that it will look even better than before. Elsewhere, Maggie thanks William for all the hard work the Kingdom has done in helping to rebuild; he mentions that they will probably be doing the same for the Kingdom soon enough. He then tells Maggie that she seems to be distracted over the last few days; Maggie, thinking about where Negan is due to a map Dante brought her the previous day, says it's nothing. Carl goes over to Lydia, who thanks him again for accepting her even with how she's treated him recently. As they hug, Sophia looks at them from a distance.
Back on the road, Michonne finally allows Juanita to join her in taking out some walkers, to the latter's excitement. While this is happening, Yumiko asks Magna if she'll go back 'to being straight' once they reach Ohio. Magna says it's not that simple, but Yumiko cuts her off; pointing to the others, she says they won't care and it's no use hiding the fact. She then blurts out to the others that the two of them are gay. Michonne offers a confused congratulations, Eugene & Siddiq say they already knew and Juanita says it's awesome.
In Hilltop, as Lydia sleeps, Carl goes for a walk and finds Sophia. She tells Carl that she's seen him rapidly mature since he moved to the Hilltop and states that she misses her best friend; when asked about this, Sophia says she misses being with him. Carl agrees that he does still have some lingering feelings for her but due to being with Lydia right now, he doesn't want to go behind her back. Both agree they should talk again soon and go back to their tents on good terms. Meanwhile, a restless and fixated Maggie sits upright in her tent.
Back in Alexandria, Rick thanks Jesus for staying longer than he intended in Alexandria and asks for Maggie to send Carl back if she can to report in. He says he'll do his best, then him and Aaron ride out to the Hilltop. During the night, Jesus is on watch duty and smiles at Aaron who's sleeping, thinking to himself that 'this one's going to last.'
Beta suddenly and silently appears, looming over him and ready to strike. Fortunately, Jesus notices Beta out of the corner of his eye. He gets out of the way to avoid Beta's attack just in time and aims his rifle, but Beta causes him to miss his shot. Aaron hears this and wakes up to see the two fighting. He goes to help, but Jesus tells him to look out for other possible whisperers in the area. Paul avoids another strike but gets pinned down by Beta, claiming that they can't be left alive to report their status. Just then Aaron and Paul save each other by shooting Beta and a whisperer, respectively. They check Beta's pulse and take off his mask; they recognize Beta as a former professional basketball player who had it all and marvel how the apocalypse had changed him into the monster lying before them. Beta suddenly rises up and screams that he has no name and is no one, then finally falls over dead.
Back at the Hilltop, Maggie is looking over the map given to her by Dante inside her tent. The latter comes inside and inquires if she has been outside at all today; she seems to ignore him, stating that Negan is out there & living like he doesn't have a care in the world. Dante goes to leave, but Maggie asks him to wait.
Elsewhere, Carl and Lydia are seen eating lunch. Carl wants to get back to work but Lydia tells him to not worry about it, stating that he's been working too hard. Nearby, Sophia loses her grip on part of the load she's carrying; Carl runs over to help her while Lydia glares at them both suspiciously.
Aaron and Jesus spot a campfire as they continue towards the Hilltop. At the camp, a small group of Whisperers await the return of Beta. One boy, Josh, says that he can't live like this and wishes to leave the group but another one, Mike, argues that the Whisperers have done this for a long time and have stayed alive, so they should at least try it; several others agree with Josh and banish Mike, who protests and wishes to stay. The other whisperers are swiftly killed by Aaron and Jesus, who arrive at the site; they ask if the remaining three want to join Alexandria and the Hilltop colonies. After hearing they don't follow the whisperer's way of living, Josh and the others immediately agree.
In Alexandria, Rick is seen at Andrea's grave and returns to his house; Dwight and Laura watch him leave. Laura tells Dwight he shouldn't hold a grudge against Rick since he's grieving over how he lost his wife; but Dwight says they all are grieving. Laura snaps at him, saying that she's done with his constant moping and complaining over the fact he never seems to be happy and how Sherry died while trying to kill Rick. She leaves him, telling Dwight to come back when he's finished moping: "Maybe I'll still be interested in you."
Meanwhile, Michonne, Eugene, Magna, Yumiko, Siddiq and Juanita are seen continuing their journey to Ohio; Juanita tries to lighten the mood by asking if she's the only one having fun on this trip. Later, they arrive at an abandoned train yard that was established as a rendezvous point: Eugene wonders where Stephanie and her group are since they are the only ones here. Suddenly, a bright light flashes at them with a voice yelling at the survivors to get their hands up.
Elsewhere, Negan talks to himself whilst digging up a sunflower. A couple of roamers approach and, instead of killing them, he pushes them to the ground and runs off.
He places the sunflower at his wife's makeshift grave. He says that this is his way of honoring her and that he is always thinking about her. He admits that sometimes he wishes he had died and she had lived, as she probably wouldn’t have ended up alone like he has. He fights back tears and returns to his house. Later, he shoots and kills a dog before eating it.
He comes across a truck filled with canned food, only to discover they have expired. He spots a barn nearby and investigates. Inside, he finds a baseball bat but leaves without it.
The next day at Lucille’s grave, he explains that he knows she is dead and that despite naming his baseball bat after her, he cannot replace her but he can replace the bat. He returns to the barn and takes the bat. He comes across some barbed wire and as he is wrapping it around the bat, Maggie and Dante show up.
Maggie tells Dante to wait outside before asking Negan if he knows who she is. Negan says he does, and Maggie replies that he knows why she is there. Negan explains he understands that she was angry Rick locked him up instead of killing him and now he is able to roam free. He apologizes for killing Glenn and tells her he won’t fight back. Maggie yells that she knows he is trying to get sympathy from her, but she won’t fall for it after what he did. Negan tells her it is no act and he has had years to think about his actions. He believed at the time killing Glenn was what he needed to do. It wasn’t until Rick showed him the way that he realized what he had done. He says that if Glenn was her Lucille then he feels her pain. Maggie asks if he remembers his wife’s face and voice, and Negan smiles as he says he does. Maggie tells him every time she tries to picture Glenn, all she can see is him screaming her name with his skull bashed in and his eye hanging out. And with that, she sees Negan smiling.
Negan tells Maggie to kill him as he deserves it. Maggie looks at the bat, and Negan says although it would be painful, he’d understand how satisfying it would be for her. Maggie laments and says she won’t kill him, but Negan grabs her wrist and holds the gun to his head. He says he can’t live alone like this and starts reminding her about Glenn and his death, begging her to pull the trigger. Maggie refuses to give him what he wants, saying he must live with what he has done as she leaves the barn.
Outside, Dante asks if she killed him. Maggie says he wasn’t worth it and shoots a couple of roamers before turning and kissing a shocked Dante. Then, they proceed to leave.
Later that night, Negan puts on his jacket and burns the baseball bat, with a smile on his face, as he walks away, seemingly forgiving himself and moving on from Lucille.
Michonne, Magna, Yumiko, Eugene, Siddiq, and Princess are all surprised and blinded by the lights all shone in their direction. Princess makes a joke about the armor of the soldiers, but the soldiers state that they should not move or they will open fire. The survivors from Alexandria do not move, but Princess again jokes about the armor, especially the part covering their private area. One of the soldiers named Samuels is in disbelief about Princess’ sense of humor but is told to quiet down. Eugene says that they were meant to meet them there and gave them the advantage to help build trust. He also asks where Stephanie is.
The soldiers say that Stephanie was not authorized to act on behalf of the entire Commonwealth and that they will instead be speaking with someone else. Heading inside a lighted train car, the representative from The Commonwealth sits down behind a table. Removing a glove, the individual picks up a pen and introduces himself as Lance Hornsby, a person tasked with handling all new entries to their community. Eugene is not pleased. He demands again to speak with Stephanie.
Lance continues to state that they will be talking with him and, after ordering the soldiers to raise their weapons, he explains that their presence alone puts their group in danger. Once again, he says they will follow through with the examination and any attempts to leave will be futile. After a moment of silence, Lance continues and orders one of the soldiers to go out and canvass the area to see if there are any other survivors hiding nearby. He says that he may be threatening them, but the last thing he really wants to do is have the soldiers kill them. Eugene says that they have dealt with small men and threats before and their group will not be intimidated by them. Eugene adds that if they wanted to kill them, they would have done it already. After asking the others if they share the same view, Lance is pleased with this, adding that they are finally on the same page. Michonne prompts him to ask the questions so The Commonwealth can lower their weapons. Hornsby says he likes her already. He asks their names, how far they traveled, their firepower, way of life, and if they have friends in the area.
Lance is surprised to find out that they don’t have any major issues with their way of life. He mentions a recent survivor who would daily use walker blood to camouflage their scent, prompting Michonne to remark they have sparingly used the same tactic to escape from herds of the dead. The soldier sent out to patrol the area reports back and says the area is clear except for the Alexandrian's horses. Since the number of horses didn’t match the number of people, Lance asks if one person walked. Princess says they just picked her up, but they are getting to know each other; Lance says he will need to talk with her a little more.
Using her real name, Hornsby is corrected to call her Princess. He says that he feels comfortable with everyone else but wants to take some more time to get to know her story before she takes ‘the trip’. Once again, Eugene speaks up. He says he’s not going anywhere until they meet Stephanie and if that’s not going to happen then they may as well shoot them all. Frustrated once more by this attitude, Lance reveals that they are going to where Stephanie is.
Lance goes to pack his gear up, saying they are leaving. The survivors can either join them on the trip or get shot by the soldiers. The group decides to join The Commonwealth on the trip and rides their horses along the caravan of soldiers on foot and a horse-drawn wagon. During the trip, Lance falls asleep in the wagon. One of the Commonwealth soldiers tells Michonne not to worry and that Lance is just a jerk. He says he’s been there a couple of years and it’s great, but people like him are essential for the community to work. The soldier adds that they aren’t marching the survivors toward their deaths. He says their armor is intimidating, but they are there to protect everyone, including the group from Alexandria.
The caravan comes to a complete stop when a group of walkers is spotted on the road. A soldier says to use blades over guns to not awaken Lance. The group takes out some of the walkers, but realize there are more than they thought. The soldiers are yelling as they fight. They say this could be the ‘Magenta’ swarm, but if it is that means their spotter was wrong with their location. They open fire, which wakes Lance. Eugene asks if they should do something, but Michonne says that they should be ready to do something but feels they have the situation under control. Lance turns around and says he is impressed that their group isn’t panicking and states he will make a note of that. With some soldiers left to fight the walkers, Lance, the group from Alexandria, and the remaining armored troops continue toward their destination.
After a bit of a ride, they come upon a stadium. Michonne asks if their community is inside, but Lance says it’s for concerts and football games. This excites Princess, who is pleased to hear that there are some musicians within the community. Siddiq asks about the sports and discovers that there are many different types available but understandably, there aren't too many. Magna asks how many people are in their community and Lance replies about fifty thousand, leaving the survivors speechless. The group rides past a billboard with items tacked on it. When Eugene inquires about it, Lance explains that it is their “Wall of the Lost”. It has people who were separated from the area and is to help people to possibly reunite with their loved ones.
Lance tells them to take a look at it while they wait. Michonne says the faded pictures are the saddest, but he replies that it’s the people who keep updating the wall to newer pictures and can’t let go that are the most depressing, even if it is heartwarming. He tells the group that every once in a while there is a story about someone who is on the wall that helps to fill in what happened, and that alone is something that people appreciate. Magna, Yumiko, and Princess are stunned to see how many people have posted on the board, commenting that they have lost loved ones, but never to this degree. After a moment, Eugene notices something and tells Michonne she needs to see it as well. Pointing at the board, she sees a poster from Elodie saying “Have you seen my mom, Michonne?” with a photo attached. Tears immediately start rolling down Michonne’s face with thoughts of reuniting with her daughter.
Eugene asks Michonne if everything is alright. Lance asks what is going on and Michonne asks to be taken to the bakery Elodie wrote on her missing person poster 'right now.' Lance says he can't do that, prompting Michonne to grab him off the wagon and say that it was not a request. After a soldier threatens her to release Lance and Magna asks what's going on, Michonne reveals that her daughter is alive after all this time. She asks again to be taken to her, but Lance is doubtful Elodie is still alive. Magna asks if he's trying to be funny; Lance says that he's being realistic but where they are going, there will be more concrete answers. As they enter through the gates of The Commonwealth, Eugene hears someone calling out to him and he recognizes the voice as belonging to Stephanie. Lance tells her to get back and Stephanie says she was not allowed to come with the group to the meeting place. Lance forcefully grabs Stephanie and reprimands her; when Stephanie tries to protest, Lance reminds her that if she continues to act out, she will get 'reassigned' to another job. She apologizes immediately and Lance tells her to get back to work as they continue on. Michonne looks on, dumbfounded.
Lance leads them inside to where the person in charge resides. They are greeted by a man named Maxwell Hawkins who formally greets them. He asks who is the one that established contact with them and Eugene responds. Maxwell proceeds to ask him, Juanita and Michonne what they did before the apocalypse to get a read on them. When hearing Michonne was a lawyer, Maxwell takes her through two doors and introduces her to Pamela Milton, the governor of the Commonwealth. Pamela says the Commonwealth is rebuilding the world back as a beacon of hope and mentions the community has over fifty thousand residents with more being brought in daily. Seeing Michonne's sullen look, Pamela asks why they should include Michonne and the others with her as part of the Commonwealth; Michonne states that they weren't looking to be auditioned to join.
Outside, Eugene asks Lance what they are doing. Lance reiterates that they are waiting to see if they will be accepted or forced to leave the Commonwealth. A group of soldiers walk by commentating they are exhausted with fighting 'the magenta swarm'; one mentions that Mercer will be very upset he missed out on fighting such a large swarm. Lance tells Eugene they were camped out and waiting for three days, remarking that he hopes they were worth the time and effort spent.
Back in her office, Pamela insists that 'civilization is a machine' and that they have put all the pieces back together at long last. She says she views Michonne as an engine but Michonne snaps back. When Pamela inquires what's wrong, Michonne tells her about her daughter Elodie who is still alive and looking for her; Pamela mentions that she is a mother as well and understands what she is going through and then takes Michonne to the bakery on Sixth Street. Matt expresses surprise with the visit and before Pamela can ask about Elodie, she comes out with a cake for delivery. Michonne and Elodie lock eyes and both are stunned to see the other; Both mother and daughter run and embrace each other for the first time in years.
In Alexandria, Rick hears a poem written by Mikey to help deal with losing his mother. He mentions that it was really well written; Mikey confesses that he had never even knew what a poem was until Annie explained it to him. He says that the words started to come naturally once he started writing. Rick thanks him for sharing, telling the boy that it is never easy sharing feelings with other people; Mikey says that Rick should do one about Andrea, but the latter says he wouldn't know where to start.
Meanwhile at the Hilltop, Eduardo is keeping watch on the perimeter wall. He is relieved by another guard, but mentions the spear has a few splinters. He goes to Earl's shed to get a replacement and, to his surprise, sees both Maggie and Dante engaged in sex. He awkwardly leaves, catching their attention. Maggie gets changed and, despite Dante saying she has nothing to be ashamed of, leaves.
Back at the Commonwealth, Elodie brings Michonne to her apartment. The two run and hold each other, overcome once more with emotion over discovering the other is still alive. Michonne apologizes for not being with her and Colette at the very beginning, noting that their father Dominic had custody. She then asks if Colette survived as well; Elodie lowers her head and says she didn't. She tells Michonne that roughly a year before reaching the Commonwealth, they were in Kentucky and encountered 'some bad men.' They protected the two sisters, but expected them to perform sex in repayment. When Colette refused, she was killed; Elodie then mentions she killed the men after discovering what happened. Michonne, recalling all the things she's done, tries to calm her daughter, saying that they have no idea what they are capable of until they are pushed to survive.
On a hill outside the Commonwealth borders, two teens are engaged in a picnic. One of them, Sebastian, tries to convince the other to have sex, noting that they are far enough away for anyone to see. The other, Kayla, eventually gives in. However, neither one notices or hears several walkers quickly approaching. Suddenly, an ax flies through the air and hits the closest one in the head. Sebastian looks up and sees Mercer approaching them. Sebastian berates him, saying that he should have kept a closer eye on the walkers and not reveal himself. Kayla, disgusted that Mercer was watching them, angrily leaves as Sebastian tells her to wait.
Pamela mentions to the other Alexandrians that Michonne is with her daughter and that it will understandably take some time for her to come back. Suddenly, Sebastian comes and complains to Pamela about Mercer's actions, revealing to the others that he is her son. Mercer soon appears and corroborates Sebastian's claims. Pamela sternly reprimands Mercer and says they will discuss the matter later, dismissing him to get changed.
In a locker room, Mercer meets up with George, who asks how it went earlier guarding the governor's son. Mercer mentions that it went worse than expected but swears that he will continue acting the part for now. It's revealed that the two are part of a plan to overthrow Pamela as the governor of the Commonwealth. However, Siddiq walks in and manages to overhear part of the conversation.
Siddiq mentions how he has been looking for the bathroom and unconvincingly tries to assert that he did not hear anything. Though George moves towards Siddiq, Mercer holds him back. After learning that Siddiq is new in the Commonwealth, Mercer explains how he and George weren't actually serious about overthrowing Pamela and were just "blowing off steam". Mercer is grateful towards the governor and the way of life that she has provided, but calls her son "a fucking asshole" that will drive Siddiq crazy if he ever has the misfortune of meeting him. However, Mercer notices that Siddiq will most likely not have to deal with Sebastian. After making sure that everything is "cool", Siddiq awkwardly leaves down the hall to find the bathroom, leading to a humorous moment where Mercer tells him that the bathroom is in the opposite direction. Siddiq then walks off to the bathroom.
At the Hilltop, Maggie is inspecting a paper on her desk while Dante tries to get intimate with her. She half-heartedly refuses, but Dante ultimately gets her to agree that she always liked his persistence and that she always pretended that Dante drove her crazy. Maggie agrees, mentioning how it is not the worst thing in the world to know that someone actually likes her, believing that Dante really likes her. At that point, however, Sophia enters the room. Appalled, she calls Maggie out for being with Dante and for being a "fucking whore" before angrily running out of the room. Maggie follows her to her room, finding Sophia on the floor. In tears, Sophia states how, despite being adopted, she had considered Glenn and Maggie like her parents and always believed that Maggie loved Glenn. Believing that Maggie no longer loves Glenn, she finds herself questioning whether Maggie ever did love Glenn and, also, if she ever loved Sophia, and if Maggie will stop loving her. Sophia also expresses her disgust for Dante, calling him gross and that he is nothing like Glenn.
Maggie tells Sophia that she does love her, but that she is still a child and that Maggie's love life is not of her concern. Maggie states that she loves Glenn and will always love him, but that she has been alone for a very long time. Dante makes her happy and she is now at a point in her life where she now believes that she is meant to be happy. Sophia, however, is more upset over the fact that Maggie did not tell her that she was with Dante. She goes on to explain how everybody at the Hilltop had been gossiping about it and Sophia, believing that it was a lie, had been telling people to shut up. Now, Sophia admits she feels stupid and that she made a fool of herself. Maggie apologizes for not telling Sophia about her relationship with Dante, explaining that she had hoped to first figure what was going on between them before telling Sophia about it. This cheers up Sophia, who now believes their relationship to be a fling. Regardless, Maggie promises to tell Sophia about it when she figures it out, before jokingly commenting on she can maybe "whore it up" with some other guys too.
At the Commonwealth, Michonne is looking out the window of Elodie's apartment, admitting that Alexandria can not compare to the Commonwealth. However, Michonne notices her daughter's sullen behavior and asks what is wrong. Crossly, Elodie says that she grew up hating her Michonne, blaming her for abandoning her and Colette, and later for the numerous tragedies that happened to her afterwards, including the deaths of her father and sister. Despite having placed the picture in the billboard, Elodie never had believed that she would ever see Michonne again, though she had often fantasized about an encounter with Michonne in which Elodie would yell, scream, and punch her mother for having abandoned Elodie and her sister. However, when she finally saw Michonne after so long, she couldn't do it, having been alone for such a long time, something Michonne understands.
Michonne's calm and understanding attitude confuses and angers Elodie, reminding her mother that she grew up hating her. An exchange follows in which Elodie throws angry remarks at Michonne, claiming to still hate her and not wanting to be around or talk to her. Michonne takes these comments in stride, telling Elodie that she will be waiting for her to be ready to talk with Michonne. Shocked by Michonne's devotion to her, Elodie wonders aloud who is Michonne, unable to associate the woman standing before her with the image she had formed in her mind of the mother who had not cared about her family. Smiling broadly and with her arms wide open, Michonne tells Elodie that she is her mother and, now that she has finally found her, swears to never let go of her ever again. Mother and daughter embrace each other.
Back at the Hilltop, Carl asks Sophia if the rumors about Maggie and Dante were true after all. Sophia confirms them, then voices her opinion on how she finds the whole thing being weird. Carl notices that she doesn't seem to approve, leading her to ask whether he approved when Rick and Andrea first got together. Carl admits that he was okay with it, having wanted his father to be happy. He also states his belief that, in time, Rick will find someone else, and he will be happy for him again when that happens. Sophia lets the matter go, noting that Carl was always more mature than she ever was. Carl jokingly says how that subject has never been up for debate, leading Sophia to playfully shove him.
At the Commonwealth, Michonne has reunited with the others. She explains how her daughter has been living at the community for years, that she finds it safe and she likes it. Michonne concludes by stating that she trusts her daughter, and believes that if the Commonwealth trust her and her group, then she can trust them. Pamela finds the ordeal excellent, as it means that they can now skip to the part where they are getting to know each other and can actually start being friends. Eugene then asks if this means that he can finally be able to talk to Stephanie. Pamela then tells Lance to send for Stephanie, and tells the group that they are currently gathering the weapons that the Commonwealth previously took from them to return them. Pamela also voices a desire to see Alexandria for herself. She asks Eugene whether he and his group would be ready for a return trip soon, hoping for the group to enjoy the Commonwealth's hospitality first. Eugene nervously agrees on staying for a couple of days to organize the trip.
Outside the community, the Commonwealth soldiers are returning the weapons back to the group alongside Elodie. Elodie is surprised that Michonne carries a sword with her. Michonne proudly admits her skill with it, though Elodie finds the katana weird. Just then, Stephanie joins the group and apologizes to Eugene for not having been at the meeting with them. She expresses her regret at having talked on the radio with Eugene, though he reassures her that if she hadn't done it they wouldn't be talking face to face. Pamela interrupts them, explaining how the Commonwealth has a very specific protocol regarding the integration of new groups, which they take very seriously. Stephanie concurs with the governor, stating that she was acting out of line and that, although everything worked out in the end, it could have just as well ended in disaster. Although they are allowed to use the radios, they are supposed to alert the authorities in case they ever stumble upon something new.
Pamela then asks Stephanie to take the group to their settlement at Whitmore, where rooms have been prepared for their stay. She also comments on how she arranged for Michonne to share a room with Elodie, a sentiment to which the former agrees with. Pamela then takes her leave, going back to work to arrange everything for the trip and asking the group to enjoy their stay at the Commonwealth. After Pamela leaves, Michonne mentions how odd it was that she didn't explain that much to the group or ask too many questions regarding the trip. Stephanie believes that Pamela prefers to talk to leaders directly, stating that "that's just how things work here". Before Michonne can ask what Stephanie means by that, Sebastian arrives and loudly exclaims how he likes meeting new people. He light-heartedly apologizes for his first impression, admitting he is pretty bad at making them. Sebastian directly approaches Yumiko, asking for her name and introducing himself as the governor's son. He slyly offers to take Yumiko on a private tour, leading Yumiko to rebuff his advances. Sebastian then forcibly grabs Yumiko, angrily telling her that he makes a better ally than enemy. When Magna tries to intervene, Sebastian pushes her to the ground.
Princess then pulls her spear on Sebastian, asking him what the heck is his problem. Angrily, he orders the Commonwealth soldiers to do something, leading them to order Princess to step away from Sebastian and to put her spear on the ground. Princess then asks if they are really gonna make her "put her goggles down". Although Michonne tries to stop Princess and listen to what they are telling her, Princess lowers her goggles down, replying "Too late". Princess uses the sharp end of her spear on a soldier, using the other end to push Sebastian down. Evading a blow to the head from a soldier's baton, Princess uses her spear to bring a soldier down before defending herself from an upper attack. As Princess continues attacking soldiers, Michonne tries in vain to get Princess to stop attacking. Princess pushes a soldier onto another soldier, bringing them both down. Princess then removes her goggles, claiming that she's all done. She takes a moment to mock the soldiers, calling them "wimps" and claiming that their armor is slowing them. Before she can finish her sentence, a thrown hatchet hits her hand and makes her drop her spear.
Mercer, who threw the hatchet, orders Princess to not move. Lying on the ground, Sebastian angrily orders the officers to arrest Princess and all of her group. Mercer is unfazed, sarcastically asking whether that includes the others that he saw standing around doing nothing. Michonne tries to explain the situation as a big misunderstanding, starting to explain how Sebastian assaulted Yumiko. Sebastian denies the accusation, calling it absurd. Elodie offers to help him stand up, leaving Sebastian to slap Elodie across the face. Sebastian then defends himself by showing how his slapping Elodie constitutes as assault. He then threatens the entire group including Mercer, telling them that if any of them says a word he will make sure that all of them end up banished. Michonne angrily stands her ground, saying that this is not how they do this. She then reaches for her katana, but Elodie stops her mother. Scared, she urges Michonne to let the matter go, telling her that it is important that "they know their place". Michonne's face contorts to anger at her daughter's words.
Confussed, Michonne asks her daughter to elaborate on her earlier sentiment that they must "know their place". When Elodie is reluctant, Sebastian asserts that the community owes him and his family for everything. He warns the group against any further issues, advising that they consider what is at risk. Mercer steps in at this point, noting that Sebastian's mother allows him to get away with a lot, but that she wouldn't want him slapping their citizens for no reason. Sebastian then slaps Mercer, saying that there was a reason - to prove a point. Sebastian hastily makes his exit after this, as he notices how angry he has made the officer.
Mercer attempts to assuage the group's frustration by explaining that even though the community has a few bad people, the sheer size of it means you don't see these people often. He further explains that they all know that worse could be happening than being slapped, but Michonne interjects that this doesn't make it right. Mercer agrees, and cites this example to Siddiq as one of the reasons that the soldiers may need to "blow off steam". Siddiq uneasily agrees.
As the group convenes at Elodie's apartment, Michonne questions Siddiq on what Mercer meant with his comments to him. Siddiq relays to the group the conversation that he overheard between Mercer and George in the locker room. Elodie and Stephanie aren't convinced by the story, believing Mercer to be someone who ultimately likes the way things are. Stephanie adds that incidents with the "upper class" are few and far between, which prompts Michonne to question how the community has a class system to begin with. Elodie and Stephanie further explain that The Commonwealth bases a person's social status almost purely on what they did before the outbreak. A person's class determines their work assignments, and their work assignments determine their level of income. Stephanie and Elodie believe that the system isn't unfair, as you are allowed once per year a chance to apply to move up. Eugene admits that the system can have its merits, however their community has never been at a size where such a system is feasible. Princess likens the system to a video game, and approves of it. This however prompts Magna's indignation, who is incredulous that the community is willing to go back to a world of "haves and have nots". She decides that she's already had enough of the community, but Michonne implores her not to judge them just yet. She explains that as their communities continue to grow larger and rebuild, a class system may eventually become unavoidable. Using the Hilltop as an example, she states that not everyone is able to live in the Barrington House, and those who cannot live in trailers. She concludes by pointing out that if people have the opportunity to move up, then it isn't all that bad. Magna cuttingly reminds Michonne that she used to be a lawyer, and stands to gain quite a bit from the paradigm shift. Michonne states that her own past has nothing to do with it, but Magna reminds her the point they're arguing is that it actually has everything to do with it. Magna resolves that she wants nothing to do with the Commonwealth.
Some time later, Michonne and Elodie take a walk through town. Elodie tells Michonne that when she returns, they should go to see the other settlements. She mentions her favorite one in particular, a place called Greenville that sits on a huge lake, and people have boat houses. Siddiq, Eugene, Princess, and Stephanie eat at a local cafe. Stephanie explains that the guards they see in town are all trainees, as the more experienced soldiers run missions outside to keep the area clear. The group meets up again that night to eat at an upscale restaurant with a view of the city. Elodie notes that she normally doesn't get to eat at such places, and that The Commonwealth might be trying to impress them.
Stephanie and Eugene go on a walk together, where she offers to show Eugene her apartment. Eugene agrees, though Stephanie is slightly embarrassed by the suggestive dialogue. Stephanie later shows Siddiq around an area that is under development, noting that there are quite a few construction jobs. This piques Siddiq's interest, who states that is where he'd like to be if he came back. Michonne cooks a meal for herself and Elodie, with the former asking for a form of repayment for her work. Elodie says she has something in mind, and the group is later seen cheering at a football game.
Michonne meets with Lance Hornsby, who asks that Michonne consider staying when Pamela sets off to meet with Rick in Alexandria. They are aware of how happy Michonne is to see to be reunited with her daughter again, and Lance affirms that The Commonwealth could always use more lawyers. Michonne rebuffs that she has definitely already considered staying, and Lance assures her that she hasn't truly seen all that they have to offer.
As Pamela prepares to depart, Sebastian is close behind her. She tells her son to listen to Lance while she's gone, and not to cause any trouble. Sebastian expresses his disapproval over being treated like a child to be looked after, and Pamela doubles down with a more serious warning, to which Sebastian finally complies. Pamela tells Sebastian that she knows things have been hard since his father passed, but assures him that he is destined for greatness as long as he applies himself. Pamela has her son give her a kiss goodbye, telling him that at least he's doing that right. As Mercer assists her into her wagon, Eugene asks Michonne if her daughter is coming to see her off. Michonne states that Elodie is not seeing her off, as she is not leaving. Michonne believes she has been away from her daughter for too long, and doesn't want to leave her again. Eugene believes that she is the best one to talk to Rick about what they've seen since The Commonwealth barely conversed with anyone else, and that if anything, Elodie would have came back with them. Michonne hands over her katana to Eugene, telling him to give it to Rick. As Eugene reels from the weight of the request, Michonne explains that the katana was never who she was, and is no longer who she is now. She is certain that her comfort in living in The Commonwealth without it will tell Rick everything that he needs to know about the community. Michonne lays complete faith in Pamela handling the diplomatic talks, and Eugene tells her that her presence will always be needed. She disagrees, smiling as she sees them off.
As the group rides off, Siddiq questions Eugene on why Stephanie isn't coming, to which the latter reveals she couldn't step away from her duties. Siddiq laments this as the two seemed to bond with one another, but Eugene states they are just friends. He elaborates on how like-minded they are, especially in the thinking that people need to have more babies in order to ensure the sustainability of society. Siddiq smiles at their obvious attraction to one another, telling Eugene to get to it. Princess tells Magna and Yumiko that she is excited to see Alexandria and meet Rick. She is delighted at having options on where to stay again, and is also looking forward to seeing the new Hilltop. She later tells Eugene that she just might miss Pittsburgh.
Over the course of the trip, Pamela sleeps in a huge tent meant exclusively for her. Yumiko expresses disapproval over this as there is room for them all to fit in it, but Magna silences her. On a different night, Pamela has dinner in her tent with Mercer, asking what information he was able to glean from the visitors. He tells her that Eugene will be useful to them, as he is very intelligent. The next day, Eugene notes that they might be able to make it before sundown, which prompts Pamela to speed up the caravan. As the group gets to a point where Alexandria is in view, Pamela sees the community and is repulsed, calling it a "shithole". Eugene and Magna break away from the caravan, determined to get to Rick and give him the details they've managed to gather on The Commonwealth before they catch up. Eugene hopes that The Commonwealth is actually as nice as they seem to be, for their sake.
- 4 unnamed Whisperers
- A dog
- Dominic Hawthorne (Confirmed Fate)
- Colette Hawthorne (Confirmed Fate)
- Sebastian’s father (Confirmed Fate)
- This book has the fewest appearances of Rick Grimes.