The Walking Dead: Book Sixteen is the sixteenth hardcover collection book of Image Comics' The Walking Dead that includes issues 181-193, otherwise Volume 31: The Rotten Core and Volume 32: Rest In Peace.
Rick, Pamela, and their entourage reach the outskirts of Oceanside. Pamela is awestruck by the sight of the ocean, which she says she hasn't seen since before the apocalypse. Maxwell corrects her, pointing out that it's more of an inlet, though is quick to praise the sight nonetheless when Pamela glares at him, much to Mercer's amusement. Rick takes Pamela with him to introduce her to Pete.
At the Commonwealth, Michonne informs Elodie that she has accepted Lance's offer, which Elodie is ecstatic to hear. Michonne also tells her that Lance has given her some time to get accustomed to the community and get up to speed with her old profession. Elodie asks if she'll have enough time for a trip, to which Michonne replies that she just might.
At the Hilltop, Carl introduces himself to Joshua. He asks if Joshua's parents are inside with Maggie, and Joshua confirms, saying that she's making sure they're not too crazy to live at the Hilltop. Joshua reassures Carl that they never liked the Whisperers, and were simply scared. Carl is happy to hear that Joshua and his parents aren't crazy, and offers to show Joshua around. Joshua states that he likes it at the Hilltop, and wants to stay. He asks if it's safe at the community, to which Carl replies that it is most of the time.
Meanwhile, Maggie, Aaron and Jesus are talking about Joshua's family. Maggie states that they seem okay, which Aaron agrees with, adding that it hadn't seemed like they were with the Whisperers for very long. Jesus agrees that they're good people. Maggie decides to let them stay, though says that they'll keep an eye on them. She adds that she's having Dante find a comfortable place for them to sleep. Maggie notes that comfort is in short supply, and asks Jesus and Aaron if they could search for some furniture stores. Jesus informs her that Rick instructed her to make a list of everything she needs, so he can send Heath and his team to scavenge for it, for which Maggie is thankful. Aaron adds that Rick also asked her to send Carl back for a visit, which Maggie agrees to. Jesus compliments the speed at which the Barrington House was repaired. Maggie attributes this to the main structure surviving the fire, as they just reinforced it and built on top of it. She notes that if it wasn't for it, they probably wouldn't have been able to rebuild the Barrington House. Jesus asks if he can have his old room back, which Maggie affirms. Switching the topic, Maggie asks if they're sure Beta and the Whisperers are dead, to which Jesus and Aaron reassure her that they are, with Jesus poking fun at the fact that they "Kind of went off with a whimper". Maggie is relieved to hear this.
On the road, Princess thanks Rick for allowing her to join them, and Rick awkwardly tells her not to mention it. Princess asks if Rick trusts her, to which he answers yes, as long as Princess isn't acting the way she is at the moment. As Princess continues to babble, Rick stares at her in confusion. Suddenly, Dwight signals from the front for everybody to get down. A herd is blocking their way. Dwight asks Rick if they should let it pass, but Rick rejects this, as even a slight deviation from the herd's current course could result in Oceanside being overrun. Rick wonders where their lookouts are, and how they missed the herd. Dwight points out that Rick, Heath and himself can't steer it alone, but Rick interjects that they're not alone, and notes that the herd isn't that large. Rick informs Mercer about the change of plans, and asks for their assistance in steering the herd away from Oceanside. Mercer coldly states that he won't do anything that might endanger the Governor, but Rick points out that they'll be leading the herd away from Pamela, and not doing so would actually be endangering her. Mercer and his soldiers reluctantly agree.
Dwight instructs them on what to do. Princess is nervous, but Mercer reassures her by telling her to stick to him. As the group leads the herd away, Pamela orders her driver to get closer to them instead of staying put like she was told. Princess notices the back of the herd breaking off, and informs Mercer, who is greatly frustrated to learn that they've been alerted by the Governor, who didn't stay put as she was told. While distracted, Princess runs into a group of walkers, and falls off her horse. Mercer jumps down to rescue her, before realizing they're being swarmed. In the front of the herd, Dwight and a Commonwealth soldier notice Mercer and Princess are in trouble. The soldier says he can get to them, but Dwight tells him it's too late as there are too many walkers in the way. The soldier calmly replies that "that's what the armor's for", before walking into the herd as Dwight stares in amazement. Even further upfront, Rick and Heath notice the heard breaking away as well, and are shocked to learn that Pamela followed them. As Rick frantically searches for the members of his group, the Militia arrive, and begin killing the walkers. Together they mow down the entire herd, impressing Governor Milton. After Princess, Mercer, and the soldiers fight off the remaining walkers, Princess suddenly kisses Mercer, as she thought they were "having a moment", leaving him speechless.
As the herd is eliminated, Dwight congratulates the soldiers. Rick asks if Dwight had his soldiers follow them, and Dwight confirms, and asks if Rick isn't glad that he had. Rick angrily tells him that if he hadn't pulled Annie and Vincent from lookout duty, they might have avoided the herd altogether, leaving Dwight to contemplate his decisions. Pamela congratulates Mercer, saying he did the Commonwealth proud. Furious at her seeming lack of care for him and his men, Mercer asks for an apology. Pamela begrudgingly apologizes for causing him any alarm, but says that she knew what he was capable of, and adds that now Rick's group knows as well. As she walks away, Mercer glares at her angrily.
At the Sanctuary, John oversees the other Saviors working in the gardens. A young savior, Christopher, asks if they're going to practice shooting later, but John declines, stressing that they already have enough soldiers, but need more people who can grow things. Christopher complains that he doesn't like gardening, but John gently reprimands him, explaining that it's not a world of "like" anymore, but a world of "need", though Christopher is still dissatisfied. John goes on to point out just how far the Sanctuary has come since the war, and how much food they're producing for themselves. Christopher questions why they need so much, since they already get food from Alexandria. John is quick to remind him that they have to trade goods for that food, and that the more they have, the better off they are. John reminds him of the days when Negan was in charge, when everyone was scared and miserable. He states that Negan's way of "taking" made enemies, while their current policy of "giving" makes friends. He goes on to claim nobody wants to go back to Negan's way while glancing at Mark, who hangs his head in shame. Satisfied, Christopher asks if he can have a baked potato tonight, before they are interrupted by the arrival of Rick and Pamela.
Pamela is somewhat intimidated by the Sanctuary's appearance, but Rick points out it used to be much worse, and hopes that times have changed. John appears at the gates, and bluntly asks who Pamela is. Rick introduces her as the leader of the Commonwealth. John apologizes for seeming inhospitable, and invites them inside. After governor Milton describes the Commonwealth, John is impressed, though he cautiously asks why she came to the Sanctuary. Pamela replies that the coalition of settlements that the Sanctuary is included in is the largest one they have encountered thus far, and expresses interest in trading goods and sharing resources, with the ultimate goal of rebuilding the country, pointing out that it would benefit both sides, impressing John even further. He offers them rooms to stay for as long as they want. Rick commends John's leadership, saying that he really turned things around and John replies that he's "all about making friends now". Afterwards, Rick asks for Pamela's opinion on the Sanctuary. While she is impressed with the community, she is less optimistic when it comes to their leadership, and adds that she sees why they need to be supervised by Rick. She asks what John did before the apocalypse, but Rick doesn't know. Pamela supposes that it doesn't matter and, switching the topic, asks about Negan. Rick is hesitant, claiming it's a long story, but proceeds to tell it nonetheless when Pamela prompts him.
In the morning, as they leave the Sanctuary, Rick asks Dwight if he got any sleep. He replies that he hasn't, as his former home brings out too many bad memories. Rick takes the opportunity to apologize for Sherry, but Dwight interjects, saying there is no need to "reopen old wounds". He adds that he was wrong to blame Rick, and also thanks him for not killing him. Rick humorously replies that thanking him for that doesn't exactly paint the best picture of him. Dwight goes on to elaborate that he always blamed the wrong people, be it Rick for Sherry or himself for Negan's actions, and reveals that Laura has been helping him with that, before she gleefully interrupts him. Rick states that he's glad Laura and Dwight have each other, before looking on saddened as they ride further ahead.
After making their introductions, William welcomes Pamela to the Kingdom, adding that the name made more sense when there was a tiger around. Pamela inquires, and Rick recounts Ezekiel and Shiva, and mournfully adds they are no longer with them. Pamela notes that the communities are very colorful and asks how many more there are, to which Rick replies that there is only one left, the Hilltop.
On the road, Mercer asks Rick if the roads between the communities are relatively safe, and Rick confirms. Mercer inquires if people in Rick's communities do whatever they choose, regardless of what they did before. Rick replies that "before" has got nothing to do with "now" and goes on to elaborate that people who had more important jobs before tend to stick to those jobs, citing Earl as an example. Mercer asks what Rick was before the apocalypse, and Rick recounts his backstory, asking if his profession in the Commonwealth would be "hassling rowdy teenagers and giving the odd speeding ticket". Mercer, somewhat bitterly, confirms. Rick, in turn, asks Mercer about his profession. Mercer reveals that he was, and still is, a marine. Rick jokingly asks if he would rather be a florist, but Mercer denies this, as he is quite comfortable in his line of work, though adds that there are people in the Commonwealth who are not. Rick expresses his condolences, revealing that in the D.C. communities everyone usually finds a place where they'll be most useful, and Mercer stoically grunts in reply. As they approach the Hilltop, Rick is dumbfounded at the speed at which the community was rebuilt, as is Dwight.
Maggie meets them at the gates, regretting the restoration not being quite finished yet, though Rick praises their work nonetheless. Maggie attributes this to the whole community's hard work, as well as the workers William sent from the Kingdom. Pamela interrupts them by asking about the destruction of the community, and Maggie, annoyed, asks who she is. Rick begins to introduce governor Milton, when he is interrupted by Carl, who is overjoyed to see his father. As father and son embrace, Rick says that it's nice to know Carl has missed him. Carl claims he was also worried about father. Rick is about to ask why, before being painfully reminded of the loss of Andrea. Rick says that he didn't realize he wasn't thinking about the loss anymore until Carl said he was worried. Carl says he was worried he had made a mistake by coming to the Hilltop, as Rick needed him, though Carl thought the people at the Hilltop needed him more. Rick commends his son's actions, claiming he doesn't blame him for leaving and that he needed the time alone. Carl notices Rick isn't using his cane , and Rick claims that he doesn't need it anymore, as the pain either went away or he had gotten used to it. Rick humorously adds he still won't be winning any footraces, and Carl assures him he'll be fast enough for both of them.
At the meeting, Maggie is skeptical about Pamela's good intentions, asking if the proposed alliance would entail trading knowledge and resources or a picture of Pamela hanging in every room and "pledging allegiance to the women who smiles too much". Pamela claims it's the former and, slightly embarrassed, says she didn't know it was possible for a person to smile too much. Maggie claims that it is, especially when one is trying to earn the trust of new people, as everything they say seems like it could be a lie. Rick gently reprimands Maggie for being rude, irritating her even further. Jesus asks about the conditions in the Commonwealth, and Rick begins to tell them about Michonne staying in the Commonwealth, but is interrupted by a shocked Maggie, who asks if Michonne is being kept prisoner. Pamela denies this and explains that Michonne has been reunited with her daughter who had been happily living there for years, and chose to stay with her, as the entire room stares at her in disbelief. Maggie agrees with Rick's plan to visit the Commonwealth, and agrees to the alliance if Rick approves of what he sees there.
In the morning, Rick meets Eugene on the road. He is driving a cart full of Commonwealth soldiers, as he figured they'd move quicker with the soldiers being on their feet less. Rick notices a bunch of tools in Eugene's bag and asks what they're for, but Eugene doesn't want to spoil the surprise. Dwight instructs Heath to take his group back to Alexandria and stay alert, telling him they would hopefully be back in less than a month, but adding that he would send someone to report back in if they stay longer. Pamela invites Rick to ride with her in her carriage, and Rick gladly accepts. She asks what happened to his son's eye and Rick tells her that Carl was shot. Pamela claims that, though they've had a fair share of conflict, they've never had children on the front lines. Rick grimly tells her that that luxury had always escaped them. Pamela says that she hopes those days are behind them. She goes on to praise the communities, deeming them good Commonwealth material, though adding that distance would be an issue. All that is needed now, she claims, is for the Commonwealth to bring the Rick's group to their way of thinking. Rick counters that his group could bring the Commonwealth to their way of thinking as well. Pamela jokingly hypothesizes that Rick will be trouble, and Rick replies that hopefully he won't be too much.
In the Commonwealth, Michonne, Elodie and Jerome travel to Greenville. Michonne tells Jerome he didn't need to accompany them, as she is quite capable of defending herself but Jerome states that it's protocol, as they can't allow people of Michonne's stature travel alone. They run across a small group of walkers, and Jerome orders them to stay back while he dispatches them. Michonne cautions him to be quiet, as there could be more of them, but this only serves to annoy Jerome. True enough, more walkers appear out of the woods and Jerome is quickly swarmed. This prompts Michonne to jump from her saddle to help the soldier. She grabs his gun and kills all of the walkers, shocking both Jerome and Elodie. Impressed, Jerome offers to let her lead the rest of the way, but Michonne declines. Her daughter, likewise impressed, tells her mother she's full of surprises. Jerome tells them not to worry about the bodies, as the Commonwealth will send someone to clean them up.
As they arrive at Greenville, Michonne is awestruck at the beautiful scenery and thinks she's really going to like it there. As Jerome departs, Elodie suggests a hostel they can sleep in, but they are interrupted by Cloris, who's reserved a cabin for their arrival. After spending quality time with her daughter, Michonne goes out on the dock to cry. Elodie asks her what's wrong, but Michonne replies that it's absolutely nothing, revealing that she's been crying tears of joy. In the morning, as they are ready to depart, they are met by another soldier (Rufus) assigned as their escort. Before they depart, Cloris gifts them with a bag of food and drink for their journey. Michonne notices a family unable to afford food, so she gives them the basket instead. Cloris disproves, as there was some very expensive wine and cheeses in that bag, but Michonne replies that it seemed like the family needed it more than she did.
Arriving back in the Commonwealth proper, they encounter a bunch of people running in the street. When Michonne inquires, she is informed that an officer has been attacked. She rushes to the scene, only to find the perpetrator being beaten to a pulp by the other officers. She rushes to his aid, and is shocked to recognize Jerome as one of the officers responsible.
Lance arrives to see Michonne in her apartment. Michonne asks if the man is going to be okay, but Lance informs her that he's in critical condition. Lance tells her that the man, Anthony Keith, assaulted one of the officers after getting into a shouting match with them, explaining that Anthony's wife was having an affair with an officer. He adds that there are numerous witnesses that confirm Anthony attacked the officers, though they all downplay it due to the brutality with which the officers responded. Michonne is worried about the story getting spun badly and escalating. Lance agrees, adding that they can't have people loosing faith in the officers and explains that this is why they need Michonne's help. He wants her to defend the officers and prove they did nothing wrong, firmly adding that this is not a request.
At dinner, Michonne is furious with Lance, but Elodie explains to her that Michonne is one of "them" now, and she can get away with all kinds of things until she proves that she's not. Michonne is conflicted, as she agrees there should be a trial and that everyone has a right to a defense, but she's uncertain how this will look in the eyes of the public. After being interrupted by a woman furious that Michonne is defending the officers, Lance arrives unexpectedly to see them. He somberly informs them that Anthony Keith has died.
Michonne looks on at the protest forming outside of her apartment as Elodie breaks through the crowd. Elodie is worried that things are getting really bad as even her friends are talking about doing something. Soon enough, the protest escalates into a full-fledged riot. A protester throws a trash can into the window of their office, and Michonne tackles Elodie to protect her. As the crowd breaks into the apartment, Michonne tells her daughter to run, but Elodie refuses to abandon her mother. Suddenly, Jerome arrives to help them fight off the rioters and instructs them to run. This coincides with the arrival of Rick and Pamela, who are shocked to find the Commonwealth in chaos.
Having just arrived in the Commonwealth, Rick and Pamela are shocked to find it in the midst of a riot. The rioters are beating up Jerome, so Michonne goes back to help him while telling Elodie to stay put (though she doesn't listen). Michonne tries to get the mob to leave Jerome alone, but this only serves to redirect their anger towards her for defending him. A rioter punches her and clubs her over the head. The mob are about to beat her up when Jerome throws himself on top of her to shield her from them. The mob beat Jerome severely before they are broken up by Mercer, Dwightand the Commonwealth Army. One rioter protests that Jerome killed Anthony Keith, but Mercer points out attacking an innocent woman won't solve that.
At the court hearing, Michonne defends the actions of the officers as just a misunderstanding and an accident. She stresses that the men that committed the act have already been punished and asks the judge to drop all charges. The judge thanks her for her input and says he will consider it. The prosecutor wants to add something, but the judge denies his request, as Michonne smirks. Afterwards, Rick asks Michonne if she believed in what she told the judge, and Michonne replies that she did, for the most part. She assures Rick that despite what he's seen, the Commonwealth is a really special place and that things in it are almost back to the way they were, adding that she would sell her soul to keep it as good as it is and, in fact, thinks she already has. Rick seems concerned by this revelation.
Eugene and Stephanie are inspecting a locomotive. Stephanie asks what they're doing and Eugene informs her that he wants to repair the train. When Stephanie asks why, he tells her that the train could solve the distance problem between the Commonwealth and DC communities and would be one step closer to rebuilding civilization. Stephanie warns him that such a project could take years, but Eugene is undeterred.
Back at the Governor's office, Pamela reprimands Lance for letting things fall apart while he was in charge and is about to demote him, when she spots Rick outside helping with the cleanup, much to her dismay. Pamela confronts him, but Rick tells her he figured helping out is the least he could do. This prompts Pamela to help with the cleanup herself to save face, much to Mercer's satisfaction. Sebastian spots his mother doing the menial work and questions her actions. Pamela informs him that she is helping and offers her son the chance to do the same, but he angrily rejects her offer. Dwight is disgusted at having to clean up the Commonwealth's mess while they eat in the restaurant above them. Laura suggests they clean up the Commonwealth after cleaning up their mess, an idea Dwight seems to like.
Mercer and Juanita have just had sex, with Juanita joyfully exclaiming that it was the best sex she ever had. Juanita asks whether their relationship is casual or something more. Mercer says he likes to listen to Juanita talk and answers that it's something more, as casual isn't really his style, much to Juanita's joy. The two kiss. Juanita is thankful to have left Pittsburgh, and thinks her life has been getting better every day since then.
Rick is greeted by a couple on the street. They thank him for helping with the cleanup and ask if they have room in Alexandria, as they might consider moving. Rick assures them that Alexandria leaves much to be desired when compared to the Commonwealth, but the two aren't so sure. After they part ways, Rick finds Dwight sitting in his apartment. Dwight wants to be put in charge of the Commonwealth, as he thinks the people in it are being oppressed, but Rick denies his request. Furious and in disbelief, Dwight asks him what he means by that.
Rick asks if Dwight means to take the place by force and points out that they might not win such a war, and that it would result in people being killed. Dwight thinks the people of the Commonwealth would rally behind them, but Rick wonders if Dwight has learned nothing and tells him to leave, clearly frustrated.
At the Hilltop, Carl is talking to Lydia about being worried about his father, when he notices she is asleep and smiles. He sneaks out of her room but runs into Sophia in the hallway. He tries to make excuses, but Sophia sees through them. She is annoyed that Carl is having so much sex, while Carl grins that it isn't so bad for him. Sophia expresses frustration that all the boys at the Hilltop suck and that she's never going to lose her virginity. Carl suggests she try her luck with Rolland, as he likes her. Sophia points out that every boy at the Hilltop "likes" her, as there aren't a lot of girls in her age bracket, adding that she doesn't like Rolland anyway. Carl suggests Mikey, but Sophia thinks Mikey lives too far away, and needs someone close. She mournfully exclaims that there is no one at the Hilltop to have sex with her. As they awkwardly look at each other, Carl makes his excuses and the two wish each other goodnight.
At Alexandria, Yumiko finds Magna on watch and wonders what's got her so worried. Magna thinks that Rick isn't going to be happy with how things are at the Commonwealth, and that a conflict is inevitable. Yumiko says they can always leave, but Magna would rather fight in a war than live on the road again. Yumiko points out that it might not come to war, but Magna doubts this.
Back at the Commonwealth, Rick is having lunch with Michonne and Elodie, exited at the strangeness of having lunch in a restaurant in the apocalypse. Michonne jokes about becoming waitress in the apocalypse when she notices their waitress standing right behind her. Michonne apologizes, but the waitress tells her to think nothing of it. When the waitress leaves, Rick jokes about not ordering desert, because he doesn't want spit in his food. He reminds himself about launches he had with his family before the apocalypse, and acknowledges the Commonwealth is a special place. As Michonne and Elodie continue talking, they notice Rick tearing up. Rick apologizes, explaining that he wishes Andrea could have seen the Commonwealth.
Meanwhile, Eugene and Stephanie are inspecting the engine of the train, with Eugene expressing excitement that it's in much better condition than previously thought. Suddenly, Stephanie kisses him, explaining that she got excited. After briefly being stunned, Eugene kisses her back.
Pamela continues reprimanding Lance and orders him to double the patrols, to remind the people they are the ones protecting them, but more importantly to prevent them from rebelling again. Maxwell arrives and informs her that Rick has come to see her. As Lance leaves them alone, Pamela asks Rick about what happened at the restaurant. Rick says that he isn't surprised that he is being watched, but Pamela assures him she heard of the incident through gossip. Rick explains how he lost his wife recently, and that he knows how much she would have loved the Commonwealth. Pamela says she understands, and reveals that she had a daughter who also died before they arrived to the Commonwealth.
Dwight is walking through the streets and is annoyed at the increased number of soldiers. He antagonizes them and also starts riling up the people, telling them that they live in a police state. When one of the soldiers grabs him, Dwight shoves him to the ground. As the solders prepare to arrest Dwight, the people start rallying to his side. Dwight then surrenders, satisfied that his point has been made.
Rick goes to see Dwight in the Commonwealth jail. Rick wonders what Dwight was thinking. Dwight explains that he was testing where the people's loyalties lie, and that he is now certain they would support Alexandria in a conflict against the Commonwealth, adding that they can easily win given that there are more people than soldiers. Rick angrily asks Dwight if he took the time to see the good things about the Commonwealth, as Rick has been thinking about how they could improve the Commonwealth as well. He acknowledges that the Commonwealth's system is wrong, but points out that things aren't so cut and dry, as it's not simply a conflict between good and evil. Rick, thus, wants to change things by example rather than war. He says that what Dwight is doing is dangerous and that he has to stop. As Rick walks away, he is surprised to find Mercer still standing outside the door. Before Rick can say anything, Mercer tells him that Rick is the leader the Commonwealth needs.
At the Hilltop, Sophia is eating lunch when Joshua introduces himself and asks to join her, to which she begrudgingly agrees. She sees Carl encouraging her from a distance, to which she rolls her eyes.
At the Commonwealth, Eugene wakes up in Stephanie's bed, and discovers Stephanie adjusting her wig. She is ashamed at first and attempts to hide it from him, but eventually shows him her real hair. Eugene assures her he finds her beautiful no matter what.
Dwight is released from jail and is reprimanded by Laura, who stresses that he could have been killed. She agrees that there needs to be a change in the Commonwealth, but doesn't want to rush things. Dwight, on the other hand, believes that the Commonwealth needs an urgent change. Laura clarifies that she isn't trying to downplay the situation, but thinks there needs to be a plan. She asks where Rick stands, so Dwight tells her Rick will come around.
Rick talks to Michonne about Mercer supporting him against the Governor. Rick starts to think that Dwight was right all along, and that the people will back them if they try to take over, much to Michonne's horror. Rick says that he can't simply ignore the corrupt system of the Commonwealth, and can't believe Michonne is able to. Michonne explains that she knows the Commonwealth has a lot of room for improvement, and that is what excites her about being there, but believes change can be achieved through peaceful means.
Elodie is having lunch with her friends. They complain about not seeing her anymore, which she apologizes for. One of her friends, Nancy, politely tells her they're worried about what side she's on, since Michonne defended the guards and Elodie is now living with her mother in a fancy apartment. The question shocks Elodie.
At Alexandria, Magna instructs Heath and Vincent to keep the Militia ready. When they ask what they're getting ready for, Magna tells them that it's just in case. Heath is confused, as this is the default state of the Militia, but Magna clarifies that she just wants to increase the standard level of alertness.
Back at the Commonwealth, Pamela and her entourage are on a "hunt", accompanied by Rick, Michonne and Dwight. They spot a group of roamers, so Pamela asks for a shotgun. She shoots one roamer in the shoulder, and instructs Mercer to deal with the rest. Pamela invites everybody to head back. Michonne is concerned about Mercer, but Pamela assures her he will be fine.
Dwight and Rick confront Mercer in the locker room. Mercer explains that Pamela has them leave a few roamers in the wild so she can organize "hunting parties" and put on a show, so the people think she is keeping them safe. This disgusts Dwight. Mercer once again reiterates the Commonwealth is long due for a change, which Dwight agrees with.
Dwight and Rick are invited by Michonne to her apartment. Once there, she tells them that she thinks they are making a mistake by planning to overthrow Pamela. Dwight disagrees, and chastises Michonne for selling out for a nice apartment. Rick, however, agrees that they should work with Pamela to change things in the Commonwealth. Michonne is relieved to hear this, so she reveals that she has invited Pamela to the meeting as well. In that moment, Pamela bursts into the room with two armed guards. She says that she's glad Rick is on the same page as her, but tells Dwight he needs to go. Michonne is shocked, as she just invited Pamela to talk, but the Governor will hear none of it, as she can't simply allow people to plot behind her back. Dwight and Rick are shocked that Michonne would betray them to the Governor, but Michonne clarifies that she invited Pamela to talk and nothing more. Dwight accuses Michonne of being with "them" now. He tells Rick that there is no way he can peacefully convince someone like Pamela to give up power. Pamela assures Dwight that she's willing to do whatever is necessary for the well-being of the Commonwealth, but Dwight doesn't believe her. Pamela orders her men to arrest Dwight, prompting the latter to pull a gun on Pamela, shocking everyone. Rick tells Dwight to put the gun down, but Dwight refuses. He believes Pamela is the same as Negan, and thinks the only thing people like them respect is power. Dwight demonstrates this by threatening Pamela to instruct her guards not to move, which she does. Dwight says that they could take down Pamela right now, and that everything would fall in place without her, adding that the people of the Commonwealth would be thankful. Before anything can happen, Dwight is suddenly shot in the head by Rick. Pamela thanks Rick and assures him she won't forget him saving her life, before leaving.
As Laura is mourning Dwight, Rick sarcastically asks Michonne if she's happy, accusing her of causing Dwight's demise by bringing Pamela to the meeting. He angrily tells Michonne he will never forgive her for making him kill Dwight. This causes Michonne to snap at Rick. She tells him that Dwight was unhinged and that he would have snapped at some point. She is abashed that Rick is haunted by what he did, as it saved lives by avoiding a war. Rick wonders if he really avoided a war or simply joined the wrong side of it.
At the Commonwealth, Governor Milton thanks the residents for gathering for her speech. She acknowledges that tensions in the community have been high, and says that she wanted to inform them of the latest news before it got spun into something else. She then reveals that there was an attempt on her life, and that Rick Grimes saved her. She tells the Commonwealth that the would-be-assassin, Dwight, was a disturbed individual who didn't understand their way of life, and that, even though Dwight was a member of Rick's group, they are all still welcome in the Commonwealth. She then asks Rick to give a few words. Rick says that, while he knows things have been difficult, he will do his best to find a peaceful solution to the conflicts inside the Commonwealth. As Rick delivers his speech, Mercer scowls.
At Alexandria, Siddiq arrives to see Magna. Magna is worried that she hasn't heard back from Rick yet, so she wants Siddiq to travel to the Commonwealth to check on him. Siddiq accepts the mission, so Magna instructs him to leave immediately and to stop by the Hilltop to recruit some more people for his mission.
Mercer enters his apartment and finds Juanita packing. He is surprised that she is leaving, but Juanita says that things are getting ugly in the Commonwealth and that she doesn't do so well in those kinds of situations. When Mercer is unsatisfied with the answer, Juanita decides to elaborate and tells him to sit down. She explains that she's had a rough life before the apocalypse. Her father left when she was young and her mother later remarried. Her stepfather and stepbrother were cruel individuals that would punish Juanita by tying her up and locking her in a closet. They would also take turns beating her. Her mother didn't seem to care, and was just happy she wasn't alone anymore. Juanita says that she doesn't mind being alone. Because of these events, it was hard for Juanita to see other men as anything more than monsters, but that she saw Mercer as a hero after they killed all of the walkers together. She also tries to keep the darkness out of her by remaining cheerful. Nonetheless, she can't remain in the Commonwealth with the situation getting worse, as she's not "like her mom", and she'd rather be alone.
At the Hilltop, Sophia is out on a date with Joshua. She tells him how she barely remembers her real mother and that Maggie has been her "mother" for most of her life. Joshua tells her how his family has lived on the road for two years. As the two enjoy their date, Carl observes them from a window with a smile. When Lydia asks him about why he is smiling, Carl reveals that it's Sophia. Lydia quickly gets jealous, but Carl explains that he's simply happy for his childhood friend, and claims that he could never have with her what he has with Lydia, since both he and Lydia have a darkness inside of them and they're both "monsters". Lydia is abashed to learn that Carl thinks she is a monster, and tearfully runs out the room and slams the door before Carl can explain himself.
Mercer is killing roamers, when the last one is shot in the head by Laura. When he asks her what she wants, Laura notes that they are both pissed off at the same thing, so proposes that they put their frustrations to good use. Mercer seems interested in this idea.
Michonne finds Rick sitting in a café. She apologizes for her actions and acknowledges that she made a mistake. Rick says that her apology isn't going to bring Dwight back. Michonne says that she created a bad situation, but tells Rick that he can't blame her for Dwight's actions. She reiterates that Dwight was a loose cannon, and that his death was inevitable. Rick finally accepts her apology and tells her that he came to the café to remind himself of what's at stake, and tells Michonne that, while he wants to change things, he doesn't want to screw up what they already have. Michonne agrees with him, and wants to work with him to change things for the better.
Back at the Hilltop, Eduardo and another guard are talking when they notice a figure approaching and raise their spears, but lower them when they realize it's Siddiq. Maggie holds a meeting and informs those present that she's worried about Rick, and asks for volunteers to accompany Siddiq on his mission. Jesus and Aaron simultaneously agree, and Dante also volunteers himself. Maggie asks Siddiq if it's possible to observe the Commonwealth from a distance, and Siddiq confirms, informing her that the Commonwealth is a pretty open community. Maggie is glad to hear this, and tells those present to scout out the Commonwealth and check in if it looks good, but return immediately if they seem bad. As the survivors prepare to depart, Carl joins them, wanting to make sure his father is safe. Maggie tries to stop him, but Carl says she will have to tie him up if she wants to prevent him from leaving. Lydia comes to see them off and asks Carl if he is leaving. Before he leaves, Carl explains his earlier sentiment, and says that she gave him the courage to stop hiding his injury and be himself. With that, the two reconcile and embrace.
As the Commonwealth soldiers are changing into their clothes and complaining about their day, Mercer asks if anyone had a good day. When no one answers, he notes that few of them can remember their last good day. Mercer says that, while the Commonwealth is certainly an improvement compared to anything they've had previously, he believes that it could be so much better. He observes that none of the soldiers enjoy risking their lives for the Governor, so invites them to overthrow the establishment and install new leaders. Mercer's speech is cut-off when Lance enters the locker room with an armed escort, cryptically telling Mercer that Governor Milton will be very disappointed in him.
Then Mercer prepares to fight Lance and his guards, expecting the other soldiers to support him. Lance, however, snidely tells Mercer to look around. Mercer asks George for help, but not even he is willing. Lance suggests Mercer surrender.
At the Hilltop, Maggie and Brianna watch Hershel play. Maggie is worried, so Brianna asks why she didn't go with the expedition. Maggie explains that she doesn't want to be away from Hershel that long. Brianna tries to reassure Maggie, and tells her to trust her men. Maggie replies that it is Pamela that she doesn't trust, and wonders if she should have sent their whole army instead of just one expedition. Brianna tells her that she should do it if she feels like she should.
On their way to the Commonwealth, Siddiq's expedition runs into Princess. They call out to her, but she runs away. Jesus and Carl give chase, only to run into a herd of roamers. Jesus is thrown from his horse and is about to be devoured, but Carl saves him by ramming his horse into the herd. As the expedition is trying to escape, Princess shows up and instructs Jesus and Carl to follow her, as she has a place to hide. They duck into a building as Siddiq, Aaron and Dante attempt to lead the herd away.
At the Commonwealth jail, Pamela confronts Mercer and expresses how disappointed she is, wondering where Mercer's sense of loyalty is. Mercer furiously questions the Governor's sense of loyalty to him, as under her he was nothing more than a glorified errand boy. Mercer also points out all the times he nearly died for Pamela, and how she never seemed to care. He asserts that Pamela isn't a leader, but a wannabe queen, and that he wasn't going to wait around until she tried to install her "shit-for-brains son" as her successor. Shocked by this revelation, Pamela turns to leave, telling Mercer that he is right where he belongs.
Stephanie and Eugene are still repairing the train when their guards inform them that Mercer has been arrested, and that their project is being suspended. Eugene wants to continue working on the train, to which one of the guards tells him that he and Stephanie are free to do so, but that they won't be able to protect them as they are wanted back in town.
Rick visits Michonne in her office and informs her of Mercer's arrest. Michonne is none-to-pleased to hear this, as the people are already on the edge of revolt. She points out that while the people don't trust the guards anymore, everyone liked Mercer, but now that the guards have turned against him, the situation is very bad. She states that Elodie told her that the people are already taking sides, and that they could have a full-fledged civil war on their hands soon. Rick is abashed to hear this, as he killed Dwight to prevent that exact thing. Michonne points out that Dwight was only stoking the flames of what was already there, as the hatred the people felt towards the ruling class was present for years. Rick concludes that it's their presence that is tearing the Commonwealth apart, as there was no alternative before they arrived. He wonders how the situation is deteriorating so fast without Dwight, before coming to a sudden realization and asking where Laura is.
Meanwhile, the guards are discussing Mercer's arrest in the locker room. Rufus asks George if they're just biding their time, but George tells him to keep his mouth shut before leaving. Outside, he is greeted by Laura, who introduces herself as Mercer's friend, and asks if George is his friend as well.
Carl is watching the herd through a window, and notes that they're starting to thin out. Jesus asks Princess what's happening in the Commonwealth, to which she replies that things are getting bad, citing it as the reason she left. Carl wonders why she would just leave, to which she replies that people are dangerous, and that she only joined the expedition because she was desperate and alone for a long time, but the Commonwealth reminded her that she is better off alone. Carl dismisses her claim, asserting that no one is better off alone, and that she secretly wants to be around people, citing this as the reason she saved him and Jesus. She smiles to this, and agrees to leave with them. They go outside and kill some walkers while they wait for the rest of the expedition. She remembers when she used to hope she'd go a day without having to kill a zombie, then a month, and eventually a year. Carl replies that he had already gone a year without killing a zombie, and that he's hoping to get to a point where he doesn't have to kill a zombie for the rest of his life. When the rest of the expedition returns, Siddiq informs them that they've managed to redirect the herd away from the Commonwealth and towards the abandoned train yard where they first met Lance.
Meanwhile, Eugene and Stephanie are still working on the train, oblivious to the herd closing in on them.
Eugene and Stephanie are still fixing the train when they finally notice the herd is upon them. Stephanie wants to run, but Eugene realizes they're surrounded, so the pair barricade themselves inside the train instead. Inside, Stephanie starts to cry in panic, since she's never seen so many roamers and believes they're both going to die. Eugene assures her he won't let that happen.
In the Commonwealth jail, Mercer sarcastically greets Laura. She tells him that she needed to find out how many friends Mercer has before freeing him, to which he responds that, in that case, he is surprised she has come for him at all. Laura smirks and tells him to back away from the wall.
A powerful explosion rings out through the Commonwealth, and is heard by Jesus and the rest of the expedition as they approach the community, as well as by Rick, Pamela and Maxwell, Michonne, and Elodie.
The wall of Mercer's cell has been blasted open, showering the prisoner with rubble, much to his annoyance. Laura apologizes and helps Mercer up. The sapper is revealed to be George, whom Mercer is glad to see has finally come to his senses. George asks Mercer to cut him some slack, since back in the locker room he didn't know which soldiers were on their side, and he'd be useless if he was imprisoned as well. Mercer accepts this explanation and asks Laura what's next, to which she replies that they're going to liberate the Commonwealth.
Rick rushes into Pamela's office and tells her she needs to go. Pamela is resistant at first, but Rick explains that the explosion came from the prison, meaning that Mercer has been freed. He invites her to ponder how he got past her guards in the first place, and tells her that they've turned against her. Sebastian arrives and tells Pamela that someone is banging on the door and trying to get in. Rick tells them that it's the conspirators, and asks Maxwell to lead them to a back exit.
Once outside, Sebastian grabs Rick and demands somebody explain to him what's going on. Rick tells him they're in the beginnings of a revolt and that he is trying to save Sebastian and his mother. Sebastian doesn't believe him, since he thinks nobody is brave enough to defy them. Rick angrily grabs Sebastian by the throat and tells him that everyone hates him and his family, since they take advantage of people and treat them "like shit". He asserts that they are the worst of the Commonwealth, but he doesn't believe they deserve to die because of it, citing this as the only reason he is helping them. He lets go of Sebastian when Pamela asks him to, and they continue with their escape. They wait for some guards to pass and go out into the street. Rick asks Pamela if she knows of a safe place to hide, to which she replies that they need to get to Greenville, where Cloris will be able to help them. They follow Maxwell and manage to escape to the woods, where Rick is reunited with Paul, Carl and the rest of their entourage. After exchanging pleasantries, Rick instructs Jesus to escort Pamela, Sebastian and Maxwell to Greenville.
Still trapped in the train, Stephanie notes that the herd isn't moving on as Eugene predicted. He concludes that too many roamers saw them. Stephanie starts to panic once more, but Eugene calms her and assures her that he has a plan. He grabs a fire extinguisher and some duct tape. He then breaks the window and starts spraying the dead with the extinguisher. Finally, he duct-tapes the trigger and throws the still active extinguisher into the herd. As predicted, this distracts the herd. Eugene tells Stephanie that they need to wait for an opening and then run for it. Stephanie is still scared, and Eugene tells her that he is, too, but reassures her that he has done this before. He recounts the first timeAlexandria was overrun, and how he wanted nothing more than to flee, but Rick led him and the others in fighting back against the dead and eventually eliminated the herd. Eugene reveals that he learned how to use his fear as a tool that day. This seems to reassure Stephanie, and together they exit the train and flee from the herd.
Rick tells Carl that he shouldn't have come, since the Commonwealth is starting to revolt. Carl asks what he can do, but Rick proudly tells Carl that he doesn't need to consult his father, and that he will know when the time comes. Meanwhile, Lance is seized by Mercer's men. Mercer asks him where the Governor is, to which he replies that he doesn't know, otherwise he'd be with her. They are interrupted by a crowd, who are protesting Mercer's coup, calling the officer a tyrant and a fascist. Mercer orders the crowd to disperse, but is hit in the head with a bottle. Angered, he fires his gun in the air and disperses the crowd at gunpoint. He is then greeted by Rick, who asks Mercer what he is doing. Frustrated, Mercer tells him that he is doing what Rick should be; trying to help the Commonwealth. Mercer tells Rick that the people don't trust him and his guards, and believe that things will get worse under his leadership. Rick tells him to look around and points out that they're right. Mercer concedes and asks Rick for his help. He tells Rick that while the Commonwealth might not choose him over Governor Milton, they might choose Rick instead.
Mercer tells Rick that Pamela is only nice to him because she sees him as part of the elite and, while he acknowledges that this might be the case, Mercer is certain Rick isn't like her, since he cares about people while she sees them as expendable. Mercer knows that the people don't trust him and his men after recent events, but also believes they don't want to go back to the way things were. He thus invites Rick to take charge, assuring him that he and his men will back him. Shocked by the request, Rick reluctantly refuses, explaining that the people in the Commonwealth don't really know him since all he did was make one speech that was on behalf of the Governor; aside from that and a few stories citizens may have heard about him, Rick believes it to not be enough. He mentions things can change, too, but not like this, and that it's going to take time. Mercer ominously tells him that time is something they don't have.
Eugene and Stephanie observe the smoke from a hill on the outskirts of town. Stephanie concludes that the long-awaited overthrow of the Governor has finally happened, acknowledging that, while she believes in the Commonwealth, she sees the problems with it, too. She realizes that this was the reason Pamela called their guards back. Eugene asks if the coup is a good thing, to which Stephanie suggests they go into town and find out.
Michonne, meanwhile, is running down the street and yelling for Elodie. A guard intercepts her and orders her to return to her home, but Michonne frantically explains that she is looking for her daughter, and promises to return home once she does. The guard tells her he will look the other way, since he appreciates what she did, but tells her to be quick about it. Michonne goes on to knock on the door of an apartment. One of Elodie's friends opens the door and tells her that Elodie is inside. Michonne is shocked to find Elodie and her friends gearing up for war. She furiously snatches the gun out of Elodie's hands and scolds her and her friends, explaining that when they bring a gun to a fight, they can expect to get shot, and she refuses to let that happen. She orders them to stay in the apartment, as Elodie and her friends stare in awe.
Eugene and Stephanie's conversation is interrupted by an approaching herd. Stephanie wonders if the herd followed them, but Eugene doesn't think so, since they were quiet and the herd didn't see them, deducing that this herd must have been attracted by whatever produced the smoke cloud they had been observing.
Meanwhile, Mercer orders his men to take Lance inside and lock him up. Rick offers to send for Pamela so they can negotiate. He assures Mercer that he still hasn't crossed the line since no one has died, so there is still time. They are interrupted by Eugene and Stephanie, who inform them of the approaching herd, numbering a thousand or more. Mercer is shocked to learn about it, and asks where the lookouts are; Stephanie reveals that Pamela pulled all the guards back into town for protection when they imprisoned him.
Michonne runs into Carl, Dante, Siddiq and Juanita. Carl asks what's going on, but Michonne is trying to figure that out herself. Together, they find Mercer and Rick. Rick informs them to the herd and says that they have to get inside. Michonne says that she has to be with Elodie, so Mercer sends some of his men with her, while ordering the rest to retreat inside. Once they to so, Rick orders everyone to stay quiet and keep away from the windows, assuring them that the herd will pass if they do as he says. Rick tells Carl that it's really nice to see him, even though he wishes it was under better circumstances, while Carl wonders what even qualifies as better circumstances for them. After spending the night inside, Rick and the group are woken up by the sound of a horn.
The horn-blower turns out to be Magna, who has combined her forces with Maggie's and traveled to the Commonwealth in strength. After Maggie orders their forces to drive the herd out of the city, Yumiko asks Magna if she is sure she wants to keep her back, but Magna tells her that there are bound to be stragglers after the herd leaves, so they will need to take care of them.
Lance is ecstatic to learn that the herd is leaving, while Rick yells at him to get away from the window. Rick explains that he recognized the sound of the horn, and that his people are driving the herd away. Mercer asks Rick what happens after they clear out the dead, to which Rick replies that they'll invite Pamela to back to talk. Mercer wonders what happens if Pamela doesn't want to talk, but Rick assures him they won't give her a choice.
As the herd thins out, both Rick's and Michonne's group go outside to clear out the stragglers. The two groups, as well as Maggie and Magna's forces meet on the road. Rick wonders what brought Maggie to the the Commonwealth, to which she replies that she had a hunch. Maggie tells him that it looks like he didn't need the help at all, pointing to the approaching army behind him. The army, to Rick and Michonne's shock, is being led by Pamela and Sebastian. Pamela furiously asks them if they think she doesn't know what plots they've been hatching behind her back. Rick is confused as to what she means, but Pamela goes on to say that he lied to her, and believes he was only helping her leave the city so he could march his army in and take over, conspiring with Mercer the entire time. Shocked, Rick denies the accusation, claiming that he has only worked to keep the peace in the Commonwealth, but Pamela doesn't believe him. Rick tells her to calm down and invites her to talk, but Pamela is bewildered that he would suggest negotiations with an army behind his back. She goes on to say that the army of Greenville stands with her, and that they won't stand for his deception. She then yells "ATTACK!!".
Before both groups start fighting, Rick yells for them to stop and once again asks them to talk. Miraculously, neither group fires a shot, much to Pamela's frustration. Rick explains to her that her army is being reasonable, and implores her to follow that policy once more, unless she wants to fight on her own. Rick goes on to deliver a speech to those present. He is certain neither group wants to fight, as they've been through too much already. Rick proclaims his love with the Commonwealth and pledges that he would fight and kill for the community and, indeed, already has. He understands why they've come into conflict, but sees the fear, anger, and hatred in the citizens. Rick proclaims that that is not who they are, before lifting his naked stump in the air and claiming that this is who they are. He cites his severed hand as an example of how the world has scarred them, and explains how these scars serve as a reminder of everything they've sacrificed to get to where they are now. He admits that he used to think that the only way to survive was to embrace an inner savageness, but he now sees that he was wrong. Rick thinks that they are on the way to getting things back to how they were, and believes the future is bright. He goes on to say "WE ARE NOT THE WALKING DEAD". Rick believes that the new world is a gift, a chance to make things better than they were before. He thus thinks that bringing back old, flawed systems is a mistake. He says that they should all have higher respect for one another, because of what they've all lived through. But he notes that this is not the case, since the Commonwealth clings to the old systems, where a few enjoy a position of power over the many, and asks why that is. He denounces Governor Milton, telling her that he was wrong to support her, since he thought he could keep the peace by doing so. He had hoped that she would eventually see the error in her ways, but now sees her for what she truly is; someone who craves power, so much so that she would lead her own people into slaughtering each other. He then addresses the people of the Commonwealth directly, asking them if Pamela is the kind of leader they want, which they vocally deny. Rick thus implores the people to take charge of their lives and build a better Commonwealth. When Rick is finished, Mercer arrests Pamela, much to everyone's shock. Mercer tells Pamela that he is taking her into custody for her own safety. Furious, Sebastian protests that they can't arrest his mother and that they need them to keep the Commonwealth running, but Pamela tells him to be quiet, unless he wants to end up in a cell next to her.
As everyone cleans the streets. Mercer commends Rick, noting how even the upper classes are helping with the cleanup. Aaron asks Sebastian for help, but he angrily storms right by him, with Jesus dubbing Sebastian an "asshole".
Rick goes to visit Pamela in jail. She asks him if he came to gloat, but he denies this, and instead apologizes, claiming that things got a little out of hand during his speech and that he didn't intend for her to be arrested, though he acknowledges that the people were too worked up and that she was safer behind bars. Pamela sarcastically asks who was it that worked them up in the first place. Rick stoically tells her that she led an army to slaughter her own people, and asks if she is really in a position to criticize him. Pamela acknowledges that she got carried away, and explains that she genuinely believes the Commonwealth needs her to be in control in order to succeed. Despite telling her she's wrong in her beliefs, Rick believes she is genuine when it comes to them, and reveals that he made his share of mistakes as well. He then releases her, much to her surprise. Rick tells her that he's in a generous mood, and thought she might be more comfortable to sleep in her own bed. Pamela asks if they're going to relocate her from her home, but Rick doesn't see the need for this. Pamela points out that some residents have much nicer home than others, and questions how they are going to determine who deserves to sleep in them. Rick admits that he doesn't know, but says they'll figure it out in the future. Mercer then arrives and tells Pamela that a couple of guards will escort her to her home. As she leaves, Mercer asks Rick if he is sure about letting her go, but Rick is confident she poses no threat, since no one in the Commonwealth actually wants her in charge. Rick, in turn, asks Mercer if he thinks Pamela will be safe, but Mercer tells him the people are so happy he doubts that anything will happen to her, but has posted guards outside her house just in case.
Rick then goes to visit Michonne in her office. She tells him that morale is at an all-time high, and that candidates are lining up for the first ever election in the Commonwealth, though she implies that Rick is the clear front-runner, since he inspired them. Rick claims that Michonne laid out all the groundwork, but denies running for governor of the Commonwealth, citing that his place is in Alexandria, where they have enough of their own problems. Michonne points out that he solved all of those, too, and tells him that they will always need him to inspire them.
As they're walking home at night, Carl asks his father if he's going to run for governor, but Rick once again denies this. Carl jokingly tells him that he can call the title something different, but Rick replies that the title isn't the issue. He explains that if he simply takes over the Commonwealth, Pamela will turn out to be right, and the people would eventually realize that and turn on him. He, instead, believes that the Commonwealth needs to grow from within. Carl wonders how Rick is able to see the future like that, but Rick informs him that it's just a feeling. Carl regretfully says that his feeling is sometimes wrong, but Rick assures his son that his feeling is wrong all the time. He explains that the world needs people who are willing to stand up and do the right thing, so badly, in fact, that it's willing to forgive an occasional mistake. He tells Carl that he can't let the losses discourage him, because the people around them will always need the wins. Carl smiles and tells Rick that he is proud that he is his father, and Rick, in turn, tells Carl he is proud that he is his son. With that, they wish each other goodnight, since they've arrived at Carl's hotel.
In the middle of the night, Rick is woken in his bed and confronted by Sebastian, who is armed with a silenced pistol. Finding himself held at gunpoint, Rick tries to convince Sebastian that he doesn't want to do this, but Sebastian replies that what he really doesn't want is for his and his mother's hard work go down the drain and the Commonwealth falling apart because of it, and goes on to claim that Rick ruined everything by disrupting the natural order of things. Rick instructs him to put the gun down, but Sebastian yells that, unlike everyone else, Rick can't tell him what to. Sebastian reveals that he heard about Rick long before he saw him, and that his people almost view him as a god, with the people of the Commonwealth starting to see him in this light as well. He resentfully points out that all it took was one speech from Rick for his family to be ousted from power. He rhetorically asks if he is supposed to pretend that he's like everyone else just because Rick told him to. Despite Rick's best efforts to talk him down, Sebastian shoots him in the chest. Clutching his wound in pain and bleeding heavily, Rick asks Sebastian "What did you do?".
As Rick is still clutching his gunshot wound, Sebastian apologizes, clearly panicked. He then shoots Rick three more times, killing him, before dropping the gun and fleeing the scene. Rick lies dead on his bed until morning.
Carl wakes up and gets dressed. He is greeted by Aaron and Jesus, who are having coffee, as he exits the hotel. Jesus tells him about a restaurant that makes pancakes, so Carl decides to take his father to breakfast there. Having arrived at his father's hotel, Carl is alarmed when he notices the door to Rick's room is open. Immediately upon entering, he is greeted by a now reanimated Rick. Aghast, Carl shoots his father in the head, before slumping to the floor in tears. Carl remains motionless on the floor as guards discover Rick's body and fetch Mercer, who immediately recognizes the murder weapon as Sebastian's gun. Mercer sends for Michonne to get Carl.
At her office, Carl tells Michonne how shooting his undead father was simply a reaction on his part, but that he realized what he had done when Rick's body hit the ground. He recalls when he thought his father had died after they escaped the prison, and how Carl couldn't bring himself to shoot him, since he was scared of being alone and, even though this time was different, he is scared nonetheless. He goes on to say that he keeps thinking what would have been if he'd simply gone to breakfast without Rick, since Rick would have been "alive" a little longer, and that if he'd stayed at the Hilltop, he wouldn't even know.
Carl is summoned by Pamela, who informs him that his father's killer has been caught, and that it's her son, Sebastian. Pamela says that she wanted to hear Carl's thoughts on the matter and make sure he wouldn't take justice into his own hands. Carl stoically asks if Sebastian will be punished, prompting Pamela to burst into tears. She tells him that, even though Sebastian is her son and she loves him, he will spend the rest of his life behind bars for his crime. Satisfied with this answer, Carl offers his condolences to Pamela before leaving. Michonne does the same, but warns Pamela against trying to take the reins once more, as Mercer looks on.
Next, Carl visits Sebastian in jail. In tears, Sebastian recognizes Carl and tells him that he doesn't even know what to say to him. Sebastian recounts how hard things were before he and his mother arrived at the Commonwealth and how once they were in charge he thought he could do whatever he wanted, so when Rick "fucked everything up" he thought that things would go back to normal without him. Sebastian goes on to admit that he never killed a person before and that, even though people say it's hard, it was actually very easy. He is abruptly told by Carl to shut up. Carl tells Sebastian that everyone is talking about him and that no one likes him and, in fact, never did. Carl can tell that Sebastian is not a good person and that he is not sorry for what he did, but rather that he got caught. Carl then reveals that Sebastian's mother was worried he would take matters into his own hands and kill him in revenge, but he thinks Sebastian being imprisoned is much better, since Carl gets to visit Sebastian whenever he wants and see his misery, while Sebastian will remember the life he once had with every visit, which Carl thinks is a much better punishment than death. Carl acknowledges that this is what his father would have wanted, but warns Sebastian that if he ever escapes, Carl will hurt him before dragging him back to his cell. With that, he tells Sebastian he'll be seeing him, before departing.
The next day, Carl prepares to take his father's body back to Alexandria, so he could be buried alongside Andrea. He is greeted by Michonne, who is also going. Carl tells her that she doesn't need to accompany him and that he can make it on his own, which Michonne acknowledges, but tells him that he shouldn't have to. Maggie then arrives and asks Carl to wait for an hour, since there are people from Alexandria who also wanted to pay their respects. Carl asks who wants to come. An hour later a large group of people gathers to escort Rick's body to Alexandria, consisting not only of Alexandrians and Hilltopers, but many Commonwealth residents as well.
As they are traveling, Carl suddenly falls off the wagon, as Michonne quickly rushes to his aid. In tears, Carl says that his father sacrificed so much to create a world where they could say goodbye, but he never got to. Carl wonders what it was all for, and recognizes that the world is much better and safer because of Rick, but now he died, just like that. Carl says that he can't go on without his father, and that he can't do this anymore.
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|Hardcovers||Book One • Book Two • Book Three • Book Four • Book Five • Book Six • Book Seven • Book Eight • Book Nine • Book Ten • Book Eleven • Book Twelve • Book Thirteen • Book Fourteen • Book Fifteen • Book Sixteen|
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|Miscellaneous||All Out War AP Edition • Free Comic Book Day Special|