The conflict in the Commonwealth hits a fever pitch... could this be the end of civilization as we've come to know 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 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.
Many years have passed since Rick's death. A lone walker approaches the Grimes family farm, but Carl spots it and quickly kills it. His wife, Sophia, comes to see what happened. Carl has no idea how a roamer had slipped through their defenses. Sophia asks why Carl didn't just shoot it, but he points out there could be more of them. Carl worries where their daughter Andrea is, but Sophia tells him she is still sleeping. Carl checks the walker's teeth to see if it had bitten anyone, then asks if Hershel is in town.
Hershel welcomes Carl, but is greeted with a punch to the face. Carl furiously asks him how many walkers there are in his cart, which prompts Hershel to immediately ask if he'd found his escaped walker. Carl replies that he did, and that he killed it. Outraged, Hershel asks if Carl has any idea how much a walker is worth, and yells that Sheriff Kapoor will hear about this as Carl walks away.
Sure enough, the sheriff arrives to Carl's house and informs him that there will be a hearing tomorrow, since Carl destroyed what is considered private property. Flabbergasted, Carl points out the walker could have killed somebody, but Kapoor tells him the law is only concerned with things that happened, not things that could have happened. Kapoor apologizes, and tells Carl he will do everything in his power to help him, and get the punishment reduced down to a fine.
The Grimes family is having dinner at the Sutton residence, where Carl tells Earl about what had happened with the walker. Sophia tells Earl that he should consider moving back into town, since there are a lot of people his age, but Earl denies this, as after the third expansion, he knew he didn't belong in civilization anymore, and that he likes living out of town. As the Grimes family departs, Earl notes that Hershel wasn't raised right, since Maggie was so busy with the Commonwealth and just gave him everything he wanted.
As they put little Andrea to sleep, Carl tells Sophia that he is thinking about his father, and how sorry he is that Rick never got to meet his granddaughter. He sighs that he misses his father so much.
Carl and Sophia arrive to the hearing only to find a long line of people in front of the building. Kapoor apologizes, and supposes that word must have gotten out about Carl coming into town. As the hearing begins, both Hershel and Carl make their cases before the judge. Hershel complains how he acquired the walkers at great expense for his show, and that Carl shouldn't be above the law because of his father. Carl explains his reaction, and tells those present that, while the dead might be a novelty to them, he remembers how dangerous they are. Carl doesn't regret what he did, and invites the people to punish him if they see fit, but forgive him if they, like him, believe that a world where the dead are entertainment isn't the one his father fought for. Before the judge can make a ruling, Maggie interrupts the hearing and briefly talks to the judge, after which the judge rules that Carl won't be punished, but must bring back a walker for Hershel on his next run to replace the walker he killed.
Afterwards, Maggie tells Carl that she thought she was getting him off easy, and that the judge was prepared to fine him, which he couldn't afford with the marked value of a roamer being so high. Carl is outraged that a roamer even has any market value, but Maggie consoles him that she, too, is worried about how soft people have gotten over the last few years, though believes that perhaps this is how things are supposed to be. Carl, however, is adamant that bringing walkers into town is dangerous and that it's only a matter of time before someone is killed. He rhetorically asks if she wants to bring back a world where people get killed by walkers. Maggie sighs and tells Carl this is not a world they live in anymore, and advises Carl to stop looking for dangers around every corner, since the old world isn't coming back. Carl angrily tells her that the world will only stay as good as it is now if they all do their part to maintain it, and that parading the dead around isn't what his father fought for. As he storms off, Maggie warns Carl to do as he was instructed and not make things worse. Sophia bitterly tells Maggie to worry about her own son, who, Sophia claims, has been spoiled by her. Maggie defends her actions as wanting to make things better for Hershel than they were for them, but Sophia reckons he'd be better off if Maggie told him no every once in a while, dubbing Hershel an "asshole". Maggie warns her not to talk about her brother that way, but Sophia informs her that everyone talks about him that way, and warns Maggie that she could end up with another Sebastian Milton if she's not careful.
Sophia catches up with Carl and reminds him that she is on his side. Carl says that he knows, but wishes she wasn't the only one. Sophia jokingly asks if she's not enough for him, but Carl tells her she's almost too much, before challenging her to a race to Andrea's school, which she gladly accepts.
As they prepare to go to bed, Sophia informs Carl that Andrea is worried about him, so Carl promises to talk to her tomorrow. Sophia asks if he's ready for bed, but Carl wants to go outside first and clear his head.
In the morning, Hershel is about to leave his hotel when the receptionist tells him he needs to pay if he's checking out. Hershel assures him that his family is good for it, and promises to settle up tomorrow, as the receptionist glares at him. Outside, a little boy rushes to Hershel and and tells him to come quick. The boy takes him to his walker cart, where Hershel is shocked to find all of his walkers dead.
Meanwhile, Carl says goodbye to his family and tells them he will be back as soon as he can. He loads his cart with goods and quickly departs, but is met by Lydia, who was going to help Carl load the cart. She wonders if Carl is avoiding her again; Carl explains that he needed to get out of town quickly and he will explain why on the road, offering her to come along with him.
As they are inspecting the map, Lydia asks what will happen to Carl when he gets back. Carl replies that he doesn't know, but it will certainly be nothing good, although he has no regrets. As they are planning their route to the river, Carl says that he wants to go through Springhaven. Lydia wonders if why Carl would want to take such a detour, but quickly realizes. She tells Carl that he doesn't even know if the person he's looking for is there, but Carl is certain someone is, since the supplies he's dropping off are getting used, but the person there is avoiding them.
This person turns out to be Negan. Carl knocks on the door repeatedly, but there is no reply. Carl decides to leave, and explains to Lydia that he likes talking to anyone who knew Rick when he was alive, since he wasn't just a myth to them. They make it to the river, where Carl trades supplies with someone and tells them to say hi to Aaron and Jesus. He then brings supplies to Elias, who is disappointed Carl didn't bring any carvings for Lauren. On their way to their next destination, Carl and Lydia are startled by a sound, and look up in the sky to see a giant flock of birds. Carl tells Lydia about how when the first settlers came, they could hunt by blindly firing their guns into the air. The bird population went down, but apparently recovered now that there isn't enough living people to cull them.
As they are setting up their tent, Carl is somewhat amused that Lydia is still wearing his father's hat. Lydia reckons the hat must be worth a fortune now, and asks why Carl let her keep it. He assures her that a gift is a gift, and that there was a time when he thought she needed it to make her feel safe. Lydia invites him to sleep in the tent with her, since it will be cold at night, but Carl doesn't think Sophia would appreciate that, and neither would Conner. Lydia assures him that she's just joking around and won't try to "fuck" him. She just doesn't want him to freeze. While lying in the tent together, Lydia wonders why Carl is still wearing his eye patch. She reminds him that she never made him cover his wound up, and reminisces about the time she licked it. Annoyed, Carl clarifies that Sophia doesn't make him wear the patch either, but that he does it for Andrea's sake, since he doesn't want her to know what the world was like. Lydia apologizes, as Carl turns over to sleep.
The next day, they arrive to a station and board the train. They ride for a few hours, until they reach the end of the rails. Both Carl and Lydia are surprised at the progress made on the rail construction. At the construction site, they are greeted by Eugene, who welcomes them to the "Western front". Eugene asks about the grading attachment, and Carl informs him that he has it, as the two embrace. Carl is in awe about the progress Eugene has made, while the latter informs him that they will meet the Western Alliance's tracks within a year, uniting East and West for the first time since the trials began. He wishes Stephanie was alive to see it, and hopes to survive long enough to witness it himself. Carl assures Eugene that he's as healthy as a horse, but Eugene isn't so sure. As they go to unload the cart, Lydia asks Carl if Eugene is really sick. Carl replies that Eugene has been talking like that for years, but that he doesn't know. They notice Laura staring at them, so Carl goes to say hello. He tells Laura that he didn't know she was working on the frontier, but she replies that it's one of the few places that still needs security, and that she prefers places where Rick isn't worshiped as much. She bitterly tells Carl that she will never forget what his father did. Carl snaps back at her, telling her that Dwight wasn't the only person who died because of Rick Grimes, but that every single person alive today is alive because of him, including her, and tells he to show a little respect. With that, he leaves, as Laura angrily glares at him. Lydia asks if Carl is ready to head back home tomorrow, and Carl jokingly replies that, after that, he is a little.
After they arrive back home and Carl returns the cart, he gives Lydia her cut and heads back to his home. Andrea runs over to embrace her father, while Sophia looks at him angrily. Sophia demands to know why Carl did what he did, but Carl remorsefully tells her that he just wanted to keep Andrea safe. Sophia tells him that Andrea was safe, but won't be without her father. Their argument is interrupted by Kapoor and his posse.
As they're waiting for the train, a guard offers to take Carl's cuffs off, but Carl tells him not to worry about it. The guard tells Carl that he doesn't fault him for what he did, and thinks that the shows like that should be outlawed in the Commonwealth, no matter who's doing it. Carl appreciates the sentiment, as the guard tells him that they're taking him all the way to Commonwealth One to see Judge Hawthorne, deducing that Carl must have pissed off the President, though the guard believes this isn't the way a Grimes should be treated.
Sophia comes to see Carl in the room he is confined to. She apologizes for yelling at him, but informs him that he will be attending an informal hearing, although she adds that Hershel is now claiming that he took the massacre of his walkers as a threat on his life, and supposes that this is why it got kicked up to the high court so quickly. Sophia is optimistic that Judge Hawthorne will be presiding over the hearing, and Carl hopes that is a good thing, too.
At the hearing, Judge Hawthorne turns out to be Michonne. Carl smiles at Michonne, but his face quickly drops when Michonne glares at him. Michonne says that she won't bother restating the issues, and reminds those present that this is not a trial, but an informal hearing at the high court, which means that her ruling is final, and she alone rules against the accused, without a jury, lawyers, or trial. She says that the hearings are meant to be swift, so asks Carl so speak in his defense. Carl thanks her and goes on to say that he is not ignorant to the laws of the Commonwealth and knows how important personal property is. However, when he saw the roamer walk across his lands, he didn't see a piece of property, but something that took so many of their lives, and simply did what needed to be done. When he was ordered to replace the roamer he'd killed, he couldn't bear the thought of something he brought back hurting someone, and was thus pushed over the edge. Carl acknowledges that he might be looking at the world the wrong way, but explains that his job as a messenger requires him to spend weeks on end outside the safe-zone, where things are nearly as bad as they were before, so he remembers the dangers of the past all too well. He also adds that he has a daughter, who means everything to him. He explains that his daughter, who is six years old, has never seen a roamer, which is a result of the world his father built, and it is a world they should maintain, Carl claims. And yet, Carl notes, he finds himself defending his killing of something that should be exterminated. He asks those present if they had forgotten how bad things are outside the safe-zone and how easily they could fall back to the old ways? With that, he concludes his speech. Michonne tells Carl that he brings up a good point, that people have forgotten how things were, and that she sometimes even has to remind herself. She goes on to recite the words inscribed on the base of a certain statue outside the courthouse, ending by quoting the line "In a world ruled by the dead, we are forced to finally start living.". She thinks this line is the most important one, because it's basically saying that the world they have now is better than the one they had before, that the dead made them live. Since this took a lot of sacrifice, this interpretation is not popular, but Michonne knows there are people that agree with her. The world they live in now, she claims, is quieter, simpler, more fair and just, and in general happier than the one before. She tells those present, however, to never forget the sacrifice, so they can honor those that they lost along the way. She goes on to say that she always felt that the owning and displaying of roamers is an abhorrent practice, and that it dishonors those that they've lost. She thus puts forth a motion to outlaw it throughout the Commonwealth. Michonne then declares the matter settled, and Carl free to go.
Carl visits Michonne in her chambers, and is surprised at how lightly he got off. Michonne rhetorically asks him if he really thought she'd send one of her favorite people to jail. She is also proud that he used her sword, and asks if Carl is taking good care of it, which he confirms. He jokingly says that there aren't many who believe that the famous Judge Hawthorne used to carry a sword. Michonne claims that "Judge Hawthorne" didn't, but rather "Michonne". She explains that Hawthorne is the last name of her ex-husband, but she kept his last name after the divorce because her practice knew her under that name. After the outbreak, however, the name was just a painful reminder of the life she once had, but now she feels like she's earned it back, which she feels she wouldn't be able to do without the world Carl's father built. While some feel that Rick gets too much credit, Michonne thinks the opposite is true, so honors Rick in anyway she can. The two then briefly talk about Carl's daughter.
Out in the hallway, Hershel confronts Carl. He asserts that he isn't some spoiled brat who got whatever he wanted, like Carl believes, but someone who built a business and provided a service. He claims that if Carl gets his way, people will indeed forget how things were, since it was his show that reminded them of what's out there and kept them afraid, thus making them appreciate what they have. He goes on to say that he never met his father, and that almost no one remembers him. Since no one builds statues of him or writes books about him, most of what Hershel knows about his father is inside of him. Who he is tells him who Glenn was, Hershel claims. So when he felt the fear of being around roamers, he felt as though he was feeling what his father felt, and was thus getting closer to him. He curses Carl for his actions, before storming off.
Carl is greeted by Sophia in front of the courthouse, who is surprised how gloomy Carl is, although he claims that he is relieved. Some kids start to make fun of Carl's eye patch, but one of them chastises the others, since their victim is Carl Grimes, and he lived through the Trials. As the kids scatter, Sophia hypothesizes that people will forget about the Trials within a generation. Carl gazes upon the large statue of his father, and notes that Rick is in a much more heroic pose than he was when he made his speech, but Sophia notes that it's how people want to remember him. Carl thinks his father did enough that he shouldn't have to fake it, but Sophia consoles him that it's just a statue.
Back at their house, Carl and Sophia observe the sunset from their porch and reminisce. They are about to kiss, but are interrupted by Andrea, who wants Carl to read her a bedtime story. Carl reads her a story about the Trials. As he does so, many people who lived through them are seen, including Maggie and Hershel at their apartment, Jesus and Aaron on the riverbank, Negan placing flowers at Lucille's grave, Mercer and Juanita walking their dog, Lydia at home with Conner, Magna and Yumiko feeding pigeons, Eugene observing the railroad construction, Laura eating with the other workers, Michonne and Elodie with Michonne's grandson, Pamela visiting Sebastian in jail, and finally Rick and Andrea's graves. Carl wipes away a tear after he finishes his story and tells Andrea she really would have liked her grandfather, informing her that the book is about him. Andrea rolls her eyes and says that she knows, since Carl tells her that every time, but then asks Carl to read the story again, which he happily does.
- This is the final volume in the fourth compendium.
- The title of this volume "Rest In Peace", refers to the former protagonist Rick Grimes' death, as well as the end of the comic series.
- This volumes cover bares a striking resemblance to Issue 93's cover.
- This is the only volume to have more than six issues.
- This volume marks the end of The Walking Dead comic series.
- This volume completes the row of zombies along the covers, lining up with the zombie on Volume 1: Days Gone Bye.
- The two bearded zombies on the right hand side of the cover seem to resemble the likeness of Charlie Adlard and Robert Kirkman.