This weeks episode of The Walking Dead finally showed audiences what was happening with Ezekiel, Eugene, Yumiko and Princess after stumbling across Commonwealth soldiers in episode 15. This was also the second episode of the filler episodes that progressed the story in a meaningful but subtle way.
In the opening sequence Princess and Yumiko are violently handled by the soldiers and thrown into separate train cars. Yumiko is in a bad way and Princess tries help her keep conscience by telling her stories about her youth including about the abuse she suffered as a young girl.
Commonwealth soldiers throughout the episode use violence to intimidate Princess- the same way her step-dad would- and even go as far as to make her strip fully nude before being questioned about who she and the others are.
Two of the most important scenes in the episode are hallucinations. Princess in a PTSD and anxiety fueled haze attacks one of the soldiers sent in to feed her only in her mind it was Ezekiel as she repeatedly tells him to stop. She then admits to the guard she is sorry and that small dark spaces triggers her PTSD, depression, anxiety and ADHD- making her the first canonically confirmed character to have a mental illness.
Her mental state plays a big role in the episode’s story telling as in one scene you see her talk to a hallucination of Ezekiel who is standing outside the train yard with two of her dressed up walkers encouraging her to escape without the others and gives information back to her about her past only she would know as if he was there to experience it with her first hand. Once the exchange is over you see he wasn’t there and instead of her walker dolls it’s two walkers attached to stocks used in medieval times. These are the only walkers shown in the episode meaning their existence must be significant to their story going forward.
The final scene shows Princess finally tell the guards what they wanted to hear and her train car opening to see the others in handcuffs with guns pointed at them and their heads covered by a black bag.
Although this episode has caused some divisions between fans due to most of it being hallucinations and being centered around Princess it does a lot to show who the Commonwealth are, their ethics and morals and leaves the episode on a dramatic cliff hanger as Ezekiel, Yumiko and Eugene’s fates lie in Princess’s hands. The inclusion of the restrained decayed walkers also hints further as to what the Commonwealth or even the Pope character alluded to in episode 17 can be capable of when dealing with people that don’t co-operate. Out of the four episodes aired of the third section of season 10 so far episode 17 and 20 are without a doubt the most important lore wise.
Overall Rating 8/10