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The Walking Dead Recap: The seedy underside of the Commonwealth is exposed

Josh Hamilton stars as Lance Hornsby in Episode 13 of AMC's The Walking Dead Season 11
Josh Hamilton stars as Lance Hornsby in Episode 13 of The Walking Dead Season 11. Pic credit: AMC/Josh Stringer

The episodes have been a little lackluster since Season 11 of The Walking Dead returned. I’m not sure if it’s because no one signed up to watch the main characters in neat clothing or because the Commonwealth sucks so much.

However, Episode 13, titled Warlords, is a welcome reprieve from the crap being spoonfed down our throats by the “saving the world” Commonwealth, who really just want to stick you in the same social class you came from before walkers overtook the world.

So, here’s what went down in the latest episode of The Walking Dead.

An unexpected visitor shows up at Hilltop

While Maggie (Lauren Cohan) is sticking to her guns regarding steering clear of the Commonwealth, others at Hilltop are not so sure — or maybe they just want ice cream. The latest one to jump ship is Lydia (Cassady McClincy).

However, before she can do that, an injured guy on a horse shows up. He has been fatally shot but manages to drop off a map and let everyone know that s**t is getting real at a community called Riverbend.

The only problem is that he dies before he can really give any details.

So, who is this guy, and where did he come from? Give it time, guys, give it time.

Lauren Cohan stars as Maggie Rhee in Episode 13 of AMC's The Walking Dead Season 11
Lauren Cohan stars as Maggie Rhee in Episode 13 of The Walking Dead Season 11. Pic credit: AMC/Josh Stringer

Lydia wants to help, but Maggie is not so eager. She doesn’t have much of a choice, though, and they all head off to this new community to find out what the h**l is going on.

Then, when they are traveling, they come across some murdered Commonwealth guards and Aaron (Ross Marquand).

And it is here that the plot thickens.

Ross Marquand as Aaron and Seth Gilliam as Father Gabriel, as seen in Episode 13 of AMC;s The Walking Dead Season 11
Ross Marquand as Aaron and Seth Gilliam as Father Gabriel, as seen in Episode 13 of The Walking Dead Season 11. Pic credit: AMC/Josh Stringer

Aaron and Father Gabriel are sent on a mission

Episode 13 of The Walking Dead jumps around timewise to show viewers what is going on, which actually works really well in this case. So, we are introduced to Aaron and Father Gabriel (Seth Gillam) being railroaded into a mission to check out a new religious community a week before what viewers just saw at Hilltop.

Because that doesn’t sound like it will go wrong at all.

But the official plan is that they are trying to gather the group into their flock and absorb them into the Commonwealth. In the end, they will sing “Kumbaya,” and everything will be peachy, right?

Most fans of The Walking Dead already know that that’s exactly not how it will turn out.

Father Gabriel is giving zero s**ts regarding the plan, and I am glad about it. Still, he tags along because the group leader, Carlson (Jason Butler Harner), is giving him little choice in the matter because they need a fellow religious person to get in tight with Riverbend.

Jason Butler Harner stars as Carlson in Episode 13 of AMC's The Walking Dead Season 11
Jason Butler Harner stars as Carlson in Episode 13 of The Walking Dead Season 11. Pic credit: AMC/Josh Stringer

Carlson is tight with Lance Hornsby

Thanks to a flashback in the story that goes one week and an hour before the last one, it is here that we learn that Lance Hornsby (Josh Hamilton) is forcing Carlson to do this mission because, apparently, some guns were stolen and the tracks lead right back to Riverbend.

Also, AMC sets up a new mystery by having Lance announce that those stolen guns were needed for some super-secret other things that viewers don’t know about yet.

But, back to what happens in Episode 13.

It seems that Lance is trying way too hard to impress Pamela Milton (Laila Robbins) and has over-reached when it came to delivering on what he said he would. Now, with the guns missing, he needs someone to come in and clean up.

And Carlson happens to be an ex-CIA assassin.

Seth Gilliam as Father Gabriel Stokes, Connor Hammond as Jesse, Jason Butler Harner as Carlson, and Ross Marquand as Aaron, as seen in Episode 13 of AMC's The Walking Dead Season 11
Seth Gilliam as Father Gabriel Stokes, Connor Hammond as Jesse, Jason Butler Harner as Carlson, and Ross Marquand as Aaron, as seen in Episode 13 of The Walking Dead Season 11. Pic credit: AMC/Josh Stringer

Welcome to Riverbend

The group arrives at Riverbend and manages to get inside the doors, but it is tense AF as the leader, Ian (Michael Biehn), is totally what you’d expect to see heading a community in The Walking Dead.

Carlson, up to this point, has been a typically unlikeable fellow, and he ups the ante quite significantly after he kills Ian’s guards and injures the leader to take over the place.

Michael Biehn stars as Ian in Episode 13 of AMC;s The Walking Dead Season 11
Michael Biehn stars as Ian in Episode 13 of The Walking Dead Season 11. Pic credit: AMC/Josh Stringer

As to be expected, Aaron and Gabriel are suitably p**sed about the situation. The newbie tagalong, Jesse (Connor Hammond), already needs a new pair of pants.

Carlson then takes over and starts killing people until they ‘fess up to where the weapons are. Except, I don’t think anyone took them, and this is some ruse on behalf of the Commonwealth.

At least it gives Aaron and Gabriel a chance to see just how sh**ty the Commonwealth is on the flip side.

Here’s Negan!

Added to the mix is Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), who has been missing since he decided pairing up with Maggie was bad for his health. However, when he comes across Jesse fleeing the scene at Riverbend, he still points him in the direction of Hilltop and personally recommends Maggie.

He is also the one who gave him the map, so that’s one mystery solved.

Also, Carlson was the one to shoot Jesse as he was escaping, so, even though I really didn’t like the Commonwealth already, now I outright hate them all. The sooner everyone becomes Team Maggie, the better.

It also turns out that Negan is a member of Riverbend now, and he winds up back inside the building and helps Father Gabriel escape after he was tied up by Carlson and manages to take out some Commonwealth guards.

The episode ends with the people of Riverbend gearing up to take down Carlson and his guards. Unfortunately, viewers will have to wait until next Sunday night to find out what happens next.

The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9/8c on AMC.

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