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The Walking Dead Season 10: How much of Episode 20 was Princess hallucinating?

Paola Lazaro as Princess and Khary Payton as Ezekiel, as seen in Episode 20 of AMC's The Walking Dead Season 10C
Paola Lazaro as Princess and Khary Payton as Ezekiel, as seen in Episode 20 of The Walking Dead Season 10C. Pic credit: AMC/Josh Stringer

Episode 20 of The Walking Dead Season 10 delved into Juanita “Princess” Sanchez (Paola Lazaro) as she struggled to escape captivity. The character is a newcomer to the series and viewers found out more about her story thanks to Sunday night’s installment.

However, because of her tragic past, some of what was shown in Episode 20 was not actually real. This has led to many viewers wondering if any of the story was true or merely a part of Princess’ hallucinations as she grappled with her captivity by the Commonwealth guards.

Princess’ tragic backstory was explored

The episode followed on from her group’s captivity by armored guards. Princess, Eugene (Josh McDermitt), Yumiko (Eleanor Matsuura), and Ezekiel (Khary Payton) were all placed in separate secure carriages, however, Princess managed to escape at several points during the episode.

Princess spoke to Yumiko, who was being held in a rail car adjacent to her, about her past. Here, it was confirmed that AMC has followed the comic book version of Princess and that her stepfather is a very horrible man.

In addition, it was revealed that her own mother was not much better when it came to caring for Princess.

Along with chatting to Yumiko, Princess also spoke to Eugene when she snuck out from her carriage. At the time, he convinced her to return and wait it out because he was sure they would all be released.

Finally, after her interrogation, Ezekiel broke into the roof of her rail car and the pair discussed escaping together as well as freeing everyone else.

However, the interactions with Ezekiel turned out to be a lie. Instead, Princess had imagined it all, leading to speculation that everything else was false too.

Khary Payton as Ezekiel, Eleanor Matsuura as Yumiko, and Josh McDermitt as Eugene Porter, as seen in Episode 20 of AMC's The Walking Dead Season 10C
Khary Payton as Ezekiel, Eleanor Matsuura as Yumiko, and Josh McDermitt as Eugene Porter, as seen in Episode 20 of The Walking Dead Season 10C. Pic credit: AMC/Josh Stringer

Which parts of Episode 20 were real?

Many fans believe it was just the final part that involved Ezekiel that was a hallucination. However, Forbes offers up that perhaps all of it was false, bar the final scene where Princess saw all of her friends held captive with bags over their heads.

This actually might be the case as Princess appeared to have an incident occur that triggered flashbacks for her to when the group was taken captive by the Commonwealth guards.

When she tried to enlarge a gap in her carriage wall, she got a splinter — which is also the title of Episode 20. This appeared to trigger her memory that revealed so much of her backstory.

When she was 14, she had gotten also gotten a splinter that got infected and her stepfather wouldn’t allow her to eat at the table with everyone else because of it.

It would make sense, then, that if the present-day splinter triggered this horrible memory then perhaps everything after that event was just Princess hallucinating and that she never actually escaped her rail car at all.

Then, when the splinter was removed, she returned back to reality. This saw her then speaking to the guard that she had just beaten and the revelation that her friends were all lined up outside her carriage with coverings over their heads.

However, the reality of exactly what was real and what was imagined has not been definitely confirmed by AMC yet. This means that viewers will likely have to wait until Season 11 of The Walking Dead to find out for certain as the remaining episodes for Season 10C will center on Carol Peletier (Melissa McBride) and Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan).

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

Rachel is an avid watcher of television and a reader of all things related to binge-worthy TV shows. In addition to her TV addiction, she also likes to research the Viking Age and has written several books on the feisty women she has found there. When she isn't hunkered down in front of the television, she is working on her cardio as she trains for the zombie apocalypse.

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