We finally get closure on a major plot twist from Episode 9 on this episode, and we see a few background characters get a stronger story as we lead up to the mid-season finale next week.
Warning! This article contains major spoilers for The Walking Dead Season 11, Episode 15: Trust.
Daryl, Gabe, Aaron
This episode kicks off with a strange dichotomy showing Daryl and other Commonwealth soldiers investigating the events from a couple episodes ago at the Riverbend apartment complex. Toby’s half-eaten face is the first thing we see, which brings home the point that the whole expedition to meet those new folks got really messy really quickly.
Lance questions Gabe and Aaron about the fact that they’re the only survivors of this massacre, but Daryl sticks up for them, explaining that they’re tough because they’ve lived out in the streets for so long.
Lance puts this to the test later when he orders the pair to clear out a patch of undead who are blocking their march to Hilltop. Daryl joins up to offer aid, but the three take out the walkers with no problems. Is Lance impressed? Is Lance ever impressed by anything but himself?
The group continues their march and eventually shows up to the gates of Hilltop, playing out that final scene at the end of Episode 9. But with a fresh perspective on the whole thing, we see that Daryl stepped forward to ask Maggie to let them in to prevent Lance from doing things his way — guns blazing.
Maggie lets them in so Lance can search for the missing guns that we learned at the end of Episode 14 were actually taken by Leah. Lance tries every angle to “trick” Maggie into admitting that she was there at the apartment complex killing his soldiers, but his attempts just keep falling flat.
In what seems to be pure desperation, Lance then corners Maggie’s son to get him to talk. We all know kids can’t hide elaborate lies like adults can, so this was pretty much Lance’s last chance. But it didn’t go so well when Elijah caught him getting a bit too friendly with Hershel. Elijah pinned Lance up against the wall while Maggie and Daryl came running over. This was quite the stand-off as Elijah told Maggie what happened and Maggie and Daryl pointed guns at Lance’s smug face.
The Walking Dead 11×15 Daryl Drops F Bomb / Daryl Swears At Lance Season 11 Episode 15 [HD] pic.twitter.com/0QjTat0pRE
— twd scenes (@televisiocenes1) March 27, 2022
But things ended without incident and for some reason, Daryl, Gabe, and Aaron left with Lance’s group to leave Maggie alone. You’d think there’d be no going back to the Commonwealth after Daryl pointed his rifle at Commonwealth soldiers and Lance.
But here’s the thing: Aaron, Gabe, and Daryl all have children they love back at the Commonwealth. They have to play nice until they can go back and secure those kids.
Lance’s crew eventually found Leah camped out in the woods, but we’ll get to that at the end of this article.
Eugene, Connie, Kelly, and Rosita
After Rosita told Eugene about what she and Daryl found in the zombie house, Eugene called in Connie and Kelly to help figure things out. Eugene explained that they met a girl named April who was just one of many being sacrificed for Sebastian Milton’s sick little games to rob houses of cash.
Remember in my last write-up when I said that I remembered April’s name on that list given to Connie and Kelly? Connie just confirmed in this episode that she remembered seeing April’s name on that list, so that’s been confirmed to be associated with Sebastian’s weird game. “Maybe it’s related,” Rosita said, “but there’s something else going on here.”
In that screenshot of the list from Episode 11, you can plainly see that the woman’s name was April Kelly. In this new list on Episode 15, her name is April Martens.
Now, I’m almost positive that this is a flub on the part of the show’s producers, but I plan to write a more in-depth article about this in the next few days. In short, I feel like they probably decided to change April’s name after Episode 11 to prevent confusion between April Kelly and the character Kelly who is helping investigate all of this.
THE WALKING DEAD 11×15 Reaction/Review! “Trust” https://t.co/6SutDEW5OM
— Omn1Media (@Omn1Media) March 28, 2022
Carol, Ezekiel, and Tomi
This segment is small, but still important. Ezekiel has presumably realized at this point that Carol had something to do with his jump to the top of the surgery list, so he uses a bit of that power to get an appendectomy done for his friend, Teresa. He calls on Tomi’s help for the surgery, which seems to be a redemption for Tomi and help convince him that he’s not completely screwed at the Commonwealth.
Carol pulls some strings to get the two out of trouble when they’re caught smuggling medical supplies, so both Tomi and Ezekiel know at this point that Carol has some powerful influence.
Mercer, Max, and Princess
We already saw solid evidence that Princess and Mercer were finally together, but this episode shows much more of their relationship and how supportive Princess is of Mercer.
We also see a great dynamic between Max and Mercer as brother and sister. After Eugene convinces Max to talk to her brother about doing something about Sebastian, she has a heart-to-heart with Mercer.
Mercer doesn’t seem too convinced that he can make a difference. Max reassures him that he’s well-respected and he could change things at the Commonwealth for good if he really tried. I feel like this is another important step to really getting Mercer to rebel against the corruption at the Commonwealth.
When Mercer next sees Princess, all of his feelings come pouring out — probably the first time he’s done that in a long, long time. He tells Princess that he killed two of his men (without really explaining why) and she gave him her full support and comfort.
This is really important to someone like Mercer who has had to be a ruthless militaristic leader for so long that he’s just tired of his placement in this whole mess. We’ll definitely see Mercer break out and be an important part of the Commonwealth’s eventual downfall.
Eugene and Max
I think it’s safe to say that most of us are pulling for a Eugene/Max relationship since it was revealed that Stephanie was a fake and the real Stephanie he was talking to over the radio was actually Max.
This episode really made that relationship more of a possibility. Toward the end, Eugene and Max sat down to discuss the situation at the Commonwealth and Max’s involvement in getting everything straightened. Ironically, it seems that Max and her brother Mercer have the same attitude: I don’t want to ruffle any feathers. But just as Max convinced Mercer to stand up and make a difference, Eugene did the same for Max.
“I can promise you this,” Eugene told Max. “Whatever we find, whatever comes our way, you will not face it alone. I’ll be by your side hell or high water.”
This leads to a kiss and the promising words from Max: “What do I need to steal?”
We get another quick glimpse of Leah at the end of this episode in her camp. It seems that Lance and his crew have finally found her and the confrontation begins with guns pointed in all directions.
But Lance is Lance, so he says the only thing that could possibly diffuse this situation: “I’m here to offer you a job.”
Next week’s sneak preview shows lots of Leah, so I imagine she took him up on his offer. But what will happen when she meets back up with Daryl in the middle of his secret infiltration of the Commonwealth? Will she turn on him completely this time, or remember their love and the way he let her escape from Maggie?
We’ll find out next week on the final episode of this second part of Season 11 airing on April 3 for AMC+ subscribers and April 10 for those with AMC.