Good news, Walking Dead fans—er, people who have been watching the show so long that they feel compelled to watch it until the end, regardless of how much pleasure they may or may not be getting from it! Pamela Milton has finally declared war on all the people who have made her cushy life difficult since their arrival, and things may finally start to be picking up. A bit.
“What’s Been Lost” is a fairly straightforward episode of TWD, but straightforward is a direction, which means the long-simmering hostilities finally get somewhere. Pamela has her Commontroopers and private squad of goons kidnap all of the Alexandrians, Hilltoppers, and assorted friends who have been stirring up trouble and causing unrest, although Daryl and Carol manage to elude their would-be captors. The only one Pam doesn’t have seized is Yumiko, who she wants to prosecute Eugene for killing Sebastian (by pushing him into a zombie). Yumiko, unsurprisingly, isn’t inclined to do this, but Pam not only threatens her friends but her brother Tomi.
Daryl and Carol go to see Hornsby in hopes he has some sort of information that will allow them to free the others. They find him in his cell, covered in blood, muttering to himself, as the chained zombie Sebastian writhes in a pool of more blood trying to grab another meal. After some light torture, Hornsby agrees to show them where they’ve been taken and how to get out of the city, but Daryl is forced to stay behind to cover Carol and Hornsby’s escape from the prison.
Hornsby is actually the highlight of “What’s Been Lost,” because he forces one of the series’ main protagonists to reckon with what they’re doing in the Commonwealth and what the consequences may be. He points out, accurately, that it’s the civilians who always get hurt in revolutions. “You and your people will hold 50,000 people’s lives in your hands,” he says, when Pamela is overthrown. “Will you let the Commonwealth burn?” When Carol says it’s not her problem, he reminds her of the many kids in the Commonwealth: “Are you really going to deny them the only chance for the kind of life you took for granted?” But Carol has no answer for that.
Hornsby takes her to one of the Commonwealth’s abandoned “infrastructure repair projects,” where they have a fight in the dark with some zombies whose skin seems very easy to tear off. It’s just a bit of busy work until Carol and Hornsby exit, are confronted by a bunch of Commontroopers, which is itself busywork because Daryl shows up and guns them down from behind, saving the day.
This is when Hornsby makes a near-fatal mistake—he mentions that all the trio needs to do is follow the train tracks to find where everyone’s been taken. With that, Daryl and Carol have all the information they need to go rescue their friends without the provably untrustworthy Hornsby. They seem seconds away from murdering him—and tell him they’re about to murder him, repeatedly—but offer him a chance to run. And that’s when Hornsby makes his fatal mistake. He grabs a rifle from the jeep of the fallen Commontroopers and Carol instantly puts a couple of arrows through him. Goodbye, Hornsby. You were weird and reasonably interesting while you lasted.
Back in the Commonwealth, Yumiko is forced to hold a press conference where she’ll announce she’ll be prosecuting Eugene to the extent of whatever laws the Commonwealth still has on the books. Instead, Yumiko announces she’ll be defending Eugene, which surprises everyone at the press conference and no one watching the TV series. The final show is of everyone loaded into a Commonwealth bus, tied up and with sacks over their heads, going to wherever the hell Pam sticks dissidents.
There were, as predicted, none of the new, more intelligent variant zombies that gave last week’s episode a bit of excitement, alas. Which means, although this episode made the conflict between Our People and the Commonwealth overt, and although Hornsby bit it, “What We Lost” is somewhat less exciting than last week’s doorknob, which is about the cruelest way I can put it, although I don’t really mean it that way.
It’s just that The Walking Dead is still meandering to whatever its conclusion is going to be, which should be pretty epic given that the show was once the most popular drama series on TV. At the very least, you’d think the showmakers would want to ramp up the excitement to hopefully inspire the remaining fans to watch the spin-offs Dead City and Daryl Dixon. Instead, The Walking Dead is just… happening.
But, if you want to be optimistic, there are still four more hours in the series left to go and there’s no reason the show can’t become more exciting in that timeframe. Is it too little too late? Probably. But I’d still appreciate a little something before the finale rolls around.
- Hornsby admits bringing in Alexandria and the other communities into the Commonwealth’s fold was “mishandled.” It got a chuckle out of me.
- The Commontroopers also took Dog. This… is ridiculous.
- After Pam threatens Tomi, Yumiko wisely thanks him for all of his contributions to the Commonwealth at the press conference, ensuring that people will notice if Pam spirits him away. Smart! She’s still technically doomed the rest of her friends, however, at least as far as she knows.
- When Daryl and Carol dragged Horsnby out of his cell, the corpse of Sebastian’s head was fine, minus a knife hole in it. But when Pam goes to the cell to check it out later, Sebastian’s head is crushed and Hornsby’s Two-Face coin was stuck in the gore. Was my screener missing a scene? Or was it the same for you guys?
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