Did 'The Walking Dead' Just Give Us a First Look at the Commonwealth?
There were likely two types of people during the final minutes of The Walking Dead’s Season 10 finale: those who expected Eugene (Josh McDermitt) and pals to end up surrounded, and those who wondered why there were Stormtroopers on a post-apocalyptic zombie drama.
Well, spoiler alert — those weren’t Stormtroopers: they were soldiers, and given how closely they resemble those on the cover of issue #179, we’re willing to bet they’re from a place called the Commonwealth. Here’s everything you need to know about Stephanie’s group.
The Commonwealth Is Enormous
Like, 50,000 people enormous. The Commonwealth, located across Ohio, is big enough to have its own military (hence, the Stormtroopers), concerts and entertainment. It’s by far the largest and most technologically advanced group Team Alexandria has ever encountered.
And this is almost certainly the Commonwealth, since this is how it’s introduced in the comics; Eugene starts up his conversations with Stephanie and goes to meet her, and that leads him straight to this oddly prosperous society.
Who’s in Charge?
That’d be Pamela Milton, along with her snobbish son, Sebastian. Like the Governor, she was a politician before the apocalypse and she remains a politician after the dead start roaming the earth.
Some think we’ve already been introduced to Pamela in the form of Georgie (Jayne Atkinson), who gave Maggie (Lauren Cohan) a book titled “A Key to the Future.” That book, and the designs inside it, helped Hilltop prosper — and after Rick’s (Andrew Lincoln) disappearance, Maggie went to stay with her. It’s possible, then, that Maggie’s now associated with the Commonwealth, too.
What’s Wrong With Them?
Just like every other group Team Alexandria has encountered, they’re not quite what they seem. The Commonwealth has implemented a rigorous class structure that keeps the less wealthy from before the apocalypse subservient to those who had more money before the turn. Basically, with very few exceptions, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.
It’s nothing so drastic as Negan’s (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) “we take half your stuff” or the Governor (David Morrissey)’s sadistic methods of rule, but it’s frightening in its shades of realism. Some of Team Alexandria are okay with what the Commonwealth is doing, and some are not. This leads to inter-group conflict and Dwight’s death, as he tries to take matters into his own hands and kill Pamela, but Rick kills him before he can (someone will probably get this death in the show, but it’s hard to say who).
Why the Commonwealth?
Basically, because we're in the endgame now. With the show coming to its end after Season 11, it makes sense to draw things to a close where the source material concluded — and the source material concluded at the Commonwealth. Whether there'll be any curveballs in the storytelling will remain to be seen, but it makes sense for this to be at least one of the steps in these characters' journeys now that they only have so many episodes left (well, aside from Daryl and Carol).
The Walking Dead, Returns 2021, AMC