TWD Confirms The Commonwealth’s Best Trick Isn’t Soldiers Or Zombies


The real danger of The Walking Dead‘s Commonwealth lies not in its military strength or undead manipulation, as season 11’s “Outpost 22” perfectly demonstrates. Pamela Milton’s Commonwealth poses a major threat to The Walking Dead‘s main protagonists. Half are currently captured in a labor camp, while the others are on the run. Alexandria has fallen, and its neighboring communities will inevitably follow suit if they haven’t already. Audiences might automatically assume the Commonwealth’s main strength is its ever-ready supply of armed, morally-challenged soldiers. The Walking Dead has also hinted Pamela can summon zombie hordes whenever a dire situation emerges, but neither of these represents the Commonwealth’s true danger.


The Walking Dead season 11, episode 21 confirms the Commonwealth’s biggest weapon is subtly keeping anyone who might pose a danger apart. In “Outpost 22,” Carol bemoans, “I barely saw Daryl when I got my new job at the Commonwealth. I barely saw anyone. Just doing our own thing.” The best trick the Commonwealth ever pulled was splitting up friends and families to prevent factions forming and unrest brewing. As if to confirm this strategy is “chapter 1” of the Commonwealth playbook, Negan later tells Ezekiel, “This place thrives on separating people.” More than Stormtroopers or undead, division is the true secret behind the Commonwealth’s domination.

Related: The Walking Dead Is Finally Bringing Back The Best Ezekiel

How The Commonwealth Divided The Walking Dead’s Cast

Looking back at happier days in AMC’s The Walking Dead season 11 Commonwealth arc, Carol’s assessment is totally true. Daryl and Rosita both became Commonwealth soldiers, while Carol baked cakes and moonlighted as Lance’s assistant. Ezekiel got stuck cleaning out animal pens, Lance kept Eugene distracted with Stephanie, Gabriel led the church, Connie wrote for a newspaper, and Princess was sent to sell records. Yumiko’s lawyer gig kept her away from former friends, and especially ex-lover Magna, who found herself relegated to the bottom rung of Commonwealth society. While some jobs relate to pre-outbreak professions, these assignments and workloads seem deliberately designed to divide and conquer, rarely allowing the entire group to unite.

As Carol surmises in The Walking Dead season 11, episode 21, this is because Pamela Milton fears togetherness. Viewers can also assume this particular Pamela trick is not unique to The Walking Dead‘s main group, and has been common(wealth) practice for some years. Any time a clique begins forming, someone gets reassigned, or disappears, or dumped with extra hours. Through this subtle art, Pamela has averted rebellion, although The Walking Dead may soon prove she was only delaying the inevitable.

Pamela Milton Avoids A Walking Dead Villain Mistake

More or less every villain since The Walking Dead season 1 has repeated the same fatal mistake of underestimating the protagonists. The Governor failed to predict how much resistance Rick Grimes would put up, while Terminus stupidly put their prisoners in one cage and failed to account for allies on the outside. In his arrogance, Negan allowed a three-way alliance between Alexandria, Hilltop and the Kingdom to develop right under his nose, and the Whisperers believed their zombie herd would prove a strong enough weapon. Even in The Walking Dead season 11 only facing half a group, Leah and her Reapers assumed military nous would trump the heroes’ guile and togetherness. All were woefully misguided.

Flawed though she may be, Pamela Milton at least recognized The Walking Dead‘s protagonists are dangerous due to their unity, and took steps to ensure each individual was isolated while living in her community. Had Pam maintained the status quo, her future as Commonwealth leader may look less rocky, but in her post-Sebastian grief, the Governor made a fatal mistake by rounding up her Alexandrian enemies and shipping them off to a labor camp. Standing together with their backs pressed against the metaphorical wall is where The Walking Dead‘s heroes do their best work.

Next: The Walking Dead’s Spinoffs Have Killed Negan’s Sacrifice Already

The Walking Dead continues Sunday on AMC.


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