Spoilers for The Walking Dead, season 11, episode 21 below!
The Walking Dead showrunner Angela Kang recently explained Outpost 22’s purpose. Season 11 of the zombie horror show introduces the vast Commonwealth, a fully-functioning community that offers protections and amenities that have practically vanished from the post-apocalyptic setting. Led by the capable and seemingly compassionate Governor Pamela Milton, she delegates much of the community’s day-to-day operations to her right-hand man, Lance Hornsby, a ruthless agent of enforcement. He controls the Commonwealth through the use of an armed, organized police force and a clandestine network of operatives.
Following Hornsby’s capture and Eugene’s murder of Pamela’s son, Sebastian, many of the core survivor group are detained and shipped out of the community in trucks, buses, and a functioning train to various outposts. A group of prisoners, including Ezekiel, Negan, and Kelly, are eventually taken to Outpost 22. Posing as one of the guards, Rosita uses the radio, places a distress call, and successfully obtains its location, Alexandria.
In a recent interview with EW, Kang breaks down the Commonwealth’s Outpost 22 featured in The Walking Dead season 11, episode 21. The showrunner explains that the outposts are used primarily by the military to conduct certain activities they would not want within their main community. She details the outposts as military bases that enable the Commonwealth to establish a larger range of operations and prison camps for prolonged detainment. Read what Kang said below:
I think Outpost 22 is mainly where they keep a bunch of soldiers who are like Hornsby’s side soldiers, right? Or Pamela’s side soldiers. These aren’t the people that Mercer is working with day to day. They are out there because, in some ways, I think Commonwealth practice is a form of manifest destiny, where they’re just like, « Let us spread out and take more things. »
So they create these outposts that are very secret to give them a foothold to figure out more stuff for themselves. And it’s sort of a twist on Hornsby’s genuine idea of imagine a future where everything is connected, and you can just travel back and forth like we used to in the old world. That’s the most positive version of this vision, but it’s a little dystopic, because clearly they took it by force from our people. So it’s a military outpost, but I think they’ve also sent some of our folks who were causing trouble in the Commonwealth there. They’re like, « Well, we don’t want that to be in our walls, » so it’s kind of a prison colony right now.
What Will Happen to Outpost 22?
With Outpost 22 revealed to be Alexandria, the core survivors’ settlement for years, it is a terrible twist of fate that their previous home will now become their place of imprisonment. However, as Rosita and her compatriots learn the outpost’s location, they will likely plan a daring rescue that will leave many dead. However, with Ezekiel and Negan in the labor prison camp, these two charismatic former leaders may incite a revolt that will take down the Commonwealth’s military from within.
Although Outpost 22 will probably be the setting for one of The Walking Dead’s final battles, it is unlikely that the community will be nearly destroyed once again. After surviving the Saviors, the Whisperers, and a deluge of walkers, Alexandria’s walls will probably continue to stand tall and protect the survivors of the coming conflict. With only three more episodes of The Walking Dead, audiences do not have to wait much longer to see if Daryl, Maggie, Carol, and their associates take back Alexandria once and for all.