Warning: spoilers ahead for The Walking Dead season 11, episode 21.The Commonwealth has given Alexandria a sinister renovation – this is what The Walking Dead season 11, episode 21’s ending means. The Walking Dead season 11 has mostly ignored Alexandria of late, focusing instead upon the Commonwealth and its imminent downfall. When The Walking Dead viewers last saw the protagonist community, Lance Hornsby had proclaimed Alexandria as Commonwealth territory and raised his flags upon the walls as part of an aggressive invasion of The Walking Dead’s Virginia settlements. Lance was then reigned in by an irked Pamela Milton, and viewers were led to believe all was well back home in Alexandria.
Evidently not, as The Walking Dead season 11, episode 21’s ending shockingly reveals Alexandria has now become a Commonwealth territory dubbed « Outpost 22. » Lance Hornsby cannot be blamed on this occasion either, since Pamela Milton’s Commonwealth « fixer » was last seen gurgling blood after Carol shot an arrow through his neck. As such, The Walking Dead season 11’s « Outpost 22 » ending raises several big questions – some concerning what happened to Alexandria in the past, some concerning what happens next.
When Did Alexandria Become Outpost 22 In The Walking Dead’s Timeline?
The immediate question posed when Alexandria’s redesigned gate pulls into view and Yvette Nicole Brown’s Commonwealth dispatcher tells Rosita the facility was once home to the prisoners being transported there is exactly when Alexandria became Outpost 22. In The Walking Dead season 11’s « Acts of God, » Lance Hornsby seized Alexandria by hanging Commonwealth flags outside. By the end of subsequent episode, « Lockdown, » Pamela Milton had struck a deal with Carol – Lance takes the fall for Sebastian’s crimes, while the Commonwealth relinquishes the invaded communities and helps rebuild them. Aaron’s group are then seen packing supplies and heading back to Alexandria. One possibility is that Pamela betrayed Carol here, and ordered her soldiers to make Alexandria a processing outpost.
Another possibility is that the deal Carol made with Pamela Milton was absolutely genuine, but after Eugene killed Sebastian and triggered Commonwealth unrest, Pamela reneged on their agreement and gave the order to seize Alexandria from the folks responsible for her son’s death. This is perhaps the more logical explanation, as not only did Pamela have no reason to double-cross Carol, it makes little sense for the Governor to risk her son’s crimes being exposed just to claim a community that, to her, is small post-apocalyptic potatoes. Having said that, it is amazing that the Commonwealth turned Alexandria into Outpost 22 so rapidly between The Walking Dead season 11, episode 18 and episode 21.
What Happened To Other The Walking Dead Communities?
Alexandria comes as a package deal in The Walking Dead, with Hilltop, Oceanside, and the remnants of Negan’s Riverbend all lumped in together. The Walking Dead season 11 has mixed and merged those four communities with the Commonwealth, but viewers can probably assume any survivors who stayed to help rebuild Alexandria (and who survived Lance’s takeover) are now either dead, missing, or captured by the Commonwealth. Hilltop’s status remains a mystery as The Walking Dead’s final episode looms. Maggie’s community was all but destroyed by Leah and Lance, and any residents who did return could now be dead, scattered, or imprisoned. It’s also possible Pamela would simply ignore Hilltop since it lacks the strength to mount any serious resistance.
Oceanside is the real wildcard for the final episodes of The Walking Dead season 11. The sandy community was overtaken during Lance Hornsby’s brief reign of terror, and presumably freed after Pamela intervened. Aaron mentions Cyndie and Rachel shortly before departing the Commonwealth in « A New Deal, » so Oceanside was clearly both still standing and still populated when Alexandria turned into Outpost 22. The important question now is whether Pamela Milton assaulted Oceanside as well as Alexandria (Outpost 22b, perhaps?) or whether Oceanside is preparing to help defend its friends.
Another big question coming out of The Walking Dead season 11, episode 21 is whether Aaron’s group ever reached Alexandria. The quartet of Aaron, Jerry, Lydia and Elijah began their journey from the Commonwealth in episode 18 (meeting a new zombie variant on the way), but The Walking Dead season 11 is yet to confirm whether they actually arrived. Aaron’s group likely either got captured during the Outpost 22 conversion, or arrived outside Alexandria, spotted the Commonwealth Stormtroopers, then beat a hasty retreat. As Rosita’s team formulates a plan from outside Alexandria, and Negan’s team formulates a plan within, both could feasibly encounter assistance from Aaron’s currently-missing group.
What Does The Commonwealth Use Outpost 22 For?
According to the Commonwealth dispatcher Rosita speaks with, Outpost 22 is used for « colonial processing. » Given the punishments Negan, Ezekiel and Kelly are subjected to in The Walking Dead season 11, episode 21, it seems anyone unlucky enough to be exiled from the Commonwealth gets sentenced to hard labor at sites far away from the main community. Outpost 22 could be somewhere these prisoners are logged, sorted, and divided – perhaps even kept overnight between grueling shifts clearing railway tracks. Through the list of names Connie received, The Walking Dead already proved Commonwealth citizens were disappearing long before the Alexandrians arrived. This detail, combined with the « 22 » part of « Outpost 22, » implies Alexandria is just one of many Commonwealth concentration camps.
The Walking Dead invites confusion by introducing Outpost 22 in the very same episode it introduces « Designation 2, » creating a festival of mysterious number twos. These two sites share similar purposes, but are absolutely not the same. Outpost 22, the former Alexandria, is a processing center for naughty Commonwealth exiles punished with hard labor. A select few from those exiles – Connie, for instance – are picked to take a train ride to Designation 2. Exactly what Designation 2 refers to remains a mystery in The Walking Dead, as even the captured Commonwealth soldiers are clueless, but one strong possibility is that « Designation 2 » refers to the Civic Republic – i.e. the group that took Rick Grimes.
How Outpost 22 Sets Up The Walking Dead’s Ending
The Walking Dead’s Outpost 22 revelation sets up the show’s ending in a number of ways. For starters, the stinger teases a big battle between the good guys and the Commonwealth over Alexandria’s fate. While the Commonwealth would begin as obvious favorites in that particular fight, Alexandria is home turf for the likes of Daryl and Maggie. They know all the secret nooks, the underground tunnels, the weapons caches, and the best vantage points. Even if the Commonwealth soldiers hadn’t already shown themselves to be largely useless, their familiarity with Alexandria simply cannot match that of their opponents, who lived there for years.
The Commonwealth turning Alexandria into Outpost 22 signals two possible futures for AMC’s The Walking Dead ending. In one, the heroes kick the Commonwealth out of their home, Eugene’s trial sparks a revolution, and Alexandria forges a true alliance with the under-new-leadership Commonwealth. A second possibility is that, whoever wins the battle, Alexandria loses. The fighting between the Commonwealth and The Walking Dead’s good guys leaves the community (finally) beyond repair, forcing every character to relocate – perhaps to the Commonwealth if the uprising against Pamela still goes ahead. A version of The Walking Dead’s ending where Alexandria is utterly destroyed works as a stronger setup for upcoming The Walking Dead spinoffs, which promise new locations, new enemies, and old faces.
The Walking Dead continues Sunday on AMC.