Why Lance Leaves His Coin In Walking Dead Season 11, Episode 20

Warning: spoilers ahead for The Walking Dead Season 11, Episode 20.A deeper message hides behind the fate of Lance’s lucky coin in The Walking Dead season 11. As part of his Two-Face tribute act, The Walking Dead’s Lance Hornsby (Josh Hamilton) has carried a lucky coin throughout season 11, occasionally flipping it when stressed or seeking a solution to an especially tricky problem. In « What’s Been Lost, » Lance is sprung from his jail cell by Daryl and Carol, who require his expertise to find their missing friends. Before departing, Lance insists on leaving his lucky coin among the remnants of Sebastian Milton’s zombified skull.

At a glance, it’s clear Lance leaves his coin behind as one final insult to Pamela Milton – a sign of disrespect by desecrating her son’s corpse with his own unmistakable hallmark. Lance’s metaphorical middle finger to Pamela also acts as a response to her own insult from The Walking Dead season 11’s « Variant » episode. Pamela flipped Lance’s coin to decide whether he lived or died; jamming said coin inside Sebastian’s head is Hornsby’s retort – something he knows will hurt Pamela deeply, since it involves the son she tried keeping alive even after zombification.

Just like Lance Hornsby himself, The Walking Dead season 11, episode 20’s coin insult carries layers of depth. Back when visiting Hilltop in « The Lucky Ones, » Lance explained the origin of his lucky coin, recalling it was a gift from his father, who was a driver for the Milton family. After breaking out of prison in « What’s Been Lost, » Lance complains about how he worked tirelessly for Pamela’s approval, but she only ever viewed him as a « chauffer’s son. » Leaving the coin in Sebastian’s skull, therefore, is more than just a crude insult – it represents Lance finally breaking away from Pamela Milton. Lance’s lucky coin represents his entire family’s subservience, so jamming it inside the dead Sebastian Milton symbolizes his rejection of the « chauffer’s son » label.

Continuing the idea that Lance Hornsby is rejecting Pamela Milton in The Walking Dead season 11, episode 20, he begins sweet-talking Carol almost immediately after. The newly-freed Lance suggests the Alexandrians should assume Commonwealth control, while also not-very-subtly jockeying for a place in the new-look community.

Lance’s lucky coin – and, more specifically, him leaving it behind – also serves to foreshadow the character being killed by Carol in the final moments of The Walking Dead’s « What’s Been Lost. » There’s an element of black comedy in how Lance carries this lucky coin from childhood all the way through his adult life, somehow staying alive for over a decade during a zombie apocalypse… then dies mere hours after letting go of his good luck charm. The Walking Dead season 11 is almost implying that Lance tempted fate and lost spectacularly.

However, there’s also a practical reason Lance giving up his lucky coin would lead to his death in The Walking Dead. Leaving Sebastian a tip represented Lance burning his bridges with the Milton family forever, throwing his lot in wholly with Carol and the Alexandrians. When Carol and Daryl then turn Lance down, refusing to let him join their group, he’s left without a lifeline. Panicking, Lance grabs a nearby firearm and seals his fate. Had he escaped without leaving the coin in Sebastian’s corpse, Lance might’ve been able to sneak his way back into Pamela Milton’s good books after Carol and Daryl Dixon turned him loose. Alas, The Walking Dead had already flipped its own coin of destiny for Lance Hornsby.

The Walking Dead continues Sunday on AMC.