The Walking Dead Season 11, Episode 5 recap: Out of the Ashes

Michael James Shaw as Mercer - The Walking Dead _ Season 11, Episode 5 - Photo Credit: Josh Stringer/AMC
Michael James Shaw as Mercer - The Walking Dead _ Season 11, Episode 5 - Photo Credit: Josh Stringer/AMC /

There is a lot to unpack from The Walking Dead Episode 5, “Out of the Ashes.” From our first inside look at The Commonwealth to Negan and Maggie’s current situation and, of course, what’s going on at Alexandria and The Hilltop, without further delay, let’s dive in!

The Walking Dead Season 11, Episode 5 – The Commonwealth

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Josh Hamilton as Lance Hornsby – The Walking Dead _ Season 11, Episode 5 – Photo Credit: Josh Stringer/AMC /

After watching a very eerie yet comforting orientation video about The Commonwealth, Eugene, Yumiko, The Princess, and Ezekiel receive their job assignments and residency. The only problem is none of them intended to stay, only to get help for their friends back home.

Eugene, The Princess and Ezekiel decide to speak to someone about their issue while Yumiko is supposed to meet with someone. She ventures to a bakery filled with sweet treats and finds that her brother Tomi, a surgeon, is baking instead.

They discuss The Commonwealth briefly, which was built by the Milton’s. The Commonwealth truly looks like an oasis in a desert where people are not just living but thriving.

It’s the ideal community where things function as they once had with tons of security measures.  Eugene tries to get intel from Stephanie while getting ice cream about how they can move things along; however things move slowly at The Commonwealth (which automatically sounds odd when it’s supposed to be a community of 50,000 people).

Stephanie and Eugene plan to use the radio while The Princess and Ezekiel stand watch. This does lead to an adorable scene of Mercer possibly flirting with The Princess until she ruins it humorously.

Eugene is able to reach Rosita and Judith back home, who are able to explain that The Whisperer War is over; however, they are running out of food. Moments later, Eugene, The Princess and Ezekiel are arrested, due for trial for their actions until Mr. Hornsby arrives to bail them out.

Stephanie, however, warns that this is something not worth celebrating just yet.

The Walking Dead Season 11, Episode 5 – Negan and Maggie

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Lauren Cohan as Maggie Rhee, Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan – The Walking Dead _ Season 11, Episode 5 – Photo Credit: Josh Stringer/AMC /

Now it’s just Negan, and Maggie left to finish the mission, so you know that means things are going to go very well. While Negan’s best efforts to try to make things less awkward fail, he refuses to let Maggie lead herself down a path that will not ensure her survival.

They arrive at a residential neighborhood and find supplies inside a home. Negan suggests they take that back home however, Maggie argues it’s not enough.

After more bickering, Negan suggests they stay until nightfall, and if no one arrives, they have to continue onward. After they wait for some time, Negan is ready to throw in the towel.

As he’s packing the supplies they found, ready to leave, Maggie loses her cool and repeatedly hits and shoves him. He doesn’t fight back, but at that moment, it’s obvious how she’s losing control of how she’s handling his presence.

Their fighting stops when Father Gabriel and Elijah arrive.

The Walking Dead Season 11, Episode 5 – Aaron’s journey

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Ross Marquand as Aaron, Annabelle Holloway as Gracie – The Walking Dead _ Season 11, Episode 5 – Photo Credit: Josh Stringer/AMC /

Aaron awakes from a horrid nightmare about being unable to protect Gracie from the likes of The Whisperers, walkers and other monstrous beings. He doesn’t have time to dwell on it as walkers breached a wall, and the community comes together to kill the walkers and fix the damage.

However, this is merely a band-aid as Alexandria’s defenses cannot hold. Rosita suggests looking into another place to live, but Aaron does not want to give up their home.

He, Carol, Jerry and Lydia decide to go to The Hilltop to see if they could scavenge any tools left behind. While there, they kill multiple walkers until they notice some moving in a weird pattern.

It turns out a Whisperer is still living there and is unable to answer any of their rather direct and rational questions. It turns out even more were living in the cellar, and Aaron has had enough of the lies.

He resorts to torturing the man, Keith, trying to get answers, to which Lydia upsettably walks away from, and Carol ends without warning. Carol tries to stop Aaron from making decisions he would regret as she had after Henry died.

Keith survives, losing a hand to avoid turning and reveals that Connie made it out of the cave. The group agreed that they would search for her the next day.

As they leave The Hilltop, Keith and the remaining Whisperers stay to survive on their own.

Back home in Alexandria, Judith deals with some heavy emotions she hadn’t in some time. First, she had to deal with teenage bullies (where do all these kids keep coming from) who she catches tormenting a child walker (Gus Morgan).

After they tease her about her mom leaving her, then supposedly destroying the painted handprints of herself and Carl’s, she lets the tears fall and confides in Rosita. Rosita comforts her by telling her about her mom and how she left her with the courage and strength to survive without her.

It’s a touching moment before it’s interrupted by Eugene’s radio message.

There is just a little too much going on in The Walking Dead Season 11, Episode 5.

While this recap may not seem chaotic, the episode was. Some scenes played out well before moving to the next, while others were cut off at random.

Shoving three stories into one episode isn’t necessarily my cup of tea when they are all vastly different from the other. It seems as though the writers are trying to give too many characters screen time before the show ends, and it doesn’t seem fair to said characters.

We had (barely) two scenes with Father Gabriel episodes prior, and then he shows up for only a few seconds again here. We hadn’t heard much of Aaron for several episodes or Lydia for that matter, and now they are fighting for episode space (not including time allotted for commercials) with other characters and their current dilemmas.

Sometimes less is more, and if episodes could just stick to two stories instead of three, the payoff would be better for not just the characters themselves but the viewers watching the final season of a show they love.

All that said, the three stories were engaging. Although I am waiting for Maggie to just break down and lay all her emotions out to Negan to end this drama-filled madness, as well as for Aaron to take a more key role in The Council and for Eugene’s group to catch just one break (please), it was an episode I rather enjoyed.

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What did you think of The Walking Dead Season 11, Episode 5? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

The Walking Dead Season 11, Episode 6 airs on September 26, 2021.