THE WALKING DEAD 5.16 ‘Conquer’ Recap

THE WALKING DEAD Season 5 Episode 16

Episode Title: “Conquer”

Writers: Scott M. Gimple & Seth Hoffman

Director: Greg Nicotero

Previously on The Walking Dead:

Episode 5.15 “Try”


Although last season’s cliffhanger in Terminus was a little weak, The Walking Dead has usually closed out seasons with an exclamation point while setting up a new status quo for the next season.

“Conquer” started off as a slow episode, but the ending delivered a shift in tone at Alexandria and a new cast member for the series…

Welcome Back, Morgan!

After appearing in tag scenes earlier the season, the great Lennie James makes his official return as Morgan Jones, a role he originated in the pilot episode of The Walking Dead. In the opening scene of this week’s episode, Morgan was confronted by a deranged man with a “W” carved into his head who wanted to rob and kill him.

The “W” man was joined by his fellow wolf in an attempt on Morgan’s life. But in some great badassery, Morgan knocked both of them out with his walking stick and stuffed them into a car while sparing their lives.

Yeah… Morgan’s gonna fit in just fine.


Back in Alexandria, Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) woke up from his ill-advised gun waving rant to find Michonne (Danai Gurira) watching over him. They were soon joined by Glenn (Steven Yeun) and Carol (Melissa McBride). To Rick’s surprise, Carol played things off as if it was only his idea to steal a gun from the armory.

Realizing that Rick is facing expulsion for his actions, the group made plans to take Alexandria by force if Deanna (Tovah Feldshuh) couldn’t be swayed. Maggie (Lauren Cohan) made a personal appeal to Deanna, but only Deanna’s husband, Reg (Steve Coulter) saw the benefit of keeping the community intact.

“Come At Me”

In private, Carol gave Rick another one of the stolen guns and told him that she hid her role in the plan from Glenn and Michonne because she wasn’t sure how they would react. Carol also paid a visit to the wife-beating Pete (Corey Brill) and hilariously invited him to attack her while holding a knife on him.

It’s a very funny scene that made Pete lose what little sanity he has left. Although Pete didn’t accept Carol’s invitation, he started trashing his “new” home while angrily ranting to himself. Later, Rick confessed the entire plan to Michonne, who assured him that she knocked him out to save him. Michonne also told Rick that she is with him no matter how this plays out.

Sleeping With Walkers

Meanwhile, Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) continued to suffer an emotional breakdown as she lay down in a shallow grave with walker bodies. Father Gabriel Stokes (Seth Gilliam) showed his own suicidal tendencies by inviting a walker to kill him. However, Gabriel killed the walker at the last second and put down its most recent victim before collapsing in the street.

Then Gabriel created a new set of problems by leaving the community gates open. Later, Sasha approached Gabriel in the church and he quickly goaded her into a murderous rage. Only the timely arrival of Maggie saved both of their lives. In the closing moments of the episode, Gabriel, Sasha and Maggie prayed together.

Glenn v. Nicholas: Dawn of The Dead

While checking on the comatose Tara (Alanna Masterson), Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) was forced by Rosita (Christian Serratos) to finally talk with Eugene (Josh McDermitt) for the first time since learning about Eugene’s lie. Eugene apologized profusely to Abraham, who returned the gesture for nearly taking Eugene’s life.

Glenn wasn’t quite so lucky when it comes to his conflict with Nicholas (Michael Traynor). Glenn followed Nicholas outside of the walls and got shot in the shoulder for his trouble. Nicholas then attempted to finish off Glenn and left him to be eaten by walkers. Miraculously (and in a somewhat unlikely way), Glenn survived and eventually got the gun away from Nicholas.

However, Glenn spared the weasel once again. When last seen, Glenn was dragging an injured Nicholas back to Alexandria.

Wolf Trap

On the road, Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Aaron (Ross Marquand) lost track of a potential recruit before deciding to attempt a food raid of a seemingly abandoned warehouse. However, the food trucks were revealed to be filled with walkers in an elaborate trap left by the wolves.

After the duo took shelter in a car, Daryl decided to give Aaron a chance to escape by seemingly sacrificing his own life. However, Aaron insisted that they leave together and they had the good fortune of an assist from Morgan. Once the three men escaped the warehouse, Daryl and Aaron invited Morgan to join Alexandria’s community. He politely declined and asked for directions with the map that Rick received from Abraham. Daryl immediately recognized the map and Rick’s name before making eye contact with Morgan.

The Trial of Rick Grimes

On his way to the forum to decide his future in the town, Rick noticed the open gate and evidence that walkers were inside the community. Rick closed the gate and skiped his defacto trail to hunt down and kill the walkers.

Carol, Maggie and Abraham gave impassioned speeches about why the town needs Rick. Deanna then revealed that Gabriel warned her that Rick’s group could not be trusted and would only help each other over the good of the community. Jessie (Alexandra Breckenridge) was the only one of Alexandria’s residents to speak up for Rick.

The Pete Doctrine

Rick eventually showed up at the forum with the walker that he killed as a way to illustrate the threats facing the community. He refused to apologize for his actions or his words from the day before, adding that he’s sorry that he didn’t speak out sooner. Rick offered to teach the Alexandria residents how to survive in the new world because they have no other choice but to adapt.

Then Pete appeared with Michonne’s sword and he tried to confront Rick. Pete even fatally wounded Reg with the sword, causing Deanna to give Rick permission to kill Pete. Rick didn’t even hesitate for a second before pulling the trigger, igniting some screams from the crowd and a very shocked reaction from the newly arrived Daryl, Aaron and Morgan.

In the post-credits scene, Michonne contemplated hanging up her sword again before she decided to hang on to it. And back at the food warehouse, the man that Daryl and Aaron attempted to find was seen as a walker near a car that had an ominous message written on it: “Wolves Not Far.”

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