"Conquer" is the sixteenth and final episode of the fifth season of AMC's The Walking Dead. It is the sixty-seventh episode of the series overall. It premiered as an extended 90 minute episode on March 29, 2015 at 9/8c on AMC, and on March 30, 2015 at 9pm on Fox. It was written by Scott Gimple and Seth Hoffman, and directed by Greg Nicotero.
Morgan wakes up in the back of a car. He smiles upon the sight of a rabbit's foot hanging on the rear-view mirror. He cooks himself some breakfast and sits down to eat it. Suddenly, a man with a "W" on his forehead appears, pointing a gun at Morgan. "You can lower that", Morgan says. However, the man continues to aim at him. They start a conversation where the man tells a story about how the first settlers used natives to hunt wolves.
"They are back now" he states. He also explains that he and his group spend their time going from settlement to settlement, murdering and robbing people as they go along, speaking with a friendly tone. Suddenly, the mood turns darker when the man states his intentions to take all of Morgan's belongings, including Morgan himself. Morgan replies that he has no problem with the man taking his stuff, but refuses to let the man take him away. Suddenly, another man attacks Morgan from behind with a sickle, though Morgan easily dodges the attack. He arms himself with his staff. "Go now", he warns both men. Ignoring this, they both attack. Morgan beats both of them with ease. He repeats his previous suggestion but is attacked again. He knocks them both unconscious and attempts to shoot a walker that arrives at the scene with the man's pistol, to then find that the gun wasn't loaded. Morgan, ultimately, kills the walker with his staff. He puts both of the men in the back of the car and honks the horn a couple of times. He then takes the rabbit foot and leaves.
Rick wakes up with his face covered in small bandages. Michonne is sitting beside the bed on a chair. He starts to chuckle. "What's so funny?" Michonne asks. Rick points out that his situation is "just like the train car again". Michonne keeps a straight face and states that Deanna put Rick in the room to calm things down. Glenn, Carol and Abraham enter the room. Carol plays dumb and asks why Rick had taken the gun from the armory. "Just in case," he replies. She informs Rick that Deanna is holding a meeting that night to decide what to do with Rick. She advises him to tell Deanna that he had taken the gun to keep Jessie safe, something they want to hear, and says that that is what she had been doing since she has come to Alexandria. "Why?" Michonne asks. "Because they are children and children like stories."
Glenn informs Rick that people are now guarding the armory, leaving them with their knives. Rick states that if the meeting turns bad, he will whistle and they will take Reg, Deanna and Spencer hostage, threatening to slit their throats if they are not granted access to the armory. Glenn asks if that is what he wants. Rick states that he has reached his limit and screwed up. He then lays down to get some more sleep.
Maggie talks to Deanna about the upcoming meeting. She reminds Deanna that she had decided to let them all in and questions her motives, reminding her that she is putting Rick's fate in the hands of people that do not know all sides of the story. She also points out that Rick has seen and lost a lot during their time outside the walls. Deanna tries to back her argument up, by saying that Maggie has lost something too, referring to Beth and Hershel indirectly, and so has everyone else. Deanna counters with the fact that Rick had pointed a gun at the residents. Maggie contradicts her, stating that he did not pull the trigger. Reg steps in and points out how Michonne had stopped Rick, though Deanna simply states that she will do what she has to do.
Maggie walks away, but Reg follows after her and tells her about how the cavemen were nomads before they evolved into what they are now. "Civilization starts when you stop running and start living together and stop pushing people away," he says, stating that he will bring this up at the meeting that night.
Meanwhile, Sasha cleans up the bodies and blood of the walkers she had previously shot. She throws the corpses in a hole but suddenly stops. She lays down amongst the dead walkers and closes her eyes.
Daryl points out that someone had passed their location not long ago. Aaron pulls out a microphone and suggests setting it up to record. They continue walking when Daryl asks Aaron if they had ever sent away any people. "Three people. Two men and a woman," Aaron replies. He says that he thought it would work out, thought it did not. He recounts that they had driven them far away, took their weapons and gave them a day's worth of supplies. He also states that he cannot commit the same mistake again.
Rick is awoken by Carol. She hands him a gun while stating, "It was good what happened last night." Rick asks why she does not want the others to find out. She points out that Michonne had knocked him out, but Rick assures that Michonne is still an ally. Rick says that he does not want Carol to lie anymore, but she counters, saying that he cannot refuse to lie and take Alexandria at the same time. "You can't have both," she points out.
Daryl and Aaron watch a man from afar. He rubs his face with mud, which confuses Aaron. Daryl replies that he is doing it to keep the mosquitoes away. They begin to follow the man.
Rick leaves the house he slept in and walks past Tobin and two other men. They greet each other, but Tobin looks at Rick with a face of distrust. As he walks past Deanna's house, they exchange looks but do not speak to one another.
Glenn sits outside when Maggie arrives and states that she will try to solve the situation. "I love you," Glenn says. Maggie smiles and says that she will see him at the meeting before leaving. Meanwhile, Nicholas is watching Glenn with a malicious look on his face. He then climbs over the wall, which Glenn observes.
Gabriel approaches the gate and says that he wants to go on a walk. Spencer points out that he does not have any weapons to protect him, but Gabriel replies that he only needs God's protection and leaves Alexandria.
Rick arrives home and greets Carl with a hug, apologizing for his behavior. They talk about the meeting, with Rick saying that he wants Carl to stay home. "So this is home now?" he asks. Rick confirms this, but says that in order to make the residents understand that they need Rick and his group, he may have to threaten or even kill one of them.
Aaron and Daryl watch a few walkers on the other side of a fence they are standing at; they had lost track of the man they were following. Daryl states that they need to find supplies and taps the fence, luring the walkers to them. They clear out the walkers and head inside the facility. Several trailers are seen parked at a loading dock. Climbing up to the loading dock, Aaron sees that one of the trucks holds an Alaskan license plate. Believing that the trailers are full of food, Daryl opens one of them. This, however, turns out to be part of an elaborate trap, as a chain reaction causes every single trailer to open and walkers, most of which are inscribed with w's, to begin streaming out of each trailer. Daryl and Aaron crawl under a trailer and come out through the other side. They dispatch a few walkers using whatever is at their disposal, with Aaron almost getting caught. They flee to a nearby car and close the doors. Several walkers engulf the car, but Aaron points out that the glass will be able to hold for a couple of hours.
Carol visits Pete in another house and asks him to check on Tara, but Pete refuses and tells her to leave. She pulls a knife on him and states that she could kill him right at that moment and make it seem like Pete attacked her. She invites Pete to attack her, but he does not, feeling hesitant. She then points out that he is weak and that if he plays his cards right, he may not die. She then hands him a casserole and leaves. Pete drops the casserole, going back inside while exclaiming that "this isn't my house".
Glenn follows Nicholas outside the walls. He notices a trail of blood and finds a dead walker, before hearing a twig snap. Suddenly, he is shot by Nicholas in the shoulder and falls. Nicholas runs towards where Glenn fell, but only finds a small trail of blood - Glenn had escaped.
Rick walks over to Jessie's house and finds her standing near her broken window. He attempts to talk to her but she says that he should go, concerned that they should not be seen together. He replies that he wanted to know if she was alright. Before leaving, he states that he is not sorry for what he did. He starts to walk away but Jessie stops him. "You were right," she says. As Rick leaves, Pete watches him from the other house.
Daryl and Aaron remain trapped in the car. They talk about why Aaron had decided to bring Rick's group to Alexandria. Daryl draws a knife and suggests leading the walkers away to allow Aaron to escape. Aaron, however, disagrees, replying that they will do it together. Just as they are about to leave the car, a walker is suddenly killed by an unknown person outside, giving Aaron and Daryl the opportunity to get out of the car. It is revealed that the person who killed the walker is Morgan. All three engage in a brief slaughter before running to a gate, locking it up and separating themselves from the walkers. They introduce themselves and thank Morgan for his help. Aaron begins to bring up Alexandria and offers Morgan to come with them. "No, thank you," Morgan replies, saying that he already has somewhere to go but is lost and in need of directions, handing Daryl a map. Opening the map, Daryl sees that it is the same map that Abraham had left for Rick at the church. He smiles.
Gabriel walks through the woods when he stumbles upon a walker eating a man. He alerts the walker of his presence and stretches out his arm. "I'm ready," he says, and the walker closes in on him. At the last second, he begins to regret his decision and grabs the noose that is attached to the walkers neck, pulling on it until it decapitates the walker. He then picks up a rock and finishes it by crushing its head. He walks over to the man the walker was devouring, finding him still alive but only barely holding onto life. Gabriel raises the stone and crushes the mans head out of mercy. He then breaks down, overcome with guilt and grief.
Tara rests in her bed with Eugene and Rosita sitting close by. Abraham enters the room but turns around when he spots Eugene. Rosita stops him, saying that Eugene is asleep. Abraham sits down at Tara's bedside, but Rosita deliberately drops some pans, waking Eugene up. "Good afternoon," he greets, deadpan. He points out that Tara had saved him and also says that Abraham brought them here, before apologizing to Abraham. After a few seconds of thought, Abraham responds that he is also sorry. Eugene thinks the apology is unnecessary, but Abraham reminds him that he had almost killed him. "There is that", Eugene replies.
Gabriel returns to Alexandria. Spencer asks if he can talk to Gabriel later, which Gabriel accepts. Spencer then asks Gabriel to close the gate. Gabriel does so, but in his current state of mind, only partially, leaving the gate slightly open.
Nicholas walks through the woods and finds a walker. He shoots it before getting attacked by Glenn. Both men brawl, with Glenn gaining the upper hand by slamming Nicholas down to the ground and stomping his knee, injuring it. Nicholas turns the tables on Glenn by exploiting Glenn's bullet wound, pushing his thumb into it. A walker appears and Nicholas runs away, leaving Glenn on the ground with several walkers approaching.
Michonne asks Rick if he is ready for the meeting. He confesses to stealing guns from the armory. Michonne says that they will find a way through the situation and asks Rick to keep out of trouble. He hands her the gun, but she returns it, wanting him to keep it. She also points out that she is with him no matter what, and leaves. Rick tucks the gun into his belt and looks out the window. Noticing something outside, he rushes out. He finds the gate still wide open and notices a blood trail. Shutting the gate, he follows the trail.
Sasha visits Gabriel at his chapel. She states that she does not know what to do and asks if Gabriel can help her. "No," is his reply.
Deanna and the other Alexandrians, along with Maggie, Carol, Abraham, and Eugene meet together in the middle of the town. Maggie wants them to wait until Glenn and Rick have arrived, but Deanna insists that they will start regardless. She says that they will talk about Rick, the fact that he pointed a gun at them and what he had said the day before. Carol replies that they can work it out.
Meanwhile, Rick jogs between the houses, searching for any signs of walkers.
Sasha says that she wants to die but Gabriel simply says that she does not deserve to be with the community. He starts ranting and states that Bob's mutilation and death was because of her sins. She gets up and tells him to stop, but he continues, bringing up Tyreese and saying that he deserved to die. This is the last straw for Sasha, who charges at him.
Michonne has the word at the meeting. She talks about how it was to live outside of Alexandria and says that Rick just wants his family to survive.
Elsewhere, Rick finds several walkers and takes each of them out.
Nicholas continues stumbling through the woods, trying to get back to Alexandria. Glenn, having survived his encounter with the walkers, appears behind him and punches him to the ground.
Carol now has the word at the meeting. She explains that Rick had saved her life and states that they need people like Rick, and that even though last night's events were scary, they needed to listen to him.
In the chapel, Sasha and Gabriel continue to fight over Sasha's rifle. She smacks him with the butt of the gun.
Rick struggles with the last walker, with it having him pinned to the ground. He manages to get his gun out, and begins forcing it upwards into the walker's throat.
In the forest, Glenn brutally beats Nicholas down.
Abraham explains to the participants of the meeting that there is a "vast ocean of shit out there" and that Rick knows everything about it, commenting that the people of Alexandria do not know what he does.
Rick kills the walker by shooting his gun, still in the walkers throat, into its head, causing its face to explode and spraying blood all over him.
The two men that Morgan had met earlier stop at the same facility that Daryl and Aaron had come across; with them, the man with the red poncho that Daryl and Aaron had been following. One of the men asks him to be still before slitting his throat. "Welcome home," he coldly replies.
Maggie states to the group that Hershel had respected Rick and says that Rick is also a father that cares about what he does. She says that the group is a family and she will not let it be broken up. Deanna reveals to the group about Gabriel's visit and says that Rick proved the things Gabriel told her about the group by fighting Pete. Maggie leaves.
Glenn blames Nicholas for Noah's death before placing a gun to his forehead.
Sasha, having knocked Gabriel to the ground, grabs her rifle and aims it at him with a mad expression on her face.
Tobin speaks up at the meeting, stating that he only wants his family to be safe. He grows silent as a bloodstained Rick walks in at the meeting, carrying a walker's corpse. He throws it on the ground in front of the entire community.
Nicholas begs for his life, finally realizing his mistakes but not wanting to pay for them with his life. Glenn attempts to shut him up to make the situation easier for himself, but eventually gives in and decides not to shoot before breaking down into tears.
Sasha remains with her gun trained on Gabriel when Maggie enters. She convinces Sasha to drop the gun. Gabriel says that she should have let her kill him, breaking down before replying that "they died because of me."
Rick informs everyone that there were no guards at the gate and that the walkers ventured in by themselves. He says that the dead and the living will always try to find a way in because they are in the walls. While Rick gives his speech, Judith and Carl are seen listening to a music box, Glenn helps Nicholas back to Alexandria, one of The Wolves look through the photos from the pack that Aaron had dropped during their escape, Tara wakes up in her bed and Sasha, Maggie and Gabriel pray in the chapel.
Rick assures that they will survive and that he will show them. "I was thinking... how many of you do I have to kill to save your life," Rick says, but states afterwards that he will not do so and that they will change. He also points out that he is not sorry for what he did, but he is sorry for not telling them this sooner.
Suddenly, a drunken Pete stumbles into the meeting, brandishing Michonne's katana. "You're not one of us," he screams, trudging in with the intention of killing Rick. Reg tries to stop him but Pete refuses to listen. Reg then tries to physically stop Pete but he shoves him away, accidentally slitting his throat with the katana. Deanna screams with grief while Abraham pins Pete down. "This is him!", Pete screams. Reg soon bleeds out and dies in Deanna's arms. Deanna cries her heart out, but her sorrowful expression soon turns to one of rage.
"Rick?" she asks. Rick looks at Deanna. "Do it." Without any hesitation, he turns around and executes Pete with a shot to the head.
Another voice calls out from elsewhere. "Rick?" Rick looks up to see Morgan standing before him, along with Daryl and Aaron, having returned from their run. They both exchange stunned looks.
Following the credits, Michonne prepares to mount her katana back on the wall. She soon changes her mind, sheathing and equipping it instead. The man with the red poncho is later seen as a walker, passing a car with the words, "Wolves Not Far" painted on it.
- Jesse C. Boyd as Right-Hand Wolf
- Corey Brill as Pete Anderson
- Jason Alexander Davis as Red Poncho Man
- Ted Huckabee as Bruce
- Dahlia Legault as Francine
- Mandi Christine Kerr as Barbara
- Tiffany Morgan as Erin
- Jordan Woods-Robinson as Eric Raleigh
- David Marshall Silverman as Kent
- Michael Traynor as Nicholas
- Charlotte & Clara Ward as Judith Grimes
- Stacy Payne as Stacy
- Curtis Jackson as Bob Miller
- Helen Jackson as Natalie Miller
- Duane Kicak as Tommy
- John Hudson as "Alexandria Resident"
- Unknown as "Unnamed Man"
- Lawrence Gilliard Jr. as Bob Stookey (Voice Only)
- Frederick Carpenter as Walker
- First appearance of Owen.
- First appearance of Right-Hand Wolf.
- Last appearance of Bob Stookey. (Voice Only)
- Last appearance of Reg Monroe. (Alive)
- Last appearance of Pete Anderson. (Alive)
- In the Talking Dead "In Memoriam" section, the human whom Gabriel euthanized by the side of the road was not included.
- This is the first time Lennie James has been credited under "Also Starring." In the pilot, he was credited as "Guest Starring." He has been credited under "Special Guest Star" in his other appearances.
- The type and placement of the bandages on Rick's face is identical to his appearance in Issue 76 of the Comic Series.
- The end of the episode is similar to the ending of Issue 77 of the Comic Series.
- This is the first episode where a co-star is promoted to "also starring" in the same season they are introduced. In this case, it is Reg Monroe, who was credited as "also starring" in this episode, but co-starring in all his previous appearances.
- In the commentary for this episode, it was confirmed there was originally going to be a scene between Carl and Enid, but it was cut due to the length of the episode.
- Two of the walkers missing their bottom halves and arms and strung up in one of the grocery trailers are the victims that Daryl and Aaron came across in "Try".
- Several easter eggs were confirmed during the Talking Dead segment of this episode. The titles for the last five episodes were taken from the quote Dale said back in, "Vatos". "I like what the father said to the son when he gave him a watch that had been handed down through generations. He said: 'I give you a mausoleum of all hope and desire which will fit your individual needs, no better than it did mine and my father before me. I give it to you not that you may remember time, but that you may forget it. For a moment, now and then, and not spend all of your breath trying to conquer it.'", a nod to all five titles.
- Greg Nicotero teased about this episode in one of his interviews, he said that, this episode is gonna be phenomenal, and all the writers, and the actors should get an Emmy recognition for their work in the episode. He also added that this episode might be the best episode in the entire series. "When we started shooting the episode, the script was long. When I started editing, I kind of said to Scott, 'I want to make sure that we deliver the greatest episode that we can, and the cut's going to come in long. I think that we should just go to the network and propose that we do an hour-and-a-half finale, and see how that idea lands.' Everybody was on board."
- Norman Reedus performed an interview where he described the season finale. He said "Bring your Kleenex and you'll be screaming at your television." In another interview, Michael Cudlitz stated that the finale will "...piss people off."
- On Talking Dead, Gale Anne Hurd teased that in the finale, "there will be blood, and not all of it's from walkers."
- The Wolves and the red poncho man in this episode are a reference to Charles Perrault's Little Red Riding Hood.