King Ezekiel (Khary Payton) and loyal adviser Jerry (Cooper Andrews) say their goodbyes in a clip from Sunday's The Walking Dead 1014, "Look at the Flowers." In the wake of a fiery strike made by Alpha (Samantha Morton) and her walker army that devastated the Hilltop in the first battle of the Whisperer War, Ezekiel and colony co-leader Yumiko (Eleanor Matsuura) are convinced by Eugene (Josh McDermitt) to travel into the city to meet with Eugene's so-far unseen radio contact Stephanie (Margot Bingham). In "Morning Star," Stephanie instructed Eugene to travel to rail yards located in Charleston, West Virginia, where she'll introduce him to her mysterious community.
"I don't think that's a good idea," Jerry says about the trip. When Ezekiel asks if it's because he's sick, referring to his untreated thyroid cancer, Jerry admits, "Because I'm gonna miss you. They can't stop a man willing to be foolish, right?"
Ezekiel smiles. "Or a fool willing to believe in future friends," he says. Jerry asks if that's all it is. "It's enough for now," Ezekiel answers. "The Kingdom needs you. Make sure our legacy lives on."
"You got it, boss," Jerry replies, catching himself. "Ezekiel." They hug, both hoping this isn't the last time they see one another.
In "Look at the Flowers," Ezekiel embarks alongside Yumiko and Eugene on their fateful trip towards the Commonwealth, in the comic books an Ohio-based network of communities home to Stephanie and nearly 50,000 other survivors. The introduction of this new group launched the final major storyline of the comic book, which ended last summer after 193 issues.
"I think there’s going to be some major consequences just in talking on the radio with this person," McDermitt previously told TV Insider of Eugene's radio correspondence that was, until recently, his most well-kept secret. "He's making some decisions that could severely alter everyone's way of life, and I don't know that that's solely his decision to make. There could be some life and death consequences based on those decisions he's making. Everyone's got a different opinion about how to do things, so it'll be interesting to see how these conversations that he's going to keep secret as long as he can, how they impact everyone else's way of life."
Elsewhere, other life and death consequences face Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), who desperately attempts to convince captor Daryl (Norman Reedus) he conspired with Carol (Melissa McBride) to infiltrate the Whisperers and kill Alpha. Negan accomplished his mission, but Alpha's ferociously loyal number two, Beta (Ryan Hurst), is now gathering an even larger walker horde to wipe out the survivors in revenge.
"Look at the Flowers" premieres Sunday, March 29 at 9/8c on AMC. For all things TWD, follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter.