Princess (Paola Lázaro), the purple-haired survivor in the fuzzy pink coat encountered in the latest episode of The Walking Dead, introduces herself to our heroes in a sneak peek look at the premature season finale, "The Tower." Eugene (Josh McDermitt), King Ezekiel (Khary Payton) and Yumiko (Eleanor Matsuura) journeyed into the city on a mission to meet Stephanie (Margot Bingham), the extremely cautious ambassador for a new community who formed an over-the-radio friendship with Eugene. The Hilltop group is sidetracked by this meeting with the animated Princess, real name Juanita Sanchez, while en route to their rendezvous with Stephanie in Charleston, West Virginia.
Asked her intentions by Yumiko, Princess answers, "I thought you needed help, but now you're acting like I'm the one causing a problem here? Damn, I haven't seen anyone in over a year, and the first ones I find seem like a bunch of meanies." A diplomatic Ezekiel tries to keep the peace, telling her, "You just caught us off-guard. We didn't know if you were attacking."
Seriously? "If I wanted to attack, I'd hold the gun like this," she says, demonstrating by pointing her gun their way. Like it's so obvious, she says, "With the dangerous part pointed at you. See?" Then, holding it up, "That's for attacking. The other way? That's for hello!"
"As we can all agree, I wasn't attacking," she says, shifting the gun again, "but now I'm not so sure. Maybe that's up to you. Are you gonna hurt me?"
"Keep pointing the damn gun at us and you'll find out," Yumiko tells this candy-colored somebody through gritted teeth. "No one has any intention of hurting you," Ezekiel says, complimenting the amusing walker displays dispersed throughout the emptied city.
Now beaming, she replies, "Crap, sorry. Do you like them? Yeah, not many rotters left in the city, so I put these up as my decorations. Pain in the ass to put together, but they make the place feel more alive. ALTHOUGH, now that I've met actual live people again — hold on. You guys are real, right?"
"Is that supposed to be a joke?" asks Yumiko. The kind-of-loopy Princess admits even she's not sure: she's never hallucinated before, "But there's a first time for everything."
Out of patience, Yumiko asks if she's alone. "I've been on my own for over a year and it totally sucks," Princess says. "I should be nicer, talking to possibly real people." She stops laughing as quickly as she started. "I'm just gonna shut up." She can't. "I'm Juanita Sanchez, but I never liked the name Juanita. You can call me Princess!"
"Why 'Princess?'" asks a bewildered Eugene.
"Because," Princess says, duh, "Queen makes me sound old. And pretentious."
The king steps forward, gracefully greeting the princess. She offers them a tour — and food, and supplies, and hair dye, and a place to swim — but her hospitality is politely declined by Eugene.
"We're on a very important mission," he says, catching her short-lived attention. Yumiko can only tell her: "That's our business." Princess again offers to be their guide, but Yumiko declines "because we don't know you."
"Of course you do," she says. "Princess? I'm great, you'll see." When a pack of walkers approach, she says, "Watch how helpful I can be," opening fire very loudly. The group's last two horses run off, leaving them stranded.
"Damn," Princess says. "Sorry about that."
"The Tower" premieres Sunday, April 5 at 9/8c on AMC. For all things TWD, follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter.