The Walking Dead: Dead City (2023) s01e01 Episode Script

Old Acquaintances

[BARTENDER] Another round?
I really shouldn't.
I'm not in the best headspace.
What's wrong?
I got a cabin about an hour from here.
I went out scavenging. Came home
to find it overrun by groaners.
Came to the right place.
We uh, got a guy here,
he does groaner work.
Could maybe loan him out.
Really? Is he any good?
He's the best I ever saw.
So he's, like, based out of
here, lives at the motel?
Generator needs a refill by now.
Wh where's the little girl's room?
Down the hall. First on the left.
You know, I had a hunch
you were up to something.
Let me guess, Vasquez from down
the road sent you here to snoop?
I've got a little message for Vasquez.
Hold her still.
I reckon you're gonna have trouble
sniffing around after this.
Ah! Ugh
[MAN] Hey! Where you going?
Come here, baby.
Sorry, thought you were
better on your feet.
Good to see you, too.
[NEGAN] Wanted by the
New Babylon Marshals.
Well, goddamn.
For a wanted man, I look good.
Can I keep this?
I'm keeping this.
Ginny. Hey, come here.
You remember what I taught you?
Where's Annie and your kid?
Ginny, this here is Maggie.
See, Maggie and I are
old acquaintances.
So, you are either here not to kill me,
or you have gotten seriously rusty.
A few weeks back, I got raided.
Outnumbered, overpowered,
stole all our grain.
Said they'd be back in a month for more.
Then a month after that
took a hostage as collateral.
They took your kid.
I tracked them
all the way up the Hudson,
by then they'd already made it across.
[NEGAN] Across to what?
That is a really nice job.
Will you do me a favor and
go finish checking on our shit?
Thank you.
I hate to even ask, but
how do I figure into this, Maggie?
The man who's got Hershel,
they call him the Croat.
Bullshit. You know him.
When he scaled our walls,
had us surrounded in the dark,
right before he took my son.
Do you know what he did?
That rings a bell, doesn't it?
It did for me.
That's the last thing I heard
before I met you.
Oh, that Croat.
All right, so what you're thinking is,
since I knew this guy back in the day
when I was running the show,
that maybe I had some special
insight into his modus operandi.
Or, hell, maybe I could just
sweet-talk him
into giving you your boy back.
We're talking about the same Croat?
Let's just say there were a lot
of psychos in my crew back then.
But he always stood out as being
an exceptionally insane son of a bitch.
So the odds are
if it's the Croat that's got him
All right, tell me this.
Why would I help you?
- Because you owe me
- Because I owe you, right.
You're the last person
that I wanted to ask for help.
It doesn't look like you got
too many options yourself.
Because if I found you here,
the marshals will too.
Far as I can tell, you have
exhausted every shithole.
Still got a decent setup at Hilltop?
Kids? School?
I'll put up that girl.
You, we see how things play out.
Fair enough.
[NEGAN] Here, take this. There you go.
Hey. I don't recall this
being the way to Hilltop.
It's because it isn't.
That's not what we talked about, Maggie.
It's the same people, same setup.
Just had to relocate
after you help burn it down.
If you recall that.
[NEGAN] Here you go, kid.
I was on the run, doing a stint
on a farm about a year ago.
The marshals came poking around.
She asked to go with me.
Why doesn't she talk?
The tale the people on the farm told,
she was living with her dad.
He took off one night, didn't come back.
She went looking for him.
She found him.
He, uh, he'd turned.
It was bad.
She could tell by looking at him
that it wasn't the dead.
It wasn't an animal.
It was a person or people.
She just hasn't spoken since.
It's me.
What? Shit, put that away!
Put that away!
- Check the rooms.
- Sorry. For sure.
Have you seen this man?
Goes by the name of Negan.
The reason it's crucial we find this man
is because he's murdered
a magistrate in cold blood,
along with four others.
Which means under Code 14,
Section 2 of New Babylon law,
he'll be executed.
But not just executed.
Nothing so magnanimous
as a hanging or beheading, no.
For what this man has done,
he'll be dangled upside down
and sawed in half lengthwise
from the groin to the head
very, very slowly.
This is a man who's built up an empire
like a greedy king.
Story goes, he once lined up
a group of unarmed folks
and he bashed in a man's head
with a baseball bat
in front of the man's pregnant wife.
Tranquillitas ordinis.
Tranquility, order, justice, the law.
That's what keeps our
Federation of States at peace.
Safe, stable.
I'm going to ask you one last time,
have you seen this man?
Alright, then.
Liquor, drugs, gambling, whoredom,
all prohibited under Code 19,
together amounting
to a public execution.
Damnit, you're breaking my arm!
I am. You're very perceptive.
Okay. Yes. Yeah, Yeah.
Yeah, no, I did see him. I did see him.
He he's he worked here.
He killed the walkers.
- Someone took him. A woman.
- A woman?
Yeah. I I'd never seen her
before today.
- Where'd she take him?
- I don't know.
- She drove off in a car!
- Describe the car.
I don't know!
[WOMAN] It was a blue truck
parked out front.
That's it! That's it! I swear! I swear!
That's it, I swear!
See. That's all you needed to say.
The truth.
- And yet, Code 14, Section 8.
- What?
Aiding and abetting.
Ah! No!
I promise you something.
Alright? I will come back for you soon.
[MAGGIE] It's getting late.
You be good.
They're going to
take care of her, right?
They're gonna Good people?
That's how it's going to be?
Unless you want the law
catching up with you.
So it's her, huh?
Same woman's been looking for him
and leaving all those
broken bones behind.
What I did back there
wasn't 'cause I wanted to.
It had to be done.
[JANO] What is it?
Hell, when I was a kid, my pop,
he went on a business trip
or some shit to New York City,
and he brought me back this
little souvenir of the
Statue of Liberty.
I remember, I just couldn't
imagine how something so small
could also be so giant. You know?
So, anyway, Pop, he, uh
He promises he's going to take
me in to see the real thing and
makes a whole plan, you know,
picked a weekend and
train tickets, the whole nine.
And as generally was
the case with my dad
something came up, I guess.
Anyway, I still haven't seen
Lady Liberty in the flesh.
All right, so how's this whole
operation supposed to lay out?
I mean, besides the part
where I charm my old pal
into giving you your kid back?
I got a plan.
Ah, top secret, huh?
I am on a need-to-know basis, I guess.
That's cool, you don't trust me.
Hell, I wouldn't trust me either.
You see, I got what I wanted.
Ginny is safe.
She is comfortable.
I could kill you right now.
You could try.
But then I'd have to kill you first.
there's a big difference.
You see, if I'm dead,
you don't get your son back.
You need me.
I got a feeling it cuts both ways.
And I'm sure the marshals
would have something to say about that.
What I did
It's not like the marshals say.
I do believe I've paid
for what I've done.
So? Building's on fire
in a city that's gone to shit.
Camped out three days watching the city.
Smoke shows up like that
every morning at the same time,
and then again at night. Just like that.
You're thinkin' breakfast and dinner?
Then again, Maggie,
sometimes a building on fire
is just a building on fire.
[ARMSTRONG] One more after this.
[JANO] So what's the deal
with Manhattan?
What's so special about it?
Manhattan was one of the epicenters.
Military destroyed all the
bridges and tunnels,
hoping to contain it,
hoping to contain them.
Once home to a million
and a half people.
Let's do a sweep.
Shit! Gritz!
[MAGGIE] Empty your pockets.
And your gun.
They don't give you one until
you've been in the service
for three months.
Well, you got something in your pocket.
They're for my grandma. She's sick.
She's not my blood grandma,
but she looked after me
when I was little.
I'm all she has left.
Good try, kid, pullin'
on our heartstrings.
What are you doing?
Tossing him overboard. It's not
like he's coming to the party.
Hey, relax. It's a short swim.
You can doggy paddle. You'll be fine.
He is a marshal, Maggie
Junior Marshal.
Whatever the hell he is.
Every second he stays,
he's a threat, a liability.
Yeah, or insurance.
Either way, it doesn't matter
what you think.
You know, you have been sticking
it to me in infinite little ways
since the second we hooked up.
Don't think I haven't noticed.
And I get how having Hershel
taken has you spinning out,
stirring up emotions, memories,
all sorts of shit,
but vengeful thoughts that I
thought you had put to bed,
clearly you have woken the hell up.
But what I don't get
is after all these years,
you still think I'm the bad guy?
I'm not. No one is.
Or you know what, Maggie?
Maybe everyone is.
Ask yourself one question.
How many husbands and fathers
have you killed?
What you did,
you don't ever put something
like that to bed.
Fuck me.
Where are all the chompers?
In case we get separated.
Hey, when this is over, will you
look after Ginny for me?
- We don't have time for this.
- Hey, wait, wait, wait. Just
look after her for me.
'Cause you're not going back to her.
Let's go!
If you try that again,
you are going to wish
he threw you off that boat.
This way!
Seriously, walkers are
falling from the sky now?
They must have heard us. We have to
The scaffolding.
Get your shit together, dickhead.
Maggie, stop.
It's a trap.
What the hell is that?
Pearlie! Gritz! It's me, it's Jano!
Over here.
We got to find a way out of here.
You're with me, kid.
Nobody gets out.
Miss? I'm guessing you know this by now,
but I'm a New Babylon marshal.
Get down, don't do that again.
My name is Pearlie Armstrong.
I don't drink. I don't smoke.
I like a good hog stew.
Just want to give you a sense
of what kind of people I am.
I'm not your enemy.
I come from New Babylon. Capital city.
It's more of a small town,
tree-lined streets,
families looking out for each other.
I got a wife and three daughters.
They're my everything.
I don't know why you with that
man I'm looking for.
Or why you've taken one of
our marshals hostage.
But I'm guessing you got your reasons.
Heck, might even be a good one.
I'm open to hearing it.
And I mean that sincerely.
But if I get to you first,
I'm going to be a little less open,
and I will get to you.
Follow me.
Next time I tell you to move, you move.
My son.
I need him to save my son.
Look at you,
acting so tough.
Just like your mother.
Maybe your father.
Tell me,
did you ever meet the man
who killed your father?
He lived among your mother's
people for years.
What do you know about him?
You can keep sitting there in
the dark trying to freak me out,
but I'm not saying shit.
You know, when I was a boy,
I was fascinated by Manhattan.
All those people
on such a tiny island
pushing, shoving.
The irony is that in death,
the city is so much more alive
than it ever was.
Because the struggle, it galvanizes you.
Shows you the strength
you had inside all along.
You know, I think you're
going to like it here.
- What?
- [BURAZ UNDERLING] He got away.
Okay, enough!
You've nowhere to go.
Just tell me what I need to know
about your people.
You can dispense with all this
They'll be fine.
Twenty stories!
[CHUCKLES] New record, no?
And yet
Negan is here.
Find him.
He has my son.
We get inside the arena and we kill him.
We make one badass team.
It takes a monster to make one.
There is no way they're
getting off this island.

JORNÉ: I'm Eli Jorné, E.P.
and showrunner of "Dead City",
and this is your "Episode
Insider: Old Acquaintances".

When we first see Maggie
at the beginning of the episode,
I would say she's pretty messed up.

We learn shortly thereafter
that, uh, that her son has been taken,
so she's not in the best head space.
You know, we see her
just destroying this walker.
We all know it's not exactly
about the walker.
So she's in a rough spot,
but she reels it in.
She holds it together
and getting on her way.

You know, I had a hunch
you were up to something.


And the one person out there
she feels who can help her
is the last person on earth
she wants to see again.

Negan is a wanted man. He's on the run.
He's hiding out, taking care
of this young girl Ginny.
Ginny, this here is Maggie.
See, Maggie and I are
old acquaintances.
As Negan explains,
her father went out one night,
and when she found him, he was a walker.
And it was so disturbing
that she never uttered
another word after that.
Her Her inability to speak,
I think, kind of pulls
on his heart strings,
and it makes him want
to help her that much more.
Few weeks back, I got raided.
Right before he took my son,
do you know what he did?
That rings a bell, doesn't it?
It did for me.
It's the last thing I heard
before I met you.
Still got a decent setup at Hilltop.
Kids, school.
He'll put up that girl.
Maggie needs something.
He needs something.
And these are two people
basically entering
a business partnership.
But of course, they have no idea
what they're getting into.

When Maggie and Negan are on the boat,
and they're approaching Manhattan,
for so long, maybe since the beginning,
I always imagined
that it was going to be
that the fog parts to reveal the city.
We We needed to hide that reveal
'cause it was just so important.
We'd been teasing the city for so long,
and to me, what's special
about that moment
is not just the city,
but the idea that this is the moment
where Maggie and Negan, you know,
there have been all these things
bubbling up throughout,
you know, all these little
passive aggressive jabs.
And And finally, it all comes out.
What I don't get is,
after all these years,
you still think I'm the bad guy.
I'm not.
Ask yourself one question.
How many husbands and fathers
have you killed?
What you did,
you don't ever put something
like that to bed.
But then the fog parts
and reveals the city,
and it kind of snaps them out of it,
and it's like something so much
bigger is in front of them.

It's a really special moment.
This is not just New York City.
This is not just any city in the world.
This is New York City,
the capital of the world,
with the lights out.
Who knows what's happening there?

So, of course, we have to talk
about the cockroaches.
Every single person who read the
pilot script for the first time,
it was the first thing
they mentioned to me.
They said, "Oh, my God,
the cockroaches".
Lauren Cohan, I think
the first time she saw that,
literally, like, screamed.
Jeffrey insisted
on it being a live cockroach
going into his mouth.
Uh No, I'm just kidding. [LAUGHS]
There's actually a scene that got cut,
you know, when Negan and Ginny end up
in the back of Maggie's truck,
and Negan looks down
and sees a little cockroach
crawling around,
and we get the sense
he's not a fan of cockroaches.
We actually had in that scene
a live cockroach,
and there was even a cockroach handler.
But in the big scene
in New York, that is all VFX,
and I really was blown away
at how good of a job they did.
This episode is really just kind of
like the "Heart of Darkness"
journey into the city.
They're about to go
on an incredible, crazy,
dark, interesting journey.

This way!

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