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The Walking Dead: Princess struggles with past trauma after being imprisoned by armed stormtroopers

Princess took a wild ride through the traumas of her past while being imprisoned by stormtroopers on Sunday’s episode of The Walking Dead.

The season 10 episode titled Splinters found Princess [Paolo Lázaro] being imprisoned in a trainyard by the white-armored soldiers, who’d also captured her three friends.

Placed in a darkened train car, Princess spun out of control, bouncing between memories of neglectful, abusive parents and her current reality.

Past trauma: Princess took a wild ride through the traumas of her past while being imprisoned by stormtroopers on Sunday’s episode of The Walking Dead

As things careened forward, she hardly knew at any point what was happening, until a stormtrooper’s betrayal made everything starkly clear.

Princess realized too late that she, Yumiko [Eleanor Matsuura], Ezekiel [Khary Payton] and Eugene [Josh McDermitt] could be in mortal danger and might have trusted the wrong people.

Not knowing who or what to trust was a running theme throughout the episode.

The quartet was only at the trainyard because Eugene had spoken to a woman named Stephanie over the radio, who seemed like an ally.

Armed troops:u00A0The season 10 episode titled Splinters found Princess [Paolo Lu00E1zaro] being imprisoned in a trainyard by the white-armored soldiers, who'd also captured her three friends

Armed troops: The season 10 episode titled Splinters found Princess [Paolo Lázaro] being imprisoned in a trainyard by the white-armored soldiers, who’d also captured her three friends

Arriving late, the group found themselves surrounded by soldiers with rifles who immediately took them hostage.

When Princess lunged at one of the men, he fought back and when Yumiko tried to help her, another soldier whacked her in the head with his rifle.

Princess was then placed in a train car, where she nervously counted in Spanish and recited the state capitals to calm herself.

Solitary confinement:u00A0Princess was then placed in a train car, where she nervously counted in Spanish and recited the state capitals to calm herself

Solitary confinement: Princess was then placed in a train car, where she nervously counted in Spanish and recited the state capitals to calm herself

She pried loose a section of wood from one wall of the car, getting a splinter in her finger and staring at it mesmerized.

In the next car, Yumiko whimpered in pain from her head injury, and Princess apologized for having done something that got her hurt.

She tried to keep Yumiko awake and out of danger by telling a story about her past.

Head injury:u00A0In the next car, Yumiko whimpered in pain from her head injury, and Princess apologized for having done something that got her hurt

Head injury: In the next car, Yumiko whimpered in pain from her head injury, and Princess apologized for having done something that got her hurt

‘When I was 14, I was in a similar spot,’ Princess began, working at the hole between their cars. ‘I scratched at the inside door jamb, broke off a piece of it, and it nailed me. Got a bad splinter.’

She detailed the infection that followed, saying her mother barely noticed, but her stepfather said it was so gross she couldn’t eat at the dinner table.

‘He even laughed about it,’ Princess recalled. ‘This cold, mean laugh. I said, ”No way, man! You can’t push me away. This was my house first!”

Bad splinter:u00A0'When I was 14, I was in a similar spot,' Princess began, working at the hole between their cars. 'I scratched at the inside door jamb, broke off a piece of it, and it nailed me. Got a bad splinter'

Bad splinter: ‘When I was 14, I was in a similar spot,’ Princess began, working at the hole between their cars. ‘I scratched at the inside door jamb, broke off a piece of it, and it nailed me. Got a bad splinter’

She paused. ‘He smacked me hard. Right across my jaw. So I said to my mom, ”Are you gonna do something? Anything? Please don’t send me out to the garage to eat by myself.” And my mom said, ”Then don’t eat”.’

In the quiet, she heard Yumiko collapse next door and someone take her away.

The next morning, light poured through the wooden slats of Princess’ train car, and she noticed a board covering an opening in the opposing wall.

Natural light:u00A0The next morning, light poured through the wooden slats of Princess' train car, and she noticed a board covering an opening in the opposing wall

Natural light: The next morning, light poured through the wooden slats of Princess’ train car, and she noticed a board covering an opening in the opposing wall

She removed it and climbed outside, where she saw Eugene in an adjoining car.

He begged her not to mess with their captors, saying that he trusted Stephanie and felt she wouldn’t have led him astray.

‘We have to present ourselves as worthy of allegiance,’ Eugene emphasized. ‘Do not make things worse.’

Mission leader: Eugene Porter begged Princess not to mess with their captors, saying that he trusted Stephanie and felt she wouldn't have led him astray

Mission leader: Eugene Porter begged Princess not to mess with their captors, saying that he trusted Stephanie and felt she wouldn’t have led him astray

Princess reentered her train car just as a stormtrooper entered and beckoned her to follow.

In front of a darkened figure, she was ordered to strip and shower down for inspection.

‘If you’re looking for bites, I don’t have any,’ Princess said. ‘But I got this splinter in my hand that’s driving me nuts. Can you maybe take it out?’

Weapon drawn:u00A0Princess reentered her train car just as a stormtrooper entered and beckoned her to follow

Weapon drawn: Princess reentered her train car just as a stormtrooper entered and beckoned her to follow

The stormtrooper ignored her request as she picked at the now-infected wound.

Instead he asked her name, origin, and reason for being there as she asked about Yumiko.

‘How old are you?’ the shadowy figure pressed, as Princess said, ’28, 29… I could be 50. I don’t know, man. I lost track a long time ago… can you just tell me if she’s alive?’

Intense questioning:u00A0'How old are you?' the shadowy figure pressed, as Princess said, '28, 29u2026 I could be 50. I don't know, man. I lost track a long time agou2026 can you just tell me if she's alive?'

Intense questioning: ‘How old are you?’ the shadowy figure pressed, as Princess said, ’28, 29… I could be 50. I don’t know, man. I lost track a long time ago… can you just tell me if she’s alive?’

The man kept at it, trying to get Princess to reveal things about her friends, but she refused.

‘Why can’t I see her?’ she screamed, as the man said, ‘Because you’re being a b****,’ and backhanded her hard.

Princess woke up in her train car and discovered that Eugene was also gone.

All alone:u00A0Princess woke up in her train car and discovered that Eugene was also gone

All alone: Princess woke up in her train car and discovered that Eugene was also gone

Suddenly, she heard a noise and saw Ezekiel crouching on her roof, ready to save her.

This time, Princess urged caution, wondering if the stormtroopers might be helping Yumiko.

‘We can find a way out,’ Ezekiel promised. ‘I made it here, didn’t I? We’ll be fine.’

He's back: Suddenly, she heard a noise and saw Ezekiel crouching on her roof, ready to save her

He’s back: Suddenly, she heard a noise and saw Ezekiel crouching on her roof, ready to save her

‘Nothing is fine,’ Princess replied, wincing as she touched her jaw.

Seeing Ezekiel’s concern, she offered, ‘D**khead nailed me over an old fracture. I’ll be okay. It’s healed fine every time before.’

‘No one is going to hurt you anymore,’ Ezekiel emphasized slowly, suggesting they escape.

Escape plans:u00A0'No one is going to hurt you anymore,' Ezekiel emphasized slowly, suggesting they escape

Escape plans: ‘No one is going to hurt you anymore,’ Ezekiel emphasized slowly, suggesting they escape 

‘We can’t just leave them here!’ Princess said, and he spat, ‘You think I don’t know that? They’re my friends!’

‘I know they’re your friends,’ Princess returned. ‘You don’t have to be an a**hole about it. Don’t act like I don’t know how to be friends with people.’

‘Fear brings out the worst in us, as it just did in me,’ Ezekiel said. ‘I apologize.’

Fear talking:u00A0'Fear brings out the worst in us, as it just did in me,' Ezekiel said. 'I apologize'

Fear talking: ‘Fear brings out the worst in us, as it just did in me,’ Ezekiel said. ‘I apologize’

The two of them slumped against a wall and wondered whether Eugene had trusted the wrong woman, commiserating over what ‘a**holes’ people could be.

As they plotted what to do, a stormtrooper entered the car and Ezekiel knocked him out.

Princess was relieved moments later when the man woke and suggested that Yumiko was being treated by medics.

‘For the benefit of all, and for all who seek solace at our gates,’ the soldier said. ‘That’s what we stand for.’

Seeking solace: 'For the benefit of all, and for all who seek solace at our gates,' the soldier said. 'That's what we stand for'

Seeking solace: ‘For the benefit of all, and for all who seek solace at our gates,’ the soldier said. ‘That’s what we stand for’

The stormtrooper told Princess that his group might be able to help her and that they were ‘organized,’ with ‘access’ to important things.

‘What we stand for is real,’ he said. ‘The place we live is a good place. And it’s our job to keep the many, many people who live there safe. It’s our job because we have a lot to lose.’

‘I’m just a rookie,’ the man shared, saying his gun wasn’t loaded and he would be in trouble.

Real place:u00A0'What we stand for is real,' he said. 'The place we live is a good place. And it's our job to keep the many, many people who live there safe. It's our job because we have a lot to lose'

Real place: ‘What we stand for is real,’ he said. ‘The place we live is a good place. And it’s our job to keep the many, many people who live there safe. It’s our job because we have a lot to lose’

As Ezekiel looked down at the weapon he’d confiscated, the man grabbed it and Ezekiel knocked him flat, pummeling him as Princess yelled ‘Stop! You’re going to kill him!’

Time shifted and she realized suddenly that it was her punching the soldier and that Ezekiel was not there and there were no holes or portals in the wall of her train car.

Princess handcuffed the soldier, grabbed his gun and ran, hesitating when she reached a fence.

Reality bending:u00A0Time shifted and she realized suddenly that it was her punching the soldier and that Ezekiel was not there and there were no holes or portals in the wall of her train car

Reality bending: Time shifted and she realized suddenly that it was her punching the soldier and that Ezekiel was not there and there were no holes or portals in the wall of her train car

She imagined Ezekiel on the other side, chumming it up with zombies in train conductor gear.

Princess told the specter she refused to leave her friends behind like her mother had her.

‘She was a survivor,’ she admitted, adding, ‘She was scared.’

Ghostly presence:u00A0Princess told the specter she refused to leave her friends behind like her mother had her

Ghostly presence: Princess told the specter she refused to leave her friends behind like her mother had her

‘She was a monster,’ the specter countered. ‘Take your freedom.’

Princess said that not everyone she’d known was bad, and included her new friends in that group.

‘There are stories you tell yourself, and then there’s the truth,’ said ‘Ezekiel.’

Fully armored: A fully armored soldier tried to reason with Princess

Fully armored: A fully armored soldier tried to reason with Princess

‘Maybe,’ Princess agreed, looking torn. ‘But they came back for me.’

She returned to her train car and apologized to the stormtrooper.

‘I’m not crazy, if that’s what you’re thinking,’ Princess said. ‘I mean, there’s the ADHD, the anxiety, the PTSD, the depression, the crushing loneliness, and the active imagination that helps me cope with all that, but maybe that’s the only sane response to an insane world.’

‘Small, dark spaces just do bad things to my head,’ she shared.

Tables turned: Ezekiel grabbed the soldier's rifle and pointed it at him

Tables turned: Ezekiel grabbed the soldier’s rifle and pointed it at him

Princess undid the man’s shackles and stepped back, murmuring ‘Mm.’

‘What?’ the stormtrooper asked.

‘Nothing,’ she replied. ‘The splinter came out.’

New plan:u00A0Princess undid the man's shackles and stepped back, murmuring 'Mm'

New plan: Princess undid the man’s shackles and stepped back, murmuring ‘Mm’

Princess considered that she and the stormtrooper could help each other, so she told him everything his boss wanted to know, within reason.

Trusting the man, she then gave him back his rifle.

‘See? It didn’t have to be hard,’ the stormtrooper said. ‘Just needed to know you could play ball with us.’

‘So, when can I see my friends?’ Princess asked.

Trust issues:u00A0'See? It didn't have to be hard,' the stormtrooper said. 'Just needed to know you could play ball with us'

Trust issues: ‘See? It didn’t have to be hard,’ the stormtrooper said. ‘Just needed to know you could play ball with us’

‘Right now,’ the stormtrooper said, slapping the train car and yelling, ‘I got her! Let’s go!’

The door to the car slid open and there in front of her were Yumiko, Ezekiel and Eugene, all of them wearing black hoods over their heads, with their hands zip-tied.

‘Wait!’ Princess cried, as a hood was slipped over her head, too.

The Walking Dead will return next week on AMC.

Surprise ending:u00A0'Right now,' the stormtrooper said after Princess asked when she could see her friends, slapping the train car and yelling, 'I got her! Let's go!'

Surprise ending: ‘Right now,’ the stormtrooper said after Princess asked when she could see her friends, slapping the train car and yelling, ‘I got her! Let’s go!’


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