Warning: The following contains SPOILERS for The Walking Dead season 11. 

The Walking Dead season 11 has closely followed Yumiko’s (Eleanor Matsuura) emotional reunion with her brother, Tomi (Ian Anthony Dale) — including her mistake that caused the Commonwealth to take him away. Though Tomi was a surgeon before the Walking Dead apocalypse, he’s kept his previous occupation a secret, instead happily living his post-apocalyptic life as a baker. However, that bliss was ended abruptly due to Yumiko’s mistake.

The Commonwealth is unlike any other community that has been on The Walking Dead before. The Commonwealth’s system heavily relies on pre-apocalyptic life; the role one played before the apocalypse is the role they’re assigned within the Commonwealth. Everything is regimented in the Commonwealth, which heavily relies on a caste system. With a Harvard education and experience as a lawyer, Yumiko has seen privileges the rest of her group hasn’t, yet Tomi seems desperate to avoid the upper echelons of Commonwealth society. In season 11 episode 7, “Promises Broken,” Tomi pleads with Yumiko not to reveal his previous occupation to the Commonwealth — but that is impossible because the secret has already been revealed. Tomi is dragged away briefly after, seemingly to tend to Ezekiel’s illness, potential thoracic cancer.


When Yumiko, Eugene, Ezekiel, and Princess arrived at the Commonwealth, they were subjected to a strict, yet calculated intake process. While some questions seemed benign, even bordering on ridiculous, every question had a purpose; and that’s where Yumiko slipped up. After the group attempted to escape, Yumiko discovered her brother was inside the Commonwealth. They decided to stay in order to find him and seek aid, but when Ezekiel turned up missing the next day, they were convinced their escape plan had been discovered, and Yumiko turned on the full lawyer act in the interview room in order to get answers on his location. During her beautifully succinct tirade in season 11 episode 2, “Acheron: Part II,” she let one sentence slip that would put an end to Tomi’s peaceful life; “I have reason to believe my brother, a thoracic surgeon, is living at the Commonwealth and is looking for me.”

Of course, there were other moments where Yumiko could have let the secret slip. The Commonwealth has proven they have eyes and ears everywhere, as evidenced by the speed with which they caught Eugene and Stephanie trying to radio Alexandria in The Walking Dead season 11, episode 5. It’s more than possible that they were overheard by the Commonwealth’s spies during any of their public conversations that would confirm Yumiko’s claim in the interview room. If the Commonwealth didn’t take note of Tomi’s experience as a thoracic surgeon before, Yumiko gave them plenty of opportunities to catch on.

Since their arrival, the Commonwealth has been keeping a very close eye on the group. The pressure to reveal where Alexandria is located is mounting. With every misstep the group makes, the Commonwealth attempts to push them closer to spilling their secret — and, after Eugene punched Walking Dead‘s hated Sebastian Milton, they’re a lot less likely to be patient. While the Commonwealth values structure and class, they may be willing to let Tomi live in peace, for a price. It’s possible that a negotiation will be coming Yumiko’s way in the future of The Walking Dead — but will she be willing to trade Ezekiel’s health and the good of Alexandria for her brother’s peaceful life?

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