The Walking Dead: Dead City Season 1 Episode 5 Recap – Who is The Dama?

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: July 16, 2023 (Last updated: March 20, 2024)
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The Walking Dead: Dead City Season 1 Episode 5 Recap


A slow-paced, almost hallucinogenic chapter nonetheless provides some of the best visual nastiness the show has ever produced.

This recap of The Walking Dead: Dead City Season 1 Episode 5, “Stories We Tell Ourselves”, contains spoilers.

And just like that, we’re rapidly approaching the end of The Walking Dead: Dead City.

It has been an… let’s say interesting ride. There’s a fair amount to unpack in this penultimate chapter, which foregoes big action in favor of more introspective character work and a fair helping of body-horror gross-out nastiness, so let’s just get on with that and leave the theorizing and such for later.

The Walking Dead: Dead City Season 1 Episode 5 Recap

Episode 4 split the action up into two main strands – Negan and Perlie, and Maggie, Ginny, and the rest of the New Yorkers. So, we’ll do the same.

How did The Croat know about the plan?

As Maggie and Co. navigate the tunnels leading to the Croat’s lair, the gimmick of this episode is that the methane in the atmosphere is sending everyone nuts. The place is also piled with rotting undead, so it’s just a thoroughly grim outing all around.

The methane thing inadvertently gives away that it was Tommaso who ratted out the gang’s snatch-and-grab plan to the Croat, since Maggie spots he already had the oxygen tanks and masks he pretends to have found, and his reverse prison escape plan was perhaps a little too convenient.

Of course, Tommaso claims to have done all this for Amaia, and after a while even Maggie believes him. He’s right in the sense that the plan was hopeless, and the Croat’s promises to secure him passage to some kind of mainland utopia full of working kitchens and storage space is just the kind of thing you’d fall for if you’d spent all your time in undead New York.

Who dies in “Stories We Tell Ourselves”?

Both Tommaso and Amaia bite the bullet in this episode, which isn’t altogether unexpected. It’s quite oddly understated, though, and it’s quite refreshing that she show doesn’t make a huge deal of it.

This, it turns out, is because Dead City is saving its big Walker-related moment for later. In this sequence, Maggie has to find a giant and very nasty amalgamation of several rotting walkers, very reminiscent of The Rat King from The Last of Us Part II, and it’s easily one of the most disgusting things this franchise has ever dreamed up.

So, bravo for that.

Why does Ginny write “Liar” on the wall?

Maggie and Ginny don’t get on especially well in this episode. Maggie is pretty up-front about wanting her out of the way because she doesn’t want her to distract Negan since she needs Negan to get her son back from the Croat.

At one point, Maggie tries to force Ginny to play ball by telling her that Negan is a monster, and that she’s better off without him. Ginny isn’t having it and eventually legs it again, though not before daubing “Liar” on the tunnel wall.

Edit: In a flashback, we see Ginny discover the grain silo at the Bricks and realize it’s full, meaning that the story Maggie concocted to lure Negan to New York — she plans to give him to the Croat in exchange for Hershel — was a fabrication. So, that’s why Ginny wrote “Liar” on the wall. 

Thanks to Tim in the comments for reminding me of this scene I only half-processed at the time.

Who is The Dama?

Speaking of Negan, he finally gets through to Perlie a little bit this week.

As is the way with Negan these days, he backs out of the opportunity to sic a walker on Perlie just to save him all over again, though this time with something more resembling a desired outcome. The show is going to such pains to establish Negan as a good guy now that Maggie’s efforts to vilify him elsewhere – and her visions of him smashing Glenn’s head in with Lucille – almost seem like a way to send her down the path she can’t forgive Negan for having taken.

Is there a heel turn coming?

I don’t think that Negan becoming a warlord once again is going to happen, anyway, even if The Croat and a new lady villain named The Dama, who the former seems subservient to, would like to believe so. Was this whole thing a way to lure Negan to New York so these two can anoint him as the new figurehead of the Big Apple’s criminal gangs?

The Walking Dead: Dead City Season 1 Episode 5 Ending Explained

The episode ends with Ginny escaping from Maggie and the tunnels and setting off the flare, which both Negan and Maggie watch soar into the sky, drawing all kinds of attention.

This is, inevitably, a way to bring everyone, including The Croat and The Dama, together for the finale. And a lot may happen in that final episode. Will Maggie betray Negan and her principles to save Hershel? Will Ginny see another side of Negan? Will The Croat and The Dama succeed in their plan for Negan?

It’s anyone’s guess at this point.

You can stream The Walking Dead: Dead City Season 1 Episode 5, “Stories We Tell Ourselves” exclusively on AMC and AMC+.

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