Well, we know one thing about the Settlers after Al and Morgan’s little investigation: they don’t seem to be working with whatever organization is behind those three rings. Al was certainly hoping for it after running into a man named Tom.
She and Morgan are still out making box drops, hence why they’ve been so M.I.A. for these past few episodes. Daniel and Grace are subsequently off gathering supplies, which is good when they hear about what happened at the oil fields from the convoy. With Virginia in control of their gas supply, the group is going to need as many supplies as they can get. Al notices one of her three gas tanks is missing from the trunk, so she and Morgan go on alert to find the thief. They find Tom filling up a car he hopes to commandeer, but he doesn’t have time to explain because the sound of crescendoing horse hooves on pavement inform him the people he’s running from have found him.
It’s a group of men on horseback, part of the Settlers. The three hide in a minivan until they pass through, and Tom is able to explain some things. He was working at the Paradise Ridge condo complex when the outbreak happened. They had all sorts of supplies, but then, as all things do, their resources began to turn sour. That’s when Virginia came through. She offered to fix many of the condo’s issues, but the Settlers tried to kill Tom, claiming he was the one who caused all of the issues in the first place. (Just like Logan, he was no longer useful, apparently.) Tom has been running from the Settlers, but his sister, Janis, is still at Paradise Ridge.
Morgan and Al vow to find her, but Al is also hoping the Settlers and the three rings are one and the same. As Morgan is tied up with the past (his memories of Jenny and Duane), Al is hung up on Isabelle.
Al does some scouting and finds Paradise Ridge. The Settlers open the gates mainly to clear out the dead, so she fashions the idea to lure a walker to the gate so she can sneak in. And, yes, just for her to sneak in. Morgan comes along anyway for assistance and comes clean about her secret intent for this secret mission. Once inside, they are forced to hide in the horse stables when they hear an oil tanker and more of the Settlers riding through. It’s one of their own oil tankers. Morgan is about to expose himself to find out how they got it and what they did to their people, but Al makes him come to his senses. They split up with Morgan looking for Janis and Al looking for information about the organization.
Morgan finds an apartment but can’t find Janis, although he’s drawn to the sound of a walker banging against a closet door. He opens it and it’s one of the Settlers, now dead and lunging at Morgan. The scuffle tosses the walker over the balcony and onto the main floor below. He reasons Janis killed the guy and escaped. Al breaks into a room and finds a whiteboard with a listing of the compound’s weekly inventory and a map with various keys, which we know signifies their acquired territories. One key is labeled with Paradise Ridge, another with Super Lanes.
Back outside, Al is trying to remain unnoticed but Morgan’s walker attacks her, pushing her down into the outdoor pool. Morgan jumps in to save her, but Virginia and her men are already there. And they’ve turned on their generator.
In her office the next day for questioning, Virginia tries to woo them with strawberry and apricot jam while praising Al’s idea to spread their message through a documentary, having watched their tapes. She wants the two of them to join their growing communities, but Morgan and Al are more concerned about what Tom told them and what the oil tanker implies. Virginia promises they didn’t do anything to their people and argues that, with Tom, they were trying to preserve the facility. She then pulls a similar spiel as the others: she promises to get Morgan a therapist, knowing his struggles with the memory of his wife and son. She notes that this therapist travels between the bigger settlements, but before Al can extract more information, Virginia sends them off with their supplies and weapons returned, as well as another peace offering. One of the Settler’s woodworkers fixed Morgan’s staff and reinforced it to make it more durable. Virginia again says their group will always welcome them if needed, but Al and Morgan walk away.
After reuniting with Tom, they start making their way to the rendezvous point. Refilling their truck with gas, Al records Morgan again and both continue their on-going therapy sessions. Al says she cares about the woman she’s been searching for and Morgan says he no longer feels the need to do these recordings anymore for his own sanity.
Morgan radios Grace after unceremoniously leaving her at the convoy to go on box drops with Al. But Grace isn’t in good shape. Everything seemed fine as she and Daniel gathered supplies, but then their truck broke down from carrying too much weight. Walking down the road at night, they are set upon by walkers. They’re forced to flee as the dead trample over the vinyl Daniel acquired from a record store for Charlie. They hide out in a bar where he mourns losing the discs, but then Grace spots a guitar on the stage and they sing a duet. That’s when Grace’s health took a turn. All of a sudden, she broke out in sweats, faced shortness of breath, and coughs. The thing Grace has been fearing might finally be happening. If only there was a way for her to know for sure, but she decided it was worse to actually get an ultrasound back at the mall. Daniel catches Morgan up to speed and he’s now in a race to get to Grace before the radiation overtakes her.