Michael James Shaw is doing an outstanding job portraying Mercer in The Walking Dead. Mercer is a character straight from the comics, and the creators have done a bang-up job making Shaw look like he walked right off the page. During the most recent episode, “The Rotten Core,” Mercer made a move out of character for the General of the Commonwealth military.
Mercer is an observant person who is all about law and order. He understands that his job is to uphold the law, whether he agrees with it or not. He even said as much to Daryl (Norman Reedus) in the different comments he has made to him. In this week’s episode, his attention is brought to a scheme set up by Sebastian (Teo Rapp-Olsson) that is far and away, nothing the Commonwealth supports.
Sebastian’s mother, Governor Milton (Kaila Robins), recently cut off his line of credit, so he has had to come up with creative ways to raise funds to keep up his lifestyle. He has been sending people into the house where he knows a large sum of cash is stashed. The house is surrounded by walkers, and no one has completed the mission.
The Walking Dead Season 11 Episode 14
Daryl and Rosita (Christian Serratos) are coerced into taking on the mission and run into trouble but are saved by Mercer and Carol (Melissa McBride). This is when Mercer learns what has been happening and that two of his troopers have been assisting Sebastian in the scheme.
When they are questioned, it is discovered that they have sent upwards of 40 people into the house, and all have perished. They aren’t remorseful, even laughing about it, and they have broken the laws of the CW that they have vowed to uphold, and Mercer snaps. He shoots them both.
This is uncharacteristic of the Mercer we have seen so far. He is generally very composed and handles himself very cooly even in the most difficult situations. Add to that, he has done this in front of three people he hasn’t known all that long and doesn’t know if they will keep quiet about what has transpired.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Showrunner Angela Kang had this to say about how this will affect Mercer:
"Everybody’s just going to have to watch to see how the story continues to play out, but this is definitely a moment that just sticks with Mercer in some significant ways, and causes some significant fallout."
Mercer’s eyes are slowly being opened to many goings-on within the CW. Things that aren’t in keeping with the laws the community is governed by. And now he sees a group of strong people joining the community who have survived on the outside with very different views about things. There are fan theories he will lead the Resistance. Or will he be the one who takes down the evil ones like Lance Hornsby and Sebastian Milton?