The Walking Dead series finale
4) Lance Hornsby
As tough as Sebastian was to defend, Lance Hornsby is even harder, but like Sebastian, I believe that this defense is possible.
To start, I think it’s important to recognize that Lance Hornsby may have had the most difficult job in the apocalypse. This isn’t to say it was the most dangerous job, but perhaps, the most difficult to pull off. I say this because Lance’s job at The Commonwealth was, effectively, to be almost everything at once. He was the director of operations, meaning that it was his responsibility to make sure that everything in The Commonwealth ran smoothly, including all the things running in the background that nobody saw. While Pamela Milton received much of the glory for how well things ran (Despite focusing more on how to properly rig the system), it was Hornsby who seemed to do much of the work of ensuring The Commonwealth gave off the image Pamela wanted to project. Not the “hold everyone down” aspect of it, but the actual running of the community part of it.
He also was in charge of some of the…necessary evils of running the community. For example, it was his job to ensure that the community was properly supplied with opium to be processed into morphine for patients in the hospital. This was one of the moving parts of The Commonwealth that were critical, but one that no one ever really saw, and one Lance never got credit for.
Which sort of brings us to the crux of all this: In spite of everything Lance did to keep The Commonwealth running properly…he was never given his due. It became pretty obvious as the final season progressed that this became something of a sticking point for Lance and fueled his ambition for something more, a place that he could call his own and where he could finally get credit for all the work he did, something Pamela (For her own selfish reasons) wouldn’t do.
I think this is why Lance made his bid to take over the Virginia communities in the first place: To get away from Pamela and finally be recognized for his leadership and his contributions. One could argue this would eventually morph into a soft tyranny similar to Pamela’s, but that isn’t guaranteed. For all we know, it’s possible Lance, being from humble origins himself, may not have been keen on Pamela’s insistence on not only maintaining but magnifying the pre-apocalypse status quo and might have, if given the opportunity, ran things more fairly without Pamela looking over his shoulder.
As we saw when Daryl and Carol were working to liberate the rest of the group, Lance wasn’t that loyal to her, willingly aiding the pair in finding out about Pamela’s secret plan. Perhaps, given the right circumstances, Lance may have chosen to aid the citizens working against her if he believed they had a chance of succeeding.
It isn’t much, but I think this is the best defense Lance could hope to get from me.