Upon discovering an underground tunnel leading out of the facility, Maurice, Bad Ape, and Nova coordinate with Rocket and Caesar to rescue the apes, but they get caught in the army's attack on Alpha-Omega. Caesar sneaks into the colonel's quarters, intending to kill him, only to find he had been infected by Nova's doll. Caesar spares the colonel, who commits suicide. While escaping, Caesar attempts to destroy a fuel tank to take out the militia from behind but is shot by Preacher, one of the soldiers he set free. Seeing this, Red has a change of heart and kills Preacher before he is himself killed. Caesar detonates the tank, triggering an avalanche that kills the militia and the army while the apes and Nova climb nearby trees to safety.
At New York Comic-Con 2016, Reeves explained that he and Bomback were influenced by many films before writing. He said, "One of the first things that Mark and I did because we had just finished Dawn was that we decided to watch a million movies. We decided to do what people fantasize what Hollywood screenwriters get to do but no one actually does. We got Fox to give us a theater and we watched movie after movie. We watched every Planet of the Apes movie, war movies, westerns, Empire Strikes Back... We just thought, 'We have to pretend we have all the time in the world,' even though we had limited time. We got really inspired." According to Reeves, the treacherous apes being nicknamed "donkeys" is both a reference to the video game character Donkey Kong and the fact that they are used as "pack mules". 2b1af7f3a8