The latest episode of The Walking Dead’s eighth season got things back on track after two rather dull episodes that have aired since the competent mid-season premier episode. While it was still packed with questionable decisions on Rick’s part, it did have plenty of key moments that were either notable for the episode itself, or for the continuation of the narrative into the future. It introduced a new faction, which is always a game changer, but it also left one of the show’s most important characters in a bit of a pickle by the time it ended. It also spelled out the inevitable fate of another main character who has decided to take things into his own hands without the approval of Negan.
Spoilers will be present in the text that follows, so please proceed at your own risk!
The Walking Dead: The Key had seven interesting moments, which you will find below. Again, these aren’t ranked in any order, they’re all equally as interesting if you will, or at least will have an impact on the show and its characters moving forward.
1. Negan’s Love for Lucille
Negan had plenty of great lines in this episode, but his first standout bit of dialogue came when he more or less professed his love for Lucille as if she was a real living person. While heading out to lob zombie guts at the Hilltop Negan places his beloved bat into a bucket of walker guts and with a pleasure ridden grin he says to the bat, “You’re beautiful baby!” It was just a great line, and it was deliver perfectly Morgan, who once again excels at bringing this comic book character to life.
2. Rick’s Demolition Derby
Rick proved once again that he is unable to stick to any sort of agreed upon plan when it comes to Negan. While he was scouting for the Saviors’ attack on the Hilltop he spotted Negan, but instead of warning the others, he took off by himself in a SUV and T-Boned his enemy. This turned into a car chase that led to both of them crashing, but again, the importance of this moment is showcasing how incompetent Rick is when it comes to planning to kill Negan, as well as actually trying to kill him when he has a chance. His failures in Killing Negan will pop up again on this list, which just goes to show how bad of a leader Rick really is.
3. Georgie’s Deal
Out of nowhere a new faction, or community if you will, was introduced on the show. This faction is led by Georgie, who travels with two odd compatriots as they bargain with other communities they’ve scouted out to be safe or not. They happen to deem the Hilltop as one of these communities, so they reach out through a sign by leaving some milk crates with a requests for food and records. Maggie, Michonne, Enid, and Rosita decide to meet with Georgie, who in turn offers them a deal for knowledge. This knowledge isn’t revealed until later in the episode, but it’s clear that Georgie’s group has its shit together, so their introduction alone merits this scene’s place on this list.
4. Simon’s New Plan
Throughout this episode, and even this season, it’s been made clear that not all is right between Simon and Negan. You can tell that Simon thinks Negan is handling Rick’s group incorrectly, but being the follower he is, he keeps most of his thoughts to himself. Well, thanks to Rick’s little stunt above, Simon has decided to make a power grab, and it definitely will not end well for him and whoever else gets caught up in his scheme.
After heading out with Dwight and realizing that Negan is gone and could be dead, they decided to not look for him in earnest, and head back to the Savior war train. Here Simon stakes his claim for power in the name of Negan, and he pledges to exact revenge on the Hilltoppers for their insurrection, but not the same plan of revenge Negan had. Simon wants to murder them all, and now that he is speaking for Negan, he has convinced the Savior horde that a massacre is the best method for fixing the Hilltop problem.
Of course Dwight initially went along with Simon when they decided to not look for Negan after finding his crashed car, but it’s clear that he didn’t understand where Simon would take things. You could see it on Dwight’s face when Simon announced an all out killing spree, so expect him to get in the way next week when Simon shows up at the Hilltop ready to shoot the place to pieces.
5. Rick and Negan’s Flaming Lucille Fight
Lucille was definitely a star in this episode. She had Negan fawning all over her in the early parts of the episode, then she got set on fire and was used by Rick to try and kill Negan in its closing moments. This scene in particular makes this list because it showcased yet another scuffle between Rick and Negan that Rick initiated, but eventually screwed up by losing Negan yet again. It also served as another study on just how much Negan loves Lucille, because he basically flings himself and Rick into a room full of Walkers out of anger for Rick lighting it on fire and using it against him. His love and passion for this bat is insane, but awesome because it makes Negan who he is. A very sound man with a plan, but one who is nutty enough to also talk to a bat as if it were a real person.
6. Maggie and Georgie Reach a Deal
When Maggie first met Georgie and her group she treated them like the Saviors would treat a new group, but because Maggie is Maggie and not Rick, she eventually comes around to Georgie’s offer and agrees to trade with them. Thanks to her willingness to work with Georgie, Georgie hands over some much needed food for the Hilltop, but more importantly she hands over a manual on how to essentially rebuild society using old medieval blueprints for building key resources.
This will surely have long lasting impacts on the show as it moves forward, so it’ll be interesting to see how Maggie and the others use the manual, and if Georgie’s community is as peaceful as she states.
7. Negan Captured
After Negan escapes Rick it’s not clear where he went off to, but thanks to the last shot of this episode, his location is revealed. We see Negan passed out in a car being driven somewhere, and his drives is Jadis, the leader of the now dead trash people. She’s holding a gun to his head, and is probably really pissed after Simon slaughtered her people, so it’ll be interesting to see where she is taking him, and what she has planned for him. Knowing Jadis, she could easily cut another deal with him, but I’m hoping the murder of her people will have her treating him a bit more unfairly this time around.
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