The latest episode of The Walking Dead definitely had its fair share of mystery and intrigue, but it also had some very confusing parts, especially for scenes at the trash heap. I’m talking about major plot holes during a key exchange between Jadis and Negan, which I still can’t explain today. Although, thanks to a few very intriguing scenes that helped infuse some mystery back into this season, this episode actually came off as entertaining, even though the plot hole filled trash heap segment felt very confusing.
In fact, “Still Gotta Mean Something” featured seven top moments that stood out as key exchanges for the episode itself, or as moments that paid off on existing plot threads, or moments that will spawn new plot threads or be paid off on in future episodes. A few of these moments helped fill in some backstory, while others paid off on threads from last week’s episode, as well as certain narratives that have been stewing for at least a season or two. Plus, there was a scene at the end that really offered up a mysterious cliffhanger, so even if this episode had some unnecessary confusion, it had enough solid narrative content to make it feel like a worthwhile episode to watch.
1. Jadis’ Survival Revealed and Her Little Clean Room
At the start of this episode we got to see how Jadis survived the massacre by the Saviors early this season, as well as a look into her living quarters, which may end up being more important to the show moving forward than anything else that went down at the trash heap so far. Apparently, Jadis is much more resourceful than we may have all thought, because her trick to avoid being murdered was pretty ingenious. She took the body of a friend, hid it quickly, and then laid in his blood pool and played dead, and it worked perfectly. I just didn’t find her to be that resourceful prior to watching this scene play out, so I found it to be quite revealing.
Although, the shots we got soon after of her in a very sterile looking room that appears to be built into a storage container, may be more revealing than her resourcefulness. Her room, which looks as sanitized as a hospital room, just seems out of place for a trash dump. It’s the most clean looking habitat we’ve really seen in the show so far. It looked out of place for a zombie apocalypse in fact, that’s how sterile looking it was. When we factor in Jadis’ odd room with something that happens in a future moment below, I do think there is much more mystery surround Jadis and the trash people than we could ever imagine.
2. Tara Completes Her Dwight 180
This has been stewing ever since Dwight gave himself up to save Tara and the Alexandrians on their trek to the Hilltop, but Tara has officially flipped her stance on Dwight. She tells Daryl as much when she realizes that she’s the only wounded Hilltopper that didn’t turn, which proves that Dwight shot her with a clean arrow in a safe spot on her body to save her from another Savior doing something much more deadly. Tara has now completely forgiven Dwight for his wrongs against her, and she tells Daryl to do what he must, but if he’s still seeking vengeance, he doesn’t need to do it for her anymore.
I believe this whole Dwight, Tara, and Daryl triangle will eventually bubble over into a major moment later this season that will involve one or more of them dying. I’m going with one of them will perish, and it will probably be Tara, only because Dwight is too easy of a choice. I think Tara will die while trying to save Dwight, and Daryl will see this and finally forgive Dwight himself.
Take it to the bank?
3. The Whole Negan, Jadis, Chopper Cluster Bang
About halfway through the episode an extended scene plays out between Jadis and Negan, and while it should have been an extremely tense moment, it mostly turns into a head scratcher due to a clear plot hole that throws everything off. Jadis has Negan tied to a board with wheels on it, and she’s threatening him with Lucille, and seemingly appears poised to burn it to ash in front of him. She then steps away to get something, and we see Negan start to slide himself on his board towards the fire pit, but then out of nowhere he somehow ends up with a lit flare, a gun, and pictures that belong to Jadis. I mean it’s as if they materialized out of thin air, because the props can’t be seen prior to this moment, nor do we see him grab anything. Before you know it, Jadis is back with a walker strapped to a cart, and the two start negotiating now that Negan has the upper hand.
Oh, and a freaking chopper comes out of nowhere, but seemingly on a schedule that Jadis knew about thanks to her dedicated glances at her watch throughout the episode. It appears she planned to use the flare Negan now had to light the bon fire with Lucille in it, which in turn would signal the chopper pilot to their existence. During their negotiations we get to see an emotional Negan for the first time as he begs for his Lucille to not be destroyed, and the two end up striking a deal. Negan gets his bat back and promised he’d make things right with Jadis over what happened to her people, and she agrees to let him go and gives him Lucille back.
The whole exchange just felt overly confusing thanks to the plot hole of how Negan got the upper hand. This is a shame too, because the whole chopper element of this scene adds a ton of mystery and intrigue to Jadis now, but thanks to how clunky the segment played out, I spent more time questioning how in the hell Jadis even let Negan get his hands on a gun, a flare, and her most important possessions in the world. It just felt off, and made the whole scene feel cheap, as well as making Jadis feel like a complete dope. Although, I do contend that she may now be a part of a bigger more advanced community, mostly because of the sterile living quarters she has, and how she pretty much knew exactly when the chopper would show up around the trash heap. Something is up with her and the Chopper people, so I hope we see some payoff before this season ends.
4. Rick and Morgan Captured and They’re Liars
Rick and Morgan are both insane, one is just a little more experienced in being nuts. Anyway, the two run into each other while hunting down the escaped Saviors, and they end up getting caught somehow, but that’s just another layer of confusion for this episode, so we will just chalk it up to them both being incompetent psychopaths.
While they’re being held prisoner by Jared and the other escaped Saviors, Rick makes a plea that he’ll allow them to join the Hilltop if they let them go. He gives them his word, so they eventually do let them go, and they even save Rick and Morgan from becoming a zombie Happy Meal. Just after being saved though, Rick and Morgan turn on them and slaughter them like pigs.
Rick comes off as a more vile person than even Negan for this betrayal, and he truly is Rick the Prick. He’s becoming the man Carl feared he would, and there doesn’t appear to be any redemption for Rick moving forward. He feels like a broken character, or at least one that can never claim to be a righteous leader ever again.
5. Jared Finally Dies
Jared, the long haired Savior asshole we’ve all grown to hate over the past two seasons finally met his end. Morgan locks him in a room with walkers and he gets his ass eaten, so his douchiness will be no more. That’s reason enough alone for making this list. Rot in peace, Jared, no one will miss you.
6. Carol Finds Henry
While Rick and Morgan were hunting down the escaped Saviors, Carol was out looking for Henry after Morgan left her for being too reasonable. Carol does eventually find Henry, which resulted in a great scene for the character, and made her feel like less of a machine for the first time in the past few seasons, so it was nice to get a warmer Carol back. Hopefully she’ll keep her edge moving forward, but will also exhibit more hope and passion as this season plays out.
7. Negan Picks Up a Stranger
The episode closes with another chopper-like mystery, which helped it close strong. As Negan is driving back to the Sanctuary he stops and picks up someone he clearly knows, but who is in rough shape. We are never shown who this character is, but we do know that Negan makes it back to the Sanctuary, and that he doesn’t want anyone to know that he has returned.
In terms of the mystery passenger I’m not too sure who it could be, but the Internet is suggesting that it’s the female lieutenant that hasn’t been seen since the first half of the season, or Gregory. Both would be big problems for Dwight, because both of them know of his betrayal, so I’m hoping that is the case just to add more tension to that plot thread. I’m also interested in seeing how Negan handles Simon, so this episode did end on a great little cliffhanger, which ended up redeeming most of this episode’s odd confusing moments.
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