By: Casey Johnston (@DarthHockey)
WARNING: There are spoilers ahead for the latest episode of The Walking Dead.
A Plot: Rick and the Day After
As expected, Carl’s death resonated throughout this episode. I’m sure that will be the case for the rest of the season as we see different characters learn about his tragic death and react to it. Just when we thought we knew everything about Carl’s dying dreams, we learned that in the stack of letters that he wrote was one for Negan. This more or less guaranteed the leader of the Saviors would learn of the death in this episode and that happened at the very end. We knew Negan had a soft spot for Carl. I didn’t think that was mind games on Negan’s part; he genuinely liked and respected Carl. His reaction to hearing about his death was sincere heartbreak. Negan was not lying when he told Rick that Carl was the future. I also think Negan was being sincere when he blamed Rick for his death. I liked that Rick and Negan are both grieving for Carl and I’m curious to see if this will continue throughout the season.
As for the way Rick is dealing with things, he doesn’t seem to be too interested in honoring Carl’s wishes for peace and cooperation. He had an opportunity to forgive Jadis but instead left her to die in a pile of garbage. He had a chance to make peace with Negan but instead continued to level threats against him and the Saviors. I don’t know if Rick will eventually come around to Carl’s way of thinking but for right now Rick is ready to lay waste to anyone who isn’t one of his people.
B Plot: Simon Takes Things Into His Own Hands
During the first half of this season, a theory was presented on The Talking Dead in which Simon was the original leader of the Saviors before Negan took things over. I liked the theory at the time and I believe it even more after this episode. Maybe it’s just confirmation bias but the way Simon acted in this episode certainly made him look like someone who’s used to being in charge and giving orders. He definitely wasn’t afraid to disregard Negan’s orders in killing all of Jadis’ people. Of course, Negan will find out about this so I think Simon’s time on the show is limited. Until his time comes, I think this arc will continue to play out as a power move gone horribly awry.
C Plot: Jadis’ Double-Crosses Finally Backfire
It finally happened, Jadis and her people finally paid for all of their double-crosses. If you’re like me, you probably thought this would eventually happen at the hands of Rick, and given his blatant disregard for Carl’s dying wishes it may have happened during this episode if Simon and the Saviors hadn’t gotten there first. Either way, the Heapsters played things fast and loose with two of the most dangerous groups of The Walking Dead universe so this was inevitable.
In the end, I really didn’t feel anything over this turn of events. The Heapsters were pretty underdeveloped as far as survivors on this show go. Unlike most groups we’ve met, we didn’t spend any time apart from the main story with them and we never learned about their motivations are how they came together as a group after the fall of humanity. If it wasn’t for their overall weirdness I would say the group was entirely forgettable. The survival of Jadis almost guarantees we haven’t seen the last of the landfill but I wouldn’t complain if she just completely disappeared from the story altogether.
D Plot: Aaron and the Oceanside Colony
We didn’t spend much time with Enid and Aaron but we did learn that they survived their encounter with Oceanside and Aaron is sticking around to try and recruit more people to fight the Saviors. I don’t have much to say about this other than I’m not surprised Aaron is reverting back to his old role of recruiting people who are lost and need a home.
Thanks for reading!