In ‘The Walking Dead’ recap, Rick and Michonne say goodbye to Carl and Alexandria, Simon fails to follow Negan’s orders and two communities face dire futures…
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
The death of Carl Grimes definitely puts ‘The Walking Dead’ TV series on a much different course than the original comic books considering how important that character remains in the source material.
Of course, ‘The Walking Dead’ has always deviated from Robert Kirkman’s original comics and considering he’s an executive producer on the TV show, it’s likely he’s had at least a hand in all the major changes.
How the story is altered with the death of Carl remains to be seen — but one major change that continues to dominate on ‘The Walking Dead’ are the addition of two communities never seen in the comics.
The Scavengers (the trash people) and Oceanside aren’t from the source material and it’s easy to see that the writers on ‘The Walking Dead’ are obsessed with these two places because they keep popping back up no matter how little they seem to matter to the overall story.
This week’s episode spends ample time in both places with Rick, Michonne, Simon and the Saviors stopping by the Scavengers’ trash heap while Aaron and Enid are stuck at Oceanside after originally going there for help.
Perhaps there will be a big payoff for these two communities in the grander scheme of things, but thus far the bulk of the episodes centered around them have felt more like an anchor than a way to really move the overall story forward.
With that said, let’s recap the latest episode of ‘The Walking Dead’ titled ‘The Lost and the Plunderers’….
The title of this week’s episode ‘The Lost and the Plunderers’ is directly related to the sign painted outside of Alexandria that Rick put up after his group helped to organize and get that community in line over the past couple of seasons. Now the entire place is in ruins after Negan and the Saviors bombarded Alexandria in an attempt to exact revenge on Rick’s group for attacking the Sanctuary.
As we pick up this week, Rick and Michonne are finished burying Carl — with a slight homage to the comic books with a gun hanging off the grave for a brief moment, which is how Shane was buried in the original story. Rick eventually picks up the gun and alongside Michonne, they begin to pack up the last remnants of this place they once called home.
Michonne is struck by the hand prints left by Carl and Judith. She also finds the letters that Carl left behind for everybody near and dear to him — including one addressed to Negan.
Just before driving out of Alexandria one last time, Michonne makes a feeble attempt to save a gazebo that’s on fire because it’s a place where Carl used to sit sometimes. It’s an ill fated effort, however, just like Michonne attempting to close the gate to Alexandria with walkers crashing through so quickly that she couldn’t stop it. The same thing happens here as Rick and Michonne’s efforts to put out the fire fail before the walkers are getting too close for comfort and they are forced to leave without saving one last thing that Carl seemed to love so much.
Before meeting at the Hilltop to stage their next attack on Negan, Rick decides that the need to pay another visit to Jadis and the Scavengers. Before the Saviors escaped captivity, Rick hand convinced them to turn traitor yet again and help them put a nail in Negan’s coffin.
Instead, the Saviors escaped and the Scavengers abandoned Rick on the road. For some unknown reason, Rick still wants to get them on his side so he drives back to the trash heap for another meeting with Jadis.
Unfortunately this time, Rick and Michonne aren’t met by trash people but instead a giant pile of garbage falls down on the entrance after they get into the community and they are soon besieged by a horde of zombies. How did all this happen? We’ll get to that in the next section.
Send a Message
Back at the Sanctuary, Negan is relishing his apparent victory when he begins to realize that didn’t actually come away completely victorious. The survivors from Alexandria escaped, he hasn’t received word from Gavin at the Kingdom (and won’t because he’s dead) and he just received a coffin from the Hilltop with a dead Savior inside and a threat written on the outside to either back off or they’ve got 38 more hostages ready to sacrifice.
Negan is also having a difference of opinion with his second in charge Simon, who believes it’s time to retaliate with brute force against all those who oppose the Saviors or just cut their losses and find new communities willing to bow down to them.
Obviously, Negan rejects that premise and instead decides to send Simon on a new mission — to reconnect with the Scavengers and make sure to get Jadis and her people back in line. He gives Simon explicit instructions — he’s to ‘send a message’, which means one person gets killed to ensure everyone else follows orders. Simon would prefer to wipe them all out but he follows Negan’s commands and heads off to the trash heap.
When Simon arrives, he first demands an apology from Jadis, who claims she was never teamed up with Rick but instead was leading him into a trap at the Sanctuary. Either way, Simon isn’t buying it but first he wants to know a little bit more about why these Scavengers choose to live in a trash heap while mentioning that this place is outfitted with solar panels and a helicopter pad in the back. Neither Simon or Jadis expand on this information but there’s no way it’s being mentioned without a purpose.
Regardless, Simon ends up taking all of the Scavengers’ weapons and then once again demands an apology from Jadis. Unfortunately, Simon doesn’t feel the remorse he wants for their treacherous actions so he shoots two of Jadis’ top lieutenants, which results in her punching him in the mouth.
Simon decides enough is enough and so he has the Saviors slaughter all the remaining trash people with the exception of Jadis, who he leaves alive inside the compound as she waits for her friends to wake up with a hunger to eat her. This is the point at which Rick and Michonne actually enter the Scavengers’ lair after the Saviors have already exited.
Once inside, Rick and Michonne fight back the reanimated Scavengers before finding Jadis sitting on top of the trash heap. Jadis explains that she discovered this place before the zombie apocalypse when she used to come here to find canvases for her paintings. She was able to transform it into a place where people could survive but now they’re all dead. Jadis then asks to come along with Rick and Michonne but he refuses.
Instead, Rick and Michonne battle their way out of the compound but just before leaving he fires a shot into the air, to keep the zombies pouring in on Jadis.
Jadis doesn’t die, however, as she instead unleashes a rather gruesome plan to lure all of her former friends into a giant trash compactor that crushes, slices and dices them up into one big bloody mush. One by one all of the former Scavengers are mangled and reduced to applesauce before Jadis sheds a tear for the place she’s called home since the dead rejoined the living.
After shooting Natania — the leader of Oceanside — in the mid-season finale, we finally pick up with Aaron and Enid after they are captured and held by the new leader, her granddaughter Cyndie.
At first it appears that Aaron and Enid have earned a death sentence after killing Natania but that’s now how it plays out. Instead, Enid suggests that killing them will only bring retribution from Rick and the rest of the survivors and they’d be better off letting them go.
Cyndie listens (for some unknown reason) and she frees Aaron and Enid to return home with a warning to never return her again.
Of course that means Aaron is going to stay behind because he believes he can convince them to join the fight against the Saviors (despite the fact that his people already stole all of their weapons last season). Enid heads back home while Aaron promises that he will follow behind, hopefully with a new army at his back.
Letters from the Dead
On the way out of Alexandria, Rick can’t let go of the fact that his dying son wrote a letter to Negan for some reason. He finally pulls the van over and tells Michonne that he needs a minute as he grabs the letters for a moment alone.
Rick glances at the letter — that mentions forgiveness and working together rather than going to war — but he’s so infuriated that he decides to give a cal to Negan to pass along a message.
At the Sanctuary, Simon has returned but fails to tell Negan that he just slaughtered all of the Scavengers and instead only mentions that he took their guns and the message was received. Of course, Simon is just waiting for someone to find out what he actually did by going against Negan’s orders.
Negan also says that they’ve sent out a convoy to check on Gavin after he still hasn’t checked in following his assault on the Kingdom.
Finally, Negan gets the call that Rick is asking to speak with him. That’s when Rick tells Negan that Carl is dead.
From the look of things, Negan is genuinely upset to hear about Carl’s death and his first instinct is to ask if the boy died a result of their bombardment on Alexandria. Rick answers that Carl died trying to help somebody, but there will be no help for Negan. Rick promises that despite his son’s dying wish, he’s going to kill Negan or die trying.
Negan answers back with the cruelest possible response as he tells Rick that Carl’s death is on his hands. If Rick would have just surrendered and followed the rules that were set forth by the Saviors, none of this would have happened and Carl would still be alive. Rick has no one to blame for Carl’s death but himself. He failed as a leader and now he’s failed as a father.
Cold blooded doesn’t begin to describe that message but it’s received loud and clear as Rick clutches onto that walkie talkie, wishing every second that it was Negan’ throat instead. Now Rick has to find away to exact his revenge while Negan wants to put a boot heel on his throat to put a stop to this rebellion once and for all.
‘The Walking Dead’ returns with a brand new episode next Sunday night at 9pm ET on AMC