SPOILER ALERT: Do not keep reading if you have not seen Season 8, Episode 10 of “The Walking Dead,” titled “The Lost and the Plunderers”
“The Walking Dead” followed up last week’s Carl-centric midseason premiere with an episode that largely seemed unable to find its focus.
The episode begins with Michonne and Rick stand over Carl’s grave in the smoke and walker-filled mess that is now Alexandria. As they prepare to leave, Michonne rushes to put out a fire that has engulfed a gazebo that was important to Carl. She and Rick blast it with fire extinguishers, but there are too many walkers bearing down on them. They are forced to abandon it and flee the community.
Michonne looks through the letters Carl wrote before he died, discovering he wrote one for Negan. Rick doesn’t react to the news, instead saying they must head for the garbage dump and speak with Jadis. But once there, they get trapped inside the heaps and see that Jadis’ merry band of weird-talking followers are now walkers.
The episode then flashes back to the Sanctuary. Negan wants his team to search high and low for those who escaped Alexandria. Simon, Negan’s top lieutenant, is deadset on wiping out Jadis’ group, but Negan simply wants a message sent. They then receive the special delivery Maggie prepared for them–a Savior turned walker in a box with the message “We have 38 more. Stand Down” written across the top. Simon demands blood for blood, but Negan snaps and tells Simon to do his job and keep his mouth shut.
Meanwhile, Enid and Aaron have made it to the Oceanside colony, intent on asking them to join the fight. Of course, this being Oceanside, all the residents debate whether or not to simply kill Enid and Aaron (while wearing fishing nets for some reason. Seriously, what possible advantage does wearing a net over your clothes provide? We get it, you live near the ocean). Ultimately, they decide not to kill Aaron and Enid and turn them loose. Once outside the community, Aaron tells Enid he cannot go back until he has convinced them to join Rick’s coalition.
Simon and his team roll out and meet with Jadis at the dump. He tells her that the Saviors saw her and her people with Rick and know that they planned to double cross the Saviors. When Simon is not satisfied with Jadis’ explanation of what happened, he demands her people surrender all of their guns. Jadis reluctantly agrees. But once all the guns are collected, Simon demands an apology for her betrayal. She expresses remorse, but Simon isn’t satisfied. He shoots two of her people, leading Jadis to drop him with a punch. Finally pushed over the edge, Simon orders his men to open fire. He returns to the Sanctuary and neglects to mention to Negan what happened.
The episode returns to where we left Rick and Michonne, with the walker-ized versions of the Garbage Pail Kids descending on them. They scale one of the trash heaps to escape, where they find Jadis sitting alone in a white nightgown (she must have had that on under her garbage dump jump suit the whole time). It turns out Jadis does know how to speak normally, and she recounts to Rick and Michonne how she used to come to the dump for things to use in her art before the apocalypse. After the world fell apart, she and her people turned it into their home.
Rick makes a makeshift shield out of a car door so he and Michonne can make their escape. When Jadis tries to join them, Rick fires a few shots near her to get her to back off. She manages to escape the walkers and lures them up to a giant trash grinder. She watches with tears in her eyes as her former comrades are chewed up by the machine’s giant metal gears and spit out as a pile of bloody sludge below.
Back on the road, Rick pulls over and walks off alone with a walkie talkie he took off a Savior and the letters that Carl wrote. He opens the letter for Negan and hails him on the radio. Negan responds, with Rick telling him that Carl is dead. Negan, who greatly admired Carl, is saddened to learn of his death. Rick says that Carl wanted peace, but it is too late and he still plans to kill Negan. Negan closes out the episode telling Rick that he failed Carl as a father and that the boy died because of his own mistakes.