[Editor’s Note: Spoilers for “The Walking Dead” Season 8 Episode 10, ‘The Lost and the Plunderers,’ follow.]
Whose Episode Is It?
It’s time for “The Walking Dead” to roll out one of its periodic attempts to try and spice up a straight-forward narrative, so “The Lost and the Plunderers” focuses on one character at a time, with each character getting a title card to go with their segment. This allows the episode to futz a bit with chronology, but it’s mostly just window dressing on a pretty basic episode. The big news is that the all the Dumpsters save Jadis are killed, and Rick still isn’t prepared to take Carl’s pleas for peace to heart.
Man Is The True Monster
Simon is champing at the bit to wreak terrible vengeance on Rick’s army, but Negan refuses to give up on subjugating them, even after receiving Maggie’s message about her Savior hostages. Negan sends Simon to bring the Dumpsters back into the fold, with specific instructions not to kill them all. But this is Simon we’re talking about, so when Jadis is insufficiently contrite, he shoots her number two, then her number three, and when she strikes him in anger, he has his men massacre all her people.
It’s hard to get particularly worked up about the Dumpsters’ fate, especially since they were all just weird enigmas with mercurial loyalties. There’s an attempt at the end to explain what their whole deal was, as Jadis recounts (in normal, non-Dumpster speech) how the landfill became their canvas and they could create something new and blah dee blah. Unfortunately, we’ve already been down this exact road before with King Ezekiel, and he’s a much stronger character. It’s possible that Jadis will have some role to play down the line, and when that day comes, hopefully she’ll get some character development that isn’t second-hand.
Much more effective is Rick’s reaction to the whole situation. Jadis begs Rick and Michonne to help her escape the landfill and her zombified people, but Rick just shrugs her off, saying she has nothing left to offer him, anyway. Ice cold, Rick. Jadis, left with nothing, lures the zombies to a giant grinder and watches as each one of her people falls in and is reduced to a kind of meat slurry. Rick’s not the only one who can be ice cold.
A Shred of Humanity
We learn this episode that Rick is baffled by Carl’s last request, going so far to wonder if Carl thought he should surrender to Negan. Michonne sensibly advises reading Carl’s goodbye letter, but Rick’s not ready for that. Michonne also notes that Carl wrote a letter to Negan, which should probably tell Rick something, but he’s still not ready to hear it. After Rick leaves Jadis to die, Michonne gently suggests that’s just the sort of thing Carl was talking about, so maybe Rick should read his letter. Rick opts to read Carl’s letter to Negan instead, and gets so worked up he immediately gets Negan on the walkie talkie.
Rick tells Negan that Carl is dead, and Negan’s genuinely sad to hear it. (It should be noted that Negan’s much easier to take this episode, because Negan’s always better when he can be more than a blustering psychopath.) Rick also tells Negan that Carl wanted peace between them, but Rick doesn’t care, because he’s going to kill Negan. Negan, in turn, blames Rick for Carl’s death, and tells Rick that his crusade against Negan is going to get him and everyone he loves killed. So we’re still where we were at the beginning of the season – Rick wants Negan dead, and Negan wants the AHK alliance at his feet. Even with Carl showing them the way, for now, the leaders of both sides can’t see the forest for the trees.
- Enid and Aaron are spared by the Oceansiders but Aaron vows to stick around until they join the fight. More updates as they develop.
- Michonne and Rick try to save the burning gazebo that Carl was fond of sitting on, but get overrun by zombies. It’s straight out of the “I’m overcome with grief so I’m making poor decisions” playbook.
- Much is made of the blue paint Simon steps in at the landfill, so that will probably figure in to however Negan finds out about Simon disobeying his orders. Or maybe it was just poor symbolism.
- This week in embarrassing Negan lines: “Remind them that a deal with the Saviors is a lock, stock, suck my barrel deal.”