THE WALKING DEAD RECAP S8EP12 THE KEY

Paul Mendoza

The second half of Season Eight continues to be stronger than the first. This episode was perhaps the best of the season. It starts off with those damn super serious close ups again, this time, of Negan, Simon and Dwight but quickly shifts into action with strong character building scenes and great action. I watched it a second time with my friend Charlotte and she remarked “This is like a season finale!”. It’s that good.

Negan’s plan is to attack Hilltop with weapons coated in walker blood and guts. He doesn’t want to kill them all he just wants to get them back in line. Simon, who’s already disobeyed Negan by wiping out ehe garbage people makes all kinds of faces of disgust with this plan.

RICK and DARYL

“I look around and … I think about the people that are gone. And the people that are still here. It ain’t right, and it ain’t fair.” Daryl

Daryl kind of apologizes for deviating from Rick’s plan and trying to finish off The Saviors with his attack on The Sanctuary. Rick kind of accepts and thanks him for getting everyone safely to Hilltop, namely, Judith. But when Daryl offers to go with him to go on the lookout for attack Rick nicely says, ‘no thanks’.

MAGGIE, MICHONNE and ENID

“Build this place up. I want those other crates filled when I get back. Cheeses for Hilda, pickles for Mitch.” Georgie

Maggie and company get contacted by an unknown group that want to trade ‘knowledge’ for food and records (no spoken word!). Maggie, Michonne, Rosita and Enid venture out to meet these poeple and are greeted by a well put together and smartly dressed women named Georgie (Jayne Atkinson) and a pair of female twins named Hilda and Midge. Maggie is very suspicious and refuses to make the deal and instead forces them to come back to Hilltop. Enid is empathic that they take their stuff and keep them captive. Machine is the voice of reason and wants to deal and make friends. She says that this is what Carl would have wanted, after all, because carl reached out to help strangers they now have a doctor. “And now he’s dead” Enid reminds Michonne, as if she needed reminding. “Stand back” Michonne tells Enid after she takes away her gun.

Eventually, Maggie, follows Michonne’s advice and makes the deal. Georgie lets them have the food they had in their van and gives her a package of documents entitled “A Key For A Future” which include schematics for windmills, aqueducts, water mills etc. Looks like Georgie wants Hilltop to succeed. But who is she? Where is her community? Why haven’t they fallen under Negan’s thumb?

SIMON and DWIGHT

“Let’s rap her, let’s get candid, let’s get weird” Simon

Simon comes right out and lets Dwight know that he disagrees with Negan about how to handle Rick, The Widow and The King. Megan is still trying to get them to submit but Simon, correctly, sees that they will never stop fighting. Simon wants to wipe them all out and move on. Dwight is extremely cautious and does not come out and agree with him.

As the convoy of Saviors makes its way to Hilltop, Simon sees a car speeding their way. he doesn’t say anything. The car is being driven by Rick and he plows into Negan who was riding alone in a car. They have a high speed chase! Simon actually smiles and keeps everyone from going after them. he takes Dwight and doubles back to loo for Negan. They find his car overturned but no Negan. They agree to stop looking and go back the the group. “The Big Man” as Simon refers to Negan, is gone. Maybe he’s not dead and may show up but for now they need to keep to the plan with one big different; instead of scaring Hilltop they will now ’expunge’ them.

RICK and NEGAN

“This where you die! In the dark! All alone!” Rick

Rick chases Negan into an abandoned building. Rick means business! He is shooting every bullet he has! Finally he runs out as began reaches the top of a staircase. “Hey Prick! You’re out of bullets! Come on!” Megan taunts. Rick takes his ax and tosses it at Negan which cause him to fall and drop Lucille! This starts a cat and mouse chase in the bowels of this walker infested building with a great back and forth for these two characters.

Megan tries to make a deal. He really seems to want to make this work. Then Rick tells him what happened with Jadis and the garbage people, that they were wiped out. This is news to Negan. Rick finds Lucille and sets it on fire! “Don’t you touch her!” Megan cries! The two have an epic battle while also trying to keep from getting devoured by walkers. Rick sets some of them on fire using Lucille! “What the hell is your problem, Rick?” Megan shouts. Eventually Negan escapes and Rick loses him.

In the last scene we see a passed out Negan in the passenger seat of a moving car. As he comes to the camera swerves and we see that Jadis is driving and holding a gun to his head. “Well, shit” Negan smiles. Jades tells him to shut up and knocks him out again with her gun.

Great episode filled with exciting action and surprises. I hope the writing continues in this direction. Keep it simple, give us good character development and lots of action!

SIDE BITES

Simon’s dialogue seemed to be lifted out of a Deadwood script. It’s delightfully stylized. I particularly enjoyed “Past Discomforts”.

Negan gently setting Lucille inside a bucket of walker guts then gazing at her lovingly and saying. “You’re beautiful, baby”

Daryl probably had more dialogue in his scene with Rick than in the last three seasons combined.

Where is King Ezekiel? Haven’t seen him for a couple of episodes.

5 THINGS I THINK I KNOW

1 I think Morgan is going to die before the end of the season
2 Jadis will present Negan to Rick in exchange for her safety
3 Rick and Negan will join forces! Against Simon!
4 I think we’re going to lose Jerry – trying to protect his King
5 Those captive Saviors are going to get loose somehow – probably with Gregory’s help.