A Look at The Walking Dead- Season 8, Episode 10: “The Lost and the Plunderers”

Insert Title Card here.

The episode begins with a title card: Michonne. And she’s in mourning alongside Rick, who puts Carl’s silencer on his grave, but then takes it back. Michonne tries to seal Alexandria’s gates, but walkers get caught in the doors as they attempt to enter. She later returns to Rick’s side and the two head to their home to pack up.

And it’s here that Michonne finds the two painted hand prints left by Carl and Judith. Her grief is temporary, as she heads inside when more walkers approach. It’s time to go, so the two pack up, but before doing so, they rush with fire extinguishers to put out the flames licking a gazebo. But walkers continue to approach, so the two are forced to abandon their fire safety and head to the van. With that, they leave the Safe Zone.

On the road, Rick asks Michonne what she thinks Carl meant, if he wanted them to stop fighting the Saviors. Michonne wants to pull over and read Carl’s notes, but Rick isn’t ready to do that yet. And then Michonne sees that Carl also wrote a letter to Negan. Rick’s priority is talking to Jadis in order to gain their weapons and people. He tells Michonne that the Saviors saw him and Jadis when they went to the Sanctuary.

So the Junkyard Gang is still in danger. Rick and Michonne soon arrive and trip a trap. This causes walkers to converge on them.

Then we cut to the Sanctuary as Negan radios to his Saviors on how to deal with their situation. He tells Simon that the Alexandria residents escaped and Carl played him. Simon wants to go out, but Arat is already on the job. As for the Hilltop, it went as requested. No word from Gavin yet. As for what Simon can do now, there’s the Junkyard Gang. They pulled a triple cross, but they’re still a resource.

So Simon is to deliver the standard message: take one out and the rest will fall in line. But only one. Simon wants to cut the losses, saying the Junkyard Gang won’t learn. The communities don’t seem to understand the situation in his opinion, so maybe the Saviors should learn their own lesson and move further out to find other communities to…save. Negan finds that laughable.

Killing everyone to solve the problem isn’t what the Saviors do. Saving people is hard, but to Negan, it works. Once Rick is out of the picture, everything is aces again. Some Savior lieutenants then arrive with a coffin from the Hilltop. Atop the coffin reads that there are 38 more and that the Saviors should stand down.

When the coffin is opened, Negan puts down Dean with the stapler gun. Livid that the Saviorsi from the satellite outpost are being held, Simon wants to go after his people and get revenge, but Negan orders Simon to do his job. As in this isn’t the time to go rogue.

And then we get what I believe is the most pointless scene of the episode: Oceanside.

Enid and Aaron are being held captive by the Oceanside community. Naturally, the ladies aren’t happy about their leader being killed. Who would? Beatrice tells Cyndie that, as Natania was her family, she should make the decision on what to do with Enid and Aaron. Though Rachel just wants the two killed. Of course. Enid is convinced that Natania made her kill her, and she’d do it again if she had to.

The women free Enid and Aaron, but then prepare to take them to the beach to be executed. Enid tries to argue that Natania got herself killed, but ultimately, Cyndie lets the two live. However, they are not to return. Enid, in response, says that Cyndie should learn the difference between friends and enemies. Enid, you’re not really in a position to negotiate.

Aaron wants to go home more than anything, but he won’t do so until the Oceanside women decide to fight. He wants Enid to tell Maggie what’s happened, but she wants him to promise that he’ll be okay. And he wants her to do the same.

Okay, I hate this scene for a number of reasons, but we’ll get to that later.

Simon takes some Saviors with him to the junkyard, where the Junkyard Gang is armed and ready, but Simon reminds the group that they’re friends. He wants an apology, as he knows about Jadis’ deal with Rick, despite the previous arrangement with the Saviors. And the Saviors did see the Junkyard folks with Rick when they attacked the Sanctuary.

But Jadis tells Simon that there’s no deal with Rick since he was brought to the Saviors. To Simon, that’s bullshit. But no worry. Jadis got herself a big break, as Negan is willing to forego any punishment provided that the Junkyard Gang reverts to the original deal. After that, all is forgiven. However, the Saviors will take all the ammunition in return, as they do have a need. As friends, the Junkyard Gang will comply as a sign of good faith.

And the Junkyard Gang won’t need it with the Saviors on their side. The Saviors relieve the Junkyard Gang of their guns. He eyes Jadis’ painting and learns that Jadis came to know this, and then asks why their home is the dump. There’s also the helipad and solar panels. Just what the hell was this place? A dump. Simon wants to know if Jadis knows. As he hasn’t received an apology, he wants to know if there is remorse.

There is, and that’s when Simon shoots and kills both Brion and Tamiel. Jadis punches Simon, saying in full sentences that there is remorse, but Simon doesn’t think she means that, so he orders the Saviors to light up the place.

He returns to the Sanctuary and tells Negan- who hasn’t heard from Gavin yet- that he got the job done. And there was indeed remorse from Jadis. Then, to Negan’s surprise, another Savior informs him that Rick is on the radio.

Next title card is Jadis, as we cut back to Rick and Michonne cutting down every walker in the dump. They head to higher ground, where they find Jadis sitting atop the heap. She tells the two that the Saviors did this, and they can get out the same way they entered. She then explains that before all this, the dump was just heaps.

She came to find things to paint on, and then after everything changed, she realized this place was a canvas. But the people were the paint and could create something new. And they did. This was their world apart from everyone else in every way. Rick, though, tells Jadis that she brought this on herself. He then decides that he and Michonne will make a run for it, but Jadis wants to join.

Rick, though, shoots that down, saying she can’t help anymore. Using car doors and frames as shields, they make their way through the walkers and approach the entrance. Jadis still wants to leave, but Rick just fires a shot into the air as the walkers begin converging on Jadis, who is forced to flee.

She soon bangs a staff as the walkers approach. They run into a chain and Jadis activates a trash compactor. She removes the chain and watches as her former followers all walk to their deaths. As the walkers are crushed and ground to death, Jadis weeps at the loss of her tribe.

Sometime later, when all is silent, Jadis goes to a file cabinet and starts eating food from a can.

Then Rick gets a title card. He tells Michonne that he didn’t want Jadis dead, just gone. After all, he did shoot above her head. But Michonne thinks back to what Carl said, how they have a choice. He pulls over and tells Michonne that he needs a second. He gets out of the van and starts reading Carl’s letter to Negan.

He radios to the other person on the radio to get Negan, announcing that Rick Grimes wants to speak to him. Negan asks if Rick wants to meet him face to face, but instead, Rick tells Negan that Carl is dead. He reveals that Carl’s letter to Negan wanted him and Rick to stop fighting and instead advocate for peace, but it’s too late for that. If Rick wanted that, it doesn’t matter. He’s going to kill Negan.

Negan asks how Carl died and if the fire bombing was the cause, but it wasn’t. Carl went out to help someone and got bitten. Negan apologizes, saying that Carl was the future. To Rick, the only future is the one where Negan is dead. However, Negan tells Rick that Carl’s death is his own fault, saying that he wasn’t there to stop him from doing something stupid.

To Negan, he saves people from dying. Rick shouldn’t let any more of his terrible decision-making lead to more people dying. Those deaths, like Carl, will stick with him. Rick could’ve just let Negan save everyone, and that’s why Rick’s friends died. But Negan knows that Rick won’t kill Negan. He failed as a leader and father. Right now, Rick should just give up because he’s already lost.

Well, I’ll be. Talk about saving the best for last. There’s a lot of good in “The Lost and the Plunderers,” but the best scene for my money had to be Rick and Negan’s conversation towards the end.

For one, we’ve seen Negan foster a bond with Carl. He grew attached to the kid and, as he tells Rick, knew that Carl would have been the future. It was an interesting change of pace to see Negan feel remorse at Carl’s death, even though it wasn’t his fault. The fact that he even asked if the Saviors were the cause shows how he would have regretted his actions had he known the outcome.

Though imagine that- Negan being the cause of Carl’s death. I wager that would have gutted him the same way the loss still guts Rick and Michonne now. I liked seeing Negan show a bit of vulnerability here. He truly feels upset that Carl is dead and even though that won’t stop Rick from fighting, Negan had a point.

His decisions often lead to people dying, going all the way back to when he and the others first told Jesus that taking care of Negan would be no problem. Sure, hindsight is 20/20 and Rick completely underestimated Negan, but it’s applicable even now. If Rick had initially let Siddiq come back to Alexandria, Carl wouldn’t have to go out and find him and, as a result, he wouldn’t have been bitten.

Now sure, it doesn’t help to kick Rick when he’s down, and Negan isn’t entirely in the business of saving when he still kills to get his point across, but there’s an argument to be made. Sure, Negan is a brute who rules with an iron fist, but he does leave a bit of wiggle room to negotiate.

The polar opposite would be Simon, who has a lot of rage. Hell, in his first appearance in the Season Six finale, he made it clear that he doesn’t negotiate. Whether he spoke for himself, Negan, or all of the Saviors, I don’t know, but he’s more willing to go to extremes when pushed, unlike Negan.

So it makes sense that he’d go against Negan’s orders and kill all of the heapsters save for Jadis just to teach her a lesson about loyalty. He already seems like he’s on thin ice as far as his relationship with Negan goes, and that he not only went against his orders, but lied to him about it makes me feel that his days are numbered once Negan finds out the truth.

Sure, Simon got results and all but ensured that the Junkyard Gang won’t be a nuisance anymore, but he disobeyed direct orders by killing, rather than just giving Jadis a choice.

Speaking of, while I wasn’t all that find of the Junkyard Gang as a whole, it is unfortunate that Jadis is left all by herself. At the same time, she did bring this on herself. By betraying both Rick and Negan, she painted a target on her back and had to bear the ire from both sides. And for what? Just to screw around?

At the very least, I do feel that there’s room for Jadis to redeem herself. While Rick may feel she’s of no use, that may merely be the case now. She could somehow be a wild card in the days to come of the war, though I have no idea how when she has no followers. Then again, there are still many who, for some reason, speculate that Jadis may eventually become Alpha. Make of that what you will.

And then there’s Oceanside. In hindsight, the show could’ve saved Enid and Aaron accidentally killing Natania for this episode. Or, hell, just drop this segment altogether because it’s hard to care for the Oceanside community right now. They want to be left alone. Rick and company already came for their guns before, and even then Natania didn’t want to play a part.

But here? For Enid to make it seem like Natania brought her death on herself…felt odd. And wrong, for that matter. They killed the leader of the community. Neither Enid nor Aaron is in a position to negotiate or take the moral high ground. If anything, at least apologize for killing Natania, even if accidental. Because this kind of antagonism isn’t going to help Aaron’s case.

More than that, I am again left to wonder if the Oceanside community has any consistent fighting prowess. They opened fire on Tara before she could get far, and while they didn’t kill her, we saw that they were at least alert to intruders. Here, two intruders have killed the leader and they get a slap on the wrist. Yes, Cyndie wants to help, but you think she’d show even a bit of emotion at losing a family member.

If the death was going to be swept aside as quickly as it was, why kill Natania in the first place? Felt like pathos for the sake of pathos. They’re not even held prisoner for that long, and Enid’s antagonism kept both her and Aaron from being executed? This was just sloppy. And unnecessary. I have no idea how Oceanside will factor into the war, and I certainly don’t care right now.

With all that said, “The Lost and the Plunderers” had a lot of emotional moments to it between Jadis losing her followers, Rick and Michonne still dealing with Carl’s death, and Negan’s reaction to hearing that Carl had died. Simon’s actions are certain to come back on him once Negan learns what happened, but we’ll see how that all unfolds as the war continues.

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