Warning: Spoilers are ahead for the season eight of The Walking Dead. Keep reading at your own risk.
While last week’s episode “Dead or Alive or” reminded us that everything sucks and nothing matters, this week’s “Key” seems to be telling us that hope still exists. We see this play out with Michonne and Maggie, and with the curious inclusion of a new character, who may just be the future of the show.
We know that Carl wrote letters to everyone, but his plea that Rick and company make peace with Negan and leave something for after doesn’t seem to be going over well. In a conversation between Rick and Daryl, we learn that Rick is still set in his ways; in fact, Carl’s death has caused him to burrow even deeper into his convictions. Rick tells Daryl that he should’ve never even considered the safety of the innocent workers at Sanctuary, and should’ve just tried to nuke the whole place from orbit if that meant keeping his people safe. I don’t think that was the takeaway Carl was hoping for, Rick!
Rosita, unsurprisingly, seems still intent on killing as many Saviors as she can get her hands on. Enid struggles as well, and understandably so; she’s still just a kid, and her only friend and love interest is dead. When Maggie and the other women are faced with a newcomer offering a barter of goods, it’s Enid who encourages Maggie to hold them at gunpoint and just take their stuff. This world makes monsters of different kinds, The Walking Dead reminds us.
Really, the one person who seems to be trying to adhere to Carl’s wish is Michonne. “We can’t give up on who Carl wanted us to be,” Michonne says to Maggie and Enid, holding back tears. Michonne is clearly still deep in mourning, and her disappointment that Rick and the others haven’t listened to Carl’s last dying wish is weighing on her. One wonders if Michonne’s feelings are intensified by the fact that this is technically like her losing a second son; as you recall, she told Carl himself that her first son, Andre, died shortly after the apocalypse started.
We see the most positive change with Maggie. While she initially sides with Rosita and Enid and does hold the newcomers at gunpoint, she later comes around to Michonne’s point of view. She agrees to barter with the group and let them go before the Saviors descend on them. The group’s ask? Crates full of music records in exchange for knowledge. Maggie finds this weird, but she complies, and lo and behold: not only does the group agree to give them a portion of their food, they give her a guidebook to building windmills, aqueducts, and all the other keys to creating civilization again. In sharp contrast to Gabriel’s plot in the last episode, “The Key” tells us that sometime things do work out after all.
And who are these newcomers? The leader is named Georgie, and her two helpers are the camo-wearing Hilda and Midge. Georgie stands in stark contrast to the rest of the characters we’ve seen, but she does feel similar to a character very recently introduced in issue #176 of the comics. Is it possible Georgie is a Pamela Milton analogue? She’s unfazed by giving away food, so assumedly she comes from somewhere where there's plenty; she wears a crisp, clean suit; and she sounds calm in her knowledge of how to create a civilization. In the comics, Pamela is the head of the Commonwealth, a city with a staggering 50,000 people and its own military force. Georgie is gone as soon as we see her, but she promises to one day be back; is it possible “Key” has set up wherever she comes from as the end goal of the show?
That gives me hope for the future, but meanwhile everything else is spiraling out. Simon is now openly usurping Negan; if you’re like me and hate them both, it’s time to grab the popcorn. Rick had an impressive face-off against Negan—that began as Fast and the Furious but then kind of devolved into stormtrooper-level shooting—but Negan escaped alive. Finally, it looks like Jadis is going to get her revenge, as the episode ends in a killer reveal that Negan is now her prisoner. It’s a surprise twist that filled me with more excitement than this show honestly has in a long time.
Is Georgie Pamela? Where is Jadis taking Negan? Tell us your theories in the comments!
Images: AMC and Image Comics