by Evan Fischer
Warning: This review may contain spoilers for this episode and previous episodes of The Walking Dead.
“The Lost and the Plunderers” manages to make things happen and adds momentum to the plot, but lacks any real punch to make the episode feel like anything other than just another episode. Huge things happen in this episode. Rick comes to grips with Carl, the scavengers are killed off, and Rick and Negan even have a conversation! But, unfortunately, repetition of ideas and foreshadowing ruin what could have been a great episode.
Title cards separate the plot this time around, starting with Michonne. This segment shows the aftermath of Carl and the immediate reactions of both Rick and Michonne. While it does seem fairly impactful to the characters, Carl was built up to be such a martyr so quickly that the reactions seem blown out of proportion. Carl to me always seemed like the kid who did nothing right and was filled to the brim with angst, which is why the second he started becoming a saint I knew he wasn’t going to last much longer. One scene in particular shows Michonne looking longingly at a burning shelter and stating, “He used to sit on the roof” before running into walker infested territory to put out the fire.
This is dumb. Despite being confirmed to be Carl’s best friend forever in the last episode, Michonne acts out of character here. In no world is a burning shelter, which has never been acknowledged before this, something anyone would ever care enough about to risk their lives to save. Michonne’s segment ends with her looking through Carl’s goodbye letters and noticing one addressed to Negan. If this is a letter about forgiveness and mercy (foreshadowed throughout the season) then this is an extremely interesting and promising idea which hopefully doesn’t crash and burn.
Negan’s title card is up next. In this segment Negan and Simon are in disagreement… again. Simon as always wants to kill everyone while Negan wants to “Save” them. This goes on for a while and ultimately ends with Negan yelling again. What this episode does differently, however, is it follows through. Simon doesn’t just scowl at Negan after being yelled at; he actually goes to the junkyard and kills them all. For a show that excels in doing nothing, it really shines when it does something. The performances from both Jadis and Simon are great and seeing boring flat characters who speak like cavemen getting mowed down is the most entertaining thing The Walking Dead has done in a while.
Oceanside was also in the episode. It was dumb.
Rick and Michonne come to the aftermath of The Scavengers genocide. Jadis survived due to her powers of not being a background character and begs Rick to save her. Rick overtly ignores his son’s dying wish and once again shoots over her head like he did to Siddiq (aka the reason Carl died) and leaves. This leads to a fun scene where Jadis dumps all the scavengers into an industrial meat grinder before eating a can of applesauce.
The saving grace of the whole episode is the ending. Rick reads Carl’s letter to Negan and proceeds to call him. Unfortunately, Rick has no intention of changing his ways and still wants to kill Negan, but Negan’s response to the news of Carl’s death is fantastic. Negan seems genuinely concerned with the news and ends up blaming Rick for it. While the idea of peace was only hinted at, the whole exchange was interesting and brought a lot to the table. Does Negan really have the best intentions? Is Rick the bad guy? Will they be able to forgive each other? Most likely Rick will just kill Negan with a mutual respect as expected, but maybe this will be the time The Walking Dead surprises us.
The Walking Dead Season 8, Episode 10: "The Lost and the Plunderers"
“The Lost and the Plunderers” often repeats itself. Oceanside doesn’t want help, Rick wants to Kill Negan, Simon doesn’t agree with Negan, don’t trust The Scavengers, ETC. Despite all the interesting things that happen this time around, the plot only hints at progressing and this is what overall holds the episode back.