By Phil Akin
Warning: This review may contain spoilers for this episode and previous episodes of The Walking Dead.
To be blunt, “The Key” isn’t entirely pointless. Shocker, I know. Yes, there are parts that are definitely pointless, but some interesting things actually happen—notably introduction of a small group lead by Gracie, as well as Negan learning about how Simon disobeyed him.
To start out, the show is predictable. Everyone knew that, but this episode has once again cemented that idea. When Negan and Rick were fighting, did anyone out there really think either one of them would die? No, because it’s not the finale. Also, both are such huge characters we can be sure they won’t die anytime soon. I say that, but the show is known for killing off interesting characters (*cough* AbrahamGlennMoralesCarl *cough*) so maybe they will die. But, if the writers are smart, that won’t happen.
Getting back on track, the point is that the whole fight scene was irrelevant to the plot. Yes, it was very pleasing to watch. Seeing Lucille get lit on fire by Rick was satisfying, but there were no risks. Sure, Lucille is at risk here, but it’s just a bat. It can easily be replaced. Now, I’ve just said that the whole fight scene was pointless plot-wise, and I stand by that. There was no reason for it to be a physical fight, but this is when Negan finds out about Simon going behind his back and killing all of the Scavengers (except one) in a previous episode. So yes, important information was brought to Negan’s attention, and will probably come back in a future episode, but the point is that scene didn’t need to be a fight. It could have been any number of different things. An intense stare down, a hostage situation, a thumb war. You name it, it’d probably be better than what we got.
Keeping with Negan, but moving on: at the end we see Jadis driving in a car and holding Negan hostage. Now this is an interesting turn of events. She’s a woman who has nothing else to lose. There are so many different possibilities with her character, but ultimately, she’ll probably just be killed (most likely by Negan himself). It would be cool to see her join Negan if they can come to an understanding that the end of the Scavengers was Simon’s fault. It’d also be interesting if she did manage to join Rick’s group since she despises the Saviors now, but she tried that in an earlier episode and it didn’t work out. Jadis is truly a wild card at this point, and it is interesting. Too bad the writers will inevitably find a way to ruin it.
Lastly, there’s Gracie and her two followers. They’re a small group of people who have showed up as randomly as Father Gabriel did. Who are they? Where did they come from? Are they apart of a much larger group? Why are they so nice? Can they be trusted? There are several questions brought up by introducing these characters, and none are really answered. Gracie and company are brought to the Hilltop and they recognize that Maggie’s group needs food more than they do. That’s fantastic, but there’s got to be a catch. Gracie even says they’ll be back in the future to collect. Sounds pretty ominous to me. She also gives Maggie a binder full of “medieval” ideas like windmills and distilleries. That’s probably how we get to the massive community shown in the “Old Man Rick” dreams.
Will Negan kill Jadis or will he smooth-talk her into joining him? Will he brutally murder Simon? Is Jadis going to speak normally from now on? What’s going to happen when Gracie eventually comes back seven seasons from now like Morales did? When will Daryl die? Only time will answer these questions.
Featured Image from AMC
The Walking Dead Season 8, Episode 12: “The Key”
“The Key” is actually an interesting episode, while at the same time being confusing and pointless. There were some seeds planted that will hopefully be brought back in cool ways later on. On the other side, there were points in the episode that either could’ve been handled better (Gracie’s entrance) or didn’t need to happen at all (Negan vs. Rick).
Phil majors in both Creative Writing and Telecommunications (Digital Production). He likes to add his own personality when he edits video content. Phil enjoys video games on the rare occasion he has free time, and is always looking for new music.