The Walking Dead episode titled ‘The Key’centres prominently around Rick (Andrew Lincoln), the Saviours and the Hilltop. The episode featured the introduction of a new group which I’ll discuss later one and a showdown between Rick and Negan as well as further betrayal by Simon (Steven Ogg).
The introduction of a new group intrigued me as I saw instant similarities between ‘Georgie’ and the newly introduced Pamela Milton, leader of the Commonwealth in the comic book series. The comparison of appearance can’t be a coincidence surly? But in this case, why introduce this group so early? Regardless, the new groups seems to present themselves as the classic ‘safe haven’ which our survivors are all too familiar with by this point. It is apparent Maggie (Lauren Cohen) is hesitant in trusting her, most likely for it seeming too good to be true. Hopefully this will be explored further soon.
One aspect I loved in this episode was the classic Walking Dead tension, where you are left on the edge of your seat. I found this mainly surrounding the showdown between Rick and Negan, where the enclosed area and uneasy atmosphere made for tense viewing! Throughout this, it is fair to give an honourable mention to flaming Lucille which I found to be a clever touch on the show’s behalf. Although reasonably, the showdown should have left either Rick or Negan dead due to the walker ambush, I still found this story line exciting.
A recurring theme throughout the back-half of Season 8 seems to be betrayal which was again highlighted by Simon giving up on searching for Negan and instead becoming more eager to take over as leader of the Saviours. However, his days on the show are numbered now that Negan has found out about the initial betrayal of the slaughtering of the scavengers. It seems, Jadis (Pollyanna McIntosh) must have naturally assumed Simon behaved on orders of Negan with the episode ending on her kidnapping Negan at gunpoint. However how Jadis even found Negan as well as knew where he was is hopefully going to be clarified in the next episode.
Overall, I really liked this episode due to the balance of action and also a potential new direction for the story to be heading. This episode is currently my favourite in the second half of Season 8.