While The Walking Dead has seemed to struggle as of late to find its direction, this season’s twelth episode entitled, “The Key” did its best to help right the series course.
Robert Kirkman’s zombie apocalypse on AMC has indeed seen better days as recent viewership has gone down, but Kirkman’s opus is far from over, with last night’s episode seeing good action, twists, and turns, with only a slight amount of disappointment.
The episode begins with a jolting by the Saviors, as we see Negan and his band of merry survivors getting ready for war, by dipping all of their deadly instruments in zombie guts. A ploy which is aimed at making any one scratched or cut by an infected Savior weapon, one of the walking dead to be sure.
We also see Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) seem to call Dwight’s loyalty in question, with Dwight (Austin Amilio)then placed to ride with Simon (Steven Ogg), who ultimately is plotting against Negan.
But the most important part of “The Key” was not just the mysterious trading stranger named Georgie (Jane Atkinson) and what she offered Maggie (Lauren Cohan) and the Hilltop, but rather the conflict of morals that we see the Hilltop going through, when deciding what to do about the strange visitors seeking only food and vinyl records.
While Maggie struggles with the role of leadership in trying times, we see Michonne (Danai Gurira)wanting to honor Carl’s memory and what she believes his vision of the future was, as apposed to Enid (Katelyn Nacon) and Rosita’s (Christian Serratos) more jaded view of what the world has become and how strangers should be treated.
Making what would appear to be the right choice however, Maggie chooses the diplomatic approach, with Georgie seeming to approve of Maggie’s decision. Thus giving Maggie and in turn the Hilltop, ‘The Key’, which is an instruction manual on how to rebuild civilization. Whether Georgie is a part of the New Order currently being featured in the Walking Dead comics by Image Comics, is yet to be seen. However, while I like the idea of a benevolent and jedi-like all knowing character, I did not find the trio of traders led by Georgie to be very believable as they just did not seem hard enough for veteran survivors of the zombie apocalypse.
The episode did however heat up quite well with Rick (Andrew Lincoln) being able to not only separate Negan from his caravan of Saviors, but to seemingly put a bit of a fright into Morgan’s character. This part was quite fun with both leaders fighting one on one in a building full of zombies.
But even more fun was seeing Rick run around with Negan’s bat ‘Lucielle’ in flames as he took out zombies and tried his best to kill Negan, who until now had no idea that Simon gave the order for the junk people’s community to be slaughtered and killed.
While Negan however finds himself captured by the end of the episode, it is at the hands of an unlikely character, Jadis (Pollyanna McIntosh). While I found this to be a bit of a stretch, one thing is sure, the end must not be too far off for poor Simon, who tried to enlist Dwight in his plan to take over the Saviors from Negan.
All in all “The Key” was a fun episode with some important upcoming elements, but The Walking Dead is still far from the great show it was and I find myself even looking forward to the fourth and upcoming season of Fear The Walking Dead.