Welp, things didn't get much brighter for Rick or the rest of the survivors this week.
Misery must love company on "The Walking Dead," which went from killing off a main character in the mid-season premiere to offing an entire community in "The Lost and the Plunderers."
This was one spread out episode, with visits to Oceanside, the Sanctuary, Alexandria and the dump Jadis and her trash people call home. Oh, trash people, it was nice knowing you.
With Negan losing support from his own ranks and Rick struggling with how to cope with his son's death, here are all the latest developments we just need to talk about.
The episode began moments after Rick and Michonne buried Carl, who succumbed to a walker bite and shot himself last week. Rick thought about leaving Carl's gun on his grave, but instead took it with him. Michonne dealt with her grief in another way: slicing and dicing as many walkers as possible to work through her anger and frustration.
In a moving moment, Michonne noticed the handprints Carl and Judith made on their front porch, crying as she saw them.
As the two were about to leave Alexandria behind, Michonne noticed a gazebo Carl used to sit at was burning and was determined to put out the fire. Sadly, they were overrun by zombies, meaning it went up in smoke.
After saying goodbye to their former home, the two thought about what Carl said to them, wondering what he would have wanted them to do now. "Did he want us to stop fighting the Saviors, just surrender to Negan?" asked Rick, before Michonne told him that his son left a note behind for Negan too. More on that later ...
Do you think this is the last we've seen of Alexandria? Or will they try and rebuild again? It was a pretty sweet setup.
Negan is losing control over his right-hand man, as Simon went rogue this week when dealing with the Scavengers. During a tense meeting with the big bad man with the bat, Simon said he wanted to "eliminate" Jadis and her people for making a back door deal with Team Rick. Negan, however, said to take out one of them "and the rest will fall in line."
Simon also said it might be time for the Saviors to cut their losses with Rick and Jadis' communities and find other groups out there to "save" instead. Again, Negan was not on the same page. During all this, they also got a "delivery" from the Hilltop -- a coffin with one of their own inside, along with the message, "We have 38 more. STAND DOWN."
Despite their fight, Negan still sent Simon to deal with the trash people, and Simon did not follow the rules. Initially, he made them agree to hand over their weapons and ammo as a sign of good faith. When they did, he still didn't feel Jadis was remorseful enough, and killed two of her top commanders. When she retaliated by punching him in front of everyone, it was Game Over for the Scavengers.
After killing everyone except Jadis, Simon went back to the Sanctuary, where he flat-out lied to Negan. What's going to happen to him when Negan finds out the truth? You know he will and it will not be good.
Jadis and the Meat Grinder
Rick and Michonne showed up to the dump after Simon and the Saviors had done their dirty work, finding only Jadis alive. This was an entirely different Jadis, however, one rocking a white satin nightie and speaking without her character's frustrating shorthand.
During their conversation, she explained how she used to go to the junkyard before the outbreak as an artist, looking for pieces to work with. "Then after everything changed, I realized this whole place was a canvas, but we were the paint," she said. "We could create something new, we could become something new. We did. This was our world, apart from everyone else. In every way."
Rick wasn't feeling sorry for Jadis in the least, and went out of his way to not help her escape. After she was left there all alone, she lead her now zombified people, one by one, into a trash compactor that squished them all to a bloody pulp. It was, by far, one of the most graphic moments in show history.
She ended her day by eating some applesauce, likely pondering her next move. Seriously though, what is she going to do now? Is this the last we're going to see of Jadis? Will she somehow join up with Team Rick again? Could she be the one who tells Negan what Simon did? So many questions here.
Enid and Aaron Hit Up Oceanside
OK, this wasn't so shocking, but we'll discuss it anyway.
Even though the people of Oceanside have made it VERY clear they do not want to help Team Rick fight the Saviors about 100 times already, Enid and Aaron tried again. And, again, they were told to beat it.
Enid told Cyndie she didn't regret killing Natania, something the women of Oceanside weren't exactly over yet. "Your grandmother got herself killed, so don't make the same mistake," Enid told her. "We know who we have to kill, we know the difference between friends and enemies, you should too."
For some reason, Aaron believes he's the one who can talk this group into finally joining them in their battle, so he decided to stay, sending Enid on her own back home to Hilltop. We're guessing they're eventually going to get in line, or else this whole storyline is just an ongoing waste of time.
After their trip to the junkyard, Rick decided to read Carl's letter to Negan. While we don't know exactly what it said, part of it clearly read, "The way out is working together. It's forgiveness."
This moves Rick, who called up Negan on the walkie talkie. "Carl's dead. He wrote letters. He wrote one to you, he asked you to stop. He asked me stop. He asked us for peace," he told Negan. "But it's too late for that. And even if we wanted a deal now, it doesn't matter, I'm gonna kill you."
Looks like the grieving father might need more time to process Carl's request before taking it to heart.
Negan, for his part, did seem legitimately sad about the news and asked if it was one of his men who did it. After Rick explained the situation, he added, "God dammit, shit, I am sorry. I wanted him to be part of things I had planned. That kid, that kid was the future."
"The only future is one where you're dead," Rick replied.
The final moments of the episode were Negan telling Rick how it was his fault that his son died. "He is dead because of you, because you weren't there to stop him from doing something stupid," he angrily told Rick. "You set this course Rick, who's next? I stop people from dying, I am the answer. It's time, do not let any more of your shit decisions cost you to lose anyone else that you love. That garbage, that sticks with you. Forever. Just like Carl will. Hell, I'm feeling it and I'm gonna be feeling it for a while. You could have just let me save all of you. That's why I killed your friends in the first place. So you could sit there and you can say that you're going to kill me, but you won't. You failed. You failed as a leader and most of all, Rick, you failed as a father. Just give up. Give up because you have already lost."
Rick appeared shellshocked by the message, which we're sure will only incite more fire and fury from our favorite survivors in the weeks to come. But, at the end of it all, will Sheriff Grimes be able to find a more diplomatic way to end the war with the Saviors? That remains to be seen and, at this point, still seems unlikely.
"The Walking Dead" airs Sundays on AMC.