08x12 - The Key

Previously on AMC's

"The Walking Dead"...

- Light it up now!



So, tell me how it went.

Standard message and delivery.

Carl's dead.

Negan: That kid was the future.

Rick: The only future is one where you're dead.

MAN: Yeah. Yeah, lead the way, D.

NEGAN: Hilltop is gonna learn to toe the line one way or another.

Dead or alive.



Negan: Welcome home, Dwighty boy.

Negan: I gotta say, it is damn good having you back.

Negan: See, things gotta get done. I need my top guys out in front acing that sh1t.

Dwight: Thanks.

Negan: Had yourself a close call, I hear.

Dwight: I got ambushed. I took this. The rest didn't walk away. Well, until... I got to the woods, kept going. You know, I headed toward Hilltop. I figured our people would be putting up a blockade sooner or later.

Negan: Good job. But we pulled the blockade. Have to let the mice play a little, 'cause, you know... our people need to get their business in order.

Negan: You'll see. So, why don't you just slug a beer, put on your best vest, and get your ass downstairs, 'cause like I said...

Negan: We got work.



NEGAN: Get 'em good. It's all right if they spill out. I'm gonna gather up the jackpots for refreshers, and guts is guts. Push it in nice and deep.

Negan: That's the stuff. Holy damn! This is gonna be all kinds of awesome. Once the Hilltop just feels the tip of what we are packin'...[LAUGHS] they are gonna drop to their knees lickety-split.

SIMON: Yes, sir. Ha ha.


SIMON: Listen up! Today is about scaring these people. We're not going for head shots, just flesh wounds.

Hit a few, leave 'em livin', let 'em turn But don't kill 'em.


Simon: Negan's handling his own transport, so you can ride with me.

Dwight: Well, I'm gonna scout ahead, see if anything's coming our way.

Simon: Well, considerate thought, but we got scouts scouting, right?


Simon: Far more expendable soldiers than you, which is not to say you're expendable... at all. Listen, ride with me, we make sure you're up to speed on the plan. It's what Negan wants, so I don't know why we're still jawing. He says, we do.







You look beautiful, baby.




Come here, sweetheart.




Daryl: You know, I... I look around and... I think about the people that are gone... and the people that are still here. It ain't right. And it ain't fair. Look, about... what I did at Sanctuary, trying to end it real quick... I just wanted it done. I didn't want to give them another chance, not again. And I didn't care who was there. I don't know if that makes it right or...

Rick: It does. I didn't want to risk killing innocent people. I should've just been worrying about our people.

Hell with anyone else.

We'll keep fighting...

Until you're ready.

I'm ready.

Maggie's got lookouts out there.

Every half-mile, waiting to signal each other, I know.

Yeah. I'm going, too. To make sure we're all ready.

Daryl: I'll go with you.

Rick: We should split up. We're covering as much ground as we can.

Daryl: All right.

Rick: I'm okay.

Daryl: Yeah?

Rick: Okay. I'm gonna be okay. Daryl... Thank you... For getting them here.

Think he'll come back from this?

Have you come back?

I just keep going.


They will, too.

It'll be harder after we finish this, when it's quiet.

Not if Negan's dead.

Not for me, at least.

Not for me, either.

What do you make of this, D?


This. Our little road trip?

Opportunity to close.

Nothing wrong with that.


Come on, D.

Let's rap here.

Let's get candid.

Let's get weird.

There's nobody here but us chickens.

Top guy to top guy, I just want to know if, in your analysis, you believe these people are gonna cower and cave after we deliver what amounts to yet another warning.

- Don't get paid to think.

- Not true.

Not true.

I value your perspective, Dwight.

You've been on both sides of the iron.

Well, if you're not gonna answer, let me extemporaneously express that I have my doubts this little maneuver is going to deliver the desired outcome.

You think we should do it different?

No. No, no.

Not at all.

The big man's plan will get it done, no question.

We've thrown a lot at Rick, the widow, the King, and they just keep coming, keep fighting...

You've seen it, I've seen it.

Tallying it up, I keep seeing the same answer...

They don't scare.




I don't know what the hell it is.

"If you fill the crates with food or phonograph records, I will gladly exchange them for a key to your future"?

It lists coordinates for our meeting spot.

This isn't the Saviors.

They'd blow through the gates, make a big show.

This isn't that.

I wouldn't put nothin' past them.

Well, if it is a trap, it's kind of obvious.

Which is what could make it a trap.

Michonne: What if... What if it's someone who actually wants to help?

Maggie: If someone is trying to help us and we miss out, we miss out. If somebody's trying to kill us, we die.

Michonne: Not if we're careful.

Being careful is staying here.

I'll go.

- I'll see what's up.

- You go, I go.

- Rick wants us here.

- I know.

But the last time we took a chance like this, it changed everything.

Michonne: Rick didn't agree with me then. He may not understand me now.

He won't.

But eventually, he will.

He will.

Jesus and the others have been scavenging, and we're still starving.

Maybe this person does have something that can help.

Then, I'm coming with you.


I'll grab records, case this is real.

You get extra clips in case it isn't.

MAN: If you see 'em coming, hit your horn.

That'll start the handoff.

Stick to the plan, don't engage.




ARAT: The hell was that?

That was Negan's car.

Jesus, it was.


Damn it!

You see it?

Yeah, someone pegged him... pegged him good.

Looked like just one guy, from what I could tell.

- Anyone see which way he went?


Just tell them to pipe down!

Stay icy.

May be more of them out there.

Keep guards up, scan your lane.

We could have company.



Let's go.

Whoa! Stand down.

No runnin' off without a plan.

Car hit Negan's, pushed him off the road.

They headed that way.

Couldn't have gotten far.

Then, what are we waiting for?

[SIGHS] It was just one driver.

It's nothing Negan can't handle on his own.

But just in case, Dwight and I'll go check it out.

- All right, we can back you up and...

- No.

This might be a ploy to divide our forces, and we're not gonna let that happen, not when we're so close to the master stroke.

I turned my truck to make sure no one comes in this way.

Gary, I want you to do the same down that end.

Simon: You're in charge. Keep everyone in tight, create a perimeter, cut down anything that comes close.

Shall we locate our benefactor?









Hyah! [GRUNTS]






Negan: Hey, prick. You are out of bullets.

Come on up.



Negan: Lucille!



Oh, you asshole.





Georgie: My name is Georgie, and these are my friends, Hilda and Midge. And you are?

Maggie: Suspicious.

Georgie: But curious enough to see what I have to offer for food and music. I do hope the records are music. I don't accept spoken word. If you're out here, you know you can take care of yourselves, and I like that. I don't care to share this with the weak.



None for me.

Georgie: Give us what you have.

Maggie: I'm afraid I can't do that.

Georgie: I come bearing knowledge to trade... Essential knowledge for the future, primarily in my head, and, uh, I prefer to keep that where it is.

You're trading knowledge.

Georgie: That's what I have. I've made the same offer before... Fill the crates, get the knowledge... Simple as that. It's not a trick, just a fair trade. I promise you.

It's an act of benevolence.

Why would you do that?

Georgie: What else should I do?



Georgie: Uh, what's in there isn't part of the deal.

Maggie: There is no deal.

How many communities have you found?

Georgie: Communities like yours? Not many at all. And not one for a very long time. What you have is special, unusual. The dead have brought out our best and worst, and the worst has been outpacing the best lately, but that won't last forever. It won't. If, perhaps, people can believe in people again, four crates of goods is worth far less than a sustainable future and perhaps an exercise in trust. I know... "trust" probably sounds like a made-up word now, like flibberschticky. Or klompf. Or moisture.

ENID: Stop.

This isn't real.

No way anyone survives going around doing what you say you're doing.

Georgie: But we do. And we will, because I can divine that you are a fine group, manners notwithstanding.

We can make a deal.


These people and their van are coming with us back to Hilltop.




Rick: You still alive?

Negan: I'm a goddamn cat.



Negan: Come on, baby. Where are you?



Rick: So, where's your people? They should be here by now. We didn't get that far.

Negan: Oh, they're coming.

Rick: This is where you die...


Rick: in the dark, all alone.

Negan: What the hell is your problem, Rick?


- Huh?

Negan: I mean, I know you're working through some sh1t... The worst kind of sh1t, I know... But if you aren't the most stubborn know-it-all prick I've ever crossed dicks with... Why didn't you just let me save you, Rick? I'm good at it. I saved everybody in the Sanctuary, the Outpost, Hilltop, Kingdom... I saved them all. Their kids...


Negan: can grow up safe. They didn't lose one after we took over. All those people were doing just fine before Rick Grimes!




Negan: You've not only failed your boy, you failed your people, Rick. Kind of makes me sick just thinking about it. All that wasted potential. But, see, there is still hope for you. A one-time deal that I will make in the memory of your bad-ass son, someone that I actually respected. You get Hilltop, Kingdom, Alexandria to fall in line, and our arrangement is back in place, and you are forgiven, Rick. I will lower my take from 50% to 25%... A lousy 25%. But you, you got to come work for me. Janitorial to start... Not bad at all. Your people, they get to live like % kings! Now, that is an epic freakin' Christmas-Hanukah-Kwanzaa gift all rolled up into one, considering what a thorn in my ass cheek you've all been.

Rick: Now, why would I trust any deal offered to me after what you did to Jadis' people?

Negan: The hell are you talking about?

Rick: The Scavengers. You killed them... All of them. A whole community just wiped out. Is that how you "save" people?

[WHISPERING] Son of a bitch.

Rick: Still just me and you... even though plenty of your people must've seen you go. See... See, it's times like this, you realize who your true friends are. No one's coming for you.



You must've thought about it, clipping him yourself.

You mean when he took my wife? Or burned my face?


Never thought about that. Not once.

But you didn't because you chose to survive instead of focusing on past discomforts.

You are an adult.

You did what you had to to live.

And yet our leader is not doing the same.

If it was my call... we'd say enough.

We'd branch out, we'd find new places, we'd make new relationships.

We'd make sure the Saviors survive, as you chose to.

And we'd move on from past discomforts as you... wisely chose to.


Well, here I am, my nuts blowin' in the breeze, naked as a jaybird.

What do you say?

Just move on?

Just move on.



Could be his.

Or the bucket he brought with him.

He could be anywhere, alive or dead.

Somewhere in between.

Just 'cause he walked away doesn't mean he's breathing.

We can keep looking, maybe find him more alive than dead, but then what?

We could face a distasteful moment.

Or we could walk away.

Get back to our people and make things even better.

This is a critical point in our history, Dwight.

This is something we could tell our grandkids about.




Good answer.



The handoff horn started up but no confirmation hits.

Saviors could've slowed their roll.

Let 'em. We'll slow 'em down more.

That's good.

Be dark soon.

Get people ready.

You know what to do.

We should make the deal and let them go before the Saviors get here.

I can't let her go, not with what they have.

I got too many mouths to feed.

They've quite of food in that van.

People here could be starving soon.

Maggie's right.

We take their stuff.

Otherwise, someone else will.

Someone else will kill them.

It's a miracle they're still alive, anyways.

The Saviors are on their way.

We're gonna fight, and some of us will die, so why should we give a sh1t about people who don't give a sh1t about themselves?

I mean, out there, living like that?

We take their stuff, and we use it.

We stop pretending that things just work out.

They don't.

Carl rescued Siddiq, and now we have a doctor, and we have a friend.

Carl was brave.

[VOICE BREAKING] And now he's dead.

Step back.



MAGGIE: Things don't just work out.


No, they don't.

But I think he knew that.

He didn't give up on who Rick wanted him to be.

And we can't on who he wanted us to be.

We can't.

RICK: What you have... oh, that was never gonna last. Sooner or later, you were gonna meet someone like me. You can't save me or my people or even yours. You can't save anyone, because you don't care about anyone. You use people to bring food... to sleep with you... to protect you. The only thing you care about... is this bat. You can't even save that. I'll make you a deal. I'll let you kiss her goodbye.

Negan: Don't you touch her!



Rick: Come and get her.


- sh1t, no!



Get your hands off of her.





NEGAN: Goddamn psychopath... You're gonna kill us both.

Rick: Long as it's you first.


- Aah!










No spoken word?

I'm agreeing to your deal.

We'll fill your four crates, then you can go.

You're gonna want that to be sooner than later.

I accept.

But I'm changing the terms.

This one, no more.

In addition, you can have a sizeable portion of my food stores. From the looks of things around here, you need it far more than we do.

You're giving us food?

In exchange for what?

Records and good faith.

To be clear, this isn't a gift, it's barter.

I'll be back.

Maybe not for a while, but I will, and by then, I expect great things.

Here... is the aforementioned key to a future.

Inside, there are handwritten plans for windmills, watermills, silos, hand-drawn schematics, guides to refining grain, creating lumber, aqueducts... A book of medieval human achievement so we may have a future from our past.

Yes, I know, the originals are in my head, but I made photocopies. Still, it's been an evolving document since the copy shop.

Thank you.

Build this place up.

I want those other crates filled when I get back... Cheeses for Hilda, pickles for Midge.

We'll see what we can do.

You will.





I killed Natania.

She was out there trying to kill anyone she came across, and we came across her.

So I killed her, and I'm alive, and Carl saved someone, and he's dead.

How the hell are we supposed to do this?

Are we supposed to just stop fighting?


I don't think Carl wanted us to stop fighting for our future.

But I think he was telling us that, to get to our future, it's gonna take more than just fighting.

The Saviors are coming right now.

And we're gonna fight them.

But there's gotta be something after.


MAN: He's not with them.


Where's Negan?


You couldn't find him?

Just blood.

Now what, hmm?

What are we supposed to do now?

Who are you?




I am Negan!

Damn right you are!

We all are!

Don't matter if the big man ain't here.

We're still Negan.

We don't know if he's "gone" gone.

He could very well be back.

Our plan... Negan's plan...

Was to go on to Hilltop and put the fear of God in these people so that, finally, once and for all, they get with the program.

But after what just happened, what they did to Negan, that tells me that what we need from them is beyond them.

It's time we come to accept that.

And once we do, it'll become crystal clear there's only one thing left for us to do.

We must expunge them.

We must redact them!

They are a mistake that we shall now erase.

We are moving on.

For Negan!


ALL: For Negan!



Well, sh1t.

Shut up.