The Walking Dead's mystery helicopter could be linked to Jadis and the Scavengers, the show's latest episode suggests. The Walking Dead's fifth episode of season 8 dropped a huge surprise on viewers by including a scene where Rick Grimes spots a helicopter flying overhead, causing the protagonist to sport one of his classic confused stares into the distance. Absolutely nothing has been mentioned of this sizeable development since then but last Sunday's episode, "The Lost And The Plunderers," may have finally provided another breadcrumb to explain who was flying that mystery chopper.
In a tense exchange between Savior Simon and Scavenger leader Jadis, Simon uttered an almost throwaway line as he inquired: "What's the deal with the helipad in back? The solar panels? What was this place?" Jadis' reply is typically coy, giving away no clear answers but the confirmation that the Scavengers' site includes a helipad marks the first mention of copter-based travel since Rick's mysterious sighting. But are the two truly connected?
Some fans have taken this line as cold, hard confirmation that the helicopter Rick spotted earlier this season was being piloted by the Scavengers - and it's easy to see why. Not only are there plenty of unknown elements as to how the Scavengers live, but when the group first appeared, eagle-eyed viewers spotted a flying helicopter in the distance of one particular shot.
This sighting was initially dismissed as a gaff on the show's behalf, but season 8's developments have added credence to the theory that the inclusion was completely intentional. Connecting this early sighting to the reveal that the Scavengers have access to a helipad certainly makes them prime candidates for owning the chopper Rick saw. While the Scavengers have always presented themselves as primal and simple beings, this is clearly nothing more than an act, especially since Jadis reverts back to a regular speech pattern after the death of her people. Perhaps this facade has been hiding a far more sophisticated and advanced society than anyone had imagined.
One thing fans can be reasonably sure of is that the helicopter plot thread has yet to unravel completely but if the craft does indeed belong to Jadis and her Scavengers, it's unclear how this could play out in future episodes given that the group has now been decimated by Simon and his men. However, while Jadis may be the only Scavenger left alive, her story certainly isn't over. A mystery has been created surrounding the true nature of the Scavenger community and that will need to be addressed at some point, with or without a helicopter. The real question is whether definitively revealing the Scavengers as the owners of the helicopter would be an anti-climax now that the group has been reduced to nothing more than a reddish-pink pile of mush on the floor.
Because of this, it's impossible to discount the possibility that Simon's helipad line was simply a red herring to direct viewers away from guessing the real owners of the helicopter. Those familiar with the The Walking Dead comics will know that a group called The Commonwealth are due to appear at some point in the future. This huge community has access to a wide array of resources and technology and are the the most likely figures in the franchise to have access to a chopper, as well as fuel and maintenance capabilities.
"The Lost and The Plunderers" certainly increased the likelihood that the helicopter Rick saw was being piloted by the Scavengers. But does this mean that Jadis will come tearing through the sky in the aircraft and lop off Negan's head with her rotors in the season finale? Or does the chopper belong to another shady group yet to appear?
The Walking Dead continues with "Dead Or Alive Or" March 11th on AMC.