Caution: Spoilers Ahead For The Walking Dead.

The latest episode of The Walking Dead Season 8 threw a proverbial spanner into the works when lead protagonist Rick glanced up and saw a helicopter cruising through the sky – a surefire indication of advanced wider civilization if ever there was one. Although clearly intrigued by this development, Rick’s pressing war against Negan remains his primary focus.

This isn’t the first time a flying chopper has been spotted in The Walking Dead. Back in the very first episode, a horse-riding Rick attempted to follow a military helicopter and subsequently found himself among a pack of Walkers. Later, in Season 3, the Governor and his men found a crashed helicopter and later slaughter the pilot’s comrades and steal their supplies. In both of these instances, the choppers’ presence advanced the plot but Rick’s sighting in “The Big Scary U” had no immediately obvious connection to the current story. This makes the scene even more interesting.

Related: Is The Walking Dead Setting Up a Rick/Daryl Conflict?

And of course, the further into the zombie apocalypse The Walking Dead ventures, the more unusual each sighting of developed civilization becomes. With this in mind, what could Rick’s latest helicopter sighting possibly mean for The Walking Dead Season 8 and beyond?

The Commonwealth

The Walking Dead New World Order cover The Commonwealth What The Walking Deads Helicopter Tease Means For The Future

This mysterious group has barely debuted in The Walking Dead comic series and very little is currently known about them. In a recent issue, Rick sent a scouting party consisting of Michonne, Eugene, Siddiq, Magna, Yumiko and hilarious newcomer Princess to meet with a new community Eugene had already made contact with and the group soon encounter what is referred to as The Commonwealth.

The Commonwealth are extremely well-armed and supplied by zombie apocalypse standards and appear somewhat militaristic in nature, with their troops sporting matching machine guns and futuristic white body armor. Franchise creator Robert Kirkman has described them as the largest group Rick has ever encountered but details remain scarce for now.

Despite the lack of information available on this community, they are arguably the only active settlement in The Walking Dead canon who would have the resources to be flying a helicopter around this far into the apocalypse. Could Rick’s sighting be planting the seeds for a TV version of The Commonwealth way ahead of schedule?

“The Fat Lady”

The Walking Dead The Big Scary U Negan Dwight Review What The Walking Deads Helicopter Tease Means For The Future

“The Big Scary U” featured several scenes of Negan’s Lieutenants having board meetings as they tried and failed the rule the Sanctuary without their omnipotent leader. During one such exchange, Regina suggested getting a small group out through the horde to a nearby outpost and having them return with something called “The Fat Lady.”

Related: Negan Confesses In An (Almost) Great Episode of The Walking Dead

As of yet, there’s no indication as to what this “The Fat Lady” codename could be referring to. For all fans know, it’s literally an overweight female Savior with experience in dealing with large crowds of zombies. However, it’s fair to assume that The Fat Lady is, in fact, a weapon capable of ending the Sanctuary’s siege worthy of having its own dramatic codename. So, it could be related to the RPGs mentioned by Negan earlier in the episode, perhaps the .50 Caliber machine gun seen last week. Or it could even be a bomb of some description. But The Fat Lady could also be a helicopter.

Thus far in The Walking Dead‘s All Out War arc, Negan’s Saviors have taken a thorough beating and it’s impossible to escape the feeling that the villains will soon strike back with a vengeance. One particularly memorable scene from the comic books saw Negan and his cohorts gleefully lobbing grenades over the fences of Alexandria to great effect. Could the AMC adaptation possibly tweak this event so that the explosives are thrown from a helicopter, thus giving the Saviors their first conclusive win?

Page 2 of 2: Is The Helicopter A Reference Back To Earlier Seasons of The Walking Dead?

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